Monday, June 29, 2009

Goodbye Chalkboard- Hello Wrigley Garden

Huge thanks to everyone for making the Chalkboard such a success. I wanted to let you all know that this site will remain here for archive purposes but we are moving to

Wrigley Garden will be the new spot for garden updates, food exchange info, tree planting projects and anything else we need to cover.

Please visit our new home on the web.

The Chalkboard will be archived so no need to worry about that Limoncello recipe, it is still there waiting for you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wrigley Garden- We Can Dig It!

Wonderful news for all my gardening friends and neighbors. 1950 and 1960 Henderson Avenue has been approved for us to start our Community Garden.

Today we will be out there measuring and checking out the property. We heard that this land was once Indian land, so amazing. If you are interested in reserving a plot please let us know. You can email me @ This lot is huge so there will be plenty to go around.

We want you to know now though that there is a catch with the property (but of course) we will be able to farm here for 2 years only. We must move out January 31st and return the property to the city. But the good news with that is they will be building Habitat for Humanity housing there and by then we will have found a permanent piece of land. Think of this as a practice run.

Anyway, its all very exciting. I'll let everyone know when its time to dig.

Thanks for all the help and support this is going to be great!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There Are Others Just Like Us

My mom sent me the link to this NY Times article. It looks like we are on the right track. Keep up all the good work.

Neighbor, Can You Spare a Plum?

Published: June 9, 2009


NOTHING WASTED Asiya Wadud organized a neighborhood fruit exchange in Oakland, Calif.
THE loquats were ripe and just begging to be picked.

But there was a problem. Although the tree was planted on private property, the loaded branches hung over the street.

Did that make the fruit public property?

In the end, with no one around to ask, Asiya Wadud decided the answer was yes. So she added them to a bag already heavy with Meyer lemons picked (with permission) from a yard a few blocks away. Then she headed off to check on some plum trees.

It was just another day of urban fruit foraging for Ms. Wadud, one of a growing number of people who looked around their cities, saw trees full of fruit and thought, “Delicious.”

A year and a half ago, Ms. Wadud, who studied urban sociology in college and bartended at Chez Panisse, began organizing a little neighborhood fruit exchange called Forage Oakland. She did it as much to build neighborhood relations as to get her hands on some of that fruit.

It works simply. A woman with a yard full of lemon trees, say, can share her bounty in exchange for a paper bag full of someone else’s persimmons when they come into season. So far, 200 people have signed up.

All over the country, the underground fruit economy is growing. At new Web sites like and, fruit seekers can find public mulberry patches in Pennsylvania and neighbors willing to trade blackberries in Oklahoma.

In Royal Oak, Mich., a woman investigated how to start a fruit exchange modeled after Fallen Fruit (, an arts group that designs maps of accessible fruit growing in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

In Alaska, cooks used Facebook to find willing donors of backyard rhubarb, the first dessert crop that grows after the long winter. In Columbia, S.C., university students pulled spare peaches from orchards and donated them to a local food bank.

Supporters of this movement hold two basic principles. One, it’s a shame to let fruit go to waste. And two, neighborhood fruit tastes best when it’s free.

“There have always been people harvesting fallen fruit,” Ms. Wadud said, “but there’s a whole new counterculture about gathering and eating public fruit. This tremendous resource is growing everywhere if people just start looking around.”

Jennifer Perillo, a mother and food writer who lives in Brooklyn, became an accidental neighborhood fruit forager last summer. She was driving to her mother’s house in Bensonhurst when she saw vibrant red balls hanging from a tree in someone’s yard. Cherries!

She saw a peach tree, too, and leaned over a fence for a sample. The owner was none too happy, but when she explained that she only wanted her children to taste a fresh Brooklyn peach, he gave her half a dozen.

Then she started looking for fruit in her own neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, finding apricots and figs in abundance. “Honestly, for years I walked around the neighborhood in my own world and I never noticed all of this before,” she said.

Three years ago, Katy Kolker had a similar experience in her northeast Portland, Ore., neighborhood. Fruit was going to waste, and she decided to do something about it.

She and some friends went to the home of a woman who had planted apple trees 30 years before, but was too old to pick them. They gathered nearly 200 pounds, gave some to the woman and went back to prune her trees.

That apple adventure inspired the Portland Fruit Tree Project, a database of more than 300 trees, each registered by the owner, who promises to call about two weeks before the fruit is ripe to arrange a harvest.

