Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving In The Garden

Thanksgiving 2009 at The Learning Garden!  Like the world we live in, this Garden is composed of so many different people of different sizes, attitudes, ideals and cultures.  Yesterday's Thanksgiving was a lovely affair with lots of food, conviviality and joy.  A Native American drummer provided the beat and chants for one young lady to take up a Native American dance and show it to several others. 

Our fifth Thanksgiving in the Garden.  We had a lot to be grateful for and we pray you do as well. 

Our next holiday will be Winter Solstice, we hope you can make plans to join us.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving But This Is Christmas

Christmas Lima Bean, that is!  Called 'Christmas' for its lovely red and white markings, this is a prolific lima bean.  It needs a sturdy trellis to climb on and produces gobs of nice thick pods (like the one shown) with three or more beans per pod.  I believe these seeds came from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.

Lima beans can be enjoyed as a fresh 'shelly' bean (you shell the beans from the green pod while they are still soft) or you can dry them on the plant (until the pod is thoroughly brown and dry) and save them until winter when you would revive them in water just like a dried soup bean. 

Dried beans of all kinds are easy to store and can provide a household with a good deal of homegrown protein.  They come in a myriad of different shapes and sizes and flavors!  I will grow a LOT more next summer, and I will especially include a lot more 'Christmas' lima beans 

Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving - if you are in the LA area and looking for a place to go, please come by The Learning Garden 11 AM to 2 PM for our potluck Thanksgiving hosting the Program for Torture Victims.  This is one of West LA's best community events this time of year held on the patio of The Learning Garden on the campus of Venice High School, Walgrove Avenue and Venice Boulevard, 90066. 

God bless us, one and all, and I pray your Thanksgiving is one of wonder and blessed with the bounty of the earth! 


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let There Be Light!

Mark Gibney, our volunteer electrician, shows Julie Mann, TLG co-founder and Treasurer, how the new solar light will light our sign at the intersection of Walgrove and Venice Blvd.  Through a grant from the Venice Community Council, The Learning Garden has been able to purchase several security lights, a light for our sign and several flood lights for the patio when we have events.  The solar collector is placed just behind the sign on an angle that nets it sufficent sun to power the light.  The light itself is an LED so it doesn't need a lot of juice.  

This just another step in the evolution of  The Learning Garden as a beacon of change for the community.  


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Spring Is Springing in Southern California

If we need more convincing that Fall is really Spring in Southern California, this should silence all remaining doubts!  A lovely paperwhite blooms on the west side of The Learning Garden's shade house.  There are only about five fully opened paperwhites, others promise to open soon.  Unfortunately, the Unified School District painters are here to paint the shade house (along with all the other buildings on campus) and a lot of the paperwhites are getting trampled because they are underfoot.

Almost all the gardening books published tell you that paper whites (along with other narcissus) bloom in Spring.  That is true for folks living in more temperate climates, but that is not Los Angeles.  We are a classic case of a Mediterranean Climate and for us, Fall is our 'other' Spring with paperwhites blooming now and the other narcissus and daffodils will bloom soon after.  The freesias (one of my most favorite scents) will bloom in about a month.  It's a very exciting time for scent in the gardens of our area now.  Inhale the breath of Spring.