December 2016 Newsletter: Canned Food Drive, Celery, & Green Choices

“This shortest day/As promise wakens in the sleeping land: They carol, feast, give thanks, And dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.” -Revels

California Farm and Garden News:

Bring us your cans and packaged dry goods for a chance to win a 5-gallon lemon tree!

Drop them off at the California Farm and Garden office at 3376 30th Street 92104 in North Park between 8am-3pm M-F. Each contribution you make will earn you one raffle ticket for the prize drawing.

All donations will go to Feeding San Diego. Cans must be submitted Dec. 1 – Dec. 31. Raffle drawing will take place on Tuesday January 3, and the winning number will be posted on our blog. Winner must be at least 18 years old, and must supply corresponding winning ticket stub.

UP Clients only: Feel free to give your donations to any member of our maintenance crew. If the winner is a current UP client, the prize includes planting your new tree!

What’s Fresh:

We’ve been admiring our growing celery. Did you know celery has been used by humans since the times of Ancient Egypt and Greece?

Wild celery seeds have been found in ancient tombs and temples, and a Greek coin from around 500BC boasts a wild celery leaf. By the time of Charlemagne, celery was cultivated in gardens and began genetically morphing into the sweet stalks we know today.

Did you know you can regrow the plant from a used stalk? The severed stalk will regrow while sitting in a cup of water. Mother Nature Network describes the process in detail.

December Garden To-Do List:

    • If you’re in the market for a new fruit tree this winter, make sure you buy a tree with low chill hours. Southern California’s climate has very few annual hours under 45°F, so look for a tree labeled with 300 or fewer chill hours.
    • Remember that fertilizer can be washed away in rain and end up as runoff. Cultivate the fertilizer into the soil to integrate it thoroughly.
    • Consider getting a rain barrel to put the winter rain to good use!
      The San Diego County Water Authority offers rain barrels at a discounted price in their “Catch It San Diego” program.
    • Garden filled with herbs? Hearken back to our October newsletter for creative ways to cook with herbs.

National News:

Let’s combat climate change with small choices to help the planet. Here are some great ideas:

  • Sign up for online bill-pay and invoicing to avoid wasted paper. When moving, use the USPS Change of Address program to reduce waste.
  • Give up factory-farmed beef to reduce carbon emissions and consumption of clean water.
  • Combat food waste with our easy suggestions.
  • Use handkerchiefs & cloth napkins instead of disposable tissues and napkins.
  • Measure the distances you travel for errands & consider bicycling instead!

This is Stephanie Luke signing off. I’ve written and designed the UP newsletter and all social media materials since spring of 2015. It’s been a pleasure to work for a company that cultivates its values every day. Good luck to UP and thank you for the fantastic fresh food, the memories, and the dirt under my nails.