neighbor’s window looks right down into your bedroom?

Folks are living close together in Alameda and Oakland and we get a lot of people at Ploughshares asking for something, anything,  fast -growing, to create a screen between them and their neighbor.  The fastest plant is of-course Bamboo, but the ‘B’ word can be scary to anyone who has had to deal with the…

Unusual Edible for August 2016

Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) Originating in Southern China, the Kiwi fruit we enjoy today was introduced to Europeans in 1897 by the Royal Horticultural Society of London where it languished as a curiosity until Hayward Wright of Avondale, New Zealand developed Actinida delicosa ‘Hayward’ and began mass cultivation in 1924.   Kiwifruit requires a male and female…

California Heritage Plant for August 2016

California  Sage Brush (Artemesia californica) The unremarkable appearance of this California native belies its many uses by native peoples and its importance to wildlife.  Mature growth is grey-green on an upright shrub reaching 5-8ft.  Endemic to chaparral regions with coastal sage shrub and chaparral plant communities (it’s really, really low water needs!).   Artemesia californica is…

Pollinator Power Plant for August 2016

Caterpillar Flower (Phacelia bolanderii) Endemic to canyons and ridges from Northern California to Southern Oregon, this little drought tolerant pollinator friendly native grows 8″ high and 2′ wide.  Plant on slopes in part sun or half day exposure for best success.  Expect flowers April to August which attract and benefit hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.  Sometimes…

Introduction to Permaculture

Saturday August 13th at 12:00 noon  Introduction to Permaculture (FREE WORKSHOP) Permi-curious? We can design our way out of the social and environmental nightmare we’ve created on Earth – climate change, species extinction, poverty, inequity and more. Hear stories from real, on the ground, projects showing ways we can meet our needs while being beneficial…

How to Create a Habitat Garden

Habitat Garden Workshop Saturday July 23rd at 12 noon, its all about ‘Habitat Gardening’.  Join Ploughshare’s staff for a free workshop all about  planting  gardens which benefit  bees, butterflies, birds and lizards! Topics will include food, water and shelter and how to keep those cycles going throughout  the year!  We surround ourselves with plants the…

Pollinator Power Plant for July 2016

Erigeron glaucus or Seaside Daisy is our choice for Pollinator Power Plant for July 2016 This native of California grows in coastal regions from Oregon to San Diego.  Reaches 4″ to 8″ inches height and accepts sandy or clay soil and spreads via rhizomes, so expect a fast spread into the garden in just one…

California Heritage Plant for July 2016

California Native Heritage Plant for July 2016 Rosa californica or California Rose Found from Oregon to Baja California, this drought tolerant rose offers little pink flowers, lots of thorns and copious quantities of rose hips. In fact this rose produces so many rose hips that the government used it to supply soldiers with vitamin C…

Unusual Edible for July 2016

Basil or Ocimum basilicum is the Unusual Edible for July 2016 Now you might be thinking; ‘not much unusual about basil dude’ . But you’d be wrong, Basil has an fascinating history of use dating back 5,000 years.  Its always been everyone’s favorite spice, but did you know the ancient Egyptians put it in the…

Unusual Edible for June 2016

Unusual Edible for June 2016 Fantasia Nectarine Whats unusual about this nectarine?  It’s on semi-dwarfing root stock, making it easy to keep to any size you like with pruning or you can let it grow to fifteen feet.  It’s ‘free-stone’, which means its darn easy to get the pit out of the center.  It’s a…

Pollinator Power Plant for June 2016

Pollinator Power Plant for June 2016 Salvia greggii ‘Autumn Sage’ Native to Texas all the way down the gulf coast to Mexico, this little sage packs a lot of love for hummingbirds with it’s stop-light-red nectar rich flowers!   Expect 3ft. by 3ft. height and width, lending itself to small yards and containers by virtue of…

Visit the Lafayette Community Garden!

We had a fun visit to the amazing Lafayette Community Garden Saturday June 11th.  After a brief talk about Alameda Point Collaborative, Farm2Market and Ploughshares Nursery, we gave a workshop on Habitat Gardening.  Fun was had by all.  If you want to see what a perfect community garden looks like do pay a visit.  They…

California Native Heritage Plant for June 2016

California Native Heritage Plant for June 2016 Clinopodium douglasii or ‘Yerba Buena Mint’ This low growing member of the mint family is endemic to the west coast and makes a fine tea.  Expect 6 inches height and 6 feet spread on tendrils, grows in all kinds of soil and rarely gets pests or disease.  The…

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening Saturday May 28th at noon.  Join Ploughshare’s Jeff Bridge for a demonstration of straw bale gardening.  Straw bale gardening is a dry farming technique for turning regular old construction straw into a verdant bed of herbs and vegetables.  The secret is in the preparation!

Volunteers Make Things Happen at Ploughshares

Volunteer Volunteers are an important part of the APC community.  Each year, volunteers complete more than 10,000 hours in our programs. Their contributions enrich our daily programming and resident community. We feel very fortunate to live in a community that values volunteer service so highly.  Without volunteers, our programs could not provide the kind of…

California Native Heritage Plant for May 2016

Epilobium canum ‘Catalina’  or ‘California fuchsia’ offers the drought tolerance and toughness of a sage with the dainty flowers of a water thirsty South American fuchsia (no relation what-so-ever!).   Expect 3-4 ft. height and 4-5 feet width on reddish woody stems covered in soft gray leaves.  Never give summer water where soil drains slowly and…

Plant these in your Beds this May

Here is what you will find on Edible Tables this May Artichoke: Green Globe Bean: Baby Lima Bush Bean: Kentucky Blue (pole) Bean: Red Yard Long (pole) Bean: Romano Musica (pole) Bean: Trionfo Violetto (pole) Beets: Touchstone Gold Broccoli: Broccolini Cabbage: Red Acre Corn: Aztec Black Corn: Bi-color Montauk Cucumber: Homemade Pickles Cucumber: Lemon Cucumber:…