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President's Message
February 2013

It’s really hard to wait for spring. Many of my plants are already sprouting new leaves. I really almost have to sit on my hands to avoid fertilizing them. Yes, I know it’s way too early. They don’t need a growth spurt while we can still have freezing nighttime temperatures. So I clean up the dead leaves, which I should have done months ago. I won’t fertilize! I won’t prune! I won’t, I won’t.

The next few months are going to be pretty busy while we complete the major club business for this 2012-2013 year. Please be patient.

Remember how simple life was when we were a 20-30 member small club? It was easy to pick up the phone to tell a club member something. Everyone knew how things were done. Finding locations to meet or eat was fairly simple.

Fast forward to today. We have more than doubled the number of members. Computers now play a big role in communicating with one another because phones are no longer efficient enough to reach everyone. Locations for almost anything are more difficult to find because of costs involved or because of fire marshal limits on the number of people that can occupy a room.

It’s more difficult to pass club jobs on to others. Current job descriptions no longer reflect what and how things are done. Communication expectations have changed. I am updating existing job descriptions with the help of those currently doing the jobs. I hope to have a book of Job Descriptions ready by Feb meeting so you can look through it and decide what you might like to volunteer for. You can also add your comments/corrections to the various jobs.

We will have a board meeting at my house on Feb 15, 1 pm all officers and chairmen.

• • • Please consider volunteering for the nominating committee in March. (You may be less likely to be asked to fill another position).

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Wednesday 3/20-24
• This is a fun event and worthwhile attending. It’s fun to see the new ideas in the display gardens as you walk through them. I love the new varieties that nurseries and other plant vendors display. I’ve purchased some of the newest gadgets there and haven’t seen them elsewhere. Really, try not to miss it. You can get discount tickets from some nurseries around here.

2013 CGCI Winter Board Meeting Tues February 5-8
• The CGCI has planned a busy schedule that  you can see at http://californiagardenclubs.com/content/next-meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend. I think the February 8:45 Friday morning workshops sound interesting. You still may be able to sign up.

•10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Website Workshop by Ed Dempsey and Pat Clayes who will focus on club/district website hosting procedures, requesting website hosting on CGCI site and how to build your website, so bring your laptop.

•10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Mushroom Workshop including Kit (limited to 30, and everyone who attends will go home with a kit to grow mushrooms.).

•10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Solexx Greenhouses.

Take a Minute to Prevent Exposure to Mosquito Bites
By Sharon Thorne, Gardening Consultant, from the CGCI website, CONSULTANTS eNEWSLETTER

Your local Public Health officer and your County's Vector Control District may have reminded you to take precautions when gardening outdoors; but I'm here to remind you that the best way to stay healthy during West Nile virus season is to prevent exposure to the mosquito bites in the first place. West Nile virus can be detected in mosquitoes and dead birds collected from different locations in your county. Check with your county officials to find out what the status of the West Nile virus is during the mosquito season in your area.

West Nile virus is a sometimes serious and even deadly infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes to a variety of animals and to humans. The virus generally is detected in mosquitoes, birds, and tree squirrels before human cases appear. A vaccine is available for horses and is strongly recommended because West Nile virus can also cause serious infections in horses.

There is no vaccine for humans. What you can do:
•Check around your yard for stagnant water. One neglected swimming pool can produce thousands of mosquitoes per day causing problems for an entire neighborhood.

• Drain standing water sources under your flower pots.

•Report standing backyard sources to your local County Vector Control.

•Report any dead birds or squirrels to your county agency. (Don't pick them up and put them in garbage cans.)

•If you have a pond, make sure you have fish in the pond to eat the mosquito larva.

•Water features must have a recirculating pump to keep the water fresh and circulating

•Refill you bird baths actively each day.

• Wear protective clothing or an effective repellent while gardening during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.


Recently the Grants and Scholarship Committee visited Malin Ramirez the Director of La Mesa Verde.  She was delighted with our donation and shared with us her need for volunteers to help mentor new gardeners. The organization spends a large amount of money setting up these new gardens with raised beds, soil, drip irrigation system, seeds/seedlings and compost.

These new first time gardeners need support and advice from more experienced vegetable gardeners to be successful or they loose interest. In the past La Mesa Verde used Master Gardeners but because they are growing so large there aren't enough Master Gardeners to go around.

This is a great opportunity for us to share our knowledge and support to beginning gardeners. Volunteers visit the families once a month after a brief training.

For more detailed info on the program and its goals go to http://www.sacredheartcs.org or call Dabney for more info on the committee's visit and conversation with Malin.

You can reach Malin Ramirez at malinr@sacredheartcs.org or 408-504-2232.