Monday, January 16, 2017

The Master Gardeners Return to the Green Tent on January 22nd!

Update - sadly the Master Gardeners have to cancel this Sunday due to rain.

Start the New Year right with seeds and plants for your garden — the UC/CE LA County Master Gardeners will be at the Green Tent from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, giving away what you need to get your spring garden going and to answer your gardening questions. 

Hand planted with love by the MGs expressly for the Mar Vista community, this month they’re bringing these organic seedlings (PS: please recycle your used plastic “pony packs” with the MGs so they can keep planting future seedlings for you.):

Heirloom Broccoli Raab (aka Rapini) is commonly featured in Italian and Chinese cuisines. It has more in common with turnip than broccoli, but has turnip-like leaves, and dispersed buds that resemble thin, leggy broccoli stalks.

Tuscan Baby Kale - everyone loves this, MGs included!
Baby leaf lettuce mix - for those wonderful spring and summer salads
Bloomsdale spinach - the king of all spinach! the one with the curly edges
Cilantro - you either love it or hate it!
Snow peas - especially great with the broccoli raab if you make a stir fry
Gourmet greens -  eat them raw or add them to your smoothies
Mache -  Also called lamb’s lettuce, it’s been cultivated in France since the 17th century, a tiny dark green plant that grows close to the ground and has a sweet, nutty flavor that some people compare to the taste of corn.

ALERT!!! This month, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is asking all residents to look closely at their citrus trees. This is a long document with important links for you to find out more about this disease that is decimating citrus in states across the US and has now been identified in California.

May 8, 2016
UC asks citrus residents to inspect their citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllid
Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850
California citrus - both on farms and in home landscapes - face a very real threat from a disease that is spread by Asian citrus psyllid. Florida and Texas citrus is already suffering terribly. California may be able to avoid the same fate, if all residents and farmers do their part to combat the pest. We hope you'll help us spread the word.
Here are some resources: A video on YouTube ( free to share on your website or social media, high-resolution photos (
Spring in California is time to inspect citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllid
A tell-tale sign of spring in California is a flush of new leaf growth on citrus trees. Because the feathery light green leaves are particularly attractive to Asian citrus psyllids (ACP), the leaves' emergence marks a critical time to determine whether the pest has infested trees.
"We encourage home citrus growers and farmers to go out with a magnifying glass or hand lens and look closely at the new growth," said Beth Grafton-CardwellUC Agriculture and Natural Resources ( citrus entomologist. "Look for the various stages of the psyllid – small yellow eggs, sesame-seed sized yellow ACP young with curly white tubules, or aphid-like adults that perch with their hind quarters angled up."
Pictures of the Asian citrus psyllids and its life stages are on the UC ANR website ( If you find signs of the insect, call the California Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Exotic Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.
Asian citrus psyllids are feared because they can spread huanglongbing (HLB) disease, an incurable condition that first causes yellow mottling on the leaves and later sour, misshapen fruit before killing the tree. ACP, native of Pakistan, Afghanistan and other tropical and subtropics regions of Asian, was first detected in California in 2008. Everywhere Asian citrus psyllids have appeared – including Florida and Texas – the pests have found and spread the disease. A few HLB-infected trees have been located in urban Los Angeles County. They were quickly removed by CDFA officials.
"In California, we are working hard to keep the population of ACP as low as possible until researchers can find a cure for the disease," Grafton-Cardwell said. "We need the help of citrus farmers and home gardeners."
Grafton-Cardwell has spearheaded the development of the UC ANR ACP website ( for citrus growers and citrus homeowners that provides help in finding the pest and what to do next. The site has an interactive map tool to locate residences and farms that are in areas where the psyllid has already become established, and areas where they are posing a risk to the citrus industry and must be aggressively treated by county officials.
The website outlines biological control efforts that are underway, and directions for insecticidal control, if it is needed. An online calculator on the website allows farmers and homeowners to determine their potential costs for using insecticides.
There are additional measures that can be taken to support the fight against ACP and HLB in California:
  • When planting new citrus trees, only purchase the trees from reputable nurseries. Do not accept tree cuttings or budwood from friends or relatives.
  • After pruning or cutting down a citrus tree, dry out the green waste or double bag it to make sure that live psyllids won't ride into another region on the foliage.
  • Control ants in and near citrus trees with bait stations. Scientists have released natural enemies of ACP in Southern California to help keep the pest in check. However, ants will protect ACP from the natural enemies. Ants favor the presence of ACP because the psyllid produces honeydew, a food source for ants.
  • Learn more about the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease by reading the detailed pest note on UC ANR's Statewide Integrated Pest Management website (
  • Assist in the control of ACP by supporting CDFA insecticide treatments of your citrus or treating the citrus yourself when psyllids are present.
  • Support the removal of HLB-infected trees.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Selva International, January 15


SELVA International, a Mar Vista based environmental non-profit, has partnered with conservation biologist and sustainable landscape professional Steven Williams to offer EcoGardens, a landscape service to help you convert your water thirsty lawn to an ecological garden.

