Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
FREE FIELD TRIPS!
WATER DISCOVERY FIELD TRIP PROGRAM
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Attention all Educators! The Water Education Water Awareness Committee (WEWAC) will be hosting a Project WET Workshop (Water Education for Teachers) on Wednesday, October 17th from 8am to 3pm.
At the Project WET Workshop, you'll learn about exciting, grade-level, hands-on water activities, and receive FREE water education materials for your class. Lunch will be provided.
Substitute teacher costs for the day will be reimbursed to most schools. If substitute reimbursement is necessary for you to attend this workshop, please verify by calling and discussing this with WEWAC members.
Enrollment is limited. PLEASE REGISTER by October 3, 2012. Upon receipt of your registration, availability will be confirmed and a confirmation notice will be sent to you along with a map to the workshop location in Rancho Cucamonga.
If you have any questions please call Cindy DeChaine at (909) 621-5568.
Visit www.usewaterwisely.com for more information and for registration form.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Water Education Water Awareness Committee (WEWAC) is offering a grant opportunity for educators. The grant is geared toward those who are conducting an educational water-related activity. The grant funding offers a maximum of $750 per awarded applicant. Visit www.usewaterwisely.com to receive a grant application. Grant submittal deadline is November 8, 2012.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
However, Mrs. McAdams and Mr. Whieldon are quick to point out that the kids deserve all of the credit. The English and Environmental Science students wrote grants, fundraised, created promotional videos, constructed vegetable beds, installed irrigation, raked mulch, planted trees & seeds, built a fence, dug up rocks (sometimes boulders!), and watered and weeded the garden. They did a super job and should be very proud of themselves!
During the dedication ceremony IEUA President, Mr. Terry Catlin, spoke to the crowd about how pleased he was with the school garden and the importance of teaching the next generation about water conservation.
Student Body President and gardener extraordinaire, Garrett Lee, spoke about the benefits of the garden and how working on it has influenced what he will study in college.
Mr. Rick Abilez, Grounds Foreman Supervisor for Upland Unified School District, was honored by being recognized for his assistance and enthusiasm with the Garden in Every School program. Mr. Andrew Kanzler, the Garden in Every School Coordinator, presented Mr. Abilez with a certificate of gratitude at the end of the ceremony and praised his hard work and willingness to help.
Toward the end of the event, the participants moved from the cafeteria to the garden for the ribbon cutting ceremony--Mrs. McAdams did the honors! Representatives from several public agencies were there to commemorate the garden as well, including the Superintendent of Upland Unified School District, Mr. Gary Rutherford, Upland City Council Member, Mr. Gino Filippi, and IEUA President, Mr. Terry Catlin.
The kids were excited to share their knowledge and experience with us regarding the garden and they were generous enough to share the fruits of their labor!
Several students emptied out the potato bins they planted in January and passed out fresh potatoes.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Photo of Oregano provided by Hidetsugu Tonomura
Oregano can be grown in the ground or in a pot, but be careful, this herb spreads quickly.
Any kind of potatoes will work in place of the fingerlings. Just cut them up into 2-inch chunks.
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
16 fingerling poatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Monday, April 30, 2012
In addition to being a culinary staple, thyme has incredible properties that make it a great plant for drought-tolerant gardens. One species of thyme in particular, Thymus Serpyllum, also know as Creeping or Magic Carpet Thyme, spreads along the earth as a low-lying groundcover. Groundcovers are particular helpful at increasing soil stability, moisture retention, and weed suppression. Also, Creeping Thyme is a perennial that flowers all summer and looks beautiful when it creates a bed of flowers.
RECIPES: Zucchini and Thyme & Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme
Thyme is used as a spice in meat and veggies dishes, and also in sauces, soups, and as a garnish. We've chosen a couple of recipes (see links below) that you can try over the summer as they are paired with seasonally appropriate vegetables. Zucchini are notoriously prolific in the summer, as are green beans. Please enjoy and let us know if you liked these recipes!
Friday, April 20, 2012
There are several other species of sage that are useful for more than just cooking and medicinal applications. Most of the California coastline and some inland areas, particularly in the central and southern parts of the state, are home to coastal sage scrub (see map of California for locations). 'Sage scrub' is a catch-all term that encompasses several plant species, not just those in the genus Salvia. For example, the scientific name for California Sagebrush is Artemisia californica, which is outside of the genus Salvia. The most common species of Salvia that grow in the coastal sage scrub areas are Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), White Sage (Salvia apiana), and Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla). The coastal sage scrub range has been reduced over time because of development practices. In many counties and cities, it has been given a protected status and permits are required to remove it for further development. In addition to preserving coastal sage scrub for its unique character, these plant species are protected because they provide habitat for several animal and insect species. Most notably, the California gnatcatcher is a federally-listed threatened species, and requires coastal sage scrub (critical habitat) for its survival. Other species commonly found in coastal sage scrub are: Red-Diamond Rattlesnakes, Orange-Throated Whiptails, Cactus Wrens, and Sage Sparrows (see picture below).
