Friday, February 12, 2010

Gardening Classes for this Spring!



Johnnye Merle’s is excited to be offering very cool gardening classes for the burgeoning gardener, homesteader and composter in us all! Classes are typically 1 - 2 hours and on Saturday’s in our garden. We ask for pre-registration by calling or emailing us, so we can make sure we have enough seating and materials for all attendees, and so that we can let you know of any changes.

Or call: 562.296.5700 (please leave a message if you get our voicemail!)

1pm - 2pm
Saturday March 6th

Learn about composting: what to compost, what not to compost, how to build a fashionably cool compost out of stuff lying around your home or other salvage items, how to use composted materials in your garden, and compost resources! All of our classes also include lots of hand out resources as well as a 10% discount coupon to Johnnye Merle’s!

Building a Terrarium
1pm - 3pm
Saturday March 13th
(includes materials for building a terrarium)

Terrariums did not die with the 1970’s - they are back and cooler than ever!!! This hands on class will have you building your own cool terrarium with either moss or succulents while learning about what terrariums need to thrive, cool ideas for materials and more. All of our classes also include lots of hand out resources as well as a 10% discount coupon to Johnnye Merle’s!

Growing Your Own Food
1pm - 2:30pm
Saturday March 27th

Learn about how to grow your own fruits and vegetables in smart ways that make use of your space, and look good! We’ll be talking about what veggies, herbs and fruit trees need to grow, timing your plantings, harvesting, growing organically, finding unique heirloom varieties of veggies and also providing one on one consulting and advice for your gardening questions. All of our classes also include lots of hand out resources as well as a 10% discount coupon to Johnnye Merle’s!

Email us to get more info and sign up!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Winter Garden shots

A few recent photos from our gardens after the recent rains.

New plants coming in this week, some very cool seeds coming in later this month, and we are starting our veggies soon, they'll be ready for sale in a few weeks. Spring is around the corner, we can feel it!

Winter garden

Pieris Japonica, 'Flaming Silver'

Driftwood in our winter garden

Some driftwood I collected after our recent rains - makes great display/accent pieces!

Winter veggies

Some of our winter veggies, looking awesome!

Winter gardens

Small Pinus variety.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Home Economics Fridays

I harvested some of my broccoli and spinach from my garden yesterday, quite lovely specimens:

Winter veggies

The thrill of growing things that you can then eat never goes away. Well, it probably would if you have been a farmer your whole life, I suppose, so I guess there is a sort of privilege in having the luxury of growing some of your own food for your own interest and reasons and not necessity. But I think it’s a healthy trend, the way more and more people are learning crafts of the past, how to do things like grow fruits and vegetables and what not. It generates an overall healthier lifestyle; I’m working on a partnership for the small non-profit I lead, Living Histories, that would have us creating a community garden for a housing project in North Long Beach, the idea being that the youth of the community would learn about gardening and ecology and all the writing and art projects we’d conduct connected to the garden, and in turn, it would help promote healthier eating habits for them and their families. It’s a subtle thing, but it works; I eat pretty well overall, and in the past year have really gotten into cooking, but my dinner of broccoli and spinach (and an excellent baked portabella mushroom from a recipe my friend Sumner gave me. Again, my point in action: Sumner is a few years younger than me, a good friend I first met while working on the Warped Tour. And we share recipes. Home economics is hot across the board...) was a decision definitely made in reaction to my excitement over my harvest.

Winter veggies

The rains of the last few weeks really made my gardens pop, makes me wonder how bad the water we use day in and out really is. It’s always crazy how much better the plants look after a good rain; I know part of the issue is the good saturation that happens, but there is also a leeching that occurs, impurities run away. I’ve created rain barrels this year, to try to use less water overall and capture and reuse more of the good water coming from the sky. Anyhow, yesterday morning, after reading about my friends on the east coast digging out of snow banks the height of a toddler, I was out clipping away in my garden ahead of the rains that have since come in, bringing in my first harvest of this year, which I proudly showed everyone as though it was new jewelry. I’ve always loved that Emma Goldman line; “I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

For the record, I have some lovely fresh roses on my desk as I write this as well.

I also made what I am calling my ‘Holy Hell’ apple cinnamon muffins, because they are so good that one reacts with a ‘holy hell!’. I had apples going bad, not so bad that they couldn’t be used, but not really the type of apple you’d want to eat as it was. I’m a big fan of taking mushy fruit that isn’t quite at its prime anymore and making muffins and bread out of it. I got the recipe and inspiration from Smitten Kitchen a great website, check it out!