Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last Class for Victory Gardens This Sunday!

Betty Goldstein (left) and Nancy Mills (center) discuss a point with two of our current crop of Victory Garden students last Sunday.

It's hard to believe that it's already been three meetings and this coming Sunday will be our last class of our Victory Garden Series.  Betty has taught the last two classes and Nancy has been the lead TA for all of them.  Sunday's class will have to choose if they are going to keep meeting and how often.  We hope they will become a core group that is a part of The Learning Garden and our ongoing mission.


Earth Day Tours of TLG

Venice High School students work on the presentation table this last Monday...

Because of inclement weather last Thursday, the actual day of Earth Day, tours of the Garden were postponed to this last Monday.  Students from Walgrove Middle School and Beethoven Elementary School came through our Garden and visited a variety of booths that provided information on some environmental challenge faced by our society today:  there was a cloning booth, farm workers booth, plastic bottle booth, composting booth and many, many more.  The visiting students were not only educated by the Venice High School students, there were games to play that reinforced the learning and treats for all visitors.  

It didn't rain on either the real Earth Day or our celebration of Earth Day, but both days were cold and cloudy and rain seemed to be imminent on almost every day between.  


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wheelchair Accessible Garden Beds

One of the groups that really make things happen at The Learning Garden is CAA (Creative Artists Agency)!  They come out once a year to celebrate Earth Day - last year they built our iconic grape arbors - this year, LOOK!  Garden beds!  We are really grateful for CAA and their help in making The Learning Garden a more spectacular, and user-friendly garden! 


Monday, April 19, 2010

Finally! An April Version of Mark Your Calendar for The Learning Garden!

APRIL – all through the month! – summer seedlings on sale – come and see what we have available for you. All our plants are appropriate to be planted now. $1 and up...

April 17th – 10 AM to 2 PM – The Learning Garden and Venice High School's Culinary Arts and Sustainable Agriculture Academy (CASAA) will have non-disposable bags and vegetable seedlings for sale at the Mar Vista Farmers Market, Grand View and Venice Blvd.

April 17th – 4-8 PM – Adopt-a-Plant, Acupuncture students who maintain a garden of Chinese Medicinal Herbs have a lot of extra plants to share and are offering plants free to a good home for folks who want to grow some of the healing herbs from the Traditional Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia. Live music, a tour of the herb garden and munchies round out the gala event.

April 22nd – the 40th Annual Earthday! The Garden and the students of CASAA will host Walgrove Middle School and Beethoven Grade School as they learn about the CASAA program and environmental issues in the world today.

April 25th – 2 to 6 PM 2nd Annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase – Celebrate the 40th Earthday with a free self-guided garden tour of drought tolerant gardens, edible gardens, rainwater capture systems and homes transitioning to sustainability! Visit to plan your very own tour... Stop by The Learning Garden for our plant sale and relax in the shade of our Chi Patio!
April 25th – 6 – 9 PM Potluck for Gardens of Gratitude Whether you volunteered for this or your garden was one of the new ones installed, or you just want to hang out with the Westside Permies, bring a dish to share, your own plate and tableware and join in the party! 

May 1st  –  9 AM to Noon The next installment of What To Do and When To Do It  April is THE time to get all our summer garden planted – you won't want to miss this class because if you miss April, you will be behind the rest of the year! Still only $25 for one class, $100 for five... Plants and other things available too! Look for the possibility of a seed swap reappearing at Noon! 

May 2nd 10 to 11 AM – The Lost 'n' Found Band (the Garden's own!) on stage at the Westside Farmer's Market's Bandstand playing originals and more! Acoustic guitars and harmony on the Americana homefront andfree!! Get a cup o' joe, your veggies for the week and listen to the tunes - what else are you doing on Sunday morning.  OK, other than that...

Ongoing In The Garden

Friday --12:30 PM, The Garden Feast, a potluck with staff and volunteers (and anyone else who show up with a good attitude) at our picnic tables.  The food is always fresh, delicious and abundant.  It is the essence of the SLOW Food Movement, so come prepared  with a tasty bite, a healthy appetite for the bounty of others  and a desire for eclectic conversation. Be sustainable and bring your own plate, tableware and cup!

