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June 16, 2014 Farm and Garden Show with Bill Taylor, Tim Ward on dry year farming and Scott Cratty on Food Stamp Match on local issues

Posted by The Farm and Garden Show
The Farm and Garden Show
To see all available audio archives of the Farm and Garden Show go to our website link shown above. The Farm ...
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on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 in Uncategorized

Jaye Alison Moscariello interviewed cohost Bill Taylor for 15 minutes, then both interviewed Anderson Valley Community Farm's Tim Ward.  We talked about ways to maximize crops while minimizing water use. 

While Bill was calling Tim, Jaye read some of Bill's "Dry Season Growing Hints...".  They are printed in full at at the bottom of this post.

Tim added some great ideas: No-till and adding michorryzae from Fungi Perfecti.  There was a discussion as to whether Brassicas (Kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli etc) have fungal associations.  Checking a few on-iine sources indicates that they do not, nor do beets and spinach (and presumably chard), nor lupines.  Most other plants do.  Since Tim interplants lettuce between his brassicas (something Bill does as well), he dips lettuce roots in mycorrhizae and notices improvement.  No-till will preserve more mycorrhizae for the next crops. 

Scott Cratty spoke about the Food Stamp Match program in which folks can double their money up to $15 per week at several Mendocino County Farmers' Markets.  The program is seeking steady funding; about $20,000/year is the current level for Ukiah and lesser amounts for Mendocino, Ft Bragg, Willits, Redwood Valley.  Until now farmers, including Ben Wolff who has donated several pigs, have assisted with the fundraising; many others have gotten involved. 

Here is a link to the show:

http://media.kzyx.org/mp3/farm/Farm%20and%20Garden-6-16-14.mp3

 

Dry Season Growing Hints for a Dry Year by Bill Taylor, Floodgate Farm (c)2014  707-272-1688

1.       Pretend that CA summer is like winter in cold areas: not necessarily a good time to grow things.  Focus on growing in a way that plants do their main growth in Fall, Winter and Spring seasons when water is abundant.  This of course will mean starting some plants in July and August in flats or small beds using your limited summer water.  

2.       Increase organic matter in the soil.  Not only does it hold moisture but associated fungi can bring tens of times more water and in drier soil conditions than the plant roots themselves.  More on this in our July show.

3.       Run drip irrigation frequent and short times, especially for annual plants.   Steady moderate moisture keeps soil life and plants included happy.  Flood and drought conditions from infrequent irrigation allow soil life to die off.

4.       Save your own seed and plant at a variety of times and conditions.  Leave seed stalks of plants you like mulched around.  Have you noticed volunteer plants know best where to grow?  This practice encourages that.  Example: in June 2013 I scattered seedy plant tops around the orchard expecting a fall sprouting of desired salad plants.  Instead some sprouted after a late June rain, more after a late Sept rain, and yet more after the February deluge.  All yielded some harvest which continues.  PLANT EARLY and hold some seed back for replanting in case of late freezes, floods, etc.  

5.       Create berms and swales and hugel beds – texture in your land.  Depending on weather, the high or low areas will be more or less productive.  Microclimates will help diversify the plantings too.  Hugel (mound) culture places woody debris along with greener plant wastes in a snake-like mound topped with clean soil and compost.  If your site has slope, build it along the contour (with swale uphill to help water soak into the bottom part).  Water well, then plant biodiversely into it (including trees and shrubs and perennial veggies).  A 6’ high hugelbed needs no irrigation once soaked.  Ones built in February or later may not fully hydrate until next year – but if water is abundant you can soak it right away.  Less than 6’ high may need a bit of watering in the dry season.  Ones I built last summer and fall were hydrated even with below normal rain, and still retain quite a lot of moisture.  Great alternative to burn piles.  

6.       Keep those older established deep-rooted plants.  Plowing or digging up and starting with a blank canvas does not work well if abundant water is not to be had.  At least have the replacements ready before removing a productive plant even if it is only moderately productive.  Use as many edible parts as you can (especially on brassicas).  Cut off seed stalks on all but the ones you want for seed saving.  Chard and most brassicas will resprout from the lower parts of the stalk fed by their large root systems.

7.       Use mulch.  Not an inch or 2 but several inches to a foot on established plants (but not right against them; taper it down so none is touching the trunk/stem).  Best applied AFTER the rain or just after watering.   I will be adding to the thin mulch as the tomatoes and squash grow.

8.       Dry farming techniques: when planting, loosen soil to depth to help it hold a maximum of water, then create a hard skin on top with shovel or roller (if too large-scale for the deep mulch to hold it in.  Later, such as now, a  shallow “dust” mulch cultivation will block the upward movement of the water.  DRY FARMED FOOD TASTES GREAT - not pumped full of water.

9.       Candidates for dry farming: Tomatoes, potatoes, squash.  

10.   Know when tree feeder roots grow: for a few weeks just after fruit set to support vegetative and fruit growth and again after terminal bud set in late summer (this one is longer and deeper) to store food in twigs and buds for next year.  Scythe down grass at petal fall to feed the first flush and retain soil moisture.  Keep shallow areas well watered and not disturbed for the crucial month or so after fruit set.  Less frequent deep watering is the order after that: from 3-4 weeks after fruit set until harvest.  When terminal buds set (usually August), above-ground growth stops but some moisture is needed by the feeder root flush but as the sun is getting lower this can be less frequent.  

