Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Many Benefits of Chayote

From root to fruit to shoot, Chayote is an edible that adds versatility to permaculture landscapes.  A native from mexico, and a member of the gourd family, Chayote is known by many names as it has migrated across the globe and into many diverse culinary dishes.  Some call it Cho-Cho, some Sayote, and some know it by the name Merleton just to name a few.  There are as many ways to cook it as there are names.

For a great selection of recipes, check out Chayote recipes at Pinterest.  Just recently we harvested some shoots from the Art City garden and used them freshly chopped in a green salad with purslane, mustard greens, arugula, and young endive leaves.  These greens were tossed in a yogurt garlic onion dressing with fresh cracked pepper and lemon juice.  Excellent and healthy!

Chayote is easy to grow in our local climate.  Perfect for trellising over border fences, the pear shaped fruit hangs from heart shaped leaves and curling shoots.  Grow Chayote!  It adds a tasty vertical element to your garden.

photo by: Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên cc-by-sa

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Be Prepared for El Nino and the California Drought

Weather forecasters, NASA scientists, and the old time farmer's almanac are all saying the same thing--California should get more than average rainfall this winter.  Are you prepared?

Now is the time to install rainwater barrels, mulch existing garden beds, build compost piles, and plant your winter veggies.  All of these action steps help conserve water.  Simple and effective ways to help yourself and the environment.

You're not alone--We can help!  Ventura Cooperative is offering an "El Nino Winter Garden Package" which includes FREE Rainbarrel Installations with the purchase of:

  • 1 yard organic mulch
  • 5 cu. ft. VCoop's living soil amendments
  • 6 Six-packs seasonal veggie starts
  • 3 gallons VCoop's Actively Aerated Compost Tea
This $299.00 service is a great way to prepare for winter rains, grow your own food, and transition to organic and sustainable yard maintenance.

Call us now to schedule your "El Nino Winter Garden Package" before the next rain!

(805) 765-1892
or e-mail us at

Visit the Climate Prediction Center for more El Nino details.