June 2019 E-Newsletter
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get. -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Ranunculus in their Full Glory.
Upcoming Garden Events:
Jun. 1 - Greenhouse Fundraiser - Noon - 1:00 PM
Jun. 8 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM - Noon
Jun. 8 - Potluck Lunch - Noon
Jun. 8 - General Meeting - 1:00 PM
Jun. 15 - Smart Gardening Workshop - Beginner - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Jun. 15 - Smart Gardening Workshop - Advanced - Noon - 2:00 PM
Jun. 30 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Goodbye May and hello June! Lets hope for more sunny skies and less cool and dark days. We’re never going to complain about a rainstorm here and there but our summer plots do need the sun and the heat to thrive. If you’re going to plant anything else for the summer, this is the time to do it. Anything planted after the first weeks of June, will have a shorter growing season as even if the weather stays warm through the fall, your plants thrive on lots of daylight. Unfortunately, these longer days don’t last long. There are a terrific assortment of summer plants available at the greenhouse fundraiser this Saturday at noon to help you fill any final patches of empty dirt. If you're looking for more inspiration, here is gardening in LA’s list of recommended things to do around the garden this month.
- With all the cool and damp weather, you might be experiencing some tomato blight or powdery mildew in your plot. This is just a gentle reminder that all leaves and branches from tomato plants should go in the trash rather than the compost even if you don’t see any signs of infection. Any plant parts with powdery mildew can also go in the dumpster rather than the compost.
This is it - the last greenhouse fundraiser until October! Saturday, June 1st, from noon to 1:00 PM: the general meeting area will be the place to be. As expected, there will be cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and lots and lots of summer squash amongst other things. Keep reading for a few plants that you might not have been thinking of for your summer garden:
Mixed Summer Lettuces (Adriana green butterhead, Skyphos red butterhead & magenta crisphead)
Lettuce might not be the first crop that you think of when you picture a summer garden but these lettuce plants are relatively heat-tolerant and do especially well in our mild coastal summers. The greenhouse sale will feature a colorful mix of butterhead and crisphead lettuces. Butterheads are mild, sweet and buttery in texture while crispheads live up to their names of being crisp and a little watery – iceberg lettuce being the most famous of the crispheads. If the summer is mild, you can grow lettuce plants in full sun. These varieties are relatively burn resistant even in hot temperatures. However, if the temperatures get to 90 degrees or above, you’ll want to provide your plants with a little shade screen or cloth. You can harvest these plants by pulling off the outer leaves or by using a knife to remove the entire heads. If you leave the roots in the ground, new leaves will often emerge which you can harvest one at a time. Lettuce has short roots, so you’ll need to water frequently to make sure that the soil stays moist. A layer of mulch can also help but it can also be a hiding spot for slugs and other pests that love to eat tender lettuce plants. Harvest lettuce in the cool of the morning to keep it crisp.
Mixed Bush Beans (green, yellow and purple)
If you love green (wax) beans, you might be interested in picking up a six-pack of mixed bush beans at the greenhouse sale. Bush beans stay small and do not need to be trellised. They aren’t heavy feeders and they only need about two-inches of water once a week once established. Harvest beans before they reach the thickness of a pencil. If you leave them too long on the plant, they will get tough. Bush beans are versatile and you can enjoy the beans raw off the plant, chopped in salads, pickled, boiled, steamed, or baked in a casserole. The best way to retain the beans color (and a little of that snap) is to blanch them in salted boiling water for a few minutes and then dunk them in an ice bath. After that you can serve them as-is or sauté them in butter. Yum!
Dragon Tongue Bush Beans
These beans are as amazing and exotic looking as their name implies. A flat, yellow bean marbled with purple streaks - the pods are tender enough to be eaten like any of the other bush beans but these can also be used as a shelling bean. They are just as pretty on the inside as they are on the out. Dragon tongue plants are productive and more flavorful than your run-of-the-mill bush bean. These are definitely, a showstopper on the table and fun to grow.
Community Service Hours
As you are probably well aware by now, half of your community service hours need to be completed by the end of June. Gate closing hours are still available and sign-up sheets are in the shed. You can also join the compost workgroup that meets every (non-workday) Saturday at 9:00 AM or participate with the shredding workgroup any Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM.
Smart Gardening Workshops
Ocean View Farms will be hosting two smart gardening workshops on Saturday, June 15th. These workshops will be open to the public – no reservations needed. Compost and worm bins will be available for sale and free lunch will be provided for attendees from 11:00 AM – noon.
9:30-11:00 AM Beginner Workshop – learn the basics of backyard composting, water-wise gardening, worm composting, grasscycling and edible gardening.
Noon- 2:00 PM Advanced Workshop – Learn the fundamentals of organic gardening, drought-tolerant landscaping and integrated pest management.
OVF mourns the loss of dear member, Derbeh Vance on May 5, 2019. Derbeh was a member of OVF, gardening in Phase II Lower since 2013. He was also one of the initial, and longest tenured contributors to the OVF Greenhouse committee and taught several classes at OVF. A memorial celebration of Derbeh's life will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Project Angle Food, 922 Vine Street, Los Angeles.
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!