Cerena writes to help new gardeners get started,
remind experienced gardeners to plant at the best times, inspire us to try new techniques!  Being outdoors gardening is healthy
for our bodies and spirits, provides the most nutritious organic veggies right on your table with no food miles at all! 

Green Bean Connection

 Happy Late Summer, Labor Day Weekend, First Fall Plantings!!

OCTOBER 2015: Let's Plant Sassy Brassicas, Fall Lovers!
Save Those Tomato Seeds - Ferment or Not!
The Best Dressed Gardener 
High Mowing: Organic Non-GMO Seed Company 

Events!  Village Building Convergence, SOIL, AVO Fest, Growing Edible Education Symposium, Master Gardener Training, Seed Swap!

Dear Pilgrim Terrace Gardeners, Garden Friends,

Update: New gardener Tamara Teitelbaum is at Plot 10! See her worm installation!

Special thanks to the United Way for their Day of Caring event!
Event and September Garden images!

WATER! Please water before 10:30 AM and after 4 PM. Keep your plants well watered out to their drip line where the tiny feeder roots gather water and nutrition. 

If you or a friend would enjoy gardening at a community garden, October is the best, super, fall planting time! A 10 X 20 spot is only $65/year! YES! Go directly to the Westside Community Center, weekdays 10 to 4, to sign up. That's at 423 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara. We will be delighted to meet you, share friendship, the great outdoors, and garden craft!

Across-the-Plot Gardening Tips

October: Let's Plant Sassy Brassicas, Fall Lovers!

Cauliflower Minuteman Early Hybrid White
Minuteman, a self-blanching cauliflower. The leaves curl close to cover the pure white, high domed heads, protecting them from sun discoloration and cold. It has good heat tolerance, but prefers cooler weather, 57-68 degrees. It's a vigorous early hybrid, only 51 days! Cooler north country takes longer. 
October Santa Barbara Area Fall Transplants Nursery Report:
  • La Sumida - Has a great selection of fall veggies including Violet Cauliflower and purple carrots, plus bunches of different kinds of lettuces & Kales! 
  • Terra Sol - Their fall veggies include Rainbow Chard, Red Acre Express - a fast mini cabbage, Beets and favas as well as delicious regulars!
I asked for F1 All Season broccoli at both nurseries! It is a high production heat tolerant broccoli that makes large 3" side shoots once the main head is cut. Planted last November, mine is prolifically producing sweet tasting 1 to 2" mini side shoots in this very hot weather! All Season is a true name for it!

We still aren't out of the heat. Rig up shade for transplants in sunny open areas and keep them consistently moist. Especially the peas!

Please support your local nurseries!
Plant Nutritious Fall Brassica Greens
  • Small - Salad fixins like Arugula, Bok Choy, Mizuna, Mustards, young leaves of Kohlrabi, rutabagas and Turnips
  • Medium - All kinds of Kales. The standard, curly leaf, to Red Bor beauty. 
  • Large - Collard Greens, Brussels sprouts, Rapini 
Anti Cancer Broccoli - plant several varieties for maturity at different times and to confuse pests. Pests are attracted at certain stages of maturity. They may bother one plant but leave others entirely alone depending on temps and the pest's cycle! 
Cabbage - mini to huge, green or red or both!
Vari Colored Cauliflower - white, green, yellow, purple! Rapini. Spirals!
Littles - long Winter radish. Radishes come in white, red, pink, yellow, watermelon!

Non Brassicas! Carrots & Peas together, plant onion family separately, chard, heading winter lettuces, spinach 

See Super Fall Veggies Varieties, Smart Companion Plantings!

Plant in super soil to get a good start! Add composts, manures, worm castings. Mix a handful of nonfat powdered milk in for immediate uptake as a natural germicide and to boost their immune system. Throw in a handful of bone meal for uptake at bloom time. If you have other treats you like to favor your plants with, give them some of that too! Go lightly on incorporating coffee grounds either in your compost or soil. In studies, what was found to work well was coffee grounds at only 0.5 percent of the compost mix. That’s only 1/2 a percent! See more details about soil building!

With the majority of fall crops, the main harvest is leaves! Cut and come again means a long harvest, and a very hungry plant! They need additional feeding, and steady adequate moisture to stay healthy and able in such demanding constant production.

Strawberry runner daughters can be stored in the fridge for planting Nov 5ish. Remove any diseased soil where your beds will be; prep your beds with acidic compost like an Azalea mix. Commercial growers replace their plants every year. Some gardeners let them have two years. If you let them have two years, generously replenish the soil between the berries with acidic compost. Last year I laid down boards between the rows where my berries would be planted. The boards kept the soil moist underneath. I planted the berries just far enough apart that they self mulched (shaded the soil). Worked beautifully. I got the idea for the boards from a pallet gardener. This year I will lift the boards and incorporate fresh acidic compost there. 

