Happy Fall! The days are growing shorter and the nights cooler, and it's time to get planting! This season is rich with vibrant leafy greens, comforting root crops, the beautiful brassicas and tender peas...and what better time to start than now?
Our friends at the Food Bank document the unprecedented 73% increase in demand for food assistance since the start of the Great Recession in this recent Policy Brief. Have a look, and then join us on October 2nd and plant compassion in your Fall garden as well...
On a personal note, just moments ago, literally, I heard from our products Sales Rep that he was laid off, as of this week. We're deeply saddened by this as he has become a trusted friend who helped us grow Two Dog from practically Day 1. Being an amazing worker, I trust he will find a job, but all over L.A. County thousands of families are really feeling the strain.
This will be our 10th Food Drive - let's make it a great one!
National Heirloom Expo!
What a fabulous event! We wanted to share with youAlex's photo albumfrom the Heirloom Expo. We can't say enough about how great it was! Sort of a "Woodstock-meets-The 4-H Club" type of thing... 10,000 like-minded, forward-thinking folks who were similarly swept up in the information and optimism! Baker Creek just announced they are already planning the 2012 Heirloom Expo! Do put it on your calendar! It will fill you with joy and hope!
Just yesterday we received this Trailer to the Happy Planet 2 documentary being produced by the LAPD Hollenbeck P.A.L.s (Police Action League)...you might remember this past June the Producer and Cameraman brought their "Good News Kids" here to the Home Nursery to learn about growing organic veggies, and the kids and I planted hot peppers together, which they got to take home... this is just a small bit of the very important message about childhood obesity they are working to get across.
Happy Planet 2 Trailer
Two Dog Planting Classes & Other Community Gardening Opportunities
Our 4th Qtr. EarthBox Planting Classes began today; why not join us for one? Check out our "Current Veggies" and see the whole class schedule here:
Or, if in-ground growing is your goal, check out this list of "Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative" class series put on by Yvonne Savio and the amazing Master Gardeners of the University of California Cooperative Extension!
A quick reminder before I go on...we will NOT be in the Farmers Markets this weekend; we'll be back next week as usual, after an exciting trip to Sonoma for the National Heirloom Expo. We're hoping to have some fun, learn lots, and find seeds for some amazing new varieties to share with you next Spring!
But here we are on the cusp of Fall, and we're excited to announce the complete Fall/Winter seedling line-up is now on our website!! Check out the "Current Veggies" page and start dreaming!! We're growing lots of new things this year based on our own curiosity and your requests. We'll be bringing nearly every variety with us to the Markets next weekend. Can't wait!
While you're on the website, please note that we've also posted the 4th Qtr. EarthBox Planting Class Schedule! What a great season for growing in the EarthBox! Snow Peas, Rainbow Chard, Arugula, Purple Peacock Broccoli, Cheddar Cauliflower, Dinosaur Kale! The first Class is scheduled for Sept. 26th, and there are 2 spaces left, so sign up now and don't miss out!Get your first round of Fall planted early and you'll have time for two harvests!
Products We Love...
As I mentioned earlier, we attended the giant Excel Garden Products Show in Las Vegas last week. We bought like crazy! Stocked up on our favorites and added some exciting new products as well, including Malibu Compost and their fantastic Biodynamic Compost Tea Bags...perfect for those of you who want the benefits but have no time or interest in worm bins and compost piles! Also, can't help but love their logo! Check out the "Products We Love" page to see our complete offerings. This was our second year to attend the Show, and it was so fun to see how "Two Dog" has become known! The folks at EarthBox know us, of course, from the fun little documentary they filmed about us, and we were delighted to hear that they are going to name us "Retailer of the Month" in one of their Fall Newsletters! Yay!! By the way, the documentary has been seen more than 1,300 times now; if you haven't seen it, check it out here:
Fall Sale & Food Drive... AND, just in case all of the above isn't enough to get you going, we're also thrilled to announce our Fall Kick-Off Sale & Food Drive (benefiting the L.A. Food Bank) on Sunday, October 2nd here at our Home Nursery!!! These events are so fun, and they're a win-win all around!
Here's how it works: "Admission" to the Sale is mandatory donations of food or "personal needs" items - collection bins are set up out front - then you, dear gardeners, receive 10% off EVERYTHING - Certified Organic Seedlings, all Products, Trees, Blueberries, Books, etc., and then TwoDog donates 5% of the proceeds to the Food Bank as a cash donation! Check out the flyer for more details and start gathering those canned goods and making up your garden wish list! We hope to see you all here!
Just a couple other notes: Not sure if I mentioned it here or just on facebook, but our "Gal Friday" Syd (I love to call her that because she works on Fridays), who puts these beautiful Newsletters together for us, has begun archiving past issues on our Two Dog Blog...you may want to grab a cup of tea and go back in time....
Also, here are what I'm going to call "Summer Lessons"...just a few things we learned this past season...
1.) Tomatillos do not like much water once they begin setting their little "lanterns"...this was brought to our attention by several customers. Therefore we'll no longer recommend planting them in EarthBoxes where the water level is so constant....(but please do plant all other tomatoes in EarthBoxes because they rock!).
2.) Be sure to check your corn for maturity early.
As soon as the silks begin to brown, gently pull back the husks on one ear and see how it looks. If the kernels are formed nicely, and if a milky juice squirts out when punctured by a thumbnail, harvest them!! It's very easy to leave them too long and then they get all tough. You all know I've been learning "corn lessons" the hard way! Also, that tip I got from the Master Gardener Handbook about putting 20 drops of mineral oil on the silks to prevent hornworm invasions really works!
3.) We've learned (again, the hard way) that Bell Peppers do not like to share an EarthBox with anybody else! Not only were ours a disaster this year (shared with Trombetta Squash), but many other customers also had the same unfortunate results! Sincere apologies for having said "yes, you can mix them"!!! They (the Bell Pepper Divas) are spectacular in an EarthBox of their own, and that's what we'll return to next year.
4.) And finally, and this is kind of funny... when you harvest potatoes from a Smart Pot, be SURE to empty the whole thing! After saying our Winter potatoes were failures, I now have them coming up in the middle of tomatoes, strawberries and squash Smart Pots which I had replanted! They were just sleeping, I guess!! This happened to several of our customers, too! So, last week when Courtney and I emptied a Potato Smart Pot, which I thought was pretty well harvested, and we found around 20 more, including some nice big ones! They hide all around the bottom edges of the Smart Pot! Here's a photo of what I nearly missed!