Common Sage has a strong, peppery taste that can be quite pungent and earthy. It is usually used in meat rubs, stuffings, and sauces. The recipe that we're showcasing today uses sage as the main flavorant for a burnt butter sauce, which is absolutely delicious. There are several variations of this recipe. The one from the Food Network link (provided below) includes red pepper flakes, but you can omit it if you like (check the comments to see how other chefs personalized this recipe). If you're not sure what to pair it with, I really enjoy this sauce with pumpkin or squash ravioli. Homemade potato or sweet potato gnocci is fabulous as well.
The sauce is easy make. First add the indicated amount of butter to the pan and cook on medium-high heat until it starts to brown and the aroma deepens. Then add the sage directly to the butter. The sage will immediately begin to fry and crisp up. If you are going to add gnocchi or pasta make sure you time it to finish at the same time as the sauce (it only takes a minute or two to make). Toss the pasta/gnocchi with the sauce and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
To use the cutting technique, look for a stem without flowers that is about 4-7 inches long. Clip the base of the stem at a 45 degree angle. Place the newly cut stem into a clear glass of water (if you can't submerge the stem in water right away, wrap it in a wet cloth until you can). After a week the rosemary cutting will begin to grow roots and after two weeks the roots should be long enough to replant the cutting. If your cutting does not sprout roots after 9-10 days, try taking another cutting and start from scratch. The best time to try the cutting technique is in the fall, when the stem will spend more energy developing roots as opposed to trying to produce flowers.
Rosemary is a highly aromatic herb that has many culinary properties. It has been used as a meat preservative, a flavorant, and in smoking applications (since it is rather woody). It has a very strong scent and flavor and people tend to cook or pair it with other robust flavors like red meats, mushrooms, and red wines, but rosemary has some subtler applications that many cooks can appreciate. For example, the recipe described below mixes rosemary with sugar, jam, and cream:
Photo of Rosemary Scone courtesy of esimpraim
Rosemary scones are not your typical sweet and candied confection. The addition of rosemary brings a whole new layer of depth and flavoring to the scone. To achieve the subtle flavoring, make sure you chop the rosemary leaves finely and toss out any of the wooden stems. Also, you may add whatever jam you prefer to the center of the scone, but I prefer raspberry or strawberry. Here is a link to a Strawberry and Rosemary Scone recipe created by Giada de Laurentiis: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/strawberry-and-rosemary-scones-recipe/index.html.ENJOY!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Chives: Chives are actually the smallest species of edible onion. Unlike most onion species, chives are not usually grown for their edible bulbs, instead they are cultivated for their tasty, green stems. The scapes (leafless, flowering stems) of the chive are used to flavor stews and soups, or they can be finely chopped and used as a garnish.
Fennel: Fennel is native to the shores of the Mediterranean. It produces a large, flavorful bulb that can be used as a vegetable and its frawns can be used for flavoring as well. Fennel has a sweet, licorice-like flavor and is common in salads, pastas, and risottos. Fennel seeds are often used in bread-baking as well.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb that is well known for needing to little to no water once it has been established. It has a sharp, bitter taste and maintains its distinct aroma throughout the cooking process. Rosemary also has a long history as an herbal medicine for memory loss and cognitive development.
Sage: Sage is another woody, perennial herb that is regarded for its aesthetic beauty as well as its culinary potential. As a seasoning, it can be used in a fresh or dry form. It is also used as an essential oil that can be added to butters and other, less fragrant oils in cooking applications.
Thyme: Thyme is a perennial herb that thrives in semi-arid climates. Similar to bay leaves, thyme is slow to release its flavor in the cooking process and usually needs to be added rather early to achieve full flavor. Thyme's fragrance becomes more potent once it is dried.
For more information about Mediterranean herbs, see the following links:
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
|Photo of tomato seedlings courtesy of Lucy Crosbie|
Friday, January 27, 2012
To get started, grab a measuring tape and record the dimensions of your garden. Then use a ruler and a piece of sketch or graph paper to draw the outline of your garden. To draw your garden to scale, assign a certain length to equal one inch. For example, if your garden is twenty feet long, you can set 1 inch equal to two feet. Using graph paper is even easier because the quadriles are already on the page. Also, if you're interested in creating your design online instead of on paper, you can use free design tools like Google Sketch-Up to create your garden.
After the outline of your garden is drawn, you can create stencils or symbols to represent your plants. If you would like, you can buy gardening or landscaping stencils, or you can go online and download pre-made symbols (see the link below for gardening symbols). Just print the symbols on card stock, cut them out, and use them to trace your design.
