November 2020

Ocean View Farms November 2020 E-News

“I like gardening. It’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.”

– Alice Sebold 

sunset at OVF


Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Sunset Over the Garden


Upcoming Garden Events:

Nov. 14 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM – Noon
Nov. 21 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM 
Nov. 29 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Useful info:

Cooler weather has finally arrived!  Sometimes it’s cool and damp, sometimes it’s cool and bone dry but the mornings and evenings definitely feel like fall.  With the time change, the sun is suddenly going down at 5pm.  It makes it a lot harder to swing by the garden and water if you work during the day so it is important to plan ahead.  Luckily, all but the newest plants need a lot less watering now.  Deep watering once a week (or even less when its damp) will be plenty for established plants.  New transplants and emerging seeds will need more frequent watering until their roots can grow deep.

Because we don’t get frost over the winter, you can get a head start on spring planting now.  OVF favorites include broccoli, kale, sweet and edible peas and fava beans. Root crops like carrots, radishes and beets can get planted every few weeks to ensure that you always have something to harvest in the spring.  Bulbing fennel is a great addition to the garden and it doesn’t take up much space.  Kohlrabi can be lots of fun to look at and its bulbs are tasty when eaten raw but even sweeter and tastier when cooked.  There are plenty of herbs like cilantro and parsley that like the cooler weather.  You can also try growing a garlic, shallots and onions.  Not only do they deter bugs, but they taste so much better fresh from the garden.  Onions need a certain amount of sunlight and darkness to bulb.  Make sure you buy onion sets compatible with our day length. Sometimes garden stores stock onion sets that don’t work with our region. Lastly, don’t forget the salad greens. For more information about fall gardening, you might want to check the November Gardening in LA blog or this helpful blog post about fall gardening.

On Wednesday, November 15th at 5:00PM the City of Santa Monica will be hosting a free virtual screening of Kiss the Ground.  Kiss the Ground is a documentary film that postulates that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. RSVP to attend through Eventbright


OVF Announcements: 

Get Your Service Hours Done Before the End of the Year

Make a plan as to how you are going to finish earning your community hours for 2020. Workdays are scheduled for November 14 and 29, December 12 and 27. You can check how many hours you have by going onto your my OVF member page

It’s the Season of Giving Thanks and Giving Back

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re going to give you one more reminder about the wonderful OVF Donates program. OVF Donates brings your excess produce and fruit the Westside Food Bank for distributing. There are still many families in Los Angeles who are food insecure. Donations are collected on Sundays from 3-5 PM.  However, if you can’t make it during that time you can give permission to OVF Donates coordinator Alicia Bacon to enter your plot and harvest your donation. Alicia always needs members to help with harvesting and organizing on Sundays from 3:00-5:00 PM.  Lastly, you can always make a fiscal donation to the Westside Food Bank if you do not have produce to donate.

 December Greenhouse Sale

The OVF Greenhouse will have a sale featuring cool season vegetables on Saturday, December 5, 9:30-11:00AM or until sold out. Cash, credit & debit cards accepted

OVF Closes at Sundown

Not sure what time sunset is?  The OVF homepage has the sunset time posted on it.  The time updates each day as the days get shorter and longer.  If a gate closer comes around and asks you to leave the garden per the rules: garden members must finish their tasks when notified the gates will be locked shortly. 

Unusual Stuff I Grow

Hi everyone.  We’re hopping back into my garden plot for another installment of Unusual Stuff I Grow. I’d really love to visit someone else’s plot for the next installment.  Please contact me if you’re growing a flower or crop that you think we should feature. Like most gardeners, I love planting and this time of year I make sure to sow lots and lots of Chinese red meat radishes (perhaps more commonly known as watermelon radishes). Chinese red meat radishes are unique because they really only do well when planted in the late fall and early winter. You can’t grow them in the spring like many other radishes. Even during a cold spring, these radishes tend to bolt as soon as we hit a certain amount of day length.  Chinese red meat radishes grow comparatively large compared to many of their more common radish cousins – though nothing like the giant daikon. Chinese red meat radishes can grow to be around 4 inches and are round in shape.  They have a green exterior and a bright pink/red interior which is why they are commonly called the watermelon radish.  Pay attention when you’re buying seeds though as some seed companies label a smaller white radish (photo on left) as the watermelon radish and the bigger, green skinned radishes (photo on right) with the red insides as the Chinese red meat radish. However, most grocery stores, farmers markets and recipes seem to use the name “watermelon radish” for the bigger green radish. Confusing, I know.  When buying seeds, use the picture on the package and the grow size to find the to make sure that you are getting variety that you’re looking for.

watermelon radish with the white outsideChinese red meat radish (watermelon radish)

Chinese red meat radishes are gaining in popularity because of the beautiful color that a slice of the radish can add to a dinner plate. I’m not a huge radish lover but their mild flavor and cheerful color make them a must plant every year.  They are not spicy like many of their other smaller cousins but where they really shine is when they are sliced thinly and sautéed in butter it salt.  They loose a little bit of their vibrancy but they get a sweet, meaty flavor that is hard to beat (before and after cooking images below).  Sometimes I’ll eat a whole pan full of them myself before they ever make it to the dinner table. 

Here are a few serving suggestions for Chinese red meat radishes:

Tortilla salad, watermelon radish in browned butter, pickled, or roasted.

radishes before cookingradishes after cooking


Reminders from the October Newsletter

In case you missed last months newsletter, here is a little reminder about some of the important updates:

  • Reminder: wild fennel was banned at the September Board meeting. Please dig up and completely remove this invasive weed. There are many photos of wild fennel in this article to help you identify it.
  • Please don’t bring recyclables to the garden at this time.
  • Carol Velkes, our Treasurer will need help in filing the OVF non-profit tax return for 2020. If you are a tax preparer/accountant, please contact her.


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!