Denise Shiozawa


Denise Shiozawa's activity stream

  • published Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop 2023-01-21 12:38:15 -0800

    Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

    Learn how to prune fruit trees in this hands-on workshop/work day, Saturday, Feb 4, 9 am to 12 pm in the Good Earth Community Garden.

    Both experienced or learners are welcome.

    Bring your hand pruners, loppers, hand saws, gloves, bottle of water, sunscreen.

    Cost: Free to Good Earth Community Garden plot-holders.

    Class size limited to 10.  Registration is required and open to Good Earth plot holders. May open to others if space permits.

    February 04, 2023 at 9:00am
    Good Earth Community Garden
    5546 Boden St
    Los Angeles, CA 90016
    United States
    Google map and directions
    10 rsvps sold out

  • published Fresh Mustard Greens in Blog 2021-12-31 11:16:32 -0800

    Fresh Mustard Greens


    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


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  • published Kuri Squash in Blog 2021-12-08 09:46:19 -0800

    Kuri Squash


    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.
    1. First, I cut up the kuri and saved the seeds for planting next spring.
    2. Then I sautéed the kuri until lightly brown and removed from pan.
    3. In same pan, I sautéed the chicken that I had cut into bite-sized pieces.
    4. 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.
    5. Heat and stir all.
    6. Serve with rice and a green vegetable.
    ~ Florence
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  • Master Gardener Monthly Spotlights LAGG's Kevin Ridley

    LA Green Grounds is so proud that MG Monthly featured our own Kevin Ridley in the September 2021 newsletter!

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  • published Green Stir Fry in Blog 2021-10-02 12:21:03 -0700

    Green Stir Fry


    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

  • published LAGG is Sprouting More Than Just Plants! in Blog 2021-09-29 17:04:08 -0700

    LAGG is Sprouting More Than Just Plants!

    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.

  • published LAGG Plant Inventory in About 2021-08-28 15:15:06 -0700

    LAGG Plant Inventory

    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
    Sapote (White)
    Casimiroa edulis
    Sour Sop Annona muricata


    Sunflower family:
    Artichokes (“Globe”, “Italian purple”)
    Chrysanthemum, edible “shungiku”
    Letuuce “Simpson black seeded”, romaine
    Sun flowers


    (“Blue Lake” beans, pole;
    Fava beans
    Yard long beans; bush beans;
    Hyacinth beans
    Scarlet runner beans
    Pigeon peas (black eyed beans)
    Sugar snap peas

    CABBAGE (brassica) family:

    Arugula, wild
    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:
    Eggplant, Japanese
    Peppers: “shishito”, “serrano”, “poblano”, “padron”, red
    Potato: white, butter ball, red-skinned
    Tomato, “Juliet”, “Paul Robeson”, berry, “sungold”, “Better boy”

    MELON (cucurbits) family

    Bitter melon
    Cucumber: “suyo”, “Jibai shimshirazu”, pickling
    Squash, summer: zucchini, yellow crooked neck, delicata
    Squash, winter: “Kuri,” “Kabocha”
    Watermelon, “Baby doll”

    ONION family

    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
    English lavender
    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)

  • published Garden Keepers Volunteer Calendar 2021-08-26 14:23:40 -0700

    Garden Tender Volunteer Calendar

    2. You may be prompted to log into your Google account. 
    3. 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.

    2021 SEPTEMBER

    2021 OCTOBER

    2021 NOVEMBER

    2021 DECEMBER

    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.

  • published How to Cook Kuri in Blog 2021-08-23 13:06:03 -0700

    Cooking with Shiso and Kuri


    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.

    1. Cut the kuri into chunks.
    2. Saute in sesame oil until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
    3. Make 2 cups dashi (a fish and seawood stock) broth: boil water and add a package of dashi and mix. 
    4. Add broth to kuri, along with 1 Tbs. of soy sauce, a little mirin, and 1 tsp of sugar.
    5. Cover pot with lid and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes.


    Video credit: Chad Cole

  • published Quick Pickles in Blog 2021-08-14 15:28:09 -0700

    Quick Pickles

    cucumbers grown in LA Green Grounds garden

    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.

  • published Church Garden Dig-In in Blog 2021-08-14 15:16:38 -0700

    Church Garden Dig-In

    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


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  • published Ozone Beans in Blog 2021-08-14 14:55:13 -0700

    Ozone Beans


    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.

    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]

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  • published Spring Grow LA Victory Garden Class in Blog 2021-08-14 14:40:36 -0700

    Spring Grow LA Victory Garden Class


    In three Victory Garden classes on Zoom, Florence Nishida brought LA Green Grounds to life with pictures and descriptions. But with just days before the final class, we got word that classes could be held outdoors, in person. Limit 10 people. Distanced, with masks. Time to reshuffle the plans and welcome students in two groups to the garden.

    Everyone knew how much better the experience would be for the students, who were split into two groups to abide by the rules. Kevin Ridley, Mary MacVean and Florence’s husband, Gordon, helped shepherd the students around the garden on a hot Sunday for demonstrations and chances to try weeding, watering, harvesting and more.

    If you are interested in taking a Victory Garden class, offered through the Master Gardener program, watch this space or other gardening blogs for the fall dates.

    Kevin Ridley brought a worm farm to class and explained how he feeds his wriggling castings creators.

    One great aspect of growing fava beans or other legumes is that they are nitrogen powerhouses, fixing it in the soil with their roots and adding it when the stalks are chopped and “forked” into the soil, as these will be.


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  • published Earwig "Soup" in Blog 2021-08-14 14:23:15 -0700

    Earwig "Soup"

    Success! Earwigs trapped.

