Denise Shiozawa published The American Gardener: All the Colors of a Green Space in In the Media 2023-09-21 16:01:22 -0700
LA Green Grounds' co-founder Florence Nishida article was published in the September/October 2023 issue of The American Gardener.
In the article, Florence shares who LA Green Grounds' Teaching Garden brings the world together in south Los Angeles and educates through example.
Grow Your Own Food
You may apply to be a LAGG Dig-In garden recipient below if your intended edible garden location is in SOUTH LOS ANGELES and will be visible to the general public.
To date, LAGG has installed over 40 edible gardens.
Please fill out the survey below. A Dig-in coordinator will contact you to discuss your property and application. A site visit will be scheduled for qualifying applicants. We then select from applicants based on need, suitability, likelihood of success, and scheduling availability. You must have a suitable location and commit your time and resources to maintaining the garden. You must also volunteer at the LAGG Teaching Garden and/or another Dig-In to contribute sweat equity and gain knowledge needed to maintain your own garden.
Once selected, an LAGG coordinator will guide you through every step of the planning process of what we call a "Dig-in", or in other words, a garden party. With you, we'll select a Dig-In date. We discuss how LAGG will help you grow vegetables, culinary herbs and native plants in your own front yard. You invite your family, friends and neighbors to help. We bring the tools and additional volunteers and spend approximately 5 hours on the scheduled Dig-In date (typically a Saturday morning), converting your front lawn into an edible garden.
Our program is a fine example of building intentional communities, reimaging neighborhoods and encourages sustainable living practices and so much more. Garden recipients participate in LAGG's harvest exchange, sustainable living workshops, and other gardening projects. And, as a recipient of our program, LAGG offers continuing gardening support and education to help you keep your garden thriving season after season.
Keeping it local, healthy and affordable.Take the survey
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Denise Shiozawa published Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop - Part 2 in Gardening Tips 2023-08-15 08:09:20 -0700
Denise Shiozawa published Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop - Part 1 in Gardening Tips 2023-08-15 08:08:25 -0700
LA Green Grounds would not exist without our many volunteers and donors! In fact, we are 100% volunteer-run. We send a SHOUT OUT in particular to the following amazing supporters!
Carmel Partners - generous financial support
Elon Schoenholz - filmed and edit the Dig-In in 4 Minutes video
Landlease - generous financial support
Whole Foods SOMA - generous financial support
Sam Bresenden - installation of drip irrigation system
Help LA Green Grounds Celebrate Mother Earth and Her Day - Saturday, April 22, 2023.
We'll be celebrating in the LA Green Grounds Teaching Garden, located in the Good Earth Community Garden near Carmona Ave. & Boden Street in Los Angeles 90016.
Let us know what would be the most interest to you and if you're up to help!
PLEASE INDICATE IF YOU BE INTERESTED EACH BELOW BY SELECTING "YES" OR "NO"Take the survey
Kevin picked and shared some of his fabulous mustard greens this week. I sautéed a bit of bacon and them added some of what I had on hand: mushrooms, squash, and garlic. I tossed in the greens. Yum! Super delicious. The greens were incredibly delicious.
- Florence Nishida, Master Gardener and LAGG Founder
With a little bit of leftover chicken, last night’s string beans, and the small kuri squash I’d been letting cure, I made a tasty fast dish flavored with miso and a dash of soy sauce.
~ FlorenceRead more
- First, I cut up the kuri and saved the seeds for planting next spring.
- Then I sautéed the kuri until lightly brown and removed from pan.
- In same pan, I sautéed the chicken that I had cut into bite-sized pieces.
- I then tossed the kuri back into the pan, added 1 T miso, small bits of small julienned ginger, leftover green beans (you can also use or chard or spinach), dash of soy sauce, add enoki (or any kind of) mushrooms.
- Heat and stir all.
- Serve with rice and a green vegetable.
Denise Shiozawa published Master Gardener Monthly Spotlights LAGG's Kevin Ridley in In the Media 2021-10-02 13:42:20 -0700
Hi all good gardeners, cooks, and enthusiastic eaters of fresh produce.
Here's a simple, tasty, EASY stir fry to make.
I had some pretty old (in fridge over a week) parts of a chicory plant and didn't want to waste it. And a bit of broccoli (not my favorite brassica). So starting with sliced or chopped onions, a minced garlic, and oil, I flavored the pan, and then threw in the greens and about 1/4 cup water to steam. The crowning touch is the mushroom - you can get those at most Asian markets. They're called "shimeji" or "beech" mushrooms. Put them in at the last 2 minutes, so they're nice and chewy. Flavor with oyster sauce, a bit of soy sauce, maybe ginger, and red pepper - mix into your stirred up greens.
ALL greens taste best when freshly harvested or purchased, but if they ended up at the back of your refrigerator, this is a good way to not waste.
