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2014 Sustainability Fair Program


10:00  Introductions and Acknowledgements.  Laura McCauley, President, UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County.

10:30  The Green Foodprint.  Presented by Linda Riebel, author and environmental educator; Board Member, Sustainable Lafayette.

  • About Linda:  As a faculty member at Saybrook University in San Francisco, Linda co-created the environmental studies program and co-authored two of its course texts. A graduate of Wellesley College, she serves on the boards of Sustainable Lafayette and SaveNature.Org, where she is the program director of Edible EdVentures, which brings the message of earth-friendly eating to classrooms around the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Millions of citizens realize that their food choices can help – or hurt – the earth. But with so many decisions to make (omnivore or vegetarian? organic or conventional? global or local?), how can a busy person navigate all the possibilities? How can we turn our food footprint into a green "foodprint"?  Linda will provide practical guidelines to help you create your own "foodprint" and align your health with the health of the earth.

11:30  Plants that Attract Beneficials and Pollinators.   Presented by Ellen Zagory, Director of Public Horticulture, UC Davis Arboretum.   

  • About Ellen:  Ms. Zagory has worked at the UC Davis Arboretum since 1984 in a number of horticultural positions from plant propagation to planting design. She now serves as a spokesperson for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden in a broader partnership with grounds maintenance, campus landscape architects and campus reserve and naturalized landscapes staff to make all of the UC Davis Campus landscape an example of more sustainable landscape plants and practices. She also travels the state lecturing to UCCE Master Gardeners and regional garden clubs about beautiful heat-tolerant and low water use plants.
  • Garden insects play many complex roles in garden ecology.  Some will eat plant pests, providing the gardener with natural pest control, while others serve the important function of carrying pollen—a process important to both food production and wildland conservation.  The plants you select for your garden affect the diversity and types of creatures that you will help support.  Do you love butterflies and hummingbirds?  Or, do you want to help conserve the often solitary and always interesting California native bees so important to our environment?
    Come and learn about recommended plants to make your garden even more of a haven, not only for you but for a diversity of creatures around you.
  • SF 2014-UCDavis-All-Stars for Beneficials
  • SF 2014-UC Davis-Resources for Pollinator Gardening
  • UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars (main website)

12:30  Building Healthy Soil with Worm Composting.  Presented by Stephen Andrews, Soil Scientist and UC Berkeley Professor of Environmental Earth Science, aka The Dirt Dude.

  • About Stephen:  Stephen Andrews is a soil scientist, educator, and natural resources consultant specializing in the development of landscape products made from recycled materials. Known variously throughout the Bay Area as the Dirt Dude, Soil Sommelier, and Compost Crusader, Stephen has been indoctrinating classes of Master Gardeners, Bay-Friendly landscape professionals, and UC Berkeley students with his mantras of “compost, compost, compost” and “mulch, mulch, mulch” for nearly two decades. He writes a monthly landscape and gardening newsletter/blog called “The Scoop” for WM EarthCare™.

1:30  Growing Vegetables the Biointensive Way.  Presented by Janet Miller, UC Master Gardener.

  • About Janet:  Janet Miller is both a UC Master Gardener here in Contra Costa and an Ecology Action-trained Biointensive Instructor.
  • Come learn the basics of back yard gardening and small scale farming using the Biointensive method.  Originally developed from the French Intensive method, the Biointensive approach allows the gardener to produce high yields from small spaces.  Janet will cover the eight key elements of the Biointensive method, as well as give helpful tips and tools for success for both beginning and experience gardeners.

2:30  Prize Drawing! 

  • If you filled out a Sustainability Fair survey earlier in the day, come to the presentation area at 2:30 for your chance to win a plant or even a new compost bin!

DEMOS—Inside the Garden Fence 

Composting 101 (UC Master Gardener and Master Composter Billi Haug). 

  • How do you replenish your soil?  Turn your vegetable trimmings, yard waste and dry leaves into rich compost for your garden!  We’ll show you how it’s done in a few easy steps.  For more information, or to attend a full composting workshop, please visit http://www.wastediversion.org/app_pages/view/60.
  • Composting 101

Irrigation Basics (UC Master Gardener Steven Griffin).

  • Learn a little about basic irrigation and see what we've done in Our Garden to conserve water and get great production from our drip irrigation system. We'll have a table displaying irrigation parts, with examples of how to construct your own drip irrigation system.

Fruit Tree Planting and Care (UC Master Gardener Helen Erickson).

  • Do you want to keep your fruit trees small to make it easier to reach the fruit and care for the trees?  Helen will talk about choosing a tree, planting it, and pruning it to keep it short.  She will also talk about espaliered trees and how to espalier your own trees.

Backyard Grapes: Tips & Tricks (UC Master Gardener Jim DeFrisco).

  • Is wine or jelly in your future?  Growing your own grapes can be rewarding and delicious!  Jim will share the basic guidelines for planning, installing and maintaining a backyard vineyard.
  • Backyard Grapes Tips & Tricks


DEMOS—Outside the Garden Fence

Fresh, Local, Healthy Food--For All (Siamack Sioshansi, Founder, The Urban Farmers). 

  • Learn how The Urban Farmers, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, sustainably provides fresh, local, healthy food to the needy of Contra Costa County.  Find out how you, your family, school and community can participate in this fun and educational service program.

The Drought-Resistant Home (Scott Sommerfeld, EBMUD Water Conservation Representative).

Waste-Free Lunch (UC Master Gardener Nanette Heffernan).

  • Did you know 70% of all school waste comes from lunches? Learn how you can pack a waste-free-lunch and be part of the solution.

Getting Started with Backyard Chickens (Papa John Kiefer).  

  • Fresh eggs every day and manure for your compost pile?  Getting started with backyard chickens is a great step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.  We will discuss the ins and outs of becoming an urban chicken farmer and the basic steps you need to take to be successful.
  • SF 2014-Kiefer-Tips for Backyard Chickens

Growing Winter Vegetables in Containers, Part I (UC Master Gardener Terry Lippert).   

  • The first of these demonstrations will teach you how to select appropriate containers for growing vegetables.  It will show you how to make lightweight, water-retaining soil mixes for the containers and tell you when to plant your winter vegetables.
  • Growing Winter Vegetables in Containers

Growing Winter Vegetables in Containers, Part II (UC Master Gardener Terry Lippert). 

  • The second of these demonstrations will teach you to grow potatoes in grow bags.  It will tell you when and how to plant, how to encourage plenty of potatoes to develop and how to know when the potatoes are ready to harvest.  What's a grow bag, you ask?  Come find out!

Lose Your Lawn by Sheet Mulching (Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition).    

  • Ready to lose your thirsty lawn but not sure how?  It's surprisingly easy to replace your lawn with a healthy garden that works for you.  Learn to remove your lawn without tearing it out, without using herbicides, and without breaking your back or your wallet.  Attend our hands-on demonstration of sheet mulching —an innovative technique of layering organic materials on top of your lawn, allowing you to plant right into it.

By using Bay-Friendly gardening approaches, you can conserve natural resources, prevent pollution, and save yourself both time and money.  Learn more about Bay-Friendly Gardening & losing your lawn.