“A family can only really eat 20 pounds of fresh apples or so before they cry uncle,” Ms. Kolker said. “A fruit tree is really made for sharing with your neighborhood.”

This year, 20 picking parties are planned. Half the fruit goes to the people who pick, and half to a local food bank. Ms. Kolker reserves half of the dozen slots at each picking party for low-income people.

Hynden Walch, a voice-over actress for animated films, put together a more modest fruit program in her Los Angeles neighborhood. “I would walk up in the hills where I live and I would see all this incredible food just dying on the tree and rolling down the hill,” she said. Plus, her own seven fruit trees were going unpicked, which was an embarrassment.

Last August, she sent an e-mail message to her neighbors asking them to drop extra fruit and garden bounty at her house, where she would divide it up and give everyone back a bagful.

Since then, membership in her little Hillside Produce Co-operative has doubled, and other neighborhoods are copying her.

She recently filled bags with lemons, oranges, grapefruits, kumquats and loquat jam. The jam came from a chef who didn’t have fruit but had skills.

“Everyone’s contribution weighs the same,” she said. “A fig will get you a bag. In my gigantic idealism, where money isn’t the center of the universe, this is a small way I can right the balance of the world.”

For cooks, like Samin Nosrat, a cook at the restaurant Eccolo in Berkeley, free fruit is like a little kitchen miracle. She sneaks grape leaves to wrap sardines. Once, she stumbled upon so many fallen green walnuts on a sidewalk that she piled a bunch into a blanket she retrieved from her car, and made nocino, a walnut liqueur.

Ms. Nosrat calls it opportunistic cooking, which she means in the best way.

“It’s cooking from nothing,” she said.

As with content on the Internet, though, not everybody believes that fruit wants to be free.

Danila Oder, who works at a hospital in Los Angeles, learned that lesson a few years ago when she wrote a list of tips on making public fruit tree maps for Fallen Fruit.

A woman whose tree was included on one of the maps was furious that people were raiding her trees, even though some of her fruit was hanging over public space, making it legal to pick under California law.

Since then, Ms. Oder has wrestled with the issues of fairness and legality, which can vary by state and neighborhood. She has come to see that not everybody is respectful when it comes to the civic sharing of public fruit.

“If you let everyone know who’s got extra food, someone is going to break in or go over the fence,” she said.

Then there is the debate over whether money should be made from spare backyard fruit. Two new Web sites are trying to find a balance. The thousands of people who have registered on can choose to swap or sell their backyard garden’s overflow, Craigslist style. offers a swapping system and lists 5,000 public fruit trees around the country. The founders are considering charging a $4 finder’s fee for people who want to use the site, said Kaytea Petro, who helped start the project.

That sum could help pay for the Web site but still be affordable for people with low incomes, who might be able to sell pies or other items made with the fruit. The fee would be waived for people who give fruit away.

They might even add a V.I.P. service for “the super-fancy Slow Food people who really like the idea of extremely local food but don’t have time to go get it,” she said.

Of course, there are legal considerations. So the founders carefully worded their site user agreement. “If they register a tree with malicious intent, then they are liable,” Ms. Petro said.

Some money-for-fruit models are less ambitious. Jennifer Fisher, a stockbroker, sells the Santa Rosa plums that proliferate in her Berkeley backyard.

“It became this big ordeal to give away my plums every year,” she said.

She decided to set out a table of paper bags each holding a generous pound of plums. Next to them was a box where people could drop in a dollar per bag.

Last summer, she made $75, including the dollar she charged parents who wanted their three children to pick the fruit themselves. It’s not about the money, Ms. Fisher maintains. She just wants to make sure the plums go to people who really care about fruit.

“You could just give them away,” she said, “but if you sell them for a dollar a pound you know people are using them.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Limoncello- Edited

Hello limoncello fans-

I reread this recipe and it seems a little complicated. I edited the recipe a little. I also cut the recipe it in half and its still enough to make 2 bottles. You can use any bottle, even the original vodka bottle as long as its glass.

Please make and enjoy...

Rosemary Limoncello

10 lemons
One bunch rosemary sprig
1 bottle of vodka, Stolichnaya is good, I use Monopolowa from Trader Joe's it a great vodka for the price.
1/2 cups sugar

1. Juice lemons, strain and set aside.

2. Put rosemary in your jar.

2. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup lemon juice to a boil and add sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let sugar syrup cool to room temperature. Add to jar.

