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Organic Gardening Class Newsletter #22

September is here now and the summer harvest is starting to wind down. We thought you might want to catch a couple of late summer/early fall field trips, so here they are.

On September 13 at 9 AM: Be sure to attend this field trip to Orchard House Farm for a prime example of diversity in small scale farming. Mary Berglund is growing over 30 varieties of fruits and nuts, and has over 60 orchard trees, four varieties of berries, grapes, chickens, and a bountiful vegetable garden all on her family's one acre. Learn how Mary protects her citrus, avocados and winter garden, and hear about how to can, dry, freeze and store to provide year around food for your family.

Mary has studied with Carl Rosato of Woodleaf Farm and with Guy Baldwin of Towani Farm, and her orchard and gardens show the level of garden expertise she has to share. We visited Mary's garden and were very impressed with the vitality of her fruit trees, her fences covered with beans for drying, her spacious and usable chicken coop, her 90 heirloom tomato plants, and I could go on and on. Mary will have a table full of a large selection of interesting and unusual seed catalogs and books on gardening and food preserving, and sample jars of some of her canned vegetables. She is bursting with enthusiasm for home food production and loves to share her knowledge. Bring your notebook and pen, there will be lots of great ideas for your own garden and kitchen.

On September 20 at 9 AM and 1 PM: Seed saving field trip to Bruce Balgooyen's farm at Riparia. If you saw Bruce at the January class on choosing seeds, or at his field trip in June, you already know that Bruce is a fountain of knowledge on all aspects of organic vegetable production. You may know his stall at the Saturday Farmers' Market, where he has an amazing display of heirloom tomatoes and phenomenal lettuces virtually all year. Bruce will expound on a few dozen topics de jour. He is spontaneous, encyclopedic, eccentric, and right on the money. We will each be getting our hands on an heirloom tomato, and you will take home seeds you have saved.

Registration:  The fee for either field trip is $15, payable either in advance or at the gate. Make your check out to Valley Oak Tool Company. Or cash works too. Please reply to this email to reserve your place.  You will get an email with confirmation and directions.

Please carpool if you can. If you drive, please drive very slowly so your car doesn't kick up dust especially at Riparia. Both these gardens are within easy bicycle distance for most of Chico.

For the field trip to Bruce's farm, please state your preference for 9 AM or 1 PM. If enrollment is small, we may only have the 9 AM section that day.

I hope to see you there.

David Grau

Valley Oak Tool Company
P.O. Box 301
Chico  CA   95927
telephone 530-342-6188