A forest garden is a garden of perennial plants that produce food. It is often designed to look “forest-like,” with trees forming a canopy above, and smaller plants creating a “forest floor” effect underneath.
I’m “cooking up” a batch of Opuntia juice preservative. It is a traditional weather coating used on adobe and cob structures. We will be adding it to the final coat on the Westchester Community Oven when we re-surface it next weekend.
I had to post this because it is absolutely a frightful color of green. No filters in that photo!
To make the preservative, you finely mince or puree cactus pads (Opuntia species, better known as prickly pear, or “nopales”), which yields a goopey green glop. Then you pour this into a 5-gallon bucket of water, at which point it doesn’t mix with water right away, so it really looks like Shrek had a horrible head-cold. Continue Reading
Want to learn about all the fun stuff that goes on at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity, and the Holy Nativity campus?
On Saturday, June 20, there will be a Summer Solstice Open House across the entire campus.
It will feature garden tours, an explanation of the Westchester Community Oven (the oven mud will be drying at that point), highlights from other campus organizations like Teri Roseman’s LiveYoga Wellness, Patricia Rose’s Fresh-food-in-a-flash cooking classes, the Food Forward gleaning program, art tours by Steve O’Laughlin, and much more. Come join us and see the new oven!
Summer Solstice Open House
Sat Jun 20, 9am-1pm
Community Garden at Holy Nativity
6700 W. 83rd, Los Angeles, 90045 RSVP helpful
Yesterday in the Community Garden, we discovered that we are experiencing an attack of Root Knot Nematodes. The beets we pulled up had failure to thrive, failed to form a beet root, and had tons of tumor-like growths on the hair roots. Yuck.
The excess of one organism — to the point that we call them a “pest” — is a system imbalance. It’s probably due to something lacking in the overall micro-ecosystem.
I’m sure our beets this year were weakened from lack of proper rain, and from excess high temperatures this season, so they were particularly succeptible. My guess is that we probably have had low levels of root knot nematode everywhere for years, but thus far the soil ecosystem had kept them from flourishing and becoming an out-of-balance pest.
We grow organically, so that streamlines our treatment choices. The goal is to regain the soil-ecosystem balance. Continue Reading
Mr Homegrown of RootSimple shared this video of their construction process. He is part of the team, advising us as we plan how to build the cob oven at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. Continue Reading
We’re designing a Food Forest garden, to be built later this spring. We’ll be tearing out asphalt, cleansing and rejeuvenating the soil, and recrafting the space as a community gathering area with a cob bread oven and food forest.
Today I’ve been studying cover crops and compost crops for the “rejeuvenating the soil” part. Continue Reading
It’s autumn in Southern California. Or is it? The weather has changed. Wait, it’s changed back again…
Contrary to what East Coast people say, Southern California does have its seasons. But there’s rarely a clear “cutoff” date. Add climate-change-driven Weather Weirdness to the mix and it can be totally confusing, even for veteran gardeners.
How do you tell when it’s time to change crops in your rotation?