11.   Use standard (standard/seedling or M111 for apples) rootstocks.  AVOID PLANTING DWARF TREES.  Their roots were selected as weak on purpose for England’s notorious wet summers.  For grapes, avoid riparian rootstocks which unfortunately are the industry standard in many vineyards.   

12.   Learn your site’s hydrology – where is it still moist a foot down after 2 months of no rain or irrigation?  After 3-4 months?   Planting on low mounds in such areas means adequate drainage AND adequate moisture for plant survival (especially applicable to fruit and nut trees and grapes) and even dry farming EVERY year.  Established trees in such a spot may be dry-farmed; if watered in past years they may need a gradual weaning process: cut off the water after the first root flush which ends about 1 month after fruit set.  

13.   Play the hold-over card: Plant chard and kale and other brassicas early in areas you cannot water over the summer.  If roots are well established, these can hold over the summer in a semi-dormant state with no water  (or one very deep watering a month if it is very hot) and perk up after the fall rains start, and be very productive as they will be well ahead of fall plantings.  If it is very hot, some of these will go dormant anyway so no need to waste water.   

14.   Learn and use wild plants.  Not only native ones but many immigrant plants were brought as food plants from some “old country” and have adapted to our climate.  Think “immigrant” rather than “invasive”.  Wild chickweed, dandelion, plantain, cherry plums, and Burbank’s thorny blackberries provide us food without pampering.

15.   Diversify your mowing equipment.  A European scythe available from scythe supply in Maine will leave an easily-gathered windrow of cut grasses rather than an unrakeable pulverized dust left by the prevalent weed whacker.  If the grasses are seedy, they can be used to mulch larger plants or hot-composted.  I am separating out the now-clean wild oat straw as the seeds have already fallen, for use as mulch on tomatoes and squash. 

To see all available audio archives of the Farm and Garden Show go to our website link shown above.




The Farm and Garden Show airs every Monday from 1 pm to 2 pm.

MCPB Board of Directors

Welcome our new board members and thank our outgoing board members at the Annual Meeting of the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Board of Directors

Point Noyo (previously The Cliff House)

1011 S Main Street 

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 6:00 pm

(No Host Bar/Food available for purchase)

New board members John Azzaro (At large); Jonathan Middlebrook (1st District); and Stuart Campbell (Programmer Elect) 

Outgoing board members are Bob Page and John Sakowicz


Here are the minutes from the last meeting, as yet unapproved.


KZYX/MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC BROADCASTING

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

MARCH 7, 2016

WILLITS LIBRARY

 

MINUTES

 THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER AT 6:03 P.M.

ROLL CALL
Present: Meg Courtney, Lorraine Dechter, Jane Futcher, Jenness Hartley, Ed Keller, Benj Thomas, John Sakowicz

Absent: Clay Eubank

 

APPROVAL OF LAST MEETING’S MINUTES: Unanimous

 

MATTERS FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT: Meg Courtney

—GROUND RULES: Meg appointed Jenness to be the Meeting Facilitator

—THANK YOUS: Meg expressed thanks to Lorraine Dechter, the new GM: Jane Futcher, elections coordinator and election ballot workers and stampers, including Jenness, Ed, Bob and several others. Ed Keller was thanked for building a covered area outside where staff can sit.

—FUNDRAISING: Meg mentioned some of the fundraisers coming up, including Amy Goodman in Willits, April 16; a Willits house party April 23; a Mother’s Day fundraiser with Starchild chocolate; a Church of the Boogie Woogie party with a Boogie Woogie diva in June. She thanked Catherine Keegan and Tim Bray for taking on many fundraising events for KZYX and for requiring board and staff do very little.

 

MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS:

Jane Futcher reported that board election was proceeding and the on-air forum went well.

John Sakowicz welcomed Lorraine and expressed hope that KZYX will collaborate with low-power channels like KMEC, also using digital platforms and many new technologies that expand the station’s reach and can be the source of potential revenues.

 

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

—Elections Report by Jane not needed because of above check-in

—No Finance Committee report due to Clay’s absence

 

PRESENTATION OF MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ COMMENDATION TO MARY AIGNER BY TOM WOODHOUSE: Tom Woodhouse read an eloquently worded recognition of Mary Aigner’s 22 years of service as a staff member of KZYX. (See Attached)

 

COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD REPORT FROM ELLEN SAXE

Ellen summarized the results of a CAB public meeting in Elk in February. She chose an area that the station does not always reach out to but was disappointed with the turnout despite the fact that the meeting was well publicized. About 10 people attended. She said transparency of the board and station was a big issue and there were requests for:
1. On-air CAB meetings

2. On-air Board meetings

3. On-air discussions with board representatives

4. The board should stop using a closed board list serve and confidential meetings

5. Simple living membership of $25 should be announced on the air

6. Controversy comes from exclusion — Someone said that when the Mendocino School Board adopted a more open stance their meetings became less contentious and shorter.

