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Organic Gardening Newsletter #8 - 3/6/2009

 

Organic Gardening Class Newsletter #8

Thanks to Peter Hollingsworth and David Hollingsworth for their excellent presentations on permaculture and potato culture. 

David clearly loves spuds and I expect a lot of you went out and bought some potatoes to plant.  Get them in as soon as your ground is dry enough to work.  Plant them down in a furrow because you are going to hill dirt around them later to smother weeds and provide loose dirt along the stems for the potatoes to grow (potatoes grow off the stems, not off the roots).  I plant my potatoes 9" apart in furrows that are 30" apart.  The local feed stores have seed potatoes for sale.

And Peter's information on permaculture is what we all need for planning our edible landscapes outside our kitchen door and in our home orchards.  Peter is involved in some very exciting work in bringing more sustainability to our local area through the transition town movement.  You will be hearing more about re-localization of our food supply in the coming months, I am sure.

Daylight savings alert!  On the morning of our field trip to Al Vogel's farm, everything will be happening an hour earlier (in the opinion of your internal biological clock; the departure times are not changing).  Directions will be handed out from during the 10 minutes prior to and the 10 minutes after scheduled departure times.  Hopefully by now you have signed up for a time.  Email me if you forgot what time you chose.  Do NOT pull off the driveway to park.  If you do, your vehicle will be stuck in the mud.  Continue to the end of the road to be guided to park.  Thanks.

The Fedco Seed group order has arrived.  If you placed an order, call or email me to arrange pick-up.

Chico Municipal Compost report:  I stopped by and spoke with the guy at the gatehouse, and he gave me a copy of the analysis.  The dry analysis  of a batch tested October 15, 2008 was 1.8% Nitrogen, 0.5% Phosphorus, and 0.59% Potassium.  The raw materials are leaves and grass clippings.  The wood debris and chips they receive goes to a power plant to generate electricity.  The texture is superb.  I have heard some reports of noxious weed seeds being spread (Matthew Martin of Pyramid Farms had this experience), so it is not without risk.  I am using it for the first time this year.  The price is $4 for a garbage can full, $12 for a small pickup load, and $19 for a larger pickup load (a yard or so). Hours are 8-4 Tueday to Saturday.  Closed Sun and Mon.

The next round of the Organic Gardening Class series:  We have an exciting line-up of speakers for the next round of classes starting April 12.  You will receive the schedule and registration form in a newsletter in a week or so. The first talk will be about heirloom tomatoes (and hybrids too).

Chico Grange workshop series on local land use:  I will send you the email about The Farming Roundtable series.  These workshops are right up our alley as local food producers.  I hope to see you there.

Bioneers film series:  The bioneers conference is an amazing annual event in Marin County every October.  The Chico Women's Club is presenting a series of big screen DVDs of some of the most inspired speakers addressing solutions to our social and environmental problems.  COST is $2.  If you want to know about the best ideas for planetary healing, don't miss these Thursday night events.  March 12, 19 and 26. Doors open at 6:30.  Films run 7-9.  Chico Women's Club, at 3rd Street and PIne in Chico.

Tools and Supplies Corner:  For sale: Troybilt Chipper/Shredder.  Asking $600. Call 530-876-8629.

Coming Soon:  Seeds, Tools and Supplies for organic growers:  The store idea is evolving rapidly and we should have more details in a week or two.  In the meantime, 56 varieties of Fedco Seeds will be available for $2 per packet at the March 15 meeting at the Grange.  

Next Class at The Grange:  On March 15 at 1:30, Matthew Martin of Pyramid Farms will talk about raising carrots, Broccoli Romanesca, and other wonderful vegetables.

David Grau

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

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