Learn how your garden can:

• Conserve water
• Save money
• Grow native plants to attract birds and butterflies
• Reduce polluted runoff to our beaches
• Collect and use rainwater

• Support our local community

SELVA International hires and trains students at Venice Youth Build, an at-risk youth skills-building program, which also allows them to lower your cost. A couple of representatives from Venice Youth Build will be joining Steve at the tent.

At the Green TentSELVA International will display before and after pictures of sustainable, "Ocean Friendly Gardens." They'll have information handouts on SELVA's EcoGardens program and Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Gardens program. They'll have some CA native plants local to our area. Get your questions answered and free advice on ecological landscaping!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Greywater Systems, January 8

What is greywater? It's the "waste" water from your washing machine reused to water your fruit trees or perennial plants instead of being sent to the reclamation plant and then out to the ocean. 

With a greywater system, every time you do a load of laundry your plants get a good drink and you save money as well.

As everyone knows, California has experienced an extreme drought for many years and it will most likely continue. Water is probably the most important resource for every living species on our planet. Learn how to double the usage of your water!

Green Tent guest Art Lee holds workshops that cover all the information you need to install a grey water system at your house. He's bringing a mini greywater demo system so visitors can see how it works and will answer your questions. He'll also have a signup sheet for those interested in attending a future workshop.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Seed Library of Los Angeles, December 18

This Sunday at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market, representing the Seed Library of Los Angeles, David King will have seed samples and information on upcoming SLOLA events! SLOLA is our local organization protecting the diversity of our food supply – find out why that's important and learn about the Guatemalan Farmers of Qachoo Aloom and their amaranth growing project at The Learning Garden. Always something fun going on at the monthly Seed Library meetings – which are free!

David is Garden Master of the Learning Garden at Venice High School, a Mar Vista institution serving the community as our neighborhood botanical garden.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Master Gardeners, December 11

Photo by John S. Chao
This month, the last two Sundays fall on Christmas and New Year’s, and the Mar Vista Farmers Market will be closed both days.

But don’t despair: The UC/CE LA County Master Gardeners will still be at the market — this month only on the second Sunday, December 11. They’ll reoccupy the Green Tent on their regular date, the FOURTH Sunday of the month, in January and every month thereafter.

Meantime: they are bringing some of the same winter plants they grew for you at the November market, including winter greens, spinach, chard and a few other hardy seasonal plants, plus some surprises…

Make sure you stop by for free seedlings and free seed packets, and remember to bring your leftover plastic “pony” packs (aka six packs) that your nursery plants come in, so they can plant up the January seedlings for you.

Great advice for anyone looking for monthly garden guidance can be found at this link:

And don’t forget, even though there’s been some rain (not much!), ALWAYS be waterwise!! is a great resource for you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dog Waste, December 4

No one likes to find poo on the bottom of their shoe, which is one reason to pick up that “deposit” right away and dump it in a trash can.  

But did you know that canine fecal matter left on the ground can harm your dog, your neighbors’ dogs and your dog’s neighbors? 

As poo sits on the soil, it becomes, according to the EPA, “ as dangerous a pollutant as toxic chemicals and oil.” Pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella!

Add in rains or over-zealous lawn-watering and fecal bacteria/parasites wash into the storm drain and end up in the Santa Monica Bay. Not just yucky, but death to our local marine life.

Even though you can now see that dog poop is a serious matter, we’ve created a little game of skill and luck that you can play at the Green Tent this Sunday. 

You'll also see an example of a Dog Waste Station like the ones the Green Committee hopes to see installed around Mar Vista.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Master Gardeners, November 27

On Sunday, Nov. 27, join the UCCE LA County Master Gardeners  at The Green Tent from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. It’s post-Thanksgiving weekend and yes, you can definitely plant now! Which is a good thing since they’re bringing a whole lot of hand-grown seedlings and seed packets to give away. 

