Hosted by UC ANR South Coast REC, Cooperative Extension, and the Orange County Farm Bureau, programs that provide agricultural education to an increasingly urban population, local high schools participated in workshops at the South Coast REC that were designed to acquaint the students with ag research techniques, careers in agriculture, and the importance of urban ag and water conservation in their daily lives.
UCCE Master Gardener volunteers assisted UC staff rotating the Students and teachers between workshops focusing on basic IPM and pest identification; crop rotation strategies and hands on potato harvest, vertebrate pest management and gopher trapping demonstration; as well as safe food handling and lunch preparation.
Following the morning activities, OCFB and South Coast REC staff provided a barbeque lunch featuring potato salad and roasted potatoes prepped by the students after which all the youth and teachers had the opportunity to bag up the fruits of the labor to share with their families.
Much fun was had by all:
The three-part Garden Design workshop series provides participants with the basic tool kit to create a water conserving landscape whether on their own or with the help of a contractor. Major focus of the workshop centered on how irrigation, plants and growth, and living space come together.
How to properly fertilize, feed your plants?
How to create a cohesive design?
Shrub and tree maintenance - pruning.
What edible plants are best to incorporate into your landscape?
Recommendations for artificial turf, or turf replacement options that require no care.
A great learning experience for all.
The highlight of the morning was a toss-up between harvesting worms and learning how to make a DIY worm bin to take home.
Don't miss out on the next class on October 27, 2018. Click here to register or go to http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=22601
Pairing up with OC Food Bank and ASICS creates a very unique situation: OC Food Bank seeking opportunities to provide for the hungry, ASICS employees are willing to donate time to harvest orchards, especially those where the fruit may otherwise go to waste; UC ANR South Coast REC is able to provide a nutritious food source for the less fortunate in the community through it's extension project largely maintained by volunteers which is used to educate the public through workshops and tours. Bringing the these groups together benefits the community by assisting the REC with additional man power to properly glean the citrus, important to the health of the trees, and provides OC Food Bank with fresh produce to distribute at the food banks.
Though their time was short, a final tally of the gleaned fruit was 1,462 lbs. The volunteers were very proud of the contributions to such a worthy cause.
UC Cooperative Extension, Orange County (UCCE) programs (4-H, EFNEP, Master Gardeners) and the UC ANR South Coast REC teamed up with the StandUp for Kids to organize the “Kids Day Celebration” field trip to the Center on Saturday, March 24th, 2018.
In between face painting, this event centered around hands-on, UC research influenced activities exposing the youth (ages 8 to 18) to the work that we are doing in Orange County.
Attendees took a tour of the Center learning about locally grown crops followed by a mock tasting of citrus, avocados, and cherimoya demonstrating how researchers and growers obtain public opinion testing a varieties worthiness for market. The favorite fruit by far was the blood orange, followed by the kumquat.
Additionally, participants made newspaper pots in which they planted an ‘Albion' strawberry (UC Patented variety) found at a local nursery, talking about conservation and ways that small growers extend the growing seasons.
Smiling faces were in abundance all day.