Don't Miss Out On These Free Gardening Workshops!

Hi Green Grounders, 
Check out the flyer below to learn more about some great free monthly gardening workshops. They're on the second Saturday of the month at the South L.A. Wetlands on Avalon.
At this Saturday's workshop (8/11) there will be tomato tasting!
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A Fantastic Edible Green: Sweet Potato Leaves

Florence was working in her garden this week when she discovered one of her new favorite edible greens: sweet potato leaves! 


My Japanese sweet potato (which I planted 2 years ago) keeps popping up new green leaves, despite my harvesting many sweet potatoes this late spring.  I wanted to keep my bulb onions, beets, and beans growing in that bed, so I'd been yanking the sweet potato greens out.  But I thought, "How wasteful!" so, after making sure that they are truly safe and edible, I cooked some and they were delicious!  Now I'm a fan of the greens - they have more vitamins and nutrients than many other green vegetables, have a delightful slightly sweet taste, have beneficial anti-oxidants, and are quick and easy to cook.  I will plant those in the LA Green Grounds teaching garden soon and they will grow for a long time, giving us healthy greens to harvest.  Yes, like many dark green edible plants, they have oxalic acid, but they have much less than regular spinach!
Here's a link, so you can read yourself, a scientific study:
Keep eating fresh vegetables!  There are so many easy-to-grow greens that are quick to cook, tasty, and you don't have to wait months for the harvest, such as with peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, etc.
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Delicious Fresh Amaranth Recipe

amaranth recipeFlorence shared a delicious amaranth recipe she used for the freshly harvested crop from the LAGG Teaching Garden.

The amaranth tasted a bit sweet. Was good with the Indian spices. The garbanzos add protein, so this could be vegetarian dish. Amaranth grows so easily, quickly, and is beautiful.


I made a very tasty dish with amaranth that I cut last week. I sauteed bacon, added onions with spices (mustard seed, cumin seed, turmeric, in hot oil. Cook for abiout 5-7 min. Added chopped red pepper, stirred and cooked. Added 2 small potatoes cut into 1" cubes, stirred and cooked for few minutes. Added a tomato, diced. Added washed, chopped amaranth leaves and a couple of chard leaves, stirred. Add a can of garbanzo beans. Added some vegetable stock (you could use water), put on cover, and simmered for about 15 -20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added a bit of cayenne pepper.


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Water Rate Hike: Day of Action


As you’ve heard, agricultural water rates in the city of Los Angeles are set to go up nearly 300% over the next few years, and the increases have already begun. Our partners at the Los Angeles Community Garden Council are working to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of these hikes, and have organized a Day of Action at City Hall to make their case to local lawmakers.

The concern is that this increased expense will threaten the very existence of many gardens, especially those in underserved neighborhoods, and will deny people the opportunity to provide food for their families. By allowing these hikes to take place, the DWP contradicts the many efforts that the City Council and the Mayor have made in recent years to promote community gardens, urban agriculture and urban greening efforts in general.

We will be asking council members to include long-term budgetary support for gardens that will see increases in the range of hundreds and even thousands of dollars per billing period. We would like to see the city invest in the community garden and urban ag movement.

Please join us for this urgent effort. Numbers will make the difference.

If you intend to come, please RSVP and let us know which council district you live in (if you live in the City of LA).

And please wear green!

If you are unable to join us July 28, please sign the petition and return to [email protected], and/or call your city council member.

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Bordered Plant Bug - Another Pest

This past winter's rains have been wonderful for many plants, but also has encouraged some pests that perhaps were held back by the drought. I noticed the small shiny black bugs (ca. 3/8") about 2 months ago, but I wasn't sure what they were feeding on (not much sign of damage), or what they were.

They became very numerous and some developed red areas. Not exactly the Bagrada bug, but abundant like them. Then the chard developed huge holes. I also noticed some larger bugs - tan to light brown with rough looking wing covers, longish triangular shaped, with distinctive pale orange margins.

I started catching the black bugs by scraping them up into the cap of a jar which I had filled with soapy water, and tossing them into the water.

The museum entomology staffer said they were nymph stages and couldn't be identified.

Yesterday, I caught two copulating brown and orange margined adults, threw them in alcohol and thought at least I'd find out what they are. Eureka! Another entomology staffer found this website that had my mystery black bugs along with the very different adults. So they were one and the same! The adult is on p. 112 in Hogue's Insects of Los Angeles Basin. The website has the various stages. 

They're Largus cinctus or Largus californicus (a more systematic individual will need to resolve whether they are one or two species, or a variety). You can call them the "Bordered Plant Bug". Innocuous name - but I'd start trapping them before they over-run your vegetables.

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Spring Harvest!


Some ladies from the neighborhood helped us make kohlrabi fries
for after school kids yesterday. They were fascinated with this new

Per Florence 's suggestion we separated some of the baby succulents
and will give them as gifts to our tutoring volunteers. Kids painted

As we dug up out wildflowers to make way for summer garden, lo and
behold there where carrots and onions growing up amongst the flowers!
All my helpers yesterday went home with a carrot.

Thanks for your support in helping our garden grow!!



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Los Angeles Green Grounds joined in the multicultural eco fest.  LAGG had pot makers, seeds, banner, potting soil, and flyers. 

Participants enjoyed African Americans, Latino and Japanese dances celebrating our ancestors.


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Los Angeles August Gardening Tips

From Yvonne Savio's Gardning in LA blog...

August's garden bounty can be too much, just enough, or too little; but it's always a starting point in determining what to plant--or what not to plant-- next time around. Now you know from experience that the whole packet of zucchini seeds--or even all six plants from the pony pack--produces just too many squash. (The refrigerator and freezer are filled with casseroles and breads, and your neighbors hide when you approach with your basketful of four-inch-thick zukes.) Next time, you'll make do with just one or two plants, even though they're so cute when they're tiny. 

You'll have a winter gold mine in your garden if you start seeds for overwintering crops this and next month. Yes, it's too hot to think about doing anything now but harvest and water and escape the heat, but think ahead to winter vegetable prices--and start sowing!  
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Earth Day 2016!

What a fun and feel-good productive 2016 Earth Day!


We started off the morning with the LA Conservation Corp cleaning up the Good Earth Community Garden.  This included the adjacent side street in which we found all kinds of yucky things, and a discarded TV.


PAVA came in after lunch and added compost to the garden beds.  Thank you to Sean who continued through, without wheelbarrows!  He and the entire PAVA volunteers deserve a big hand for that!



Down the street at the Westside Neighborhood Park, the West Adams Neighborhood Council held their first Earth Day Fest.  There were a lot of great organizations there providing great information.  LA Green Grounds was present and shared information about Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling, presented the Good Earth Community Garden's David Jackson with his Victory Gardener certificate, and Summer and Francesca shared paper seedling pot making in LAGG's Teaching Garden.


If you have photos, please send them in to Summer Garden.

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