They’ve potted up some crowd-pleasing Baby Tuscan Kale and Broccoli Raab. Plus you can choose from snap peas, spinach, chard and arugula, plus braising greens and lettuce. It’s a great winter garden starter pack!

For tips on your Fall/Winter garden click here -- you’ll find monthly garden tips and a seasonal overview.

Don’t forget, if you have plastic “pony” packs (those six packs that seedlings come in at nurseries) recycle them so the Master Gardeners can plant up more seedlings for you. 

SAVE THE DATE! Because of Christmas and New Years, there will be no Market on those Sundays. So stop by on DECEMBER 11 for the Master Gardeners’ monthly visit to The Green Tent.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Art Walk Preview, November 20

Come learn about the Mar Vista Art Walk at the Green Tent.

The Mar Vista Art Walk is turning One!  Help them blow out the candles on their first anniversary. Created as a means of improving the walkability of our neighborhood, The Mar Vista ArtWalk is a fun, FREE celebration of all the arts. More walking = fewer cars + less greenhouse gas + better health! 

Designated one of Mayor Garcetti’s “Great Streets”, this much-anticipated Holiday Edition of the Mar Vista Art Walk along the 1 mile stretch of Venice Blvd between Inglewood Blvd and Beethoven Street will feature a multitude of live indie bands, holiday carolers, seasonal light displays, video installations, art exhibitions, Mar Vista murals and live pottery demonstrationsAlso one of a kind holiday gifts from artists + handmade artisan crafts.

What makes this art walk unique is its emphasis on sidewalk engagement. Instead of indoor gallery hopping bound by 4 walls, visitors interact with artists everywhere -- on sidewalks, in alley parking lots and everywhere between. 

This event is made possible in part by grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with Community Partners and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Special thanks to our sponsors Michelle Pine Rappoport KW Realty and organizers Green Communications Initiative, the enthusiastic support of Councilmember Mike Bonin and the Mar Vista Community Council.

Visit the Mar Vista Art Walk page on Facebook or go to for more information.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Community Nutrition, November 13


Come meet Community Nutrition Specialist PhiVan Ha at the Green Tent this Sunday and learn how to shrink your carbon footprint while you improve your health.

She's turning the Green Tent into an interactive information booth! Visitors are welcomed to create their own Q&A session. Catering to their specific inquiries about health and nutrition, PhiVan directs participants to helpful information using an iPad instead of wasteful paper handouts. 

My Community Nutrition is dedicated to empowering individuals and families to build a nourishing and thriving community through nutrition workshops and community collaborative events. They collaborate with many community organizations to build relationships with leaders and stakeholders to help build a healthy and thriving Los Angeles community. Their collaborative partners include the American Diabetes Association, Let's Move West LA, Downtown's Women Center, Los Angeles Community Garden Council, Emerson Avenue Community Garden Council, and many more. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

See the Future Through "Owls" - Visit the Green Tent Nov 6th

Santa Monica Pier’s Newest Viewfinder to Offer a Futuristic Look at Sea Level Rise

At the Green Tent Sunday Nov 6th until 1:00 PM
The City has deployed a virtual reality viewfinder on the north side of the pier (west of Bubba Gump). This device, known as Owl, will provide viewers an opportunity to experience Santa Monica’s beach under future scenarios with sea level rise and coastal flooding. The signs of global warming are all around us. Weather patterns are changing and an increase in the ocean's temperature has already begun to result in sea level rise. What does that mean to us? How would our coastal cities change? Visit the Green Tent to learn about the Owls that show us how we will be impacted and how much longer you can see the installation.

To help the public visualize the impacts of Sea Level Rise, the City of Santa Monica has placed two "Owls" on the Santa Monica Pier with augmented reality visuals of anticipated shoreline change. This is the first time this technology has been used in Southern California. Come to the Mar Vista Green Tent on Sunday November 6th to view the Owl mobile app and meet with planners working on the Venice and Santa Monica LCPs to learn what it is all about. Check out an example of the technology here.

Coastal communities like LA and Santa Monica are planning for adaptation and reliance in preparation for coastline changes that will affect critical infrastructure and increase the vulnerability of coastal homes and businesses. This policy planning is happening through updates to the cities' Local Coastal Programs. LCPs require certification by the California Coastal Commission and must comply with the State's Coastal Act. 

For more information, please visit