Friday, June 3, 2011

TDN Newsletter: June 3rd, 2011

Two Dog Organic NurseryJake_N_Lalo

June 3rd, 2011

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Dear Gardening Friends,

Hard to believe it's June already! We've been selling Spring/Summer seedlings since Mid-March, and now's the perfect time to think about "Succession Planting"...get your next round of cukes, beans, squash and even tomatoes going now for an extended harvest--And don't forget Winter Squash & Pumpkins! Plant them now for Halloween Jack-o-lanterns and abundant Fall yumminess! Last year, our Butternuts were fantastic.

Grow LOTS as they keep for months ("overwinter")

...hence the name "winter squash"!



In addition to the always-fabulous Blueberries and Strawberries, we're happy to announce we're now offering RASPBERRIES & BLACKBERRIES! We've got 2 varieties each: Heritage & Willamette Raspberries and Marion & Triple Crown Blackberries.Sun-loving, easy to grow, loaded with nutrients, beautiful...why not??


Funny how things happen...while serving Jury Duty last year, a fellow-juror, Southern Cooking author & expert, Bobbi Jo Lathan, introduced herself and subsequently sent us a bunch of Speckled Butter Beans (a Lima-type) and Mississippi Cream Peas (similar to a Black-Eyed Pea) which she grew up on and LOVES. With the weather finally getting steady we began sowing the seeds, and the response from customers was immediate! Who knew? Then one woman who bought some asked if we ever grew OKRA...actually, no, but she offered to buy an entire flat, so off I went buying seeds for Burgundy Okra. We'll grow more than just her flat, so it will also be available soon! Ya'll don't miss out!


Recently I had an opportunity to join our friend (and newly-certified Master Gardener!), Myrna Gintel at the Frances Blend School where she volunteers 2 mornings per week teaching gardening. The young students at the Blend School are all blind or visually impaired, and many have secondary handicaps as well, but that doesn't stop Myrna from getting them out into the garden!

I brought plants from the Nursery which I thought would be interesting for their colors, shapes and sizes: Scarlet Runner Beans, Trombetta Squash and Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes. It was a moving experience to work with these amazing kids, digging, planting and watering, and I hope to return again as time allows. Many thanks and big kudos to you, Myrna!! P.S. Myrna is the civic-minded gal who invited us to participate in the Hancock Park Garden Tour where I got to be the guest speaker at Mayor Villaraigosa's home...she reported the other day that that event raised an outstanding $33,000 for the "greening" of John Burrough's Middle School!! Go Myrna!!

Another really fun "kid" opportunity came up this past week, too. We had an email from the Hollenbeck PALS about a follow-up documentary they are producing with their "Good News Kids" on the topic of obesity, diabetes, fitness, diet and organics.

The PALS is an LAPD youth program in East L.A. which reaches around 1,000 kids annually. Last year they produced a documentary on the Environment with Ed Begley, Jr. I got to receive the Director, Cameraman and 3 "Good News Kids" (junior high aged) here, where we toured the Two Dog Nursery, ate fresh blueberries and strawberries from the bushes, harvested carrots and ate them after a quick wash in the hose, and then planted organic hot chili peppers, which the kids got to take home. It was a first-time experience for the kids, and we really had fun! They learned about planting, worm castings, growing "edibles" in containers (including cast-off nursery pots), and the importance of organics. The film, which is a fund raiser for the Hollenbeck PALS, will debut in December, but we'll be able to see (and post) a trailer sometime in July! After a quick harvest of our 30-year-old Meyer Lemon tree, the kids left promising to keep me posted on their pepper progress; hopefully we'll have photos to share!


Some of you may have noticed a Cameraman filing us at the Markets recently...that's Brian from Sore Thumb Films who makes mini-documentaries for EarthBox. He's been following our efforts at growing, teaching and selling EarthBoxes at the Markets and at the Nursery. I guess they like our enthusiasm and hope to use the video as a training tool for other EarthBox Dealers. That's nice... Brian is editing now, and we should be able to post his work soon!


Speaking of EarthBoxes, we've got most of our own 18 planted for the season. I just got the corn planted, and I'm on the 3rd round of green beans, but I've found that Summer Squash do better in the Smart Pot...not sure why, but between the 2 growing containers, nothing is impossible!

Also great in the Smart Pots: Beets & Potatoes, and we're coming up on "Last Call" for both of these. We'll have them for another month, and then that's it until later in the year. A helpful tool (which I follow faithfully) is the Burpee Planting Chart for California. We usually have copies of it at the Market, but you can access it here, too. It really helps with planning the garden!


The Next Planting Class... scheduled for Monday, June 13th. After that, Alex's family is visiting us from Argentina for 3 weeks, so our schedule may change. Be sure to email if you'd like to sign up, or if there's something you're looking for.

See the whole Class Schedule here


That's it for now...thanks for making this our best Spring season ever!! Happy gardening, and see you soon,

Jo Anne, Alex, Jake & Lalo

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