Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TDN Newsletter: 6-7-13

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Two Dog Organic Nursery    Jake_N_Lalo

June Updates & Summer Open House
June 7, 2013 
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Dear Gardening Friends,

It's JUNE already!  
Wow, time flies when you're busy as bees!!
We've never had a Spring quite like this one...maybe it was Prop 37 or the Monsanto Protection Act, but something caused a "shift" this Spring. There seems to be a greater awareness and sense of urgency to begin gardening, or to greatly expand the gardening and backyard orcharding already being done. I think it's a natural instinct to just want to get ones hands in the soil when the world seems so uncertain and unsettling.
Horticultural Therapy... 

A few days ago, our ace assistant, Sydney, forwarded this great article about Gardening and Depression.


We gardeners KNOW how it lifts our spirits to be outside, planting, tending, pulling weeds, harvesting, and grazing, but it's so interesting to read about the science behind it! Thanks, Syd!


Front Yard Farm ~

The season is in full swing around here; we finally got our Spring/Summer Garden fully planted, and it's a record for us: 33 EarthBoxes and 26 Smart Pots! I harvested our first batch of Royal Burgundy and Dragon Tongue Beans last week and "snapped" them with my Mom!

It's fun to watch as the purple colors faded to green and cream as the water heated up. They were delicious!

One morning recently, I was pulling up
to our house...   

...and stopped to take a long look at our "Front Yard Container Farm"... the Jacarandas, the Bougainvillea, the Corn, the towering Tomatoes, bountiful Blueberries and wandering Squash vines... it all looked so pretty, and I was grateful for this work.
Since I took this photo, we have added even more: 3 Smart Pots of Black Turtle Beans and 3 Smart Pots of Beauregard Sweet Potatoes! Speaking of Sweet Potatoes, our Certified Organic seedlings are in VERY limited supply, so please contact us right away if you are interested!!  We'll have them with us at the Markets this weekend, but they won't last long, and our supplier is Sold Out!
Call Jo Anne at 323-422-3835  
or send an email: 

"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece"
~Claude Monet

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"Survivalist Gardening"     

The first time I planted Speckled Butter Beans (my first "Dry Bean"), I was struck by the awesomeness of growing something that could last for years. Seeing them in their canning jar patiently waiting to become dinner is an amazing thing. Winter Squashes give me that same feeling (not years, but certainly many months!) And Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Onions & Garlic also keep for many months if cured and stored properly. Info on growing and keeping these easy crops can be found in our website's "Helpful Guides." So this year, we're growing Black Beans and LOTS of Winter Squash. Two nights ago we ate our final Butternut Squash from 2012, and it was amazing. We hope to grow a big harvest and then "keep" them in our guest bedroom where it's cool and slightly dark (our faux root cellar!)

A Glass Gem Update!

Our Glass Gem Corn is growing like mad. It's taller than me right now. I have never grown a popcorn variety before, and I'm completely amazed at how "multi-branched" it is! Wondering if there was a possibility of all the branches producing corn, I wrote to Native Seed/SEARCH to inquire about these extra stalks, and here's what they wrote:

"Many traditional varieties of corn produce abundant tillers like your  Glass Gem. Most tillers will produce ears allowing you to get 5-7 ears off of one plant. This characteristic has been bred out of conventional corn varieties because it makes it harder to mechanically harvest. Some farmers believe that pulling the tillers will help the ears on the main stalk produce better, which may be the case if you have dense planting and there is high competition for water and nutrients. But the bushy effect can also be beneficial if you're in an area prone to high winds and damaging storms."! So that's 24 plants...5-7 ears per plant...maybe 100 kernels (seeds) per ear...Wow! I guess it's safe to say that we will be selling Glass Gem Seedlings next year!! We'll save the most colorful ones and pop the rest!   This is so exciting, and oh, isn't the word "tillers" a wonderful word?? I love it!

Roof Top Tomato Trials ~

Our annual Tomato Trial is going great. We have lots of fruit set now and are ready to fertilize again. Here's Alex a week ago surveying his crop!


Summer Open House!! Yay!

It's not a Sale...
It's not a Food Drive..

It's just a "Welcome Summer"
Open House!!

Please join us on  
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 
    for a "No-Appointment-Necessary" day... shop for Summer favorites, tour our home based Nursery, enjoy some Lemonade, and meet Jake & Lalo and our excellent assistants. Plants, Trees, Soils and Products will be well stocked for the day. We'll be open from 10am until 5pm...we hope you can make it!
And remember - if you want Pumpkins by Halloween,
you should plant them by the end of June!!
Customer's Brag Book!

One of the most rewarding parts of our work is seeing those customers who were initially terrified they'd "kill everything", and embarrassed by their lack of knowledge, becoming confident, happy full-on gardeners!! They're always excited to whip out their iPhones and show us photos of their latest harvests, beaming with pride as if the plants were their children!!

Here are just a few of photos emailed to us recently:

ABOVE: Susan (from Westlake) and her first EarthBox

ABOVE: Lydia's first harvest of Greens for the season

ABOVE: Sarah's first EarthBox Tomatoes

Is your garden the talk of the neighborhood? Are you proud of your harvest? Are you addicted to EarthBox gardening? Did you get your plants from us?  

Send all your pictures and short videos to:  

We'll be sure to add you to the next newsletter!! 
Well, that's it for now. Please try to join us on the 26th, and bring a gardening pal!

As always, thanks for everything, and happy harvests!

Jo Anne, Alex, Jake & Lalo

P.S. Our old friend, Linda Fitzgerald, visited recently to shop for her Summer Garden, and she was so dear to bring along Jake & Lalo's very favorite cookies!! The boys say
"Thanks, Aunt Linda!"


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