Archive for January 22nd, 2014

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Leaves, Leaves, And More Leaves: Part II

January 22, 2014

The rumbling mower zipped over the leaves and snatched them up with metal blades.

Dirt flew out; dust swirled around and glazed my face a coat of grubby brown.

This isn’t going to work, I said with a huff, a cough, and fluttered eyelids.

But I persisted on giving it a try, on completing the task at hand.

When the bag was full, I turned off the mower, removed the bag, and peered inside through raccoon eyes.

No surprise. It didn’t work. The leaves were whole, not broken down for swift decay.

I sighed then looked around at all the leaves, one trillion to be exact.

I should have known the old way is best:  A good rake and large leaf bags.

It beats the roar of a mower, dust swirls, and raccoon eyes.

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Note:  All fun aside, it is possible to break down leaves with a mower, but you’ll have to run over them at least twice. (I didn’t have the patience to do this—too much dust.) Be sure to wear goggles and a face mask. You can try a chipper.

I DO recommend using broken-down leaves as mulch. It’s free. It’s good for the soil and mulching is especially important now that we are in a severe drought.

Since I have decided to pass on the dusty task, I will be adding four inches of commercial mulch where needed.  I am placing the oak leaves in the pasture along the outside of the garden fence to control the weeds.


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Wild Edibles I: Meet Author Alicia Funk

January 22, 2014

Join Author Alicia Funk on a seasonal discovery of the uses of plants native to our region—seen through photographs and a walk through Soil Born Farms & Elderberry Farms and tasted through a sampling of wild treats. Learn how to prepare fresh and locally available native, wild plants in this interactive program that includes highlights from her book, Living Wild—Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California.

WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:00am – 1:00pm

WHERE: Soil Born Farms American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova

Itinerary:

10-11:  Seasonal Cooking with Native Edibles
11-12:  Tasting of Edibles: Prepare Oak Nut Flour & Manzanita Sugar to Take Home
12-12:30:  Growing Drought Tolerant Natives, Chris Lewis, Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery
12:30-1:  Native Plant Walk at the Farm

For fee and registration information go to Wild Edibles registration or phone 916 868-6399.

Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, along the American River Parkway at Soil Born Farms’ American River Ranch

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