- Florence Nishida, Master Gardener
Denise Shiozawa published LAGG is Sprouting More Than Just Plants! in Blog 2021-09-29 17:04:08 -0700
A new item has sprouted up at L.A. Green Grounds. It grows on the inside, needs no water, and with luck will never fail. It’s a library.
The library can be found in a wooden box painted yellow and blue, at the junction of Carmona and Boden avenues. Next time you are near the garden, take a look at what’s on the shelves and take a book that appeals to you. Or, if you have books you’ve read and want to pass on, please leave them in the little library for others.
LAGG has the library thanks to the efforts of Veronica, one of the garden volunteers. She contacted the Downtown L.A. Rotary Club; one of its members had built a library in her neighborhood. Ronnie of the Inglewood Rotary Club donated the free library to L.A. Green Grounds; the chapter built and installed it on Sept. 14.
Since then, many books for all ages have been donated and borrowed.
One of the goals of the service organization is to increase literacy, so the libraries fit right in.
Plants of the LA Green Grounds teaching garden located at Boden St & Carmona Ave, Los Angeles 90016
Inventory Date: 7/3/2021
Apple (“Fuji”, “Red delicious x Virginia Rails Janet) Malus pumila
Banana (“dwarf Cavendish”) Musa acuminata
Fig (green) Ficus carica
Guava (Mexican) Psidium guajava
Guava (red Indian) Psidium guajava
Guava (pineapple) Feijoa sellowiana
Ice Cream Bean tree Inga edulis
Jujube Ziziphus jujube
Lemon (“Meyer”) Citrus x meyeri
Loquat Eriobotrya japonica
Mandarin Citrus reticulata
Pomegranate (“Wonderful”) Punica granatum
Sour Sop Annona muricata
Artichokes (“Globe”, “Italian purple”)
Chrysanthemum, edible “shungiku”
Letuuce “Simpson black seeded”, romaine
(“Blue Lake” beans, pole;
Yard long beans; bush beans;
Scarlet runner beans
Pigeon peas (black eyed beans)
Sugar snap peas
CABBAGE (brassica) family:
Brussels sprouts, purple
Cabbage “Violacea di Verona”
Cauliflower “sprouting cauliflower”, yellow Romanesco cauliflower
Chinese cabbage (bok choy, napa, loose leaf)
Collard greens: “Southern Georgia”, “Green Glaze”
Kale: dinosaur/black kale, frilly blue kale, Portuguese kale
Mizuna (Chinese mustard)
Mustard greens, Chinese mustard greens, Japanese purple mustard
Radish- red, breakfast, cylindrical, daikon
Beets: golden beets, Chioggia, Detroit red, cylindrical
Chard: rainbow chard
SOLANUMS (potato-tomato) family:
Peppers: “shishito”, “serrano”, “poblano”, “padron”, red
Potato: white, butter ball, red-skinned
Tomato, “Juliet”, “Paul Robeson”, berry, “sungold”, “Better boy”
MELON (cucurbits) family
Cucumber: “suyo”, “Jibai shimshirazu”, pickling
Squash, summer: zucchini, yellow crooked neck, delicata
Squash, winter: “Kuri,” “Kabocha”
Watermelon, “Baby doll”
Egyptian walking onions
Japanese bunching onions
Toyon, aka California ‘holly’ (Heteromeles arbutifolia), CA native
Lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia), CA native
Desert Mountain Turpentine Brush (Ericameria laricifolia) CA native
Mule fat (Baccheris salicifolia), CA native
Sagebrush (Artemisia pycnocephala), CA native
Desert bush sunflower (Encelia farinose), CA native
Red sage bush (Salvia ‘greggii’), Texas cultivar
California poppy (Escholzia californica), CA native
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Marjoram (Oreganum majoranum)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Shiso, (Perilla frutescens var. crispa)
Shungiku (Chrysanthemum coronilla)
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
- CLICK ON LINK TO MONTHLY CALENDAR BELOW.
- You may be prompted to log into your Google account.
- Then on DATE to ADD/REMOVE YOURSELF for volunteer day at the LAGG's Teaching Garden.
SHIFTS: Tuesdays or Saturdays 10am - 2pm.
Maximum: 6 persons at a time.
Be sure you have a signed, completed Release on file with Florence.
Volunteers in the garden need to be vaccinated, wear a mask except for eating and drinking, and maintain at least 3 feet distance at all times.
LAGG Founder and Master Gardener Florence Nishida shares how shiso, a Japanese herb (perilla in English) can be dried and then crumpled and used to make furikake. Furikake (furi means scatter and kake means put on in Japanese) is a condiment commonly used on top of rice and cold tofu. Florence made hers with the shiso, salt, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper and a little dash of sugar. Seaweed is a commonly included ingredient. Florence shows the rice balls she made, topped with a sprinkle of the furikake.
Florence also shared kuri and how she cooked it. Kuri is an orange-fleshed, meaty squash. It can be used in any dish that other squash and potatoes are used.
