Friday, December 28, 2012

Mar Vista Farmers' Market Pest Control Handout

An adult lady bug from The Learning Garden

Insect Control That Really Works
  1. Stop spraying poisons – especially 'organic' ones – organic pesticides are 'full-spectrum' meaning they kill a wide variety of insects the entire time they are active. They do not discriminate between your harmful insects and lady bugs, honey bees or other insects we rely on for help.
  2. Have plants in bloom throughout the growing season – in our part of the US that means something in bloom 365 days a year – to provide adult beneficial insects with forage so they will stay around.
  3. Set your own personal 'threshold limits' of acceptable damage to your produce – the higher your threshold limit, the least intervention you will do. The threshold limit will vary by crop – if you are desperate to have loads of peppers, you will allow less damage to the peppers than to broccoli which you might be ambivalent about.
  4. Patrol your garden frequently to spot harmful insects in their initial stages before they are a bigger problem.
  5. Use barriers to prevent infestations before they start
  6. Yank plants that refuse to thrive or use them as pest attractants to build up populations of beneficial insects by providing them with available food.
  7. Patience, which is free, is more valuable than a ton of poison.

Using insecticides
  1. Supports the oil industry – all those pesticides are formulated in oil-based products.
  2. Makes you at war with nature – and you can never win!
  3. Kills the biology in the soil even if it fails to control the 'bad' insect.
  4. Probably kills more beneficial insects than the ones you are targeting.
  5. Leads to the unreal expectation of 'perfect food' which is often just a visual lie.

    Aphids and Gardenmaster From The Learning Garden

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Plant Communication: Practicing Kinship with All Life, A Workshop

A two-hour class at the Learning Garden, Sat. Jan 19th Reg. 9:30 am, class 10-Noon
Bring food for shared lunch! SLOLA* meeting at 2:30 PM
$25 at the door, $15 in advance
Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson leads highly interactive, non-talky, exercises to accelerate your Plant Communicator skills. The context is Kinship with All Life. We'll focus and practice on feeling safe again to hear our own Inner Communicator, the One who can harmonize with plants, animals and people.

We'll practice understanding plants on their terms and addressing plant disturbances with both strategy and tactics.

Gather with other plant communicators, increase your effectiveness solving garden problems with pests, soil conditions--anything to do with plants and trees.

We will do case studies and you can bring sick plants. Miracles not guaranteed while more understanding is!

Q: What are Best Practices in Plant Communication?
A: In general, healthy plants have a gentle upward flow of nutrients up from its roots, thru stems, and  up to the leaves. It's possible to feel and track this activity because we have it too. Stress interrupts this flow. It’s possible to measure this upward flow in your self. It's possible to play “20 questions” with the plant and learn what needs correcting.

Familiar with Findhorn, Jim Conroy’s Tree Whispering, or Machelle Small Wright's Perelandra Garden? This has similarities to all.
The main service we can perform for plants is: imagining plants’ optimal life flow, testing and tasting what disconnections exist, testing and tasting to discern disturbing causes, test again for solutions.
Bruce co-founded the Westside Holistic Chamber of Commerce and works as a Health Intuitive. He has 13 books on Amazon-Kindle on self-healing and Energy Detective topics. See 60 online articles on self-healing.

*Seed Library of Los Angeles

Already, 2013! Our Calendar for January

At the Learning Garden, all of us trust your holidays were everything you'd hoped for and look forward to a new year with all the expectation of a kitten who has just heard can opener sounds in the kitchen.  Our new year starts off much like the last, but we're looking at life in a whole new way; letting go of the past and excited about our eleventh year of greening this corner of Walgrove Avenue and Venice Blvd.  If you've not been out for a bit, come on by, we are happy with our progress in so many different ways.

So get out your schedule and synch up with us in January:  

30 December - 9:00AM to 2:00 PM (yes, it's for 2012, but it's a late add and hasn't been publicized here before), Gardenmaster David King will be at the Mar Vista Green Committee's Green Tent at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market answering all the questions he can about what's bugging your garden.  Don't expect the same old ho hum advice either.  What some folks call 'post modern Organic,' is a different way to approach insects in your garden.  The Green Tent is  in the center of the market - listen for the big laugh.

