Today was the last day of the Spring session of Vegetables and Herbs at City College. We were able to go into the garden and plant out some hail damaged lettuce seedlings. They had been in the lath house, where I thought the strips of wooden lath would protect them from the hail, but they still had about half of their leaves broken or torn. We removed the leaves with the worst damage, and hope for the best (and for no more hail).
We celebrate the end of each of the vegetable classes with a potluck, and this one was one of the best. Students brought some mighty fine dishes that use some of the crops we studied, from baked pasta dishes, to salads, fritattas, and appetizers.
The next vegetable and herbs class (111G) starts on Saturday, April 8th, and meets 6 times, through May 20th. You can learn more about it and register on http://www.ccsf.edu. The site may say there is a prerequisite class, but there isn't a formal requirement, though some experience with plants and gardens is a help. (The most basic gardening class I teach is 101, which will be offered again in fall or spring of the next school year.)
My next public lecture will be on Saturday, March 25th, at Common Ground store in Palo Alto. It is at 10:30 A.M. and will be on the subject of Mediterranean Climate Food Gardening. You can find out more about it on the website http://www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
I will be talking on the same subject, though a somewhat shorter lecture, at Sloat Garden Centers in April. I will be at the San Francisco Sloat (the one across from the Zoo) on April 12th, at 6:30 P.M., and at the 401 Miller Avenue store in Mill Valley, at 10 A.M. on April 23rd. You can learn more about those talks at their website, at http://www.sloatgardens.com
I'm having fun with this lecture subject, which encompasses geography, climate, the history of foods and agriculture, and delicious recipes, and gives us a fresh perspective on how to think of our gardening year here in our California mediterranean paradise. (Well, paradise except when it hails on our gardens.)
(When I get too upset about what the weather is doing to my garden, I remember the words of one of my favorite garden writers, Henry Mitchell, who wrote:
"It is not nice to garden anywhere. Everywhere there are violent winds, startling once-per-five centuries floods, unprecedented droughts, record-setting freezes, abusive and blasting heats never known before. There is no place, no garden, where these terrible things do not drive gardeners mad."
Then he said:
"Now the gardener is one who has seen everything ruined so many times that (even as his pain increases with each loss) he comprehends--truly knows--that where there was a garden once, it can be again, or where there never was, there can yet be a garden so that all who see it say, 'Well, you have favorable conditions here. Everything grows for you.' Everything grows for everybody. Everything dies for everybody too."
The above quotes are from The Essential Earthman, Henry Mitchell, Indiana University Press, 1981.
I have been seeing only snippets of the Garden Show for the past few days, but finally, tomorrow, I will be able to spend a whole day there and see what is new.