Fall pests & Diseases  It's too cool now for Bagrada Bugs, plant away! 
  • Brassicas, Peas  - Mildews, White Fly, Aphids/Ants. Right away when you have the 3rd, 4th leaves on seedlings or when you plant transplants, give your plants a bath. It's a combo of disease prevention, boosting the immune system, and stimulating growth! The basic mix is 1 regular Aspirin, 1/4 c nonfat powdered milk, heaping tablespoon Baking Soda, and a teaspoon of dish soap. Even old tired plants will perk right up!

    If White flies and aphids/ants come along, give them a bath too! Get a good grip on your hose and wash them away when you first see them. Be sure to get hideaways under the leaves and in crevices!
  • Chard, Lettuces, Spinach - Slugs and snails are the bane of so many crops, but these especially. Lay down something like Sluggo immediately. Then do it again in a week or so. Kill the parents, kill the children. After about 3 times you rarely need it again anytime soon.
  • Biodiversity In general, avoid row planting where disease and pests wipe the plants out from one to the next to the next. Instead, plant in several different spots. If you can't help yourself, because your family always planted in rows or that's the way farm pictures show plantings, remember, this is YOUR garden! Also, leave room so mature plants' leaves don't touch. Give them room to breathe, get good big leaves that get plenty of sun and produce lots more big leaves and big fruits! Stunted crowded rootbound plants just don't perform as well and are disease and pest susceptible.
Winter watering in drought times is the same as for summer. Watch which way water flows along the leaves. Some plants it flows to the center stem. Some drip water off the tips in a circle around your plant, the dripline. Still others go both ways. Make berms just beyond where the mature plant's water flows. If at the dripline, that's where the tiny feeder roots take up moisture and nutrients. That's why they call them feeder roots! If your garden has a low spot, plant your water loving plants - chard, lettuces, spinach, mizuna, mints - there or near a spigot.

While we're in one season, gardeners are always planning for the next. Where will the permanent plants be put both now and next season? What seeds will be needed for spring planting? Which areas will be rested or restored - green manure patches to be planted? Where will next season's compost pile be rotated to do the most good, to feed the soil where it lives?

Enjoy the crisp chill, the fresh crunchy textures of Fall, a little bit of clearing wind, enjoy those spectacular sunsets! Get ready for holiday sharing!

The Green Bean Connection started as correspondence for the Santa Barbara CA USA Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden. We are very coastal, during late spring/summer in a fog belt/marine layer area most years, locally referred to as the May grays, June glooms and August fogusts. Keep that in mind compared to the microclimate niche where your veggie garden is. Bless you for being such a wonderful Earth Steward!

Love your Mother! Plant more bee food! Eat less meat. Grow organic! 

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SAVE Those Tomato Seeds - Ferment or Not!

Tomato Black Russian Cherry

I was thrilled this year when two volunteer tomatoes came up that were very different than my usual choices and I liked them! One was a 1+ inch diameter tomato that darkened to a deep dark green with a rose tinge! Lovely, great slightly tart taste, and prolific! I believe it is an heirloom, a Black Russian Cherry! The other is a PINK Pear! And I do mean pink, NOT red! There's no real way I will know for sure what they are, so, of course I'm saving seeds! Here's the how to!

To intentionally save pure tomato seeds, when planting, separate varieties with short styles (most modern varieties) by at least 10 feet. Varieties with long styles (heirlooms and older varieties) need at least 100 feet to ensure purity. If solitary bees are prevalent, separate all varieties at least 100 feet and place another flowering crop between. Getting that 100' in a community garden is unlikely, but give it a try!

For your Mother Fruits, select your finest fruits, free of cracks or bug holes, entry points for disease microorganisms.

Fermenting! Cut the tomato into halves at its equator, opening the vertical cavities that contain the seeds. Gently squeeze out from the cavities the jelly-like substance that contains the seeds. If done carefully, the tomato itself can still be eaten or saved for canning, sun-drying or dehydrating.

Place the jelly and seeds into a small jar or glass. (Add a little water if you are processing only one or two small tomatoes.) Loosely cover the container and place in a warm location, 60-75° F. no more than two days. Stir each day. Recent studies show tomato seed germination is best when seeds are soaked for only one to two days before they are rinsed and dried. Fermentation times longer than three days substantially lower the germination rate from 96% to only 74% on the 4th day! Word.