05 January - from 10 to noon, the Gardenmaster holds forth on Growing Food in Southern California, also called What To Do And When To Do It - only $20 at the gate, this workshop takes you through January in the garden.  We'll talk about choosing fruit trees for our area and some of the pests we face and how to deal with them.  As usual, we'll have some give away plants and there will be plenty of time for your questions.  An improvement for the new year:  if there is inclement weather, we have an unheated room in the shade house to stay out of blustery winds or rain!  You may sign up at the door or pay in advance - one class or purchase a series at a discount!

One Class or a Series

19 January - 10 AM -Noon  Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson leads highly interactive, non-talky, exercises to accelerate your Plant Communicator skills. The context is Kinship with All Life. Focusing and practicing on feeling safe  with our own Inner Communicator, the one who can harmonize with plants, animals and people, participants will practice understanding plants on their terms. We will address plant disturbances with both strategy and tactics. Registration 9:30 AM,$25 at the door, $15 in advance.

19 January - 2:30 to 4:30 PM - First meeting of the new year for the Seed Library of Los Angeles - program to be announced, but you can check out and return seeds.  The inventory of seeds you may check out is posted here.

20 January 1:30 to 4:30 PM - UCLA Extension offers "Plant Propagation for Gardeners" which meets for 11 Sundays in the Winter Quarter: "This course emphasizes both the science and art of plant propagation. Learn the science behind plant propagation and then apply that knowledge by propagating a wide variety of plants. Hands-on exercises cover a multitude of propagation methodologies and demonstrate different tools and techniques. Participants practice these techniques in class to assimilate the art of propagation. Held at The Learning Garden at Venice High School," taught by our Gardenmaster - who says this is most fun class he teaches.  That says a LOT!  

02 February - and we are back at the next Growing Food in SoCal class, and don't look now, but someone wants a Valentine's Day present - will you be ours?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Solstice At The Learning Garden

I have heard from friends in Australia this afternoon.  They are, of course, one day ahead of us in this hemisphere.  They report they are healthy and no evidence of the Apocalypse so it appears our annual Winter Solstice will be held as planned.*

We celebrate the Winter Solstice every year and this year our celebration is on the 21st at 6:30 PM.  Dress warmly, although we do have a fire, it is still one of the colder Decembers this year.  We will have End of The World (As We Know It - that song is running around in my head) Mayan Hot Chocolate - formerly known as Hot Chocolate That Kills or, as deemed by one of the Boy Scouts, "Adult Hot Chocolate."  Just to be clear, the 'adult' part was the spices, no booze involved then or now.  

We will say goodbye to the year that was and hello to the year that is arriving; for many and for us this is a renewing moment.  We have herbs you can burn and then we will sit around the fire and reflect on this not being the end of the world.  



* I watched a movie on Pearl Harbor the other night.  Produced in 1969, it flitted from the Japanese battle fleet to Pearl Harbor to other sites.  I was amazed at how ALL the clocks were synched to Honolulu time!  It was disconcerting as I felt like the film makers just had too little respect for a viewer's intelligence.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November's Calendar...

(Don't forget our weekly potluck, Friday, 12:30 to whenever the food's gone.  Bring a dish and enjoy food and lively, smart, conversation every Friday.  Food choices from red meat to vegan... mostly toward vegan...)

Now that the fall garden is in the ground and growing, let's reflect a little on the wonder of growing some of our food - Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays and we invite you to come and share the bounty of your harvest before celebrating with your family.

03 November – 10 to noon Growing Food in Southern California, the 'What To Do And When To Do It Course' with our own Gardenmaster, David King, always good information about what to do in the coming month – we'll be covering compost and vermicomposting this month! And, as always, your questions will be answered with knowledge and humor – guaranteed to be the most fun and informative two gardening hours you'll get in the whole month! And now you can pay using PayPal! Save your space and do it now. $20 for one class or a series of six for $100, save yourself some dough.