3. Add syrup and remaining vodka to jar, seal container. Let sit in a cool, dark place for about 2 months. I put it on the calendar so I don't forget.

5. Serve chilled or over ice. So good.

Thanks For Last Night

Ask and you shall receive.

Thank you to everyone who brought me lemons, and if you need lemons give a hollar. I'm definitely holding.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Annabelle Breakey
I need 18 lemons please.

Rosemary Limoncello

18 lemons (Meyer or Eureka; see Notes), washed and dried
One 4-in. rosemary sprig, washed and dried
2 bottles (750 ml. each) 100-proof vodka, such as Stolichnaya or Smirnoff
4 1/2 cups sugar

1. Peel lemons with a sharp vegetable peeler, taking only the zest (top layer) and avoiding any white pith. Put rosemary in a 1-gal. glass or ceramic container with a tight seal. Add zest to jar.

2. Pour 750 ml. vodka over rosemary and zest; seal container. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 40 days.

3. In a saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil and add sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let sugar syrup cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

4. Pour syrup and remaining 750 ml. vodka over lemon-vodka mixture, stir, and seal container. Let sit in a cool, dark place for another 40 days.

5. Pour limoncello through cheesecloth into a large spouted pitcher and divide among gift bottles.

Food Exchange This Monday

Aloha Gardner's-

Don't forget co-op swap this Monday night. I'll be bringing red leaf lettuce and some other goodies.

I'm hoping to pick up some citrus from someone. I had to buy lemons at the market this week, not only did they look plastic and processed but they were very expensive. Boo on that!

See you Monday, happy growing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wrigley Is Going Green Makes A Garden

The city council meeting was a success. The motion was granted for Wrigley Is Going Green to enter into a 2 year lease with the city to turn the Henderson property into a community garden.

Big thanks to Lisa, Mauna, Jenny and Annie, who even offered to pay the water bill. What a great start to a great summer.

I'll keep the facts posted here on the Chalkboard.

Happy growing indeed!

City Council Meeting Tonight

On tonight's agenda is the proposed community garden in Wrigley.

Taken from the Press Telegram:

The Long Beach City Council meets at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd.The meeting can be viewed live on Charter Communications Channel 8 or online at

Among items on the meeting agenda:

Andrews also is requesting that the Long Beach Housing Co. enter into a two-year lease with the Wrigley Is Going Green Association to use 1950 and 1960 Henderson Ave., a few blocks east of the Los Angeles River and just north of Pacific Coast Highway, as a temporary community garden.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Seeds Available For Trade


Here is a list of seeds I have available for trade. They are all perfect to grow now. If you are interested in any of these let me know.

Golden Detroit Beets (High Mowing Seeds)
Japanese Turnip (Kitazawa Seeds)
Yellow Cylindrical (Baker Creek Heirloom)
Red Cloud Hybrid (Cooks' Garden)
Rat's Tail Radish (Baker Creek Heirloom)
Chioggia Beets (The Cook's Garden)
Flat Of Egypt (Baker Creek Heirloom)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First Harvest

Its not enough to share but its a lot to be excited about. Its the first summer squash I have ever grown. The plant is very compact and does not even need the trellis I put up. The tomato's probably needed another day or so but I was scared something was going to eat them. I ate them 2 seconds after I took this picture.

Happy growing!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Food Exchange Tomorrow!

Hello fellow gardeners tomorrow is another co-op swap. Its growing season so I hope we have good things to share or at least stories of things to come.

Sorry to say I might not make it to the swap. Please have a great time and send pictures if you happen to take any.

and to Lisa and Mauna, I can't wait to hear about your tree planting adventure.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Sausage Soup

James Carrier

We ate this soup last night for dinner. It was so yummy. I replaced the spinach with the left over collard greens, onions and bacon I had made for dinner.

This is a wonderful recipe to build from and add things to. You can replace the meat with different meat, add wild rice instead of pasta and on and on.

Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup

Notes: You can prepare soup through step 2 up to 1 day ahead, but do not bring mixture to a boil; instead, cool, cover, and chill. To reheat, lift off and discard fat; bring soup to a boil.

