- Author: Lauren Snowden
The Statewide UC Master Gardener Program in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources has secured funding to provide regional drought workshops. The workshops will focus on the critical issue of water management in the home landscape and provide a forum for discussion of drought-related UC Master Gardener outreach around the state. The statewide office will be looking for interested host counties to work in partnership to roll out these workshops to the UC
To provide continuing education for UC Master Gardeners, the Statewide UC Master Gardener Program provides regional workshops and trainings. These events are always popular and serve as a place for Master Gardeners to learn new things, refine their skills, interact with University of California scientists, and meet other gardeners. By promoting activities where UC Master Gardeners learn together, the Statewide UC Master Gardener Program ensures that Master Gardeners are up-to-date with the most recent research recommendations from the University of California.
Together, through this series of workshops, the UC Master Gardeners are making a difference! Hope to see you at one of “The New California Landscape” drought workshops!
Tags: Statewide UC Master Gardener Program; Training; Workshop; Drought
- Author: Melissa G. Womack
Loofa Farm & Mount Bullion Vineyard
The loofa is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Contrary to popular belief, loofas grow on a vine, not in the ocean. Located in the Yosemite foothills, this tour of a working loofa farm is scheduled one week prior to harvest! Handmade crèmes, lotions, soaps and loofahs are available for purchase, and of course, all products are grown and crafted on site.
Following the loofa farm tour you will travel to Mt. Bullion Vineyard, where grapes are grown, fermented, barreled, aged, bottled and cellared. A visit to the winery is by appointment only. Lunch will be provided at the winery. The tour also includes transportation to and from Tenaya Lodge.
Clovis Botanical Garden is the only botanical garden in the San Joaquin Valley. It is a one-acre water-wise demonstration garden that showcases beautiful plants and landscapes appropriate for the hot summers and cool winters of California's Central Valley. While strolling through the garden learn about the “Sensational 70”, plants friendly to Central Valley landscapes which are attractive, water-wise, and non-invasive. Enjoy lunch at the home and garden of one of our own Master Gardeners of Fresno County.
The Forestiere Underground Gardens is a Fresno City and county historical site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the underground maze of rooms, courtyards, and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs. See unique fruit-producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground – some over 90 years old. Water, wine and snacks on the return trip to the Tenaya Lodge. Arrive back at the Lodge in time for the Cowboy Dinner, Train Ride, and Campfire.
Campfire & Train Ride
All Aboard! An exciting four mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park's South gate on Highway 41. Ride into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Mountains and where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried the lumber to the distant valley below.
The Sierra National Forest's majestic woods provide the backdrop for this narrow gauge journey back in time. Peer into the past! A New York steak, chicken or vegetarian dinner with all the fixins' is included in the price, and a no host bar is available. Enjoy a campfire under the stars while you listen to a local guide tell stories of times past.
This is just a small sampling of the many exciting tours offered at this year's conference. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to explore this part of California with your fellow Master Gardener friends and family. Click here to learn about all of the conference tours offered!
- Author: Melissa G. Womack
Despite recent rain in California, the state has experienced record dry conditions with the potential to result in an explosive wildfire season. California has declared May 4 -10, 2014 “Wildfire Awareness Week,” urging residents to prepare homes for potential wildfires.
"Creating and maintaining Defensible Space is critical for the protection of homes," said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. "It has never been more critical to strengthen our fire prevention efforts in light of the elevated fire conditions we have been experiencing in California. We have increased our inspection staffing and now we need the public to make sure they, too, are prepared for the increased fire risk due to drought."
Homeowners can easily create a defensible space to help protect their home and improve the homes chance of surviving a wildfire through easy maintenance practices. A minimum defensible space of 100 feet around your home is required by California law (Public Resources Code 4291). Check with your local fire department for specific defensible space requirements in your area.
Creating a 100 foot defensible space around the home is oftentimes the easiest and most effective first line of defense in protecting a home against wildfires. According to Landscaping Tips to Help Defend your Home from Wildfire, the goal of the law is to protect your home while providing a safe area for firefighters.
Create a Lean, Clean and Green Zone
A buffer between structures and trees, grass and shrubs and helps slow or stop the spread of wildfire. Break the property surrounding your home down into two zones:
Zone one extends 30 feet* out from buildings, structures, decks, etc.
- Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
- Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
- Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
- Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
- Relocate wood piles into Zone 2.
- Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
- Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
- Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
* San Diego County requires 50 feet of clearance in zone one. Check with your local fire department for any additional defensible space or weed abatement ordinances.
- Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
- Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
- Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
- Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches. However, they may be permitted to a depth of 3 inches.
Prepared homeowners are not only protecting their property but also providing a safe environment for firefighters responding to the call of duty. Visit California Garden Web or ReadyforWildfire.org for more information about preparing your home for wildfire season and fire-resistant landscaping.
- Author: Missy Gable
Happy Holidays to All!
This Thanksgiving I finished up my bulb planting project and reflected on all of the things I am grateful for. If you’ll indulge me - I’d like to share a few of them with all of you.
- I am thrilled to be a part of the UCCE Master Gardener community and am still reveling in the warm welcome, patience and support as I have been making the transition.
- New staff and positions at the statewide office will help us better address the needs of the UCCE Master Gardeners! Aubrey Bray is enjoying her new position as training coordinator. Aubrey is doing the formative work for online training modules to complement the CA Master Gardener Handbook (new handbook’s ETA is fall 2014). Melissa Womack is settling is as program coordinator and has already shown us how valuable her talents will be to harness the power of our Web based assets throughout the state.
- The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) has a beautiful new home. Now all programs and functions within UC ANR are housed in the same building in Davis, Calif. The statewide Master Gardener office moved in early November, and now has direct access to Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Information Technology (IT) and increased visibility to ANR leadership!
Master Gardener Program
University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources
2801 Second Street
Davis, CA 95618-7779
I am looking forward to a fruitful 2014 with exciting opportunities, including the 2014 Statewide Master Gardener Conference next October. Please keep your eyes open for blog posts and updates – the theme is appropriately Growing Together, a tagline we are actively putting into practice now and for years to come.
Wishing you a safe and family filled holiday season!