One Class or a Series

10 November - Loyala Marymount Day of Service 9 AM to 3 PM - gardeners are needed to supervise and guide the progress of the volunteers... Please contact the Gardenmaster to report for service.  These kind of workdays are always uplifting and joyful - if you need a pick me up, come join us.

10 November  9 to 1  - Westside Produce Exchange - drop your extra veggies on the patio and Naomi and elfs replace the contents of your bag with veggies and goodies from the bags of other participants.  You can't just show up, though, all this takes a little thought - email Naomi and get on board.  

11 November - 9 to when we sell out – The Learning Garden's Seed to Sale program has our booth at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market, with Venice High School Students presenting freshly cut culinary herbs from the garden. Included in the month's offerings will be sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary and others as they come on line. Always a good deal and your money supports more learning for more students at the Garden.

17 November - 2:30 – 4:00 Seed Library Of Los Angeles
 monthly meeting – check out your winter veggies and check in seeds you might have saved from your summer crops and, as always, an educational and fun program to help you learn more seed saving and better gardening. More Info from the Seed Library.  This is the last official meeting this year - the Seed Library is 'dark' in December.

22 November - 11 to 2 - Thanksgiving.  The Learning Garden hosts the staff and clients of the Program for Torture Victims (LA) to our patio to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This holiday, imbued with gratitude and reflection of the blessings in our lives, resonates through the lives of everyone refusing to be confined by misfortune or circumstances of the past.  Join us for our early feast with enough time left to share in the celebration with your family and friends.  Our feast is all potluck, bring enough of your favorite dish for about 20 people.  We have a turkey and usually massive amounts of bread; we can use more of anything else!

Our last event of the year will be a Winter Solstice Ceremony on Friday, 21 December.  We have a fire pit and an 'ending of the year, welcoming of the new year' simple ceremony that doesn't involve getting dressed up, buying gifts or cooking complicated food:  You will find it heartwarming and a bit reflective.  Join us out of the hub bub of modern life.  


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Calendar? Why Yes, We Have One!

Quick!! Mark Your Calendar!
Pesto on 'the hoof'

(Don't forget our weekly potluck, Friday, 12:30 to whenever the food's gone.  Bring a dish and enjoy food and lively, smart, conversation every Friday.  Food choices from red meat to vegan... mostly toward vegan...)

22 September – 2 to 5 Pesto Day returns – our longest running annual event! Shine up them tastebuds for the delightful experience of sliding some of our homemade pesto over 'em! Show up for a meal of pesto with pasta, Italian sausage and bread,and if you want more pesto, purchase your own jar of pesto to take home! $10 at the gate - come early while the servers are at their happiest!

29 September 9 to 1 Westside Produce Exchange – what do you have extra from your garden? Contact the Westside Produce Exchange people (through Facebookor email the Garden), and set yourself up to bring down your excess and trade it for other folks' excess. An amazingly simple proposition that hasn't been utilized as much as it could be. We've seen some mighty fine produce exchanged.

30 September – 1 to 5 Modern Backyard Food Production, UCLA Extension's course on growing food here in Los Angeles starts off again for the coming 12 weeks or so. Students get their own little plot at The Learning Garden and, while growing veggies and fruits are a big part of the course, we also explore keeping chickens and bees as well as what to do with the food you've grown. Enroll viaUCLA Extension, but do so quickly, the class shows every indication of filling up!

06 October – 10 to noon Growing Food in Southern California with our own Gardenmaster, David King, always good information about what to do in the coming month – we'll be planting garlic and transplanting some of your favorite winter veggies! And, as always, your questions will be answered with knowledge and humor – guaranteed to be the most fun and informative two gardening hours you'll get in the whole month!

14 October – 9 to when we sell out – The Learning Garden's Seed to Sale program has our booth at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market, with Venice High School Students presenting freshly cut culinary herbs from the garden. Included in the month's offerings will be sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary and others as they come on line. Always a good deal and your money supports more learning for more students at the Garden.