    An easy recipe for keeping insects away from plants

    We imagine there can't be many gardens that haven't been invaded by snails or slugs, earwigs or roly polys. Many gardeners just turn away in annoyance, and sacrifice some of their harvest. But there are easy ways to fight back.

    At LA Green Grounds, founder Florence Nishida made bait that appealed to the bugs' natural attraction to the smell of fermentation: a bit of vegetable oil and a bit of vinegar or soy sauce in an open-top shallow can, such as cat food or tuna. The oil keeps the insects from swimming on the top of the liquid and climbing out of the can.

    If you water, watch for the traps, so you don't spill the contents out onto your plant beds. And move the can to various locations, best near the base of a chewed-up plant, or in the corners, or under the shade of large leaves.

    Most of these invertebrates stay sheltered during sunny days, and come out and feed in the evenings.

    When your trap is full, discard and refill it with the bait if necessary.

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  • published Cabbage and Visitors in Blog 2021-07-23 08:51:39 -0700

    Cabbage and Visitors

    It was a very long May day at the garden - Gordon and I left at 8 pm (he was painstakingly cutting up all his prunings to fit in the trash can).  But it was worth staying late because I had the most splendid visitors! 

    A mother and her two young children wandered into the garden, probably the children leading.  They were very spirited and sweet - a fine combination. The boy declared -"Are there vegetables here? I like vegetables!"  Of course I was delighted.  So, the children got a tour and taste of almost everything. I also gave a stern warning that they were never to eat anything unless it was given to them by a teacher (maybe that's not the best advice) or their mother - because some things are not safe to eat.  "You mean they're poisonous?" he asked. Yes! I said, and showed them the flowering pea, and showed them how to see the difference between them and edible peas. I hope they remember. 

    The boy asked such good questions, and both were a real delight with their enthusiasm and good cheer and open nature.  I spoke to the mother, who is from Guatemala, in Spanish when I realized she wasn't catching everything - and she immediately relaxed and began to ask questions. She was interested in the compost.  All three were interested in the Pigeon pea.  

    His first taste of loquat.  "A little sweet, like an apricot, but also a little sour like lemon".  He liked the sour.

    A young couple wandered in at almost the same time.  She had been in the garden before, and was drawn to it because she was delighted in and taken a course about California native plants. But she also loved vegetables. So they also got tastes and surprises in the garden.  The two groups were totally unrelated - wandered in on their own - and live within 2-3 blocks away.  

    I was so happy!

    ~ Florence

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  • published Weed Out "Party"! in Blog 2021-04-17 11:57:02 -0700

    Weed Out "Party"!

    The weeds at LA Green Grounds may have thought they had us beat, but the weeding party on a recent Saturday let them know they were wrong.

    Weeds had proliferated on the berm at the south edge of the farm and all around our orchard. And plenty of other spots, too. For a few weeks now, Garden Keepers have been pulling them whenever they could. But a whole group took them on and dug out heaps of weeds, which Chad crammed into two trash containers and several bags.

    Many thanks to Veronica, Gordon, Suzanne, Chad, Naba, Catherine and Florence. A special "Shout Out" to Mr. Forte, a 93 year-old long-time Good Earth Community Garden member who grubbed out those weeds with a hand mattock, and had previously weed-whacked a bunch of unsightly and vigorous weeds in "No Man's Land" near our LAGG teaching garden. Also, thanks to Jay, whose guitar playing helped keep everyone in tune. And finally to the ice cream vendor whose paletas de Michoacan eased the effort for everyone, with flavors including coconut, walnut, jamaica, guanabana, strawberry, coffee and mango.

    See photos in the “April 2021 The Great Weed Out!” gallery.

    Next: covering the ground with mulch to keep the weeds from returning.



    Contributor: Garden Keeper Mary M.

  • published A Blanket of Nutrition and Taste in Blog 2021-04-11 18:23:34 -0700

    A Blanket of Nutrition and Taste

    New Zealand spinach


    It’s easy to take for granted the plants that grow in abundance without much human work, but a new set of eyes often can see those plants in a new way. So it went with the LA Green Grounds patches of New Zealand spinach.

    New Zealand spinach is not native to this continent, but comes from New Zealand and Australia, South America and some Pacific islands. It’s drought-tolerant and often used as an edible landscape plant because it forms a lush green carpet.

    One of our LAGG Garden Keepers, Veronica Anderson, took some home from LA Green Grounds to try. She found this website that's full of New Zealand spinach recipes: Thanks, Veronica! It’s also good steamed or stir-fried with a bit of olive oil, garlic and salt; and on pasta or pizza. Some people eat it raw.

    While it’s not actually a spinach, the taste is similar, especially when cooked. It’s high in vitamins A and C and a good source of calcium.

    The famous Capt. Cook took New Zealand spinach onto one of his ships, where people ate it to prevent scurvy; and Sir Joseph Banks, an explorer and botanist, introduced it to England in 1772.

    The plant is a halophyte, meaning it is salt-tolerant. It likes heat, and seems unaffected by most pests. If you plant it, give it room to spread.

    ~ Contributed by LAGG Garden Keeper Mary M.

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  • published Nasturtium Stir-fry in Blog 2021-03-20 13:36:10 -0700

    Nasturtium Stir-fry


    These lovely orange flowers have become a not uncommon sight in salads, in part because they're a beautiful contrast to lettuces and in part because they're delicious -- a little sweet and peppery. They're Nasturtium flowers, and they grow freely in gardens and in uncultivated places, bringing color and liveliness as they climb the sides of buildings, fences, slopes and in many spots at LA Green Grounds. But many people don't know that the rest of the plant is edible, too. The stems and leaves can go in a stir-fry, and the seed pods can be pickled like capers or tossed into salads. LA Green Grounds volunteer Kat shows various ways she cooked the plant in these pictures.


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