In warm weather, on the second day, a layer of fungus will likely begin to appear on top of the water. Stir the seeds so fermentation is equal for all the seeds. This fungus not only eats the gelatinous coat that surrounds each seed and prevents germination, it also produces antibiotics that help to control seed-borne diseases like bacterial spot, canker and speck.At two or three days fill the seed container with warm water. Let the seeds settle and begin pouring out the water along with pieces of tomato pulp and immature seeds floating on top. Note: Viable seeds are heavier and settle to the bottom of the jar. Repeat this process until water being poured out is almost clear and clean seeds line the bottom of the container. Pour these clean seeds into a strainer that has holes smaller than the seeds. Let the excess water drip out and invert the strainer onto paper towel or piece of newspaper. Break up clumps, turn a few times to allow the seeds to dry completely, usually a day or two, five days if you want to be sure. Label with their name and date. Store in a packet or plastic bag.

NOT fermenting! Simple - simply squeeze tomato seeds onto a paper towel, spread them out a bit, and allow the towel to dry for a couple of weeks. When dry, the seed-bearing towel can be folded up and tucked into a labeled envelope for storage through winter. Or you can place the little tykes in groups of 3 on the towel, cut up the towel, and voilà, they are ready to plant by 3s next spring! This works for year to year planting, since the seeds only last a year processed this way.

Nature's Way! If you know where you will plant your tomatoes next season, toss a few over there, cover with a couple inches of soil and mulch. Put in a stake with their name on it so you don't forget your plan! Next spring, stir that soil a bit. If you want things to happen a tad sooner, cover with a cloche to warm the soil and wait for your happiness!

May the Tomato Fairy give you many blessings - bird gifts, mice carrying off tomatoes from somewhere else leaving tomato remains behind - seeds that will grow next spring! The seeds that make it have a certain strength and affinity for your special soil! Each year as you save seed from your best plants, they will grow in strength and be so delicious to your personal taste!

If I may convince you, please save some extra seeds for our January Seed Swap!

Merci! Bon tomate appétit!

BTW, DYK You can easily root broken tomatoes stems in Soil?!

Have you ever been trying to stuff that tomato sprig into the cage or, uh, 'bend' it along the trellis and hear that telltale snap? Or did you pull a weed and a significant branch of your favorite tomato came with it? The dog broke it. Aw, jeepers. 

Well here's what you do! Find a good spot, loosen the soil. If needed, add some tasty amendments. Water. Insert the broken end into the moist soil, and keep it evenly moist for a week to 10 days. While some people prefer to root them in flats or pots and transplant them to the garden once the roots are established, they can be 'planted' before the roots form. Shade them if they need it until the roots are established.

Now if you want a bunch of the same tomato plant, maybe it was a volunteer you like a lot, want more supply, just break off a few pinky size stems and plant them! Then it's called cloning!

The Best Dressed Gardener! 

October Fashion Gardening! The Best Dressed Gardener!

Life sized, The Garden Diva, sent to me by Ft Myers FL artist and avid gardener Patricia Piper!

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Other Community Gardens!

High Mowing: Organic Non-GMO Seed Company

Seed Company Organic High Mowing Staff

Since some of you will be wanting to plant from seeds to get exactly the plant variety you want, since November, December, coming right up, are the seed ordering time for the entire year to come, and seed stocks are fresh and high after summer seed saving, rather than a community garden per se, this month I'm featuring an organic seed farm - which in a way IS also a community garden because it serves our garden community! Get your catalogs and order up!

In Wolcott VT, High Mowing has an excellent reputation, taken the Safe Seed Pledge. They feature a toll free #, free shipping no minimum, fab seeds and great spirit! 

There are other terrific seed shops out there. In Santa Barbara area, Island SEED & Feed has seeds from several of these trusted sources plus they have local seeds you can buy by the teaspoon or more! If you are lucky, if they are about, you can pet the kitties.

Jan 2012 Mother Earth News' top 15 seed company rankings:
  1. Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Winslow, Maine)
  2. Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, Iowa)
  3. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, Mo.)
  4. Burpee Seeds and Plants (Warminster, Pa.)
  5. Territorial Seed Company (Cottage Grove, Ore.)
  6. Seeds of Change (Rancho Dominguez, Calif.)
  7. Ferry-Morse Seed Company (Fulton, Ky.)
  8. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Mineral, Va.)
  9. High Mowing Organic Seeds (Wolcott, Vt.)
  10. Fedco Seeds (Waterville, Maine)
  11. Nichols Garden Nursery (Albany, Ore.)
  12. The Cook’s Garden (Warminster, Pa.)
  13. Botanical Interests (Broomfield, Colo.)
  14. Renee’s Garden Seeds (Felton, Calif.)
  15. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (Grass Valley, Calif.)
Choose companies having weather conditions most similar to where you garden. In these SoCal hot drought times, consider the fascinating possibilities at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange!

