Garden Club: Great Park in Irvine

On Monday, March 21, 2016, club members car-pooled to the Great Park in Irvine to tour the Farm, Food and Landscape Lab. This facility’s activities are to preserve and investigate food and farm commodities. It is a non-profit organization with a cadre of volunteer gardeners. The vast majority of plants, cuttings and seeds that they plant are donated.
Mentioned here is a short list of a few of the farming activities conducted in this facility. In raised growing beds are various produce, strawberries are grown in vertical containers with a center post that supplies the irrigation and can be rotated manually to provide sunlight to all sides. Fruit trees abound, with some special trees that came from cuttings from fruit trees grown by the American Japanese interned in Manzanar Relocation Camp, Calif. A unique hive was made for the Mason bees that have been found to be better pollinators then the European honeybees commonly found across America. A new avocado is being grown there. There is a chicken coop with special breeds of hens laying different colored eggs.
Speaking of trees this facility has cuttings from the lone surviving tree at the site of the 9/11 memorial. The goal is to preserve this survivor.
Another item grown there are gourds that will eventually become musical instruments.
A very rewarding tour for us Niguel Shores gardeners.
Our next meeting on April 29 will be a field trip to the Museum of Art in Balboa Park, San Diego to view floral interpretation of famous artworks.
—Karl Kuhn

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