October 2016 E-Newsletter
Happy Fall! Autumn weather in Los Angeles is predictably unpredictable. One morning you might wake to cool, grey skies and the next to 100 plus degree heat and Santa Ana winds. We’ve certainly seen some of that famous fall heat this week! Hopefully, your plants made it through the scorching weather. There’s lots of good information on fall gardening in this October update below. Also, please read the information about an upcoming rate increase in the OVF Announcements section.
Upcoming Garden Events:
Oct. 8 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM - Noon
Oct. 8 - Potluck Lunch - Noon
Oct. 8 - General Meeting - 1:00 PM
Oct. 8 - OVF Greenhouse Seedling Sale - 1:30 PM
Oct. 30 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Newer to gardening? Here are some general tips for gardening in October. For our more experienced gardeners, we want to hear from you! What do you do in your plot in October? Please, send us your tips or photos.
- No matter your experience level, you can start your October gardening off right with a visit to the OVF Greenhouse sale. Our next seedling sale is Saturday 10/8 at 1:30pm (after the workday, potluck and general meeting). Available seedlings include broccoli, cabbage, radicchio, bulbing fennel, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, leeks (check out this video on planting leeks), herbs, kale, fava beans, chard, celeriac, flowers and mixed lettuces. Four-inch pots are only $1 and six-packs are $2.
- Before you plant, make sure to weed! Most weeds are safe to compost but remember to always trash the dirty three: nutgrass, bindweed and false garlic!
- Did you know that 94% of our seed diversity has disappeared? If you’re around Santa Monica tonight (9/30), you might want to check out a screening of the documentary Seed: The Untold Story and following panel discussion. You can check out a trailer here.
OVF Plot Fee Increases for 2017
Due to the surging cost of water, OVF will be increasing plot fees for 2017. The 2017 OVF plot fee will be $59.00 per plot. The associate fee will remain the same as it has been, at $6.00 per associate. OVF is currently using funds from its reserve to cover the unexpected increase in water costs in 2016 but raising the plot fees is the only sustainable way to cover these additional charges in the long run. This is the first time we’ve needed to increase plot fees in six years.
Our goal with providing this information now is that everyone will have ample time to prepare for this increase before the 2017 plot fees are due next January.
A little background information for those of you interested in knowing more:
Over the last several years, the annual water bill at OVF has been about $8,500 per year or approximately one-third of our yearly budget. After the first nine months of 2016, our water bills have already reached $9,500 and will almost certainly exceed $13,000 for the year. Unfortunately, this is only the first of four annual rate increases the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has planned. Since this is just the first increase, plot fees will likely be raised again in 2018 and 2019, by which time our water rates will double again from what they are now. Any future plot fee increases have NOT yet been determined.
Visit the water page on the OVF website to see more historical water usage and rate data.
Victim of Theft?
If you have been a victim of theft - be it your garden harvest, tools or other personal belongings, please reach out to your phase rep and let them know.
Community Service Opportunities
Our Education Chair Andy Morris is looking for gardeners interested in contributing articles for the next OVF newsletter or interested in leading school tours. Please contact Andy if you would like to help.
Help Keep Mosquitos at Bay
Please be diligent about keeping standing water out of your plots (and anywhere else). Even a small puddle left for 4 days can be a breeding ground for these disease-spreading pests.
That’s all for now. Happy gardening!