Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's December Already? Really?

Time flies whether you're having fun or not!  But it just seems like 2011 was getting underway and look, it's time to learn how to write 2012 on checks, provided you still use checks.  

Last Month's Thanksgiving Prayer
Last month's events - including our 7th Annual Thanksgiving Potluck - were so awesome, you don't want to miss what goes on at the Garden.  Always more low key than the rest of the hub bub of the city, we are also invariably more community oriented and much more relaxing.  Already we have a poetry reading scheduled with several of LA's best poets on our patio - we'll have our usual schedule of classes with several offerings of The Essentials of Seed Saving, plus the Extension classes and a feast of new classes on gardening, preserving the harvest and other skills of interest. Expect/anticipate a book publishing party some time in the first half of the year!  We are still hoping to have a monthly singer/songwriter showcase - if you want to participate in that - or help schedule it, let the Gardenmaster know!
The Learning Garden has always tried to keep a low profile in December and we don't schedule so much - there are enough parties to go to and some of us aren't huge party fans.  No names please.  Here's our lineup for the month:

03 December 9 to Noon - the Gardenmaster speaks his peace about December gardening and tells you What To Do and When To Do It - days are short and so's time, but what can you do in the Garden?  Lot's as it turns out - throw out all the books from back east that talk about putting the garden 'to bed!'  To bed, indeed, this is one of our most promising growing seasons and if you haven't started yet, you better get busy!  $25 at the gate - dress warmly!  More info?  Leave a response below!  

10 December - Our friends from the Westside Produce Exchange will be on site exchanging your excess produce with others so you get their extras and they get yours - much less goes to waste!  Drop off your goodies at The Learning Garden (we have signs up - enter from Walgrove!) from 9 to noon.  Volunteer (if you can) from noon to 1:00 PM to sort out the produce into the different bags - you can contact them through their page on Facebook and get in on the action.  You can be dubious, but it works! 

22 December - 6:30 PM until the fire goes out - we celebrate the Winter Solstice.  In a season when we make ourselves so crazy to buy gifts, buy cards - mail them in time, prepare fattening food for everyone to eat (and try to not put on weight ourselves) this is a real treat!  No gifts, no cards, no getups to get up into, nothing but the sheer pleasure of reflection by the fire on a time gone past and contemplation of the time that is to come.  Sweetly affirming our humanity in a sea of madness surging in quest of items of dubious value.  Leave it all behind, dress warmly, bring something warm to drink and maybe a baked good... we will have Camille on hand as our guide in our celebration and our keeper of the flames.

07 January - 9 to Noon - guess what?  What To Do is back!  Come on out, support your resolution to have your best garden ever! More later in the month.
NB.  The Gardenmaster will be on a one week writing sabbatical in the month of December.  We'll proclaim the dates as soon as we have it worked out - if you'd like the chance of a lifetime to play a gardenmaster, let us know and we'll schedule you for a 3½ hour shift (AM or PM - as you like it) or for a whole day if you feel the urge!  

Happy Holidays for everyone!  

Hope to see you in the Garden in December!


Friday, November 18, 2011

November In The Learning Garden...

Happy 59th Old Boy!
Well, it's a bit late, but better late than never...  We've had several birthdays over these last few days, a lot in late October and earlier.  In the photo on hte left, between raindrops, we celebrated my 59th in the tool shed at the Garden!  A wonderful intimate (small space that tool shed!) gathering for the day.  The lovely lady at the right side of the photo is my sister, Edie Neiman.

But the month isn't over yet and so let's get everyone up to speed:  

19 November, 9-12 - Master Gardener Herb Machelender teams up with Steve Hofendahl of TreePeople to do another one of their fruit tree pruning classes and, as a bonus, The Learning Garden will get our fruit trees pruned!  

19 November, 11:30 Seed Library of Los Angeles Best Practices committee meets on the TLG patio getting ready for the following meeting of the Seed Library as a whole.  1:00PM Executive Committee for SLOLA meets on the patio, then at 2:30 PM the whole of SLOLA meets - Kathryn Brown will do a winter time checklist presentation

24 November 11 to 2:00PM The Learning Garden hosts our Annual Thanksgiving Brunch this coming Thursday (Thanksgiving Day).  We have turkey and mashed potatoes but hope you'll come with other fixins for our brunch; salads, vegetable sides, meatless alternatives; desserts, lots of desserts!  The  Learning Garden community hosts the clients and the staff of Program for Torture Victims in this wonderful community celebration of all that for which we are grateful. Food service starts at noon, but join us at 11 for socialization and meet one another.  Make a new friend or 'remake' an old one.

03 December 9 to noon, our monthly series of What To Do &; When To Do It meets in the Garden for the latest scoop on what to do in December.  It's $25 at the gate and the best deal in town for a garden class.  Not only is it informative, it's fun and you'll get to do a little gardening alongside the Gardenmaster!   

We'll have a Winter Solstice celebration in December as well as the Westside Produce Exchange one Saturday, so keep an eye out for the December list of to do's!

Happy Thanksgiving all!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Series of Articles in The Nation


 "Just as dramatic is the struggle for the seed. More than 1,000 independent seed companies were swallowed up by multinationals in the past four decades, so today just three—Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta—control about half the proprietary seed market worldwide."  from an essay by Frances Moore LappĂ©, titled, "The Food Movement: Its Power and Possibilities" from a series of essays featured in The Nation.  Other essays in the series come from Raj Patel, Vandana Shiva, Eric Schlosser, and Michael Pollan and they are all worth a few seconds to read.