18 October – 6 to 9 PM – Gardenmaster David King is on a panel at a screening of Jeffrey Smith's movie, Genetic Roulette. The discussion will center on the movie and considerations on Proposition 37. At the Santa Monica Library, seeCooppertunty for more information.
20 October – 2:30 – 4:00 Seed Library Of Los Angeles monthly meeting – check out your winter veggies and check in seeds you might have saved from your summer crops and, as always, an educational and fun program to help you learn more seed saving and better gardening.
25 October - 6:30 to 8:00 PM Seed Saving 101 - this is the basic seed saving course for anyone interested in saving seeds.  Seed Saving, in the face of our government's unwillingness to legislate any control over the big ag multi-national corporations, is the ONLY way we can act, as individuals to ensure a safe food supply because **all** food begins with seeds.  Class runs three nights and it is a series - details at the Seed Library of Los Angeles web page.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Almost September!

Getting everyone in the speed
weeding mood: coordinator, Annette Pasterak!
We just concluded our first every "Weed Dating!"  Thanks to Annette Pasternak and Ingrid Schneider for doing the work to pull this thing off!  It was our first ever Weed Dating and everyone felt it was very successful - some weeds got pulled, some new friends made and a lot of folks had a fun afternoon.   We have no new relationships to report yet, but you never know!  

August was a fun packed month for those of us with Learning Garden and September, usually one of our more action packed months is just a few days away.  

This is the first blog post of the new web page - now all the posts that used to just hang out on The Learning Garden Almost Daily blog now will be updated on The Learning Garden's home page (  The posts will continue to go up here and are automatically forwarded to the Garden's page, so you have your choice.  

So our September lineup is, as follows: 

01 September, 10 - Noon, What To Do And When To Do It, with Gardenmaster David King.  $20 at the gate and one of the best bargains around!  We'll be working on getting the fall garden planted and productive for you -always fun and informative.  No need to RSVP, just arrive! (Please note, the time is 10 to noonnot nine to noon - we changed the time but it has just come to our attention that some of our materials still had  the 9 AM start time still... Sorry for any confusion.) While the topic always fluctuates depending on questions and we seize on any 'learning  moments' as they arrive, part of this month's discussion, we will collect seeds from a squash and a tomato and prepare them to be saved, we will plant broccoli and seeds of other winter plants, talk compost and fertilizer and other exciting gardenery things!

08 September 9 to 2, Pepperdine 'Step Forward Day' Pepperdine students come out to help put the garden into shape for the coming school year - come on out and enjoy the energy!  We'll be helping get the high school beds set up for this term and we'll be working in our compost area to put that in a whole new order.

09 September 9 to 2 - Mar Vista Farmers' Market, The Learning Garden's Seed To Sale Program with Venice High School Students learning all aspects of the getting fresh food to the table, from planting and growing to packaging and marketing.  Come by our booth at the farmers' market and see the fresh food for sale!

11 September to 13 September The National Heirloom Festival - 2nd year at Santa Rosa!  We'll need replacement gardenmasters that week because our own is going!  If you can, join him at the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) table.*

15 September, 2:30 to 4:00 PM the monthly meeting of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) meets on The Learning Gardne's patio.  Check out your fall seeds; broccoli, cabbage, fava beans, peas, radishes, carrots, beets  and more!

22 September, 1 to 4 PM our 8th Annual Pesto Day returns!  Shine up them tastebuds and come on out and chow down with us!  We make the 'besto pesto!' For a mere ten bucks we  will serve you pasta with pesto, Italian salad, Italian sausage, Italian lemonade (or ice tea, depending on what the Lemon Gods decide) and desert along with our unrivaled pesto demonstration on our patio.   

29 September 2 to 5 - Weedy Sunday in the Garden - helping the Traditional Chinese Medicine Herb Garden beautify and shine - and saving seeds of these often rare plants (certainly most of them are pretty rare in the US!).

30 September, 1 to 5 - first class meeting of UCLA Extension's"Modern Backyard Food Production" taught by Gardenmaster David King - enroll via UCLA Extension's webste.

05 October, 10 to Noon - and it's time for What To Do And When To Do It again!  

And don't forget: 12:30 to about 1:30 Every Friday in the Garden we have our weekly potluck - a wide variety of good food and eclectic conversation - everybody with a good attitude is welcome!

