To quote a dear friend, "It was a short year, wasn't it?" Really short, but truly wonderful!! I know in this Holiday Season, we're all very busy, so I'll keep this one brief...
WHO WANTS ASPARAGUS??
We're going to be ordering Asparagus "crowns" in the next few days, and anyone who would like a bundle (of 6 or 12) should contact us ASAP. The crowns will ship to us by mid-January and must be planted right away (within one week). Unlike onions or shallots, they do not have a "long window" of time to be out of the soil. And we will only be able to buy them this once.
The variety we're purchasing is called "Farmers Favorite" and was developed at UC Riverside. It's known for its high yields, and is suitable for growing in Southern California. You'll need a "dedicated bed" for your asparagus, as it is a perennial which can bear for 10-15 years! It may take 2-3 years for full production, but good things come to those who wait! Harvest period is from March to June...that's a LOT of yummy asparagus!
If you (or another gardening friend) would like to reserve some, please let us know. Bundles of 6 crowns will sell for $12, and will require a planting space of 4 1/2' x 6'. Bundles of 12 will be $20, and will require roughly 6'x 9'. Ample space is necessary because the plants will fill out underground, and asparagus spears will pop up everywhere after a few years time!
1ST QUARTER PLANTING CLASS SCHEDULE
Our EarthBox Planting Class Schedule is now up on our website:
The "Seasonal Highlights" for the March 26th Class include HEIRLOOM TOMATOES!!
Can it be possible?? Yes!!
SAVE THE DATE!
March 17th & 18th
2nd Annual Heirloom Tomato Season
Kick-Off Sale & Food Drive
Benefiting the L.A. Food Bank
We'll offer at least 50 certified organic varieties this year, including more than a dozen new ones! We took copious notes & queried the tomato pros at the Heirloom Expo, and listened to your suggestions and requests, and now the final Big List has been sealed. I'm hoping to announce the 2012 varieties on our website by the time of the January Newsletter, so stay tuned!
QUICK 2011 CHARITY SUMMARY:
With your continued support, this year we were able to give $1,025 to the Red Cross for Japan Disaster Relief, $1,010 plus 515 lbs. of food donations to the L.A. Food Bank, and more than $1,200 worth of seedlings donated to the great work of the UC Master Gardeners Program and other non-profits! (Thanks so much for coming to the Food Drives!) Lastly, and most recently, we became members of the exciting, important, and now-1-year-old "Seed Library of Los Angeles" (SLOLA) and donated seeds for 10 unique veggie varieties to their rapidly growing seed bank. We hope to do much more in 2012!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
With unceasing gratitude and joy, we thank you for your patronage and friendship in 2011 and wish you and yours a most wonderful New Year!
Jo Anne, Alex, Jake & Lalo
P.S. Also, our sincere thanks also for those many of you who "shopped" for Holiday gifts at Two Dog Nursery. (4) EarthBox Kits with Soil & Stands, Seedlings galore, Gift Certificates, Smart Pots, Blueberry Bushes, Citrus Trees...what lovely gifts! And how truly gratifying for us! Thank you!
This cute boy is one of our littlest customers, Quin, in his backyard enjoying a bounty of amazing foods. Quin is very lucky because his mother, Michelle, organically grows and makes his food from harvests of her own home garden. She loves to buy organic seedlings from Two Dog Nursery because she knows that Quin is getting the best tasting and healthiest food available.
Unfortunately, in America all children aren't as lucky as Quin.
In the U.S.,1 in 4 children lives in poverty. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual report on household food security, which showed that 17.2 million American households are food-insecure (households that struggle to feed all members); out of that 17.2 million, 3.9 million of these food-insecure households were families with children.
The hunger problem in America is serious--but you can make a difference and have an impact on hunger in our community!!
A slightly belated, but nonetheless sincere, Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!
Alex and I are so grateful for your continued support! At year 3, Two Dog is growing by leaps and bounds, and we truly appreciate everyone who visits us at the Farmers Markets, who attend our Nursery Sales & Food Drives, who make appointments and drive from far and near to see us at the Nursery, and those of you who come (sometimes more than once!) to our EarthBox Planting Classes!! We're also grateful for the Press coverage (especially the Larchmont Chronicle...thanks Jane & Laura!) and invitations to participate in special events! Our motto is "Supporting Urban Gardening One Organic Seed at a Time", and it's a thrill to witness the development of this idea.
Reoccupying Main Street...
Our friend and colleague, Geri Miller, of
Home Grown Edible Landscapes, posted this beautiful image (left) on her Facebook page today, and graciously OK'd our sharing it. The photo reminds me of when I was a little girl and "Downtown Bellflower" looked this magical around the Holidays. Unfortunately, many of these family-owned businesses are now gone. (off topic, the Nubell Theatre is where I saw A Hard Day's Night!!)
Downtown Bellflower, 1960
As Geri puts it:
"Continuing the Reverse Black Friday theme, when we do buy gifts or that holiday meal, let's re-occupy Main Street this holiday season by supporting small, local businesses like local farmers, small neighborhood nurseries, small family-owned businesses and businesses that make sourcing products locally a priority (think restaurants that buy from farmers markets or the gift shop that supports local artists/crafters). BUY LOCAL...PAY CASH!"
We totally endorse this sentiment and strive to practice it ourselves.
Another friend, John Lyons of The Woven Garden, put to words a sentiment which was already swirling in my head: "Occupy Your Garden!"By growing our own Organic bounty, we collectively defy Monsanto and the rest of those who put profit over health and sustainability. Being a Certified Organic Nursery (actually, the only one in L.A.), Two Dog is committed and required by law to never use GMO or Treated Seeds, chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Alex & I personally grow nearly all our own produce and would never sell something we ourselves would not use. Period.
Speaking of Potatoes...Alex found this recipe from NPR on the Internet recently...We tried it, and oh my, it's so delicious. Do give it a spin:
Roasted Root Vegetables and Meyer Lemons
This recipe is versatile.Try other types of potatoes; add whole shallots or wedges of red onion, or substitute the parsnips for carrots...
-1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
-1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
-1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
-1 teaspoon dried thyme
-Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 Meyer lemons
-Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Add potatoes, carrots, garlic cloves, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well. Roast for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, trim the ends of the lemon so you can see the flesh and no white pith. Cut into thin slices, removing the seeds. Cut slices into half-circles.
3. After the 15 minutes is up, remove baking sheet from the oven and toss the lemons with the vegetable mixture. Return to the oven and roast until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes or more. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, if using, and serve.
Holiday Gift Ideas...
Why not a Two Dog Gift Certificate? Or any of the fine "Products We Love" listed on our website! We are also taking orders for Custom Planted Herb/Lettuce Gardens, which make lovely gifts for the cooks on your list!