Let's Garden! NOVEMBER 2016 Workshops at GFE
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The garden will be closed Saturday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We know we have lots to be thankful for this year!
LIFE AFTER LAWN: Beautiful Alternatives
This Saturday, October 29th 2016 | 10am - 12:00noon | SFPUC class

There are lots of reasons to ditch your lawn and now is the time! Learn what beautiful flowering plants you can add to your garden that use so much less irrigation than a water-hogging lawn. Instructor Ellyn will also cover the easiest ways to get your lawn out so you can get your garden in!

Saturday, November 5th 2016 | 10am - 12:00noon

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 | 10am - 12:00noon

As you rake up your falls leaves and pull out the last of your summer food crops, now is a great time to start your own compost pile! Join us this month for our free compost class.
Saturday, November 12th 2016 | 10am - 12:00noon

While the rest of the country is experiencing dipping temperatures and even some snow, we here in the Bay Area are planting our year round vegetable gardens! Learn what you can grow this winter, and how best to care for your edible garden this month.

Saturday, November 19th 2016 | 10am - 12:00noon | SFPUC class

We live in a dry, western state and it's time we do our part to conserve water. Learn about the wonders of a graywater system, and the steps to install one in your home.

Farewell Blair! Hello Maggie!

After 10 years at Garden for the Environment, Executive Director Blair Randall has accepted an exciting new position at the SFPUC. We are so grateful to Blair's compassionate leadership, and his stewardship of the garden for the past decade. Blair is a passionate advocate for our 1/2 acre of land, a master of our fruit tree orchard, and an integral part of our garden community. We are thrilled for him, and this great opportunity, and have promised to care for this garden as he always has. Read Blair's full statement here.

Maggie Marks, our Programs Director, has accepted the position as Interim Executive Director. A native of San Francisco's Inner Sunset district, she is thrilled to lead this organization after 4.5 years strengthening our programs. She will continue to be in the garden Saturdays, teaching classes, turning compost, and answering questions. Please come by and say hello! 

Get Up! class update

Get Up! visits the Recology Transfer Station to learn about our SF waste stream!

Our 20th annual Get Up! class is more than halfway through the program, and gearing up to graduate this December. This group has been particularly busy, revamping GFE's Victory Garden as part of their class. While they learned about garden construction, they built two new raised beds, filling them with healthy soil in their soil class. While they studied drip irrigation, they learned how to install it on the beds they built just a few weeks ago.

These gardeners are gaining important skills through guest expert instructors, like Pam Peirce and Tom Bressan. After a morning lecture, they then take these skills into hands-on gardening projects each afternoon. Get Up! is a bright spot on our yearly calendar and we are enjoying every minute with this talented and energetic group. Stop by the Victory Garden to check out the transformation!

Saturday, November 5th | 1pm - 5pm
203 Cotter Street, San Francisco

Join us as we bid farewell to the beautiful Little City Gardens. Caitlyn, and the farmers at Little City, have been a part of the GFE community since they began 6 years ago. Each year, Get Up! has visited the site to see a working agricultural farm in action, a unique experience in our increasingly urban city. We have been amazed with how they have transformed this small piece of land into one of the most beautiful spaces in San Francisco. While we are heartbroken to see them leave, we look forward to celebrating them and the lasting impact they have in our city. If you have never been to this site, now is the time!

Our fall field trip program is back! Each year, 32 lucky 4th & 5th grade classes from around San Francisco get to visit GFE for a special, hands-on field trip. Our Youth Program Manager, Nicole, and her amazing interns teach the importance of water conservation and waste reduction to these young stewards. On their garden tour, they also talk about the many additional uses for plants we have such as medicine and tools. The students are asked to be creative - what could make for yourself if you lived in the garden?
Chicken Soup with an Egg

As seems to be going around, I got quite the nasty cold about halfway through October. My throat was sore, my head felt weirdly inflated, and I had absolutely no energy to speak of. I almost don't notice quite how bad I feel when I'm sick, until I start getting better and I suddenly have all this energy. Work emails flow effortlessly! I am eager to get back in the garden!

Being sick is a good reminder to me that, as much as I would like, I can't control everything. Sometimes life gets in the way of plans and I just need to take it easy, despite my desire to get all the things done I had planned. It's a challenge, but a good one. By not feeling well. I am reminded that sometimes I can't do - it's humbling and important.

While I was home for many days last week, keeping my germs out of our office, I ate a lot of soup. I ate it for every meal actually but was to lazy to do much chopping or sautéing. I pulled chicken stock from the freezer, and when that ran out, I used my trusty Better than Bouillon to make a quick base. I added lots of crushed garlic, a little chili to get some spice running through my body, and thick slices of ginger to the hot broth.

One of my favorite food bloggers posted this non-recipe that I would not have normally given a second thought, except  I was desperate for something quick and satisfying. The short ingredient list was truly underwhelming, until I realized it made me something so deeply satisfying. This is now my go-to quick lunch or dinner, perfect when you're sick or feel like you have nothing in the house to eat.

Stay healthy out there!

Charlie Bingham Soup
From the blog Orangette by Molly Weizenburg
Serves 1-2

2 cups of chicken broth (to this I added garlic, ginger and chili)
~2 oz small pasta like orzo or vermicelli (I broke some bucatini I had into small pieces)
1 egg
salt to taste
grated parmesan
cracked black pepper

This is truly barely a recipe, but here it goes. Heat up your broth on the stove in a small pot. Once it comes to a boil, add your pasta and cook according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, crack your egg into a small bowl, and whisk with a fork until well beaten. After the pasta is cooked, remove the pot from heat and stir in the beaten egg.  Using the same fork as before, mix the hot broth constantly until the egg becomes feather-like and well distributed. Taste for salt.

Pour your soup into a bowl and top with parmesan and pepper.
By Stephanie Pressler, Opa's Garden


We often think of flower bouquets as being best in spring and summer when so many of our plants are in full bloom, but a bouquet made with fall foliage can be just as beautiful! At GFE we love to make bouquets year round, like this one above, and we make a point to include one with our Harvest! CSA box each Saturday (which goes to home to the Larkin Street Youth Services G-House). Here are a couple of tips and tricks to keep in mind as you put together a bouquet this fall season:
  • Think bold with color. Find rich, bold colors in your garden to incorporate in your bouquet. I like to play with dark greens, rich reds and purples, and deep oranges during the autumn. Leucadendron is a fun plant because the branches range from sage green to bold burgundy. 
  • Mix and match textures. Try adding textures to your arrangement that are new or different. Balance softer fronds, grasses and leaves with a branch that has interesting lichen on it. Or mix and match plants with different leaf shapes. You can strike a visually interesting relationship between plants with small round leaves, like coprosma, and plants with long spiky leaves, like grevellia ivanhoe.
  • Thrill, fill and spill. This is a trick I picked up from my mom years ago. Build your bouquet by including an eye-catching bloom that thrills, some smaller clippings that fill in gaps, and a couple of pieces that trail and spill over to give an organic feel.

Garden for the Environment teaches youth and adults in San Francisco to garden organically. Founded in 1990, GFE provides hands-on education to 2,000 youth and adults each year at its ½ acre organic teaching garden. 

The Garden for the Environment is a non-profit Park Partner of the San Francisco Parks Alliance. We are supported by donations from gardeners like you, workshop fees, and with support from public and private foundations and the City and County of San Francisco.

Copyright © 2016 Garden for the Environment 

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