The most difficult part in preparing kuri is cutting it open. The skin is very hard, but once cooked it is soft and edible.
- Cut the kuri into chunks.
- Saute in sesame oil until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Make 2 cups dashi (a fish and seawood stock) broth: boil water and add a package of dashi and mix.
- Add broth to kuri, along with 1 Tbs. of soy sauce, a little mirin, and 1 tsp of sugar.
- Cover pot with lid and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
Video credit: Chad Cole
Denise Shiozawa published National History Museum Interview of Florence Nishida in In the Media 2021-08-14 15:37:57 -0700
Maybe those cucumber vines in your garden are growing heavy with fruit these days, though it’s not always easy to find the cucumbers amid the leaves and stems. At LA Green Grounds, we’ve got some productive plants trained to grow up a trellis, and we’ve been harvesting for a few weeks.
Many kinds of cucumbers are out there, for salads and snacks -- and of course for pickles. These could hardly be easier to make. Florence (Nishida) brought some homemade pickles to the garden recently, made from a Rachael Ray recipe. It’s below, tweaked just a bit. Try it, or find one that suits you; there are hundreds out there.
Remember, these pickles must be refrigerated, because they have not been processed to be shelf-stable. That’s why they are called “quick.” Feel free to change the spices, or to use other sorts of cucumbers, or other vegetables such as turnips, radishes or okra.
Quick Pickles (Rachael Ray)
Makes 4 servings
½ cup white vinegar
2 rounded tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, cracked
2 T. fresh dill
1 bay leaf
4 pickling (or other) cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle
In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, put vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and garlic. Cook until the sugar dissolves, and bring the liquid to a simmer.
In a glass jar just big enough to hold them, add the cucumber pieces and the dill. Pour the simmering liquid into the jar, cover tightly and shake to spread the ingredients.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate after one day. You can eat these the next day, or a leave a few days -- your preference.
I became a volunteer at LA Green Grounds after the lockdowns of Covid-19 had changed everything. That meant I could work at the garden, but either alone or with one or two very distanced and masked people. It meant our meetings were on Zoom. And most important, it meant that a hallmark of the organization – Dig Ins – were off the table.
On Tuesday, June 8, I am so happy to say, I went to my first Dig In. And it was every bit as meaningful as promised by Florence Nishida, LA Green Grounds founder.
At a Dig-In, a resident in South Los Angeles invites family and friends. And LA Green Grounds brings volunteers. Together, they install a front-yard edible garden that offers the neighborhood fresh produce, a sense of community, and the knowledge of how wonderful it is to grow your own food.
“Dig-Ins are real work, but a heap of fun, too,” Florence says.
“It was hard work as always but just great what can be accomplished with many hands (and arms, backs and legs!),” said LA Green Grounds volunteer Grace Yamamura.
Dozens of Dig-In gardens have been installed around South LA, and on June 8, volunteers gathered to reboot the garden at the home of Sarah and Scott Yetter, just south of Pico Boulevard in the Pico Union neighborhood.
The garden was put in about six years ago, but needed some love – in the form of weeding and new plantings, including a hallmark of summer: tomatoes. It’s a garden that’s an integral part of the community. Sarah runs a preschool program at the First Free Evangelical Church that using the garden. They hold community dinners twice a month.
When the volunteers showed up, it was clearly a hub of activity. A teenager in the house was taking his AP calculus test. Kids came in and out of the house. Interns from next door were part of the work crew.
The LA Green Grounds team included Florence’s 16-year-old grandson, Kai Ogawa who was visiting and said he felt the experience made him a “real Angeleno.”
It may be a while still before we can schedule new Dig-Ins, but if you are interested in turning your front yard into an organic edible garden, complete a garden application.
Contributor: Mary MacVean
LA Green Gounds is joining a science project organized by the science writer at KPCC, Jacob Margolis. It’s called the Ozone Project, and will have LAGG and other volunteer growers all over the city growing beans to study the impact of ozone stress on plant health.
As Margolis wrote recently, the air above our city is among the country’s worst, specifically for ground-level ozone, which is an unhealthful byproduct “of the sun and heat baking all of the toxic emissions we pump into the sky.”
Margolis decided to set up a citizen science project in which people would receive beans to plant – one variety that shows ozone damage and one that does not. Of course, the growers won’t know which is which.Read more
LAGG took beans to plant in our garden but also to distribute to growers in the adjacent community garden and to our volunteers.
“When plants take up carbon dioxide through tiny little holes in their leaves called stomata, they end up taking in the air pollution around them as well. Once the ozone enters the plant, it acts as if it’s being attacked by some sort of pathogen and works to drop the impacted leaves (usually the oldest), to stop the problem from spreading,” Margolis wrote.
He wants us citizen scientists to post updates every week – including photos on social media with hashtag #ozonebeans and @jacobmargolis. Margolis can be reached at [email protected].