Browsed by
Category: Community Garden at Holy Nativity

Seeding the new forest garden

Seeding the new forest garden

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. As part of the Westchester Community Oven project, we had always intended to try adding a food forest garden to the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. Since the spot chosen was under an asphalt parking lot for at least 30 years, the first step was some soil…

Read More Read More

Cactus juice preservative for the cob oven

Cactus juice preservative for the cob oven

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”),…

Read More Read More

Summer Solstice Open House – Jun 20

Summer Solstice Open House – Jun 20

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…

Read More Read More

Adobe Brick-making Success!

Adobe Brick-making Success!

This past Saturday, we had LOTS of fun making adobe bricks at the Community Garden. Kids, both small and tall, got to experience squishy-squashy mud.  It is so tactile and cool and smooth, and once you start, you just can’t get enough of it!

Root knot nematodes

Root knot nematodes

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…

Read More Read More

The cob oven at RootSimple homestead

The cob oven at RootSimple homestead

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.

Building a Food Forest garden – cover crops

Building a Food Forest garden – cover crops

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. 

Crop rotations in So. Calif: When to change seasons

Crop rotations in So. Calif: When to change seasons

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?

Greywater: Legal and Not

Greywater: Legal and Not

Water.  Our gardens are aching for it.  And as toasty spring lengthens into official summertime, water needs will only increase. Meanwhile, we’re completely overlooking a rather abundant water resource.  Greywater.  That’s water which has been used once before but doesn’t have anything nasty in it. And since garden soil has enormous power to filter and cleanse a lot of what’s in that water, it seems like greywater and gardens should be a perfect fit.