Two events brought groups of people to the City of Ojai Community Demonstration Garden in June. On June 4, the city offered a free compost workshop with Master Gardener Jessica Craven. Participants learned how easy it is to make to make compost that they can use in their own yards to enrich and improve the texture of their soil, or use as mulch. Everyone had a look at the finished compost from last December's workshop, before they got to work sifting the compost and building a new compost pile.
On June 18, the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife brought a group of 40 teachers to the garden as part of their Schoolyard Habitat program. This enthusiastic group of educators came from all over Ventura county and beyond, and included teachers from Matilija Junior High and Nordhoff High School in Ojai. These teachers will be creating gardens at their schools composed entirely of native California plants. The gardens will not only provide food and shelter for wildlife, but will also be the subject of diverse hands-on lessons for students. The garden coordinator led the group on a tour of the garden's native plantings. Teachers were able to see a variety of full grown and recently planted natives, which helped them decide what to include in their own gardens. Participants went home with a native plant of their choice. As they left, several teachers were already making plans to return in the fall with their students. A similar event is in the works for the fall, with a new group of educators. Photos by Les Dublin.