See Choosing Seeds:  Catalogs to Seed Swaps!

Upcoming Garden Events!

Walk or bike to events as possible! Heal the land, heal yourself.

If you are at all familiar with City Repair Project you know how effective they are! Learn the skills to build a strong community with national place making expert Mark Lakeman, of City Repair. The event is hosted by Global Good Impact, Sol Food and Lucidity. Donation based workshop Friday at 1232 De La Vina Street. Weekend Intensive $79 at a beautiful private home near the mission.  

UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Santa Barbara
Life Beneath Your Feet: 
Soil Health and Why it Matters 

Saturday, October 3 at 2 PM learn from the experts!

Dr. David White, Director, Center for Regenerative Agriculture. He has 25 years of experience working with environmental groups throughout Ventura County.

Master Gardener Hugh Kelly is Director of a pilot program (permEzone.org) working with the Permaculture Research Institute, 
Kenya, to train and support farmers to develop model farms that improve production and regenerate the environment.

Holy Cross Church Hall, 1740 Cliff, off Dolores Dr, Santa Barbara CA 

Enjoy an optional tour of the marvelous Harmony Garden afterwards!

Please support the 29th California Avocado Festival
Oct 2, 3, 4 Carpinteria CA

28th Avocado Festival, Carpinteria CA!
Go HUNGRY and have a great time!
  • 3nd year in a row that the California Avocado Festival can boast Zero Waste!
  • LED lighting in our Commercial Venue to reduce power usage.
  • Participating Non-Profits and Service Organizations were able to create $80,000 worth of funds that went back to the community through their initiatives. 
  • Our 2014 FREE doggie day care had over 100 dogs kept happy, cool, and entertained while their owners enjoyed the festival! We are committed to keeping dogs from being locked in their owner's cars during the long hot days. 
  • One of the largest FREE music festivals in California with over 75 acts on four stages. 

Oct 9 & 10 TWO DAY Growing Edible Education Symposium

Exactly what is it that we are growing?!

Trinity Gardens (and pre-arranged Farm to School Sites)
909 North La Cumbre Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93110

This wonderful Symposium is targeted for teachers, garden and environmental educators, food service leaders, and others interested in farm to school programs in the tri-county area - Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo.

Registration deadline was Friday, September 18th, but if they aren't full or there are cancellations, I'll bet you can negotiate! Also, scholarship funds may be available. 

See all the details

UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Santa BarbaraThe University of California Cooperative Extension

Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County

Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 10:00-11:30 AM

Goleta Valley Community Center, Room 7
5679 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, CA

Call (805) 893-3485 if you have questions ~

Application deadline:  November 30, 2015
Interview dates:  December 9 and December 16, 2015


2016 Santa Barbara Seed Swap! 

Seed Saving Permaculture Roxanne Swentzell Pueblo Artist

Santa Barbara's Swap will be at the Faulkner Gallery downtown. That's 
Sun Jan 31 from 11-3 pm, not to be missed! Save extra seeds now to share then! A Hualapai tribal group is coming from Peach Arizona (Grand Canyon)!!! I'm hoping one of them will speak and share some of their planting traditions with us!

Hopefully, Roxanne Swentzellextraordinarily gifted Native American sculptor and contemporary pueblo artist from the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, will be our keynote speaker! She is also co-founder of Flowering Tree Permaculture, involved with permaculture & natural building since the late 1980's, when she returned as a single mom with two small children to her home on pueblo lands, and began building a straw bale house & permaculture food forest on a small compacted piece of land. In just a few years it became a verdant oasis in the middle of high dry desert of New Mexico!  

Her current project, Food from Where We Live, is about the benefits of foods that humans co-evolve with over long periods of time, say 600 years or more, or twenty generations, noting that plants survive because they adapt to a particular place, and ideally, people along side them.

Please join us, or if you are too far away, if you don't have a Seed Swap in your area, do see about starting one! As Roxanne says 'We’re planting seeds within ourselves and outside.'

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Leave a wild place, untouched, in your garden! It’s the place the faeries and elves, the little people can hang out. When you are down on your hands and knees, they will whisper what to do. All of a sudden an idea pops in your mind….

In the garden of thy heart, plant naught but the rose of love. – Baha’U’Uah
"Earth turns to Gold in the hands of the Wise" Rumi

Interplant Kadazan Girls
Kebun Malay-Kadazan girls interplant a fine garden! Peas growing vertically behind 3 cauliflower plants. Growing in front of cauliflowers are leeks, carrots, corianders (cilantro), lettuces and 2 poppy plants.

Cerena Childress, Plot 46
elist holder Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden

Green Bean Connection BLOG! 
September GBC Newsletter
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