2 pounds hot or mild Italian sausages
3 carrots (12 oz. total), peeled and chopped
1 onion (12 oz.), peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 cups dried large shell-shaped pasta
4 quarts spinach leaves (about 12 oz.), rinsed
Salt and pepper
About 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Squeeze sausages from casings into an 8- to 10-quart pan over high heat and stir often, breaking them apart with a spoon, until browned and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

2. Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans, and basil and bring to a boil.

3. Add pasta, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup from the pan, or pour into a tureen. Offer parmesan cheese to add to taste.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Plant Sale In Long Beach

Myself, Adriana, and Fern will be at the Long Beach City College plant sale this Friday. Its my first time going to this sale. I've heard its great. I sure hope so. I can never have enough_____(fill in the blank here).

Annual Plant Sale at PCC April 08 - 11, 2009

Thousands of plants will be on sale April 8 – 11, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., as the Long Beach City College Horticulture Club presents the 37th Annual Open House and Plant Sale in the Horticulture Gardens of the Pacific Coast Campus, 1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway (at the corners of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway).

Available for the public to purchase at low grower prices will be:
· Tree & Bush Roses
· Shade & Sun Shrubs
· Fruit & Shade Trees
· Annual & Perennial Bedding Plants
· Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Plants
· Cacti & Succulents and more!
For more information please call David Frattalone at (562) 938-3092 or the Greenhouse at (562) 938-3192.

Joining the Horticulture Club for the fourth year will be the Sheet Metal Club selling their metal plasma art, copper planter boxes, copper waterfalls, copper birdhouses, wrought iron furniture, bar-b-ques etc. The sheet metal and wrought iron projects range from yard art stating at a couple of dollars to a wrought iron patio table and chairs for $350. Call Tim Shoemaker at 562-938-3051 for more information.
Proceeds from all sales assist with scholarships, field trips, student projects and support.

For more information, please contact the Office of Community Relations & Marketing at (562) 938-4353 or (562) 938-4846.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last Night's Exchange

Big thanks to everyone who participated. I gave away lots of lettuce and I gained an eggplant seedling and tons of lemons. I will use them all.

After the meeting adjourned there was some talk of people building raised beds and getting rid of their lawns. Its such great news. Eat more homegrown, love that.

Looking forward to next month. I wonder who is going to be the first one with tomatoes. I hope for bushels and bales.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Exchange Tonight

Dont' forget the exchange tonight!

I have lots of empty seed packets to give out along with homegrown red leaf lettuce.

What will you be bringing?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Food Exchange

Don't forget our next exchange is coming up. April 6th we will be there. I know I have some beautiful red leaf lettuce I will be bringing. What about you?

Hope to see you all there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Things To Do In Your Garden

Unfortunately I have not had time to write any articles for our monthly neighborhood newsletter. Hopefully I will soon find the time.

To hold you over until that happens. Here are a few things that we can do this weekend.

- enrich our soil
- plant edamame
- plant lemon trees
- plant corn

Happy gardening!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Food Exchange Pictures

Thanks to Adriana for taking pictures on Monday night. Thanks to everyone for bringing lots of goodies. I even ended up with a bunch of lemons, loquats and tangerines.

Yay for fruit!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Exchange Tonight

Don't forget! Adriana will be there running the show. Please stop by and she what she has to offer. I heard its going to be a good one...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Available For Trade:

Manoa Butterhead lettuce (SK)
Red Leaf Lettuce (SK)

Please email if you are interested in these yummy items. They will also be available to trade/ pick up at our monthly Wrigley Association meeting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The First Leaf

On Sunday, January 11th Wrigley is Going Green once again gifted fruit trees to it's residents and exactly one month later the first leaf has emerged! Check out the leaf on Lisette's nectarine tree. She also planted an apple and tangerine tree and is on her way to having an orchard of her own.

Seems like her cat Willy has a garden of his own too. On the right, Cat Treats, Gourmet "Mixed Greens." Thanks for sharing your progress Lisette!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Welcome A New Member

I would like to welcome Adriana to the Chalkboard. She has been a big part of the co-op but now she will be helping me to maintain this blog. She hosted our monthly food swap last week. I heard it went well, sorry to have missed it.

Your crops should be planned and ready for planting season. Or if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what you are going to try this year. Either way I hope we have a great 2009 with the Chalkboard co-op, keep up the great work.

Happy growing!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Available For Trade:

Lemons (SM)
Italian Parsley (SM)