Looking ahead, don't forget to plan on our Thanksgiving Celebration at 11:00 AM on Thanksgiving Day.  We invite the staff and clients of the Program for Torture Victims as our guests for the meal. We do this early in the day so we have the afternoon free for our family events.  This is one of the great traditions of The Learning Garden; please join us!  

*Sign up to be a Gardenmaster! We need folks to commit to being present and responsible for the Garden on these following days:

Wednesday (12th)
Thursday (13th)
Friday (14th)
10:00 to 12:30

12:30 to 3:00

3:00 to 5:00

The hours are suggested – if you can do more, that's OK – there might be someone who wants to do less. The earlier Friday shifts are always desirable because the potluck happens at 12:30 on Friday and there are always people around. The compensation is negligible, but the rewards are enormous!

Drop by our new and improved web site where you'll find updated information and links, blog posts on events at The Learning Garden as well as gardening information and musings of Learning Garden staff and volunteers.

Follow us on Facebook.

But most of all:  show up at the Learning Garden and join our community!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Next Growing Food Class Is August 4th!

Growing Food in Southern California 
 David King

1st Saturday of Every Month, 10AM - 12PM
The Learning Garden at Venice High
Venice Blvd & Walgrove Ave, Venice, CA 90291

Grow Food classes are hands-on mini-workshop where you experience first-hand what the plants and soil are doing, and what you can do to maximize their production in the coming month.  

Emphasis on sustainable, organic practices, including: water conservation, beneficial pest management, soil maintenance, seed saving, and more.

Sample curriculum from July, 2012:
Ollas, courtesy of El Traspatio.

It is most important to have water at the roots of plants – spraying water into the air to fall on the soil, is not very efficient. A lot of that water can be blown away from your plants (on to the neighbors!) and a lot evaporates off into the air. It is not very efficient at all. But there are other ways to to water that are better. All these other ways involve putting the water close to the root zone. The two ways to do this include some of the newest technology and some of the oldest technology. 
The newest technology is drip irrigation; the oldest is called an 'olla' – pronounces OYE-ya.
 Variations of ollas are found in several different ancient cultures and there is a move to put them back into gardens today.

Individual classes are $20, or buy a package of 6 for $100 and save $20.
Classes are held at The Learning Garden, a busting, year-round educational center located on the campus of historic Venice High School, less than 2 miles from the beach. 

David King, Gardenmaster at The Learning Garden, has been growing food and teaching others how to do so in the Southern California climate for more than 20 years. He is a vocal advocate for food sustainable, organic practices in food production

The Learning Garden at Venice High School
Venice Blvd & Walgrove Ave, Venice, CA 90291
(310) - 722 - 3656

Friday, July 27, 2012

Become A Gardenmaster

Here's your chance to try your hand at being a Gardenmaster at The Learning Garden!   Starting August 9, through August 13, our usual Gardenmaster will be off to San Francisco attending the American Community Gardening Association annual convention and we'll need dedicated volunteers to handle the place while he is gone.  

You can be a Gardenmaster for as many hours as you like, but we usually break the day into several short shifts, in a pattern as follows:  

10 to noon
Noon to 2
2 to 5 (ok, that's not two hours)

10 to Noon
Noon to 2 (includes potluck!)
2 to 5 

10 to Noon
Noon to 2
2 to 5

10 to Noon
Noon to 2 
2 to 5

Please note we'll need to do this again in September 12, 13 and 14, so if you can't do it this time, you have another chance then.  

Let us know if you are willing to be a Gardenmaster for a while!


Saturday, March 24, 2012


Offered by The Learning Garden under the auspices of the University of California Extension:

Four classes to really give you the dirt on gardening! Expand your skill level and appreciate the world of plants so much better; introducing a new series of more advanced gardening classes!

The four session class will cover the following topics:

May 20 – Crop rotation; perennial food plants; companion planting How do plants interact with one another? What should follow what? How do I care for my fruit trees? I want to grow asparagus and artichokes, but I am a little intimidated; what do I need to know?

