October 22, 2018

Open Silo Dispatch
1. Open Silo Happy Hour  |  October 30

This month Open Silo is hosting our Urban Agriculture Happy Hour at Highland Park Brewery on Tuesday, October 30th! We will be co-hosting with the UC Master Gardener Program, part of University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County, an arm of the University of California that develops and implements community-based educational programs in nutrition, youth development, urban gardening, horticulture, agriculture and natural resources in Los Angeles County.

No matter what your field of work, study, or interest, we want to meet you! All who are passionate about urban agriculture or food issues are welcome. Bring a friend or colleague along. Dress is casual. Come anytime after 6 pm!

About the Master Gardeners: 

Master Gardeners are volunteers from the community who are trained by University of California specialists and other qualified instructors, who use research-based information to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices in the home, community and school landscapes.

Master Gardeners undergo an intensive 3-month training program (every Saturday from mid-February through May) and, after graduation, volunteer at least 50 hours during the first year. After that, Master Gardeners are required to volunteer at least 25 hours and participate in 12 hours of continuing education per year in order to maintain active Master Gardener status.

Applications for the 2019 program will open in mid-November, so stay tuned!

Local groups and organizations can request a Master Gardener presentation on the areas of fruits and vegetables, drought-tolerant gardening, integrated pest management (IPM), irrigation, composting, container gardening and more. 

UCCE also host a hotline for Southern California gardening questions! Email with a description of your concern or question. Attaching photos will help the Master Gardener diagnose the problem. OR, you can phone in your concern or question by leaving a detailed message at (626) 586-1988.

For more information and updates on UCCE Master Gardeners, check out their Facebook page at

2. State Policy
The California Food and Farming Network (CFFN) is a Sacramento-based coalition of food- and agriculture-based advocates. This fall, CFFN held listening sessions across the state with local policy organizations, including in Southern California. I had a great time at the Los Angeles convening and it inspired me to include a Legislation page on 

If you're interested in tracking state or federal legislation related to food and agriculture, feel free to check out the following advocacy organizations:
Learn about more organizations on the local, state, and federal level at
3. Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 24 Saturday, October 27 Sunday, October 28 Tuesday, October 30 Saturday, November 3
View Master Calendar
4. Turn that Compost Gold
If you don't have a compost pile yet, or if it - like mine - fell into a state of disarray over the summer, I DARE YOU to get your compost situation together this fall. There are many resources online, including Modern Farmer or LA County, or if you want to level up to vermiculture, check out Red Worm Composting. If you don't have space at your own home, find a composting Community Hub managed by LA Compost. 

Don't let organic matter rot in your trash can or in the land fills. Gross. That material isn't "trash," it's just material in a particular stage that wants to turn back into good, nutritious soil. It takes some intention on your part, but really, the microbes and little critters do ALL the work. From my experience, composting has been a great. I love having a lighter trash load each week, and it's incredible to see the little worms turn my food scraps and cardboard into rich fertilizer. 

OK. OK. What's Next?

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