How To Use This Blog

We have set up this blog as a way to share with the community what we are up to and so members can see what needs to be done in the garden week to week.

How to use this blog:
We will post the to-do's and you simply write in the comments what you will be taking care of so we know it's getting done.
  • After you have entered your comment, simply hit the arrow next to profile, select anonymous and make sure you write your name in the comments section so we know who you are!
  • To make sure you don't miss an update, please enter your email address in the "Get Alerts for New Posts" form on the right column of this blog.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Week in the Garden

On this past Saturday, I was pleased to welcome a group from the Neighborhood Youth Association to the demonstration garden. We had a discussion about compost and built a small square foot garden. Tanya Jones is the program director and she wrote me the following lovely note and sent some great photos of their day in the garden:

"Thank you so much for helping organize and provide such a rich learning opportunity for our some of our C.A.R.E. kids as well as us adults this past weekend at the Greystone Demonstration Garden! We LOVED the experience! 

We are also very interested in learning more about the garden and plan to visit it throughout the year as well as take the learning outcomes from these experiences and enact them in our own gardens on our campuses."

Karah Gebhardt, Girl Scout gold medal candidate was also on hand Saturday, working hard to commence her big compost project:  she will be organizing a 3 stage compost system, with permanent signage to explain the process to visitors.

Today, Nancy Hunt-Coffey and associates (Juliette and Sean) were in the garden doing a business start-up: we are going to harvest and dry herbs to sell as a fund raiser for our brand new 4-H club: 
This coming Wednesday I will be in the garden working on the Square Foot Garden: I want to plant some vegetables to show people at our free workshop, coming up on Saturday, August 23d, 9 a.m. Learn how to grow vegetables in very limited spaces, save time, money, water and eat healthy all at the same time. 

Something to look forward to: Master Gardener George Pessin will be teaching Victory Gardening in our space starting Sunday, September 14th:
Grow LA Victory Garden Classes
The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own vegetables.
Greystone Mansion & Park is proud to announce that we will be one of the hosting sites for the upcoming fall classes.
We will be hosting 4 Sunday classes (12 noon – 3 PM) beginning 9/14/14. Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion.

Greystone Mansion & Park
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
List of topics includes:
Week 1 (Sunday Sept 14): planning, tools, seed starting, building raised beds, choosing containers, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it)
Week 2 (Sunday, Sept 21): transplanting, soil structure, soil preparation, organic fertilizers, irrigation, mulching
Week 3 (Sunday Sept 28): composting, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), beneficial insects, organic pesticides
Week 4 (Sunday Oct 5): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation
The cost of these workshops is $15 for each class or $55.00 for all four.

Please make checks payable to: 
University of California Regents and mail to:
George Pessin
834 Huntley Dr #4
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Space is limited, Please RSVP with payment at your earliest convenience. You will be confirmed registration once payment is received.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Week in the Garden

O.K. the tomatoes are getting ridiculous. This is one day's harvest, in just one raised bed...
Kirsten and Jake with a few tomatoes.
Please join us this coming Wednesday the 23d around 10 a.m. as we continue covering the beds with wire fencing. The end of this project is finally within reach. I have cut wire for the rest of the beds, all we need to do is put on the tops. 

On Saturday the 26th, Karah will be in the garden starting up her Gold Medal girl scout project: calling all youngsters interested in learning how to establish a home composting system. At 2:00 I will be building a sample Square Foot Garden with some volunteers from All Saints Beverly Hills, and Nancy-Hunt Coffey will be doing an artful pot and seed project with the younger kids. Lots going on, please bring a compostable item from home, and join us in the garden! 

To enter our parking area, please look for the open gate on Doheny Road, just west of Loma Vista. Enter the gate, and turn left immediately:  you will see the greenhouse on the left. With love, Barb Linder

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Here's my Square Foot Garden

Hi All, I thought I would post a photo of my personal Square Foot Garden. It's not a great time to plant things as it's so hot, but I couldn't resist. I have to admit that I have a drip system, so I'm not worried about water.
In just 4 square feet I have planted: tomatoes, basil, marigolds, bush beans, carrots, beets, jalapeño pepper and scallions. I left a few square empty for kale and lettuce in the fall. On the outside borders I am planting herbs: thus far sage, parsley, tarragon and French sorrel. We will be holding a free Square Foot Garden workshop at Greystone in the middle of August. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tea and Tomatoes in the Garden

Last week we hung bunches of mint and lavender in the corn house to dry. Today I took them home, smashed them up in a bag, added some dried lemon peel, and it's the best tea! I would have taken a picture of my first cup but it's gone. The brand new Beverly Hills 4-H club plans to sell this tea as a fund raiser in the fall. Keep your eyes open!

Today I harvested pounds and pounds of really beautiful tomatoes: headed to the Monday Meal Program at All Saints.
Jake and Kirsten Iversen were on hand; they completed a wire cover for the demonstration square foot garden, and they planted non-gmo beet, savory, basil, mustard and chard seeds. We watered the seeds in, and covered them with light weight crop cover to conserve the surface moisture. This helps the seeds to germinate in hot weather.
 Kirsten, Jake and Ana Paludi, Master Gardener!

I was so pleased to meet Ana. She has been a Master Gardener for 15 years and has a wealth of information to share about all sorts of gardening issues. She is helping us with the squash crops which have come down with the usual leaf fungus, although you can see below that we have a beautiful pumpkin coming right along. Next Wednesday she will arrive with some organic first aid for the fungus condition. The lima beans and corn are growing very quickly. Please join us next Wednesday, around 10 a.m. We are teaching the Square Foot Garden method aimed at people with very limited growing spaces. Barb Linder

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July to all my gardeners

This past Wednesday there was a lot of activity in the garden. Skip Z., Lisa D. and I pruned all of the boysenberry vines to about 3 feet tall. Berry vines must be carefully controlled in a garden setting, otherwise they will rampantly cover every available surface. Also, when you prune the canes, this encourages the growth of the lateral fruiting shoots for the next year. Late this coming winter, we will cut back the fruiting shoots to about 1 foot, this maximizes fruit size and production.

We also harvested bags of turnip greens and garlic, which I plan to sauté and serve at the Monday Meal at All Saints. We picked and hung bunches of mint and lavender, which we're going to make into herbal tea. The tomatoes, corn and lima beans are going very well, see photos below.

I would like to welcome the Iversens to our garden: they are going to come up on Wednesdays to learn and help.  Plans for this coming Wednesday: I'm bringing my drill to attach a fastener to the corn house door; we need to complete the wire cover for the demonstration square foot garden bed (and maybe the Iversens will plant a few of their non-gmo seeds?) and I would like to start rooting the nice strawberry runners we are producing. Please join us, from 9:30 until around noon.