 

Ellen reported many comments about the board’s conduct, including:

—Board should state what its rules are and follow the process

—Board should not let a few people make all the decisions

—Board should make transparency a priority

—Board needs to follow through as new board members replace outgoing members.

—Board should be more responsive.

Several of those attending want access to the membership list with an opt-out clause for folks who don’t want to be contacted.

Other suggestions:

—Hire a volunteer coordinator

—contact nonmembers through public meetings

—Restore safe harbor

—State what happened with Ukiah studio funds

—Start a program council that had decision-making power

—Pay attention to the South Coast so people in Gualala can tune in.

—Encourage more participation by young people

—Define and follow the process for choosing programmers

—Institute a grievance procedure for former programmers

—Form Ad Hoc committees of members for pursuing specific issues

—Take seriously the decline in membership

—Encourage and support local programmers

 

BREAKS: During the meeting, possibly during Ellen’s presentation, a reporter covering the meeting and a candidate for the board interrupted frequently and claimed the board president was not following clear procedures. The facilitator called short break to establish calm.

 

NO ACTION ITEMS

STATE OF THE STATION REPORT — Lorraine Dechter

Lorraine did not submit a written report. She introduced Jerry Fraley, the interim Operations Manager, who was not present, and Raoul Van Haul, who introduced himself and his long experience in broadcasting, particularly in Portland, Oregon. Lorraine announced new Native American programming, a five-minute syndicated segment for which she has not yet found the perfect time slot. She said our expenses for the month of January were triple what was budgeted because it was costly covering the vacant program manager and ops manager positions.

 PUBLIC COMMENT:

Jeff Wright: Thanked Lorraine for unraveling the “trainwreck she was left with.” Said the satellites studios are working better and he asked that the “safe harbor” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. be restored. He encouraged KZYZ to participate in joint events with KMUD and promote the Seven Rivers Network.

Sheila Dawn Tracy: Said members should be able to communicate with each other; wants safe harbor restore; would like a written GM report; feels new KZYX newsletter should have gone in the silent drive letter.

Sarah: Requested results of fundraisers and pledge drives be published on the KZYX Web site and promoted on the Web site in advance

Fran Koliner: Welcomed Lorraine

Ellen Saxe: Gave out her email address so others can receive summary of CAB meeting

Lyn Dee Johnson: Wants each board member to have a sign with their names so people know who they are; said this was an “emotional transition” that is hard on listeners, too, as they hear new voices on the air, etc. She, or someone else, remarked that the FCC investigation of KZXY led to a decision by the staff to end safe harbor because of concerns the station might lose its license if the FCC heard bad language on the air.

 

The meeting ended at 8 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jane Futcher, Board VP

 

Adendum: Mendocino Board of Supervisors’ letter of Commendation to Mary Aigner. Signed by Tom Woodhouse and Dan Gjerde, delivered at the meeting March 7, 2016

 

Mary Aigner tirelessly served Mendocino County for 22 years through her work at KZYX. During her tenure as program director, she exhibited an unflagging dedication to community radio in general and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting in particular. The station was more than a job to her, it was a career and a passion, often placed before her own personal life. 

 

Mary exhibited dedication to the listening community by

—Cultivating familiarity with the various communities of the region, and the issues

confronting each of them. She often helped to arrange discussions of those issues on the stations public affairs programs and newscasts’’

—Maintaining steadfast awareness, and unwaveringly correct instincts about the preferences

of the public radio listening community, and representing them in any meeting,

conversation, or decision in which she was involved. “How will it benefit the listeners?”

was the perspective she always brought to the table.

 —Facing recurring challenges from small segments of the community about programming,

remaining firmly rooted in her convictions and professional expertise about how to serve

the majority of listeners and how to make KZYX the best possible community station. 

  —Being willing to engage in conversation with any listener, and personally respond to their

questions and concerns

             

Mary exhibited dedication to the station by:

 —Understanding and being able to operate and manage all the stations equipment, and

keeping herself abreast of the evolving technology

—Being available 24/7 to handle last-minute changes, trouble-shoot technical difficulties and support other staff members in their efforts to seek resolution

 —Being available to facilitate special programming – coming in on weekends and evenings to update the stations automated broadcast system

 —Helping produce live remote broadcasts, and fundraising events

 —Remaining ever mindful of the regulations which govern public radio stations

              

Mary exhibited dedication to the stations volunteer programmers by:

—Training, guiding, and assisting on-air volunteers, whatever their level of skill or experience

 —Helping find substitute hosts for absent programmers, often filling in herself on short notice

—Always being available to programmers, even on weekends or when out of town, to instruct,

support, and trouble-shoot unexpected on-air difficulties

 —Actively interfacing with record companies, and content providers, to keep the flow of new

music and programming coming to the station

 —Alerting programmers to new music or events which might be of interest to their audience

 —Facilitating interview opportunities for programmers with performers and public figures

Tom Woodhouse & Dan Gjerde

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Mendocino studio 707-937-5103

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For questions about underwriting on KZYX, call (707) 895-2324 or email uw [at] kzyx [dot] org