May 2019 E-Newsletter
The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.
-Edwin Way Teale
Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Every Sunday you can drop off excess produce at Gate 4 in Phase II from 3:00-5:00PM. The produce will be donated to those in need.
Upcoming Garden Events:
May. 11 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM – Noon
May. 18 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM
May. 26 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- After a month of lovely spring weather, the cool, damp days have returned. We know to expect May Gray and June Gloom, but what do you call multiple weeks of dreary weather in April? On the plus side, if you have started planting your summer garden, you probably haven’t had to worry about your transplants or freshly sown seeds drying out too quickly between garden visits. On the downside, your heat loving plants are probably looking a little confused and disappointed at the moment. If your summer plants, like tomatoes and peppers, are still on the small side but start producing blossoms, it’s okay to pinch off the first few flowers. This can help your plant put a bit more energy into growing before it starts sending all its energy into fruiting. As mentioned last month, you can make a mini-greenhouse around your heat loving plants by placing a cut plastic jug around their base (when small) or circling them in plastic sheeting when larger (stake the sheeting around the plant and do not allow the leaves to touch).
- This is the month to get all your heat-loving plants in the ground. There will also be a greenhouse fundraiser on June 1st to fill any last remaining bits of dirt in your plot. Transplant basil, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and squash this month. It’s still okay to plant beets, carrots and leeks as well. There is also a nice list of ornamentals to plant on the Gardening in LA blog. Sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias always brighten up the garden over the summers. If you're still deciding whatto plant where, the OVF website does a good job of highlighting companion plants or plants that “play nicely” with each other and those that do not.
- Lastly, a reminder to limit overhead watering, especially during cool and/ or wet weather. Being in a coastal climate we are prone to tomato blight and powdery mildew. It’s hard enough for our plants’ leaves to dry out (and warm up) sufficiently without being dosed from above. Overhead watering only exasperates & spreads the aforementioned diseases. Overhead watering also wastes water. It’s much better to deep-water plants by letting a trickle of water run into the soil from the base of the plant, than to spray water on all the dirt. Your plants will thank you. Save your spray nozzle for newly planted seedbeds and use the hose with a bubbler (or without an attachment) once plants are established. That said, during hotter weather, it is okay to give your garden a bath once a week.
Thanks to everyone who attended the April 13th General Meeting and all of those who voted in this years election. The election results are as follows:
- Vice-President - Christy Wilhelmi*
- Garden Master - Ed Mosman*
- I.P. Monitor - Suky Lee
- I.P. Monitor - Marie Green
- Membership Secretary - Carrie Manaugh*
- Phase Representative - I-U - Andrew Sacks*
- Phase Representative - II-U - Pam Brissette*
- Phase Representative - III-U - Ron Fine*
- Phase Representative - IV-U - Steven Reich*
A very special thank you to all of those that serve on the OVF Board of Directors.
Community Service Hours
Just a gentle reminder that you need to complete half of your community service hours by the end of June.
Letter from The Garden Master
Here is a little request from the Shredding crew on Tuesdays. We appreciate members bringing us kitchen scraps for our compost. We would like members to NOT TIE a knot in the plastic bags, it is almost impossible to untie them. We have to rip the bag open and the scraps fly all over the place. Please continue to bring the scraps they are good for our compost. And thank you for not bringing false garlic and nut grass, we are finding very little in the weed material. Ed Mosman
The shredding crew meets on Tuesdays. It is one of the many wonderful ways you can earn your community service hours at the garden,
Bird Watching at Ocean View Farms and Beyond
Thanks to guest contributor and garden member Cheryl Hargraves who wrote this article about birding at Ocean View Farms and other nearby locations. Photos are by her husband Robert Hargrave.
Bird watching is one of the world's most popular past times. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department, more than 45 million people in the U.S. watch birds.
Would you be surprised to hear that throughout the year more than 500 different birds can be found in Los Angeles County? L.A. is situated along the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south navigation route for migratory birds. Because of this, we get to see a lot of migrating birds in addition to our resident species.
As I'm sure many of you know, some of these birds can be seen right at our lovely Ocean View Farms. They are attracted here by food/seeds, habitat and prey. Many live here all year round.
Here is a list of the some of the birds my husband and I have seen since becoming OVF members a few years ago: Allen's hummingbird, Anna's hummingbird, American crow, American kestrel, Bewick's wren, black phoebe*, blue-gray gnatcatcher, brewers blackbird, bushtit, Cassin's kingbird*, cedar waxwing, cliff swallow, common raven, Cooper's hawk*, downy woodpecker, Eurasian collared dove, lesser goldfinch*, hooded oriole, house finch, house sparrow, house wren*, Hutton's vireo, killdeer, mourning dove, Nashville warbler, northern mockingbird, orange-crowned warbler, red-tailed hawk, ruby-crowned kinglet, Say's phoebe*, townsend's warbler, tree sparrow, western bluebird, western gull, western kingbird, white-crowned sparrow, and yellow-rumped warbler.
*pictured below from left to right: black pheobe, Cassin's kingbird, Cooper's hawk, house wren, lesser goldfinch, Say's phoebe
Our plot is in Lower 4, so I'm sure there are a lot more birds visiting across OVF. If you would like help identifying them, the Merlin Bird ID app is free and is a good resource. It can be downloaded on both the Apple App and Google Play.
If you are interested in seeing more of our local birds, there are several places nearby that provide a diverse range of species to see. The Marina Jetty, Dockweiler Beach, and Del Rey Lagoon are all good birdwatching locations to see a multitude of shorebirds, ducks, and kingfishers. All three spots are easily accessible and free to access.
If you would like to take part in an organized walk where you can chat with and learn from other birdwatchers, here are some links to help you find a walk to attend
Ballona Wetlands – 9:00 AM to Noon - First Saturday of every month (except August)
Santa Monica Bay Audubon's Calendar of Events
If you would like to watch a birdwatching-based comedy, I highly recommend the movie The Big Year. It's a fictional story about the competition of the same name that occurs yearly across the U.S. where people compete to see who can see the most birds. It stars Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It can be checked out via the L.A. County Library or rented on Amazon Prime. It is rated PG.
Birdwatching/birding is a great hobby. It can be done in small segments of time and in your own neighborhood. Plus, there are many wonderful green spaces all over L.A. to explore while looking for birds. If anyone would like more information, please feel free to contact me.
A little inspiration for you… Here are four gardeners at Ocean View Farms still go strong at 90+ years of age: Chuck Wallace, Warren Miyashiro, Richard Nortman and Jean Tsunemoto. photo credit: Ed Mosman
Perhaps it's the garden that's keeping them young? The late Oliver Sacks wrote about the Healing Power of Gardens. The New York Times recently published an excerpt from this writing for you to enjoy.
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!