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May 2009: Events and Opportunities

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Spring Garden Tours at Ecology Action
Classes at Common Ground
Opportunities at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

The 2009 spring and summer Garden Tours are beginning at the Ecology Action Research Mini-Farm in Willits, California. Tours are scheduled for: May 30th, June 13th, June 28th, and August 1st. Pre-registration is required. Please call (707) 459-0150.

There are many exciting learning opportunities through classes at COMMON GROUND ORGANIC GARDEN SUPPLY AND EDUCATION CENTER in Palo Alto. To register for classes, call Common Ground at (650) 493-6072, then send a check for the full amount to Common Ground, 559 College Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306. Seniors and low-income persons may request a $4 discount on classes.  Spring and summer classes are as follows:

    Jim Howard

    Saturday, May 23, 2009
    10:30 - 12:30, $29.

    Transform your yard into a thriving native ecosystem and bird sanctuary. Learn how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a destination for birds and beneficial insects, while conserving water, protecting the environment, and making your neighbors jealous of how green and progressive you've become. Jim is the District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He provides conservation technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and residents of San Mateo County. He's been restoring ecosystem function on public and private lands for 18 years.

    Sherri Osaka and John Russell

    Saturday, June 6, 2009
    10:30 - 12:30, $30.

    Drought conditions and water rationing are constantly in the news. Learn how you can irrigate even during water shortages by using grey water. This class describes what grey water is, how to use it safely in your garden, and which types of grey water systems are available, from home-grown to professionally designed and installed. State regulations and permitting will also be covered. Sherri Osaka is the owner of Sustainable Landscape Designs, co-founder of the Sustainable Landscape Roundtable and a director of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. John Russell is the owner of Water Sprout and a founding member of the DIG cooperative. John has pioneered water efficiency standards by permitting and building the first grey water system in Alameda County, in addition to the first residential constructed wetland in California.

    Kit Davey

    Saturday, June 13, 2009
    10:30 - 12:30, $29.

    Do you love to putter in your garden, improve it and tweak it? Would you like your garden to look and feel more creative? Learn how to add humor, mystery and spirit to your garden using unpredicted objects. You'll be inspired to create a garden that truly expresses who you are. Handouts included. Kit is a columnist and an interior designer who specializes in giving homes curb appeal, redesigning rooms and staging homes for sale.

    Jody Main
    Saturday, June 20, 2009
    10:30 - 12:30, $29.           
    Come learn the easiest way to grow a vegetable garden . . . naturally . . . organically! Class will include planting and caring for vegetables and herbs organically, wonderful heirloom vegetables to grow this summer, traditional Native American methods of planting the Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) for gardens large and small, seasonal herbs, great crops for putting up, and summer harvesting techniques. Learn practical information and inspiration to go out and do it! Plant list and recipes included. Jody is a local food and garden writer, educator and consultant. Her specialty is designing organic vegetable, herb and berry gardens.

    Darren Huckle

    Saturday, July 11, 2009
    10:30 - 3:30, $67.

    Herbal medicines abound in your garden. Herbs disguised as ornamentals and "weeds" await your discovery. By studying the foundations of garden-based herbalism, we will learn how to safely prepare and use garden herbs for preventing and treating common maladies including cuts, burns, colds, indigestion, etc. Also, we'll learn how to make teas and tinctures from fresh local plants. We will smell, feel and taste our way to understanding the uses for dozens of plants from our unique bio-region. This class is very popular and entertaining. Darren is a fabulous teacher, herbalist, horticulturist, and acupuncturist. He has been growing and using local medicinal plants for over 12 years.

    Don Larson

    Saturday, July 18, 2009
    12:00 - 2:00, $29.

    Prepare delicious sun-cooked meals using fresh produce from your garden. Create easy soups, breads, healthy snacks and glorious grain dishes. Modify your favorite recipes for solar ovens. Participate in a hands-on demonstration of aiming, pre-heating, and cooking using the "Global Sun Oven" and "Solar CooKit." Both ovens are available for purchase at Common Ground. Recipes included. Don is knowledgeable and experienced in cooking with a variety of solar ovens. At home he uses a solar water distiller and a solar drier, and generates his electricity using a 2-kilowatt solar photo-voltaic array. Don is our beloved Assistant Manager at Common Ground.

    Deva Luna
    Saturday, July 25, 2009
    10:30 - 12:30, $29.

    Your edible garden need not be relegated to the back corner of your property. It can be integrated seamlessly into the whole landscape design. Beautification, screening, shading, directing circulation and controlling erosion can all be fulfilled with plants that also provide you with organic food. You will learn and taste which edible trees, shrubs and flowers grow well in our urban landscapes. A great slideshow and list of recommended plants included. Deva combines her passion for plants with a desire to enhance the environment. She is a Lifetime Master Gardener, Gardening Instructor, Coordinator of the Santa Clara Teaching Garden, Landscape Designer and Horticulturist for EarthCare Landscaping. She has a degree in "Plants and Art" from UC Davis.


Opportunities at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center:

For more information call: (707) 874-1557 x 201
FAX (707) 874-1558
                  Address: 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental, CA 95465

  •  June 6 Saturday 10 am - Garden Tour of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. $10 per person is requested.

  • June 26-27 - Healing Through Food, Gardening, Herbs, and Ceremony: Remembering Our Way. Lodging and meals included. Fee: $445/$395 if registered two weeks in advance.

  • July 19 Sunday 10 am - Garden Tour of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. $10 per person is requested.

  • July 31 Friday 8 pm - Chautauqua Series: The Mark Growden Band. For Tickets and Information: (707) 874-1557 x 233.

  • August 1 Saturday 10 am – Garden Tour of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. $10 per person is requested.

  • August 2 Sunday 9 am – Roofwater Catchment. Fee: $35.

  • August 3-5 – Woodshop For Women. Lodging, meals and materials included. Fee: $470/$470 if registered two weeks in advance.

  • August 22-27 Saturday and Sunday – Fall Plant Sale and Garden Tours. Plant sale 9am-5pm. Tours 11am & 1pm. Admission and tours are free.




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