Before you begin populating your garden with symbols, remember to make a plant key! A plant key is very important because it will help you organize your ideas and your design. It is invaluable when it's time to start planting, because it is difficult to remember the ideal location for every plant and your helpers can find the plant location directly from the chart.
After your outline, symbols, and key have been made you can begin to design your garden. Remember to keep the principles we have recently discussed in mind: intercropping plant species, incorporating pollinator-friendly and pest-deterring plants, and crop rotation (to confuse pests). Also, keep spatial and height elements in mind when planning your garden. Taller plants and those that need trellising should be placed near walls or toward the back of the garden so they do not block the sunlight needed by low and medium height plants.
Remember to add some color to your design. Shrubs and vines can be given a dark green color, while sunflowers can be bright yellow. A garden design is a practical way to organize a garden, but it can also be a fun way to get your creative juices flowing. Your final design can become an artful homage to your edible landscape!
Photo of garden design courtesy of Chris Kreussling
Try using some of these symbols from the University of Minnesota: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sustland.umn.edu/design/images/landscapesym2.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.sustland.umn.edu/design/lanscapesym.html&usg=__HDT3tT0S076F0OirIIEK8QS6b28=&h=770&w=600&sz=57&hl=en&start=5&zoom=1&tbnid=Gb4v_FnVJOpKfM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=111&ei=Ia0ZT9-WDurg0QHW_e3fBA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dplant%2Bsymbols%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7ADFA_en%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1
Friday, January 20, 2012
1) Weed your garden. Winter weeding is one of the best things you can do to ensure a successful yield in the summer. Most weeds sprout up in the winter, germinate in the spring and summer, set seed in the fall, and die when cold weather hits. If you can pull the weeds (or inhibit their access to sinlight) in the winter, then you have limited their chances of reseeding. Also, the longer a weed sits in the ground, the more time it has to establish roots, making it more difficult to extract. The moral of this story: pull weeds early and often.
2) Turn your compost. We all took our plant clippings, vegetable trimmings, and leaves and threw them into our compost bins at the end of the summer, but most of us probably forgot to turn our compost bins. If material has been in your bin since August or September, chances are it has already started decomposing. Give it a good turn and give those microdigesters some oxygen so you can have plenty of compost in the spring.
3) Prepare your gardening tools. If you're like me, you probably left a couple of tools outside and they've turned a nice shade of rust by now. Pick up your tools, clean them off (you can use a brilo pad or sand paper to scratch away at rust), and organize your tools. You might even want to get a head start and see if your local garden supply store has plant food that you can stock up on.
4) Stock up on seeds and trays. One of the many benefits of living in California is the immense amount of sunlight and good weather. So Cal gardeners can start a seed tray as early as January and be ready to plant by mid-March. Just remember to keep your seedlings inside by a window so they can be shielded from any unexpected weather. Also, if your local garden supply store doesn't have seeds yet, you can also go online and order them.
5) Prepare and repair. If you garden in pots, now is a good time to get rid of your old soil and give the inside of your pot a good scrubbing. Cleaning the inside of a garden pot is suggested so you can kill any mold or bacteria living on the walls of the vessel. Or if you garden in plant boxes, make sure boxes are in good condition. Finally, if you prefer in-ground planting, add soil additives like lime or clay conditioner today.
Good luck with your gardens!
How to plan your spring/summer line-up:
- Rotate your crops. Pests, molds and viruses love it when the same crops are planted in the same location year after year because they don't have to go far to get their favorite food. Also, know which familes your plants belong too. Plants in the same family, such as the Nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes) or the Brassicaceae family (broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts) tend to attract similar insects, so it's a good idea to mix these up a bit.
- Intercrop. As we learned from the Integrated Pest Management post (http://ieuagies.blogspot.com/2011/12/integrated-pest-management.html), intercropping reduces garden pests by limiting the amount of any one plant type found in the same area. Additionally, intercropping refers to the strategic planting of pest-repelling plants, such as marigold, garlic, and certain herbs (dill and mint) to ward off infestation.
- Attract beneficial insects. Remember to incorporate flowering plants for pollinators and clovers, mustards, dill, and chives for ladybugs. These plants can be intercropped with vegetable plants to act as companion plants.
- Good timing leads to better yield. In a well-planned garden, you can often increase your yield if you incorporate the plant's 'time to maturation' into your time schedule. In the case of tomatoes, there are three varieties: early maturing plants (40-55 days: Early Girl & Early Wonder), mid-season plants (56-75 days: Better Boy & Celebrity), and late-season plants (76-95 days: Brandywine & Cherokee Purple). Planting some of each variety will ensure that you have tomatoes all summer long and well into the fall. Check the information on the seed packet to determine the time to maturation for vegetables.
After you decide which plants you would like to incorporate into your garden you can begin to draft a design for the space. See our upcoming blog post: Designing your Spring/Summer Garden to get inspired.