OFG meets the 4th Tuesday of every month.

All of our blog posts are now done through our Surfrider chapter website at
http://sandiego.surfrider.org/programs/ocean-friendly-gardens You can also visit our Facebook page at 'Ocean Friendly Gardens - San Diego'

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Las Pilitas Nursery - Check it out!

I have heard over and over that Las Pilitas Nursery is the best place to get native plants in San Diego County. Although nearly all nurseries carry natives, Las Pilitas has the largest selection and the largest plants available.

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Fish vs. Lawns, not North vs. South


NY Times
Published: October 17, 2009

Anyone who has flown in an airplane above California’s vast Central Valley has seen them: two canals snaking north to south, carrying Sierra Nevada snowmelt to thirsty farms and cities via the sprawling Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Northern California natives are raised to scowl at these channels and the supposedly rapacious, wasteful, environmentally insensitive Southern Californians they supply.

But the federal government’s Central Valley Project and the California Aqueduct are not the only straws sucking water from the Delta or diverting the Sierra’s liquid bounty from its natural path to the sea.

Residents of seven of the nine Bay Area counties — all but Sonoma and Marin — draw much of their water from the same source. On their behalf, rivers have been dammed and majestic gorges inundated. To keep them in showers and sprinklers, hundreds of miles of pipeline has been built to move water around or from the Delta, which scientists say has been pushed to the brink of ecological collapse.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders have been haggling behind closed doors for months seeking a historic agreement to make California’s water supply more reliable while restoring and preserving the Delta and its wildlife habitat. Some in the Bay Area fear that the true aim of these talks is to allow construction of a new canal to send still more water south for farmers to grow crops in the desert and Angelenos to fill their pools and wash their BMWs.

But Bay Area interests have been fighting as hard as anyone to protect their right to pull water from the Delta and the rivers that feed it.

It is no accident that a key player in the water talks is State Senator Joe Simitian,. a Democrat from Palo Alto. He represents the Silicon Valley, where the pharmaceutical and computer chip industries depend on a reliable supply of clean water for their research, development and manufacturing. They are working feverishly to guard the valley’s supply.

“Historically, people have characterized this as a north-south issue,” Mr. Simitian said last week in an interview. “But the fact of the matter is a significant portion of the water for the district I represent comes right out of the Delta.”

Or, as the Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg, put it: “The whole Northern California versus Southern California frame is so 1980s. It’s different now.”

Indeed, Mr. Steinberg laments he has spent too much time lately fending off attacks from the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Unless you pay your monthly water bill to this agency known as East Bay MUD, you have probably never heard of it. It serves 1.3 million thirsty customers. Eighty years ago, the district built a dam on the Mokelumne River in the Sierra foothills, creating Pardee Reservoir, then built the 90-mile Mokelumne Aqueduct to carry its captured Sierra runoff. Now the district is contemplating a big expansion that would inundate a scenic section of the river to serve future growth.

Just like the water that goes south to Los Angeles, the water that residents drink in Oakland, Berkeley and Walnut Creek would flow into the Delta and help to keep fish alive had it not been diverted. The same is true of San Francisco, which blocked the Tuolumne River nearly 100 years ago, filled Hetch Hetchy Valley and uses the water for itself and cities on the Peninsula.
A key issue in this fight is whether Bay Area residents from San Francisco to Fremont should give up some water to preserve the Delta’s ecosystem. Randy Kanouse, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents East Bay MUD, says that if that happens, more water rationing will surely follow.
“When you make conservation a permanent way of life and all of your customers take the waste out of their household and business use,” Mr. Kanouse said, “there’s no more excess water they can give up. Consumers will have to let their lawns die, their landscapes die, and business customers will have to cut production. If the Mokelumne River has to have more water kept in the river to flow into the Delta, it’s a virtual certainty that rationing will be more frequent and deeper than it is today.”

Forgive Mr. Kanouse if he sounds like a thirsty Southern Californian. He, too, has water interests to protect. Yes, this fight might be part north versus south. But there is a western front that extends all the way to the Golden Gate.

Daniel Weintraub has reported on California politics and policy for more than 20 years.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Water Harvesting Open House - Sunday, October 25

Water Harvesting Open House
Sunday, October 25
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
In Talmadge - RSVP for address brook@h2o-me.com

Come see water harvesting in action! Guided by Water Harvesting Professional and Permaculturist, Brook Sarson, you'll see how a 1320 gallon rainwater tank combined with laundry greywater and bath greywater work together to grow a garden of edibles using only 1/4 of the water that most San Diegans use each day.

As you tour this urban farm setting, you'll see natural building techniques including a cob chicken coop, decorative benches as well as an earth pizza oven. Brook will be on-hand to talk to you about solutions for your space and how you can make a difference during San Diego's water crisis and beyond.

Please feel free to arrive at any time during the open house to learn about simple greywater systems, do-it-yourself options, rainwater-harvesting systems, resources, or schedule an appointment with Brook to assess greywater opportunities at your site.

Suggested donation of $5 will go toward supporting water activism in San Diego.

Please RSVP to Brook at brook@h2o-me.com or call 619.964.4838 for the address.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Killed My Lawn. Ask Me How.

Recently, I saw someone driving through my neighborhood with an "I Killed My Lawn. Ask Me How." bumper sticker. After some further research, I found out the bumper stickers are available from the Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano.

They also offer "Replacing Your Lawn with Native Plants" workshops throughout the year.

More information is available at Kill your lawn!

Water Smart Gardening Festival - November 14

The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College is sponsoring a Water Smart Gardening Festival on Saturday, November 14, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

There will be a drought tolerant plant sale, free landscape design consultations, water smart gardeners, master gardeners, and presentations on drought tolerant garden design, plants and irrigation. Free admission and parking.

For more information, please visit The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College web site or view the event flyer.