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Organic Gardening Newsletter #7 - 2/25/2009

 

Organic Gardening Newsletter #7

Field Trip to Carl Rosato's Farm:  Due to heavy rains, we had a small turnout (about 30) for the field trip to Woodleaf Farm.  Carl Rosato and Danielle Baker gave excellent talks on worm composting (Danielle) and fruit tree pruning, varieties, grafting, thinning, disease management, and several other topics (Carl).  Carl will most likely be offering another field trip in April or May during the next round of classes.

Soil Test Results:  Carl wrote recommendations on the soil analysis sheets for MIchael Dugas, Cary Steen, GRUB Farm, Carol Perkins, Kay Perkins, Helga Cooper, Corin Meester, Pat Bernadett, Suzanne Baird, Mark Reimer, Joann Moon, Hazel Van Evera and David Grau.  If your name is here, I have your soil test graph.  I will bring them to class March 1 to distribute. There is one more batch of results that Carl should have any day now.  Carl will be happy to discuss his recommendations (they are written on your results sheet), probably after class the next time he joins us.

Parking Problems:  We need to improve our parking patterns to lessen the impact on the neighbors of the Grange.  You may have a volunteer guiding your parking next week.  I would appreciate it if 2 or 3 people would contact me about volunteering.  The Grange is working on a map that I can distribute.  Of course, carpooling is very helpful also. 

This Sunday March 1 at 1:30 at the Grange:  Peter Hollingsworth will talk about permaculture and transitions towns, and David Hollingsworth will talk about raising potatoes.

The next round of classes:  In April, May, and June, we will have another round of Organic Gardening Classes.  I am lining up another great group of presenters, for topics like composts and home composting, Tomato culture, melons, choosing summer seeds, irrigation systems for large and small gardens, and more.  The price is going to be a little higher, but still very reasonable.  I am collecting your ideas for topics.  Please keep sending them as they occur to you.

A series on cooking and canning:  Is there someone who would like to help plan a summer series on canning, and also cooking classes?  These sessions would be limited to probably 30 people and would be priced higher due to the considerable labor and materials that go into putting on kitchen demonstration classes.  Please Email me if this is of interest to you.

A few thoughts from Carl's field trip:  Carl has very well thought out pruning schedules for his peaches, apples, pears, figs, and cherries.  He prunes and thins fruit over the spring and fall, as well as some winter pruning.  If you have any fruit trees, it is worth your while to make it to his next talk, which will include a discussion of pruning.  Carl minimizes spraying (OMRI approved materials only) for peach leaf curl, brown rot, and other conditions.  He considers maximizing soil health with amendments, minimal tillage, copious growth of naturally occuring cover crops including chickweed,  timed irrigation to be the best practices for minimizing the need for any kind of spraying.  We will undoubtedly be hearing Carl again in the next round, and the weather should be better next time.

If you haven't picked a time for Al Vogel's field trip on March 8, the 10:30 and 12:30 groups are filling up.  I will have the sign up sheets at class on March 1.

The seeds from Fedco should be here any day now.

David Grau

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

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