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Organic Gardening Newsletter #4 - 2/9/2009


Organic Gardening Newsletter #4

Isn't it lovely?     We are getting a little rain, the camellias are in bloom, and flowers of all kinds are in swollen bud.  What a great time to be alive.  Just before the rains came, I got a few seeds planted: spinach, lettuce, mesclun mix, radishes, beets, chard, and sugar snap peas.  I ran out and bought the seeds and some gypsum at Northern Star Mills.  Northern Star is a great source for amendments like gypsum, oyster shell flour, and kelp meal.  The seed racks were only so-so, but I wanted to plant that day.  Who has the best seed rack in Chico?  The best organic seed rack?  Let me know if you have an answer.  

In a few weeks, the answer may be that Valley Oak Tool Company has the best organic seed rack.  This week, I rented a warehouse space for making wheel hoes.  It will be open for pick-up once or twice a week, and I will be stocking a few items for serious organic gardeners, like seeds, Earthway seeders, T-tape, 6x6 mesh for beans and cucumbers, and AgriBon row cover.  Please let me know what you would like to see stocked.  I won't have an extensive inventory, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to pick up some of the items that you now have to get shipped?  I am aiming to set prices around the price in the catalogs, minus the shipping charges.

Garden Sharing Potluck     Next Tuesday February 10 at 6:00 PM, I am hosting a potluck meeting for those who are looking to share garden space.  If you are interested, please email me right away.  Let's start getting to know each other, since sharing a garden space is a personal thing and a season-long commitment.  You won't be asked to make any decisions that evening.  We are just going to explore the possibilities and get acquainted.

A blog for networking?     If there is someone interested in setting up some sort of blog thing (clearly I am not the one to do this), please contact me.  People are emailing lots of great questions, links to resources, planting charts, and so much more.  Let's get the word out.

Seed Ordering     We have 100 Fedco Seed Company catalogs to distribute in class.  We will do a group order within a few days.  Please email me if you want to be included in the group order, which offers a discount off their already low prices for organic seeds.

Next Talk  on Sunday at 1:30:  Christy Santos has lived and gardened on the same 1/4 acre plot in Chapmantown since 1976.  She provided herbs and flowers to the Kramore Inn for many years.  In the late seventies, she published a series of articles in the Chico News and Review about many aspects of backyard food production including composting, soil fertility, pruning, and insect control.  She also published a garden calendar, "A Seed for All Seasons," which focused on the unique timing involved in growing vegetable crops year-round in the North Valley.

What started as an interest in growing her own food has blossomed into a passion for growing ornamentals.  For the last twenty years her landscaping company has beautified the surroundings of many Chico homes.  For her gardening is not only practical, but is a spiritual and artistic expression as well.


See you in class,

David Grau

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

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