by David Goldstein
Gardening has at all times been a preferred interest, and curiosity in planting and tending vegetation has surged throughout the social isolation interval of the COVID-19 pandemic. As one measure, “the famend seed firm Burpee bought extra seed packets this spring than at any time throughout its 144-year historical past” and “Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society has seen a five-fold rise in queries for gardening recommendation on its web site throughout the lockdown,” in line with the touchdown webpage of goodnewsnetwork.org, quoting information first reported by Reuters.
Domestically, the Ventura County Grasp Gardener program, organized by the College of California Cooperative Extension workplace in Ventura, can also be experiencing excessive demand for gardening recommendation. The group has modified its assist line so volunteers can proceed aiding the general public with out endangering their very own well being throughout the pandemic. The Grasp Gardener helpline desk has briefly shut down its cellphone service however continues to answer emails. In the event you want gardening suggestions, e mail inquiries to email@example.com.
Additionally, you’ll be able to nonetheless convey plant samples to the UC Cooperative Extension workplace for identification of plant sorts and evaluation of issues. Convey plant samples to 669 County Sq. Drive, Suite 100, Ventura. There’s a bin with directions outdoors the primary door of the workplace.
The Grasp Gardener program remains to be searching for new recruits, though the following Grasp Gardener coaching class will not be scheduled till September 2021.
Gardening in Ventura County has the potential to profit the surroundings in at the very least 5 methods. Planting choice and backyard design may help native animal species thrive; planting gardens to gradual, unfold and sink water reduces runoff to the ocean; planting shade bushes and decreasing paved areas cools city areas; vegetation produce oxygen, eat carbon dioxide,and filter particulates, enhancing local weather and air high quality; and food-producing vegetation can cut back meals packaging and air pollution related to transportation.
On the primary level, associated to the potential for native gardens to profit native animals, almost a decade in the past, Dr. Reese Halter, who was then on the school of California Lutheran College, calculated that bee pollination contributed over $180 million yearly to the financial system in Ventura County. In workshops titled “Birds, Bees and Butterflies” and “Herbicides and Pesticides Defined,” Dr. Halter taught strategies for decreasing pesticides with out inflicting infestations in addition to the next methods native gardens may help. His recommendation included limiting lawns; grass affords little meals or cowl for wildlife. Enhance vertical laying, creating plant construction between the bottom and the tree cover. Present water, however take measures to make sure you don’t breed mosquitoes. Exchange unique and invasive vegetation with native vegetation to supply meals and canopy. On the ultimate level listed above as a good thing about gardening, rising your personal meals reduces packaging. Fruit and greens usually come from supermarkets in plastic packaging, and transport packaging used to maneuver produce from fields to your grocery store cabinets consists of pallets, shrink wrap and padding. Rising your personal meals avoids this waste.
In fact, Ventura County’s productive soil and sunny local weather typically lead to an extra of meals produced by diligent gardeners. Keep away from meals waste of this kind by giving extra to neighbors and pals. To offer away meals whereas social distancing, put a field of your extra produce in your curbside with an indication saying “Free,” or listing it without cost curbside pickup on Freecycle.com, the Ventura County Free Barter and Commerce Fb group, or the free part of Craigslist. For particularly massive harvests, contact Meals Ahead or FOOD Share, which glean for the hungry.
With the onset of winter climate in Ventura County, many native gardeners this month, together with my spouse and me, are planting seeds in raised beds, making ready to develop lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Others develop celery, chard, spinach, eggplant, radishes, kale, broccoli, beets, cauliflower and cabbage at the moment of 12 months. In components of the county with harsher climate, some begin these seeds indoors.
David Goldstein is an Environmental Analyst with Ventura County Public Works and will be reached at 805-658-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.