November 2018

November 2018 E-Newsletter

“When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow, but the gardeners themselves”

-Ken Druse

featured instagram photo of the month.  Bright purple beans on a vine

Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Hyacinth Beans Bring a Splash of Color to the Fall Garden

Upcoming Garden Events:

Nov. 3 - Sierra Club of L.A. Water Workshop - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM 
Nov. 6 – Election Day – (don’t forget to vote)
Nov. 10 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM – Noon
Nov. 17 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM 
Nov. 25 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Useful info:

  • Rain!  It didn’t stick around long but oh, how it helped newly planted seeds and transplants to grow during its brief appearance.  If you have space in your garden, now is the time to get plants in the ground. The days are only getting shorter and the nights cooler and everything is slowing down.  During our hot days, make sure you keep your beds watered well until your plants’ roots mature.  Here are your monthly tips on what to do in the November garden.
  • Did you know we have a great presentation about water by the Sierra Club this Saturday?  More information in the announcements section below.
  • For those of you looking for an excuse to visit the Huntington Library’s amazing gardens, they will be hosting a free cool-weather gardening workshop on Saturday, November 17 from 9:00 am – 10:00 am.

OVF Announcements: 

Creating a Drought Resistant Los Angeles

Don’t miss this special workshop presented by Charming Evelyn of the Sierra Club’s Los Angeles Chapter this Saturday, November 3rd at 10:00 AM.  Water is one of our most valuable resources in Southern California.  As clean water becomes more scarce and the cost of water continues to go up, the need to conserve becomes more and more important.  Come learn what the future of water looks like in Los Angeles and some steps you can take to conserve it.  Familiarize yourself with the two water-related initiatives on the ballot this election: Proposition and 3 and Measure M and find out what they do and do not do. This event is free and open to the public - bring a friend! This is a great way to show off our wonderful garden and possibly even win some Sierra Club swag. Ocean View Farms operates as a part of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Only Two More Months to Get Your Community Service Hours Completed!
Don’t forget to get those community service hours done on time.  There are four more workdays left in the year.  If you need help finding a way to complete your community service hour, please talk with your phase rep.

Returning Pots to the Greenhouse
Thanks to everyone who came out to the last two plant sales.  We had a great turnout!  As always, we appreciate everyone who returns their pots back to the greenhouse after a sale.  Just a friendly reminder, please do your best to clean your pots and then put them in the wood chest alongside the greenhouse.  Thank you to the wonderful greenhouse volunteers, who then sterilize the pots to get them ready for the next planting. 

Monarch Migration

We're happy to share with you a special article from guest contributor OVF gardener Kathy Vilim.  Kathy had the pleasure of experiencing the monarch butterfly migration first hand and writes about her experience. Remember, if you want to help the monarchs, it's best to grow native milkweed plants that die back and encourage the monarchs to migrate rather than the tropical milkweed that can cause some problems.

wintering monarch butterflies by Brocken Inaglory

Gimme Shelter

A shadow passes overhead.  I look up to see orange wings.  A monarch butterfly is passing overhead, slowly, playfully with another monarch butterfly.  I am working in the OVF gardens, and I stop to watch them. They fly so free that it lightens my heart.  They are flying over a plot that contains one milkweed plant and one sage plant, the perfect combination for the monarch butterflies.

The milkweed plant (Asclepias) is not so much a nectar source for the monarchs as is the sage, but the milkweed attracts them because it is a host plant, a larval source. The female monarch will lay her eggs on the milkweed knowing the young caterpillars will l have food when they emerge.  She can lay hundreds of eggs on a single plant, and they will take in milkweed toxin that will protect them from being eaten by birds.

Autumn is in the air, and the great monarch migration has begun.  Unlike their east coast cousins, our California monarchs do not migrate to Mexico.  Instead, they migrate to overwintering groves on the California coast. Along the coast there are no freezing overnight temperatures.  The monarchs cluster together high up in Eucalyptus trees, wings closed, to keep warm when the sun is not out. One of the largest of these overwintering groves is close by in Pismo Beach. In January, there will be a mating frenzy at the overwintering grove, and the females will depart with eggs to lay.  They will fly low looking for milkweed host plants.

While the monarch butterflies are traveling to and from their overwintering grounds, they need waystations where they can rest.  On their way out to the grove, they will continue to fatten up on nectar, an on their departure from the grove they will be looking for milkweed.

I have had the great pleasure of camping next to Pismo Beach’s Monarch Grove.  For several weeks I lived among the orange ballerinas of the sky, observing their daily routine of resting all together at night and then dancing in the mid-day sun.  I felt free then, as they were free. And I left there committed to caring about what happens to them. How can a female butterfly find milkweed in the city?

The answer is private gardens.  Places like Ocean View Farms are a wonderful resource for the monarch butterflies.  The organic garden is full of life. What a great waystation we could have here. I can envision monarchs flitting about the vegetable plots.  All they need is milkweed and a nectar source like sage. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of us planted just one of those plants and gave our traveling monarchs a rest stop?

As always: we want to hear from you!  Send us an email, reach out on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram @oceanviewfarms. 

That’s all for now.  Happy gardening!