February 2016: Urban Ag Approval, Flee Beetle Traps, & Ancient Chickens

‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’  -Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.
Last week the California Farm and Garden crew gathered at the Campus Point Farm at Green Acres Restaurant. We enjoyed team-building exercises like grape pruning and blackberry thinning. If you have grapevines, now is the time to prune them back to their most essential vines. Leave several nodes on the vine in order to sprout new growth in the spring. Please give us a call if you need a hand: 619-563-5771.

Community garden incentives coming to SD!

Last week San Diego’s Land Use Committee “approved a plan to use vacant properties for agricultural use“. The plan is called the “Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone” (or AB551) and it works thusly: property owners use their land for agriculture for at least 5 years in exchange for slashed property taxes up to 50%. The plan awaits a full City Council vote in February. We hope San Diego votes for local food!
Commercial chicken currently rivals pork as the world’s largest source of animal protein. American homesteaders and small farmers have always enjoyed fresh eggs from their flocks. Chickens = food. It turns out, this is a modern development. Humans domesticated chickens around 8,000 years ago, but we only have evidence of using them as food from2,000 years ago. Instead, chickens were our close companions, used for ritual and cockfighting. What kinds of rituals, you ask? Many ancient (and modern) cultures used chicken behavior, bones and entrails for divination. Ancient Romans believed that chickens uninterested in food foretold doom. Anthropological research says that shared homes and diet among chickens and humans has resulted in shared behavior and even bone makeup. Our feathered friends may not be oracles, but they certainly hold more wisdom than we know.
This here is a homemade flea beetle trap. Flea beetles hide in the soil and feed on the outside of the leaves and stems. Our trap uses the beetle’s attraction to heat. We fill and seal plastic cups with water and cover the cups in a sticky substance (Tanglefoot). The water heats up during the day and later retains the heat through the cool night, which attracts the beetles. They stick to the Tanglefoot and voila! Trapped.
January Salad Bar in Chef Marcela Valladolid’s Garden