October is the time to plant for your winter garden, to prepare the soil for spring planting, and to build rainwater collection systems. We can help you go green for your family and the planet. Give us call and place your orders now. We'll get you in the cue for organic supplements and hands on implementation! Harvard University switched over, so the science is tested and true, organics rule!
Call us today for a quote.
Sunday, September 21, people of all ages will march in solidarity with the March in NYC calling on world leaders to take action against global warming.
Schedule (Subject to Change) 8:00 AM Breakfast at Ventura City Corps 8:30 AM Live Telecast of NYC People's Climate March 10:00 AM Rally at Ventura City Hall 11:00 AM March to ventura pier 1:00 PM March Back to Ventura City Corps for lunch 2:00 PM Free Film Screening: "Disruption" 3:00 Climate Workshop 5:00 Open Mic 6:00 Dinner 7:00 March to 101 overpass for Overpass Light Brigade
Recently our friend Kate needed some worms for a worm farm she helped start with Todd at the Binkley Healing Center. She messaged Ventura Cooperative on facebook, we connected, and we set up a time for her to come pick up a box of red wrigglers. While she was with us, she talked about her project with Todd growing food on the balcony. Sweet news! More folks growing their own! Even better....is the news about how they're doing it. They built and planted three wicking beds.
Wicking beds are a great way to save water and grow your own food! Check out the video above from activists feeding their community with food and knowledge.
Kate then invited us to a presentation Todd was doing the next day for his custom designed, handmade, water saving new raised beds. Of course I went and was pleasantly surprised to see how intensely involved Kate and Todd are with growing their own food-- with sustainable and organic means. They did a great job documenting the process. The presentation was informative and inspiring. Plus I like the color purple! (they painted the beds purple ;-)
Our friend Jim Mangis came to the meet-up as well. Come to find out, he helped Kate and Todd get started with plants and soil from his local business Good Tilth Organic Nursery. Jim makes his own excellent compost mix. He spoke about soil, I got the chance to practice a 30sec pitch for our Actively Aerated Compost Tea, and Todd talked about wicking beds. Win-win-win!
So thanks to Kate and Todd for stepping up and implementing a program to grow their own food in a way that fits their needs and lifestyle. Anybody can do it, and at Ventura Cooperative, we're here to help you out!
One of the best gifts of gardening is discovering that a plant you once thought was a weed, is really a integral part of your edible landscape. Purslane is at the top of this list when it come to garden uses, nutritional value and culinary versatility.
Purslane's growing habit makes it a good alternative to lawns or other ground covers. A study conducted by the University of Connecticut concluded that the plant is effective at organically controlling weeds. Purslane acts as a "living mulch." In the category of nutrition, the University of Texas at San Antonio finds Purslane contains 10 to 20 times more melatonin, an antioxidant, than any other fruit or vegetable they tested. more omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant source in the solar system, and an extraordinary amount for a plant, some 8.5 mg for every gram of weight. Purslane also contians:
vitamin A, B, C
six times more E than spinach
beta carotene, seven times more of that than carrots
magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, lithium, and iron
and has 2.5% protein per serving.
What about flavor? Purslanes's taste has a subtle green flair of vitality, so it’s a great addition to many recipes. We've been eating it raw with Green Zebra tomatoes, goat cheese in pita bread! Tossed in salads with a cucumber yogurt dressing, it's a crowd pleaser. Really, it's difficult to understate Purslane's attributes.
This fantastic “weed” is virtually underfoot everywhere, from Ventura to NYC, but most US residents don't know it's there. So keep an eye out for it. We're cultivating in our gardens from volunteers we found, and from a few cuttings Ron at Rincon Vitova gave us. By this time next year, we'll have a living mulch cover crop that sustains many levels of the Soil Food Web, humans included!
There is a buzz brewing around compost tea in Ventura these days, mainly due to the efforts permaculture advocates David White of the Ojai Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Ron Whitehurst of Rincon Vitova. Because of these two soil revolutionaries, we've been able to build a momentum that brought 30+ folks together at Green Thumb Nursery for a hands on compost tea workshop.
We set up two microscopes, brought soil building and permaculture books and manuals, handouts, and a few attendees went home with a gallon of tea teeming with microbial life. Samples of local soil allowed people to see and smell the difference between the tired soil of industrial farms and the super soil of living compost.
We were excited! Most everyone attending had active compost piles in their backyards, but few had attempted making actively aerated compost tea. This is why these workshops are so important. The connections we make create a network of shared knowledge and experience.
Just like the connections in the life of the soil food web, we're better when we're feeding each other. So come out and grow with us. Actively Aerated Compost Tea is brewing with potential. Over the next few months we'll be building measuring and adapting our knowledge of the science and the art of AACT.
Ventura Coop can deliver AACT to you directly, or help you establish your own brewing system. Contact us at 805.765.1892 for more information.
After attending the Center For Regenerative Agriculture's workshop on compost tea with Elaine Ingham as the featured speaker, we're totally geeking out on the science behind compost tea.
It is amazing to see life under the microscope. Microbes swimming, spinning and squirming around pieces of fungal strands and small pieces of debris. It's a moving universe of activity.
Soon we'll be posting pictures of what we find down there. Though we're being scientific about our approach to brewing tea, we're still trusting our sense of smell and touch. Organic gardening is a perfect blend of head, heart, and nose.
Come see us at the 4th of July street fair, or at the Ventura County Fair. Or call us at 805.765.1892. We've got some in the brewer for you!