East Sac Edible


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Liriope

During the Edible Garden Tour, one question that I got a lot was what is this plant?DSC_2882

Well I knew it started with an L-sound and it had something like a “rope” in the name but I couldn’t quite remember. By the end of the day we had about 8 different pronunciations. I had to look back in my garden notes to find the correct spelling and pronunciation. This plant is Liriope. I have the variegated clumping type along the walkways of my garden.DSC_2883

One reason why I didn’t know the name was because my landscaper put it in and I don’t pay much attention to plants that don’t give me food. I do know that it is extremely drought tolerant and does well in the shade of my house as well as in the full hot Sacramento sun. Since we landscaped, I have barely paid attention to them and they don’t seem to be bothered by my neglect. They even decided to bloom bright violet flowers for the Edible Garden tour for all the people to ooh and ahh over.  So if you want a nice plant that you don’t have to worry about I suggest “Le-rope” (my suggested pronunciation… which was probably THE WORST out of all the suggestions of the day)… or “Liriope.”

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Day After the Tour Harvest

This morning I went into the garden to do some major harvesting. The week before the East Sac Edible Gardens Tour I slowed my harvesting so that visitors to my house would see what some of the vegetables looked like. This meant that I had an abundance of peppers, basil and squashes that were ready to be harvested this morning. Take a look at today’s haul! DSC_2878 DSC_2879 DSC_2880You are looking at about a pound of tomatoes, 2 pounds of basil, 8 pounds of peppers, and 3 and 1/2 pounds of Trombetta squash. Guess I will be busy today making pesto and pickled Jalapeños!

 


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A Great Day for Gardens and Charity: Edible Garden Tour

DSC_2835Despite the extremely hot weather yesterday, we had a great time hosting our garden as part of the Edible Garden Tour. Our garden was open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and we were the 5th house out of 6 on the tour. The day before there was a flurry of activity at my house to prepare. Each house on the tour was paired with a local business to embellish the gardens such as a florist, or garden shops. Our sponsored business is a store called Haus which is a home decor and gift shop. On Friday, their team brought over pumpkins and lanterns for an autumnal theme on the front porch. They also staged my back patio table with table settings and hung garden themed art along my side walkway. My most favorite addition was the Welcome to East Sacramento sign that they hung on my back fence.DSC_2839 DSC_2840DSC_2828 DSC_2830 DSC_2831 DSC_2832 DSC_2836 DSC_2838

The day before the tour I worked on some labels for my plants. I thought about how I wanted to label my plants for a long time and finally came up with a solution. Plant stake labels requires the viewer to crouch down low to read the label and I wanted labels to be closer to eye level if they could. I found these plain wooden tags at a craft store. Because I was unsure how the pen would hold up on the wood, I also got smaller tags on which to write the varieties of plants and then taped them together. These labels I hung from the plants. If plants were closer to ground level, I had a huge pack of leftover drip line stakes that I used to clothes pin my labels.

I tried to write the different varieties of plants on my labels because gardeners should know what varieties do well in the East Sac area. If they are looking at my squash and think it is doing great in our climate then they should also know the variety. Also I tried to give some information on the labels to inform my guests as to why I might be keeping a dying looking plant up in my landscape. For drying beans, I explained that I was saving seeds. I think the labels really added to the experience of the guests and brought their attention to plants that may be providing me food but currently had no evidence of food such as my Apple trees, blueberry bushes or pineapple guavas.
DSC_2827DSC_2842DSC_2874DSC_2870DSC_2871DSC_2873Also on Friday I set up a harvest table, displaying some of my harvest. I included some of the squashes that I have picked, onions, garlic, peppers dried from last year, seeds and some of my canned and pickled goods. The Monster Squash made an appearance on the table and was a hit with the guests!

DSC_2846We were up bright and early on Saturday morning (4:30 am!) to put the last finishing touches in the garden and sweep the pathways. The Soroptimist ladies arrived to set up their table, the Master Gardener came early to tour the garden so they would be able to answer guests’ questions and Bill, the trumpet player from Sacramento Symphonic Winds set up his area. DSC_2844 DSC_2875DSC_2845 DSC_2848

Hundreds of people walked through my garden yesterday and I had a great time talking to everyone. I met some neighbors who are also growing their own food and it is inspiring to hear what everyone else was trying in the neighborhood (one man I talked to said he was trying to grow saffron in East Sac!). I think I may have met some new best friends yesterday (ok ok… gardening best friends!).

Here were some common questions about my garden with links to posts:

If I talked to you during the tour and you are local, feel free to contact me for seed swaps, plants, cuttings, or harvest trades! I really enjoyed talking to everyone! Thanks for coming out and bearing the heat! It was a great day for gardeners and for charity too!

