January 2021 E-Newsletter
"The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour."
- Vita Sackville-West
Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Late, Late Season Corn
Upcoming Garden Events:
Jan. 9 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM - Noon CANCELED
Jan. 16 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM (meeting will be held via Zoom)
Jan. 31 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM CANCELED
Out with the old and in with the new. Hello 2021! If you asked me if I ever thought I would still be harvesting tomatoes in January, I would have said – not without a greenhouse! But here we are- one of my neighbors still has zucchini several have eggplant, the OVF Instagram guru Amanda Goodpaster is posting photos of her corn harvest and I’ve run into a few people extolling the virtues of their December raspberries. All the while, the spring crops have come barreling into the station way ahead of schedule. Today, I harvest a perfectly formed head of cauliflower, some broccoli and sugar snap peas. Usually, none of those plants would be ready to harvest until mid-February at the earliest. They’re all thriving next to my late-season tomato plant that frankly looks healthier and has more fruit than anything I grew this summer. What does this all mean? Well, we’ve had another record-breaking, hot year and all we know about gardening is getting turned on its head. I’ve told you more than once that things would slow down once we reached the shortest days of the year. Maybe they did, but you might also have been too busy harvesting to notice. I’ll post Yvonne Savio’s monthly Gardening in LA guide because I know a lot of you read it. She’ll start by telling you that the garden “is cold, wet and dormant” because that’s what it used to be like this time of year. At least we finally got some of that wet. It was two months later than expected and as of the time of writing there isn’t any more of it in the forecast, but it was quite the storm while it lasted. Let’s hope for more rain and in the meantime take a moment to peer out at the mountain view from the parking lot. It looks amazing with the new layers of snow. So much is uncertain about the times we’re living through. I hope you are able to at least take moment to enjoy the little things like a snowy mountain view or a winter raspberry.
A Message from the OVF Board President
The board has approved a proposed budget for 2021. Membership fees will remain the same: $88 for members and $10 for associates. You can view the budget here.
Please contact me if you have any concerns
Thank you for signing your membership waivers. Some of you still need to have your household members sign. If you have children under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian signs for them.
Associate waivers will be sent out sometime in mid-late January. Members, please let your phase rep know what your associate’s email address.
With the surge on top of the surge, January workdays are cancelled as are all workgroups: shredding, compost & recycling. We just don’t know when gatherings like our workgroups will be able to resume. You will be notified when activities start up again. Garden Master Ed and Tractor Man Bob keep piling up your garden waste but it’s OK to put some in the dumpsters just as we did this spring. For now, PLEASE DO NOT bring your kitchen scraps. It just encourages rats and poor Phase 1 has been the hardest hit with the varmints.
See Ed if you want to borrow OVF rat traps. Physical barriers are also helpful in protecting your crops. I want to shout out to Helene Tolliver in Lower phase 1, C11 for an attractive and practical vegetable protection device.
Before you know it, April elections will be here. OVF will continue with online voting as was done last year. It will be a week-long election. Many members have said they wanted fresh faces/new blood on the board. Now is your chance to step up. Please contact me with your questions about the duties and responsibilities of the positions.
OVF Board Elections
The following positions will be up for election at the next elections in April.
- Garden Master
- Membership Secretary
- Independent Project Monitor
- All four Upper Phase Representatives
Bees in Composters
If you have an empty black composter in your plot, you are advertising for bees to come set up a home. Ed recently arranged for a beekeeper to remove a pretty big hive in Lower Phase 3. Our best advice is to put some horse manure in there to age if you aren’t making compost.
Phase 4 Car Gate Needs to Remain Locked
Phase 4 gardeners, please close and lock the car gate when you enter or leave. There have been multiple reports of strangers wandering through the phase.
Note from the Orchard Supervisor
Happy New Year garden members. My name is Gale Jones and I oversee the care of the Ocean View Farms Orchard.
I would like to give you a short report about the orchard and the changes I would like to make so that you can enjoyed the ripe fruit when it is available.
Currently there are over 30 fruit trees in the orchard. They include several varieties of apples trees, peach and nectarine trees, multiple citrus trees and a sapote tree. The citrus trees include Meyer and eureka lemons, a tango tangerine, a tangelo tree, a blood orange and a kumquat.
Most of the fruit on the citrus trees will not be ripe until after February. Because it is difficult to tell when the citrus fruit is ripe, I plan on putting up signs that tell you when the citrus is not ripe and when the fruit is ripe. So much of the fruit that was on the tangelo tree is already gone and I know that the people who picked the fruit did not enjoy it because it was sour. Remember just because citrus is orange or yellow does not mean it is ripe. I hope posting the signs will help provide people with ripe tasteful fruit.
Please remember that 30 plus trees may sound like a lot but there are over 400 members in the garden and the fruit on the orchard trees does not go far. When you pick fruit only take one or two pieces of ripe fruit so that everyone can enjoy it.
I am always looking for gardeners to help in the orchard. If you are interested in helping please contact me.
Garden Master’s Update
One of our most recent garden projects was to install a telephone pole to reinforce a wall in a compost bin that was collapsing. Pictured, you can see the workday crew using a dingo tractor to lift the pole and place it in a hole dug by the tractor.
The Toro Dingo Tractor is probably the best purchase OVF has made, as it does so many things.
Thanks to Karl Lisovsky, Simon Sorich, Vera Caldes, Tony Chen and Bob Gallion for their help with this project.
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!