May 27 - Seed saving/vegetable breeding Why should I be concerned about saving seeds? Is it hard to save seeds? How can I tell if it's good seed? Isn't breeding vegetables best left to the professionals?

June 3 – Propagation and grafting and budding What is grafting and why is it important? Can I really have two apples on the same tree? Is grafting 'natural' and not some biotech kind of weirdness? When can I do it?

June 10 – Vermiculture/Composting What if I don't have room for a compost pile, I just have plants in containers on my balcony? Isn't compost a lot of work? How can I really compost in a small garden?

Each class is a stand alone unit so participants may attend all four for a discounted price, or take any combination of the classes – they are designed to be modular units of instruction. These are practical classes with hands on participation in each class. Taught by Gardenmaster David King and Master Gardener Emi Carvel, these classes will hone your gardening skills to new level.

Classes are $20 each; the series of four is discounted to $75. We may have some scholarships available depending on enrollment. A minimum $20 deposit is required to hold your space. You are encouraged to dress for our often cooler days here in The Learning Garden. We will make hot tea and/or coffee on cooler days; bring your own cup as we try to edge closer to zero waste. 


Contact David for other options.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Learning Garden Is Closed...

...not forever, but this Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24. The Unified School District has an opportunity to earn some money with a commercial being filmed in the Garden, so we will be closed and there will be no potluck this Friday  

Hopefully, all will be returned to 'Normal' by next Wednesday and we will resume our normal, peaceful gardening routine.


Monday, March 19, 2012

The Learning Garden DVD

In 2005, David Crow, one of the Garden's co-founders, got a grant to do a video about The Learning Garden, to show people who couldn't visit the Garden some of what made this one acre bit of land on the Venice High School campus such a delightful oasis and to inspire others to duplicate what had been done at Venice High.  

The film features interview with Julie Mann the other co-founder, Diane Pollock, the VHS horticulture instructor, Keiko Cronin and Robert Newman, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, David King, the gardenmaster and students from Venice High's garden classes.

We are grateful to Jessy Hoffman, DVD wizardess and friend for her work in translating this important film to a format we can upload and finally stream on the web.  

Hope you enjoy it!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Garden Master & Author David King At Santa Monica College on March 27.

CONTACT:   Bruce Smith                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                        Public Information Officer                       DATE: March 12, 2012
                        (310) 434-4209                                


         Santa Monica College is pleased to present a free lecture, “Seeds: Local and Global,” by garden master and author David King on Tuesday, March 27 in Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165 on the main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd.
         King is the founder of the Seed Library of Los Angeles and garden master of The Learning Garden at Venice High School. An engaging and popular garden speaker, he is also a noted garden blogger and author of the forthcoming book, “Growing Food in Southern California: What to Do and When to Do It.”
         The Seed Library of Los Angeles was established to facilitate the growth of open-pollinated seeds among residents of the Los Angeles basin. The library is building a seed collection and repository, educating members about the practice of seed saving, and creating a local community of seed-saving gardeners
         King’s talk is sponsored by the SMC Global Citizenship Council, SMC Center for Environmental Studies and SMC Club Grow.
         For information, please call 310-434-3911.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We Have Been Occupied!

Thanks to the Occupy Venice folks for 'occupying' the Garden! It's true, find the things you can do in your life to make your life look more like what you want it to look like! Do that and you'll be closer to 'happy' than you will buying a whole bunch of crap! Happiness is more about what you do with your life than what you own in your life!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pre-historic Drip Available In Los Angeles!

The Learning Garden is teaming up with El Traspatio,  a manufacturer in Mexico, to offer ollas for sale in Los Angeles!

Large on the left, small in the center and medium on the right.

Ollas were used in several cultures in prehistoric times and make tremendous sense in Southern California.  

Ollas are better water delivery systems than drip irrigation in many ways.  Most folks who have used drip find out that critters find a way to damage the plastic, getting drinks on the house, and the plastic drip parts have a magnetic attraction to sharp hoes and shovels.  In fact, drip systems have to be constantly checked to ensure they are functioning within acceptable parameters and not wasting precious water.  