Also I got to sneak away for a little bit during the middle of the tour to check out two of the houses near me. I visited houses #4 and #6 on the tour and snapped a few pictures. Here are a few from Garden #4: Grandma’s Secret Cottage Garden.DSC_2854 DSC_2855 DSC_2856 DSC_2857 DSC_2858 DSC_2861 DSC_2862

And here are a few photos from Garden #6: The Whimsical Garden. This garden had a complete food forest growing in the front yard but I failed to take a picture.DSC_2852 DSC_2853Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

 


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My Garden Live: Good Day Sacramento

This morning my garden went live with Courtney Dempsey on Channel 31 to promote the Edible Garden Tour and water wise gardening. Good Day Sacramento is a live local morning program. The crew showed up around 8:45 am and left around 10:00 am all for 5 minutes of television! Susann of the Soroptimist International of Sacramento, which is putting on the Edible Garden Tour for charity, spoke to Courtney about some of my water wise garden techniques. Also my monster Trombetta Squash stole the show if I may say so myself. The Good Day team was really fun to work with and Courtney was really enthusiastic! At the very bottom of this post there is a link to the segment if you want to see the video for yourself.

Does this mean my garden is famous even if it only got 5 minutes of fame?

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Here is a link to the video: Edible Gardens « Good Day Sacramento.


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Garden Chores

DSC_2746I’ve been busing trying to prepare the garden for the East Sac Edible Garden Tour while keeping an eye on my little one in the garden. I would say that I am a pretty messy gardener. My garden is a working garden, meaning that when you walk through it you see all stages of the gardening process and it isn’t all lovely flowers and pristine plants. A lot of gardening is about death, and decay as well. My garden works for me to feed my family and if you are going to have a sustainable garden it sometimes means that there are also signs of death in my garden. My beans have been dying back and the pods are drying on the plants. In this death, there is rebirth with the gift of seeds for next season. Spent tomato, squash, and corn plants make a nice messy pile in the corner of the garden to be cut into smaller pieces and composted. In this decay, new rich soil will be made for next spring’s garden. Now a working garden isn’t always perfectly manicured and picture perfect. It should be messy. And if it doesn’t show plants in all of their glory (even their dying glory) then it isn’t a garden from which I can learn or which sustains me from year to year.

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However, this weekend I will have lots (hopefully hundreds of people) walking through my garden. So this adds a layer of complexity to my decisions in the garden. Normally I would leave plants in the ground to die back in their own sweet time but it doesn’t look particularly nice. Normally I would have my garden beds overflowing onto the walk ways in which passing becomes a feat in acrobatics. Normally, I have tools, bamboo poles, and trellises laying about. But none of this makes for a pleasant visit to my garden.

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So the this week will be a fury of garden chores so that people can pass through my garden and not get injured.

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I hope people can appreciate a working garden. Any time I go on garden tours, I first try to find the compost piles. Partly because I am really strange and partly because the compost pile (or lack thereof) tells me a lot about the type of garden this is. I want to see dynamic gardens because those are the ones full of life. A compost pile tells me that this garden is about a complete process and not just about plants that look great. Even when I went to Butchard Gardens on Vancouver Island, I was peering over the fences to see if I could find huge compost piles (I didn’t see any by the way). If you ever see me on a garden tour, I am probably in the back corners of the garden in search of a compost pile while everyone else is smelling the roses. Honestly, I’d rather be smelling compost.

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Big News: East Sac Edible Gardens Tour!

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Every year the Soroptimist International of Sacramento puts on a fundraising event called the East Sacramento Edible Gardens Tour where 6 gardens are featured.

And guess who’s house will be on the 2014 tour? MINE!!!

Since I moved to Sacramento I have gone on the last two tours. It is one of my favorite East Sac events because it has to do with edible gardens. There are plenty of other house tours in Sacramento but this one is dedicated to people growing food. They have a master gardener stationed at each house and musicians from Sacramento Symphonic Winds to provide lovely music as you stroll through the gardens.

Soroptimist International of Sacramento puts on this event as their fundraiser and proceeds go to support women and children in the Sacramento community. This year’s tour proceeds will go to the St. John’s Shelter Program for Real Change which helps mothers in crisis to improve their quality of life and enrich the lives of their families. The garden tour funds will directly support their Employment Readiness Program to help mothers gain and maintain employment. The second charity is Sierra Forever Families which works helps foster children connect with nurturing permanent families. The garden tour funds will directly support Camp Wonder where foster youth connect with adult mentors. So if you go on the tour you can feel good that your dollars are going to help our community.

Did I mention that MY HOUSE is going to be on the tour??

I told my husband that this is the best thing to happen to me all year! I am really very excited about it.

Hope you can make it! Here are the tour details or you can click here:

Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 10AM-4PM.

Here are some pictures I took of the tour last year:

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