Saturday – - 10AM Henry Jun Wah Lee, L.Ac. Medical Qigong Classes Return Saturday Mornings in the Garden; Henry, a long time Qigong instructor, will be starting a new set of classes in the Learning Garden starting mid April. Weekly Saturday classes will start May 1.  9-10am for beginners and 10-11am for more advanced practices. $10 per class. Half of all fees will be donated to the Learning Garden. Please contact Henry to RSVP if you plan to attend either the introductory class or the weekly ongoing class.  Phone: 323-540-4180. Email: Web:

Sunday --10 AM Seth Leon has an informal Harmony Style Qigong practice on our Chi Patio. It is free.

13000 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Upcoming THIS **SATURDAY!!**

Refreshments, live music with "Lost and Found" the Garden's own original duo and others, 4 to 8 PM.  Good peeps and great vibes.  Adopt a plant with the healing vibes that sing to your heart!  

(NOTE:  this post originally indicated it was for SUNday, but it's on SATURday!)  
email me for more info... 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Victory Garden Classes Begin!

Bundled up to try to keep warm, twenty five students of our first ever Victory Gardening class at The Learning Garden vote on which packet of seed they will watch their instructor sow.  It was a blustery and cold day, but the enthusiasm helped keep spirits up.  

The Learning Garden hopes to have at least one more four week Victory Gardening course.  Look for an announcement soon!  


Myrna's Back In Town

Saturday, April 10th, was the BIG day for the Venice High School Alumni Association - and we applaud them for doing this Myrna Loy statue thing right!  They could have just put a replica of the old statue up, one that was made of plaster like the original that would have had all the problems of the original, but this new statue is truly a thing of beauty, still calling to mind the old statue but will not have the old problems.  

This statue is a statue for the ages!  It was truly a privilege to be a part of the unveiling of this work of art! 


Friday, April 9, 2010

The Man Who Found Myrna Loy

The refurbished statue of Myrna Loy hidden under her veil, waits for her unveiling in front of Venice High School.  

Back in 2004, when a Los Angeles Times reporter and photographer showed up at the Venice High School campus in a search for the missing statue of Myrna Loy, the newshounds started their search in the VHS front office, asking probing questions of the staff on duty.  It was summer, so perhaps the staff wasn't all up to snuff because when asked, "Where is the statue of Myrna Loy?"  the front office person shrugged her shoulders and said, "David King has her," an answer about as off the wall as anyone could have possibly been!  At that very moment, I had never even heard of Myrna Loy let alone 'have' her!  But that was to change.

The Times reporter, sleuthfully, sought out The Learning Garden and banged on our faculty parking lot gate asking for David King.  He told me I "had Myrna Loy" and he wanted to see her.  This is almost like being told I had been nominated to pilot the next craft to Mars!  He must have known something was a tad amiss when I had to be told Myrna Loy was a film star and her statue had been in front of Venice High School for a number of years and that  he was looking for that statue.  

In our conversation, I realized that this statue wouldn't be a little thing, and in an effort to clear my name, I asked him to look around the garden with me; he would see no Myrna and that would be the end of my involvement with this hair-brained scenario and I could go back to work.  

Out behind my office, I glanced over to a building material yard adjacent to the Garden.  There on the ground in a tattered tarp appeared to be a cylindrically shaped bit of concrete.  Pointing to that, with a bit of bravado (afterall, it could have been a hunk of sewer pipe in the canvass), I said, "There's your Myrna!"  It was NOT 'in the garden' as subsequently reported, but garden-adjacent.  The Plant Manager had to be called to let him into that yard and, it was, in fact, the statue of Myrna Loy.

She had been found and I had made my first appearance (and so far only) on the front page of LA Times as "The Man Who Found Myrna Loy." 

My autograph is still for sale at very reasonable prices.  

Just ask.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Bees In Our Garden!

Today we were busy as bees all the day long! 

We had these real bees - shown here on our Chinese peony, the beautiful flower we've seen before.  Two bees are working the flower over pretty intensely.  


Wearing hats and bandannas from Burt's Bees... some impostors showed up too! 

Burt's Bees folks were out in the Garden donating some compost and goodies to the Garden as a part of their campaign to celebrate the 40th year of Earth Day.  

I doubt they knew we had our own 'Burt' with his own 'bee.'

Of sorts....