Ollas dispense water under the soil, in the root zone.  Water is cohesive.  It sticks together.  Plants absorb water one molecule at a time.  When the molecule of water is absorbed by the root, the next molecule behind the first molecule is pulled into place to be taken up by the plant.  As long as the soil is moist, water will be drawn towards to the plant roots by this cohesion.  Ollas waste less water than drip systems because the water is dispensed under the soil where the sun is unable to cause water loss by evaporation.  There is no plastic to be chewed up and no moving parts.  

You cannot use ollas with plants that have woody roots.  Woody roots will seek out the olla and break it by growing toward the water.  Woody roots are found on larger shrubs and trees which makes them less desirable candidates for olla watering, but annuals and tender perennials are well served by ollas.  

The Learning Garden will offer three sizes:  Small which holds approximately one quart, Medium, about 1/2 gallon and Large, holding about a full gallon.  The small size is really useful in containers - giving your plants even, consistent watering over a long period of time (keep an eye on them until you have an idea how frequently you need to refill the olla to keep the container sufficiently hydrated) while the two larger ones are more useful in really large containers or in the soil.

Prices for ollas are  $15.00 for the small, $20.00 for the mediums and $25.00 for the large. We are accepting pre-orders now via PayPal.  

Size of Olla

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do Gooder Gossip! New Podcast about Small Fantastic Non-Profits in the LA Area...

Hike on over to Do Gooder Gossip and listen in on the interview Lauren Lovett did with Gardenmaster David King this week.  She is a magical interviewer and its a delightful little ten minutes of the Learning Garden ideas.  A well-done piece of love!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Remember: Poetry Reading in The Garden on February 12th!

A Second Sunday Showcase Event!

Our Three Poets, Jill Lurie, Orchid Black and Tatiana Sulovska, will be reading poetry in the garden, 2:00 to 3:30 PM.  Excellent poets in their own right, having the three of them on one stage is a delight not to be missed.

There is a $15 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away.  Come on out, hear the poetry, delight in the garden and be a part of the community of The Learning Garden.  It will be a gorgeous Southern California afternoon and you'll be so glad you made it out for this event!

Enter off Walgrove, we are the first gate south of Venice Blvd on Walgrove.  

Hope to see you there!


Monday, February 6, 2012

February's Garden Events!

It has been unseasonably warm these last few days, but we are sure that will change.  I know for events and classes we all want to have these nice warm days, but the plants in the Garden are NOT happy.  Even though we want the warm sunny days for us (this last weekend was about as close to perfection for events and gardening that anyone could possibly desire!), the plants need cloudy, cool and, above all WET weather.  Here's what we have planned for February - let's hope it's in accord with Mother Nature!

Jill Lurie, Orchid Black, Tatiana Sulovska, clockwise from Left
February 11th - The Garden will be closed in the afternoon unless we have some volunteers maintain the hours.

February 12th - Garden hours subject to volunteer availability until about noon

February 12th - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM - Three local poets – Jill Lurie, Orchid Black and Tatiana Sulovska – are coming together to read their own words of 
love and nature-inspired verses for this Valentine’s Day-themed event. For a $15 suggested donation, guests will enjoy the beautiful garden setting, delicious treats and refreshments and a signed copy of Jill Lurie’s book of poems entitled “Ginger Roots: Plantings of a Future Dreamer.”

February 16th - noon to 5:00 PM - Garden will be closed.

February 18th - 9:00 to 1:00 PM Westside Produce Exchange - see their Facebook page to join up with these wonderful community builders! February 18th - 2:30 PM  Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA), their February meeting - Albert Chang will report on what he learned at the Organic Seed Alliance on his ice-covered journey to the Organic Seed Growers Conference.

And don't forget, every Friday that the weather doesn't rain or blow the house down, we have a potluck on the picnic tables in the Garden, 12:30 to 2:30.  Bring a dish for about 12, and your own plate and service ware - while we have a few vegetarians, we also have meat eaters and omnivores a plenty!  Usually good conversation and eclectic people!  

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