July 2021

July 2021 E-Newsletter

"Summer has a flavor like no other. Always fresh and simmered in sunshine." – Oprah Winfrey

summer flowers


Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Summer Flowers in Full Glory


Upcoming Garden Events:

Jul. 10 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM - Noon
Jul. 17 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM 
Jul. 25 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


While the living might be easy for some summer souls, the gardener knows that summer means work!  It can take hours to harvest, weed, prune and deep water a plot. If you’re growing fruits and vegetables, you should probably be making multiple trips to the garden in a week.  You can always tell who has waited a little too long in between garden visits by the baseball bat sized zucchini which have seemingly sprung up overnight or the tomato plant full of ripe fruit just sitting around and tempting the local rodent population. A lot of plants, such as beans, benefit from frequent harvesting and won’t produce more flowers while mature pods are still on the vine.  At this point in July, you can still plant a few summer crops or take a break and start getting things ready for fall.  Here’s a more complete list of what to do in July.

There aren’t a lot of updates this month but make sure to read the June board meeting notes if you weren’t able to make it in person.  In COVID news: mask wearing is still being required by Parks and Recreation.  It’s easy to understand why some people are frustrated by this rule. It hardly makes sense that vaccinated people are allowed to be shoulder to shoulder without masks at Disneyland but a person gardening alone in a 15x15 plot still has to mask up.  As much as consistent mask rules throughout the state would be nice, we are on Parks and Rec land and as such are subject to the rules they put in place. In some positive COVID news, potlucks will make their return in August!

OVF Announcements: 

Gophers: Not Man’s Best Friend

Caddy Shack Gopher

“My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal.”

Groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) in Caddyshack (1980).


Garden member Dean Cleverdon contributed this piece on one of a gardener’s worst nightmares.  This is an excerpt from the full article.  Click here to read the entire piece:

If you think gophers are cute and cuddly and fun to watch then this article is not for you; Caddyshack is only funny if a gopher is not yanking down plants in your plot.

Since joining Ocean View Farms in 1996, this is the very first time we have seen a gopher mound in our Upper Phase I plot. Gophers have been caught in the garden long before now but this may be the beginning of a problem at a whole new level of hurt.  Gopher mounds can be seen just inside the Phase IV gate, in the parking area above Phase I,  and above Phase III by Gate 7.  Gophers have already been trapped in Upper Phase I and there are reports of gopher incursions into Lower Phase I as well. 

This is probably due to a string of unfortunate events.  Recall how much rain we had last year before the pandemic shut everything down.  The vegetation was left to go wild in the areas surrounding the Little League diamonds and the unexploited area north of Phase IV.  As a consequence, an increased food source for the gophers was created in moist soil that was easier for them to tunnel through [1].  Add decreased human activity and, voilà, the perfect environment for a population explosion.  Two additional events followed:  a drought set in [2] which reduced the juicy roots they prefer to eat [1] and then, all those fields were weed-whacked to nubs this past May by the Department of Parks and Recreation, destroying what little food sources were left.

Environmental conditions are now pushing gophers into other areas where food and moisture is available notably the juicy roots in the Little League outfields and our plots.  If you want to see where the gopher population used to live, walk around any of the areas shaded red in the image below.  Look for soil disturbance from their abandoned mounds.  The affected area extends out to Grand View Blvd.  Many of the plants OVF helped install there in 2006 have been decimated!  It is particularly bad around the outfield fence of the large Little League diamond by Phase IV.  Some areas do not have a square foot of soil that has not been disturbed.  One garden member commented it reminded him of the minefields he had seen in Laos.  Click here for much more information about gophers from Dean including photos, diagrams, gopher life cycle, and most importantly, how to trap gophers.  Chances are, if you garden at OVF and don’t have gopher’s in your plot already, you will sometime soon.

area impacted by gophers

New Weed – Goathead Thorn

A new invasive weed has been spotted near Gate 7.  The weed, called goathead,  goathead thorn or puncturevine, can spread rapidly via seed if not kept in check.  Worst of all, this plant’s thorns pack a nasty bite and can puncture through gloves, clothing and even bike tires. Please familiarize yourself with the plant and CAREFULLY remove it when you see it.  Removed plants should go in the trash not the compost.  For more information on this weed, you can also visit the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and Northern Arizona Invasive Plants sites.

goathead thorns from goathead puncturing a tire

No Tractor?  No Problem!

wheelbarrow being hand lifted after the tractor brokeThat might be a bit of an understatement because we know a lot of perspiration and perseverance went into the following. What do you do when the tractor breaks and there is gourmet compost to process? Use a lot of muscle! 

The June 22nd Gourmet Compost Crew consisting of Warren Miyashiro, Russell Doherty, Michael Glenn, Mark Jackson, Sam Vance and Chris Mladinov weren’t deterred by a broken tractor and continued adding manure to the gourmet compost by lifting full wheelbarrows up to the shredder. A special thanks goes to the compost crew as well as the Sunday workday volunteers who preloaded several wheelbarrows full of manure to save the compost crew at least one back-breaking step.

Thank you for Dean Cleverdon for capturing the photos and submitting this story.

wheelbarrows full of manure ready for processing

We Want to Hear From You!

A big thank you goes to Dean Cleverdon for providing so much of the content in this newsletter!  We’d love to hear from you too.  Please send photos, articles, recipes or anything else you can think of to askovf@oceanviewfarms.net to be featured in our next newsletter.  Help us make this newsletter represent our entire community. Time spent writing articles and creating content also counts towards community service hours.

Help put the community in community gardening: send us an email, reach out on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram @oceanviewfarms.

That’s all for now.  Happy gardening!