UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties
University of California
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties

Smart Gardening Fair 2015

2015 Program Events

The annual Smart Gardening Fair is a free educational event presented by the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay each April. It is is a colorful marketplace of “all things gardening” with a special focus on sustainable and water-wise practices! Come enjoy:

  • Speakers and demonstrations on a variety of timely gardening topics.  (See schedule below.)  
  • Information booths by community organizations and gardening related businesses offering lots of information, goods and services.
  • Food and drink booths and music to make it a fun and memorable day.

2015 Presentation Schedule:

10 am: Rainwater Harvesting 101, Jon Ramsey
11 am: Spiders & Unsung Insect Helpers in Your Garden, Pat Stadille
12 pm: Fermenting Your Harvest, Cindy and Ted Walter
1:00 - 2:30 PM: Growing and Health of an Ancient Fruit, Griggs & Brabeck

Dean Griggs: Planting and Care of Olives in Our Region
Stephen Brabeck, MD: Food as Medicine, The Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


- Hens in the Hood, Chicks in the City, Candice McLaren
- Summer Fruit & Small Garden Pruning, Peter Quintanilla
- The Secret Life of Compost, Otis Johnson
- Beekeeping, Ron Morgan & Richard Carr
- Teas - Growing Your Own Herbal Infusions, Sara Steiner

 Presentation Information

10:00 am: Rainwater Harvesting 101, Jon Ramsey

With the fourth year of a serious drought in California, Jon’s talk comes at a critical time for any gardener. In his talk Jon will cover the five basic components of rainwater harvesting: catchment, conveyance, storage, filtration and delivery. These are the basic questions to be considered when installing a rainwater harvesting system, whether large or small. The talk will also discuss available State rebates and provide information from various local agencies.  

Jon Ramsey, a lifetime Carmel resident, has been a general contractor for 28 years. He started Aquasoleil, a separate corporation, in 2012. It specializes in rainwater harvesting and solar installations. Jon builds rainwater harvesting systems of all types throughout the Monterey Bay area.

His mission statement is: Promoting sustainable rainwater and solar practices that help solve water and energy challenges throughout the Monterey bay area.

And his favorite quote is "Don't forget your history; Know your destiny: In the abundance of water, The fool is thirsty -- Bob Marley

11:00 am: Spiders & Unsung Insect Helpers in Your Garden, Pat Stadille

Often feared and hated, spiders are fascinating, beautiful, and harmless creatures that help control the populations of insects. This talk will introduce you to spider behavior, anatomy, and local families and species. At the end, you will want to discover these beneficial creatures in your own garden and make friends with them. In addition, we’ll discuss some insect friends that you might overlook such as hover flies and lacewings. Specimens available to examine.

Pat Stadille is a science teacher at Carmel Middle School. He has a degree in Zoology from UC Berkeley and is an avid spider and insect fan. “As I get older, my interest in California natural history just grows and grows.” Pat also teaches drama and plays the ukulele. Of course, his first and greatest love is, the San Francisco Giants.

12:00 pm: Fermenting Your Harvest, Cindy and Ted Walter

Passionfish restaurant owners Cindy and Ted Walter will share with you their passion for utilizing vegetables grown in the garden for simple home fermentation projects such as kimchi, sauerkraut, a fermented vegetable medley, and naturally fermented pickles. They will also talk about using fruits from the garden to make kefir water, natural 'sodas', that are probiotic rich and incredibly refreshing and healthy to drink. Join Cindy and Ted at their inspiring talk and sample the delicious treats.

Cindy and Ted are the owners of Passionfish, a gourmet restaurant dedicated to fresh, sustainable and delicious food.

Cindy is the manager of Passionfish. She has helped launch the sustainable seafood movement in Monterey County through legislative advocacy, public presentations and educational forums.

Ted, the chef at Passionfish, is Classic French-trained, and has created his own unique style of a simple, inspired cuisine, incorporating fresh, organic produce and sustainable seafood. Ted believes in food that is healthy for his guests and the environment.

At their home in Carmel Valley, Cindy and Ted practice the sustainable lifestyle they so strongly believe in, they make honey, make their own butter and enjoy fermentation using the garden’s bounty of fruits and vegetables.

1:00 - 2:30 pm: Growing and Health of an Ancient Fruit

Olive grower Dean Griggs and cardiologist Steve Brabeck will share the stage to talk about olives: the growth and care of the tree, as well as the extraordinary health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.  Note: this is an expanded presentation. 

Planting and Care of Olives in Our Region, Dean Griggs

If you want to plant an olive grove or learn how to maintain your trees, then this talk will give you nuts-and-bolts. Dean will focus on the selection and growing of olives in our coastal area. Learn about varieties suited to our area, when to prune and fertilize and what to do about pesky pests. Dean has plenty of invaluable advice from lessons learned by “the seat of his pants”, creating and maintaining a certified organic olive grove.

Retirement was never an option with Dean Griggs. With 40 years of retail nursery ownership nearly over, he committed to a plan to continue working with plants and being out with nature as often as possible. He and his wife bought a 93 acre parcel in Carmel Valley in 2003 and began to plant eventually over 2000 olive trees. Dean selected three Tuscan varietals, Taggiasca, Maurino, and Pendolino, all suitable for the region’s "Mediterranean" type of climate. The soil, shallow organic topsoil on top of Monterey shale, and deep well water, along with adequate sun and coastal influences have proven to be the right combination. Dean’s Tres Osos Olive Oil hasbeen one of the few Certified Organic Extra Virgin olive oils produced in California that has consistently been awarded COOC gold or best in class awards. 

Food as Medicine, The Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
Stephen Brabeck, MD

Olive oil, the keystone of the popular Mediterranean Diet, will be demystified today.  As a cardiologist Steven Brabeck has recognized the exceptional health benefits the consumption of extra virgin olive oil can bring. In his talk Steven will define what extra virgin olive oil is, talk about oxidation and chronic inflammation and how they relate to the genesis and perpetuation of chronic disease, especially as it relates to cardiovascular disease, and how the chemical properties in a well-made extra virgin olive oil can help protect against these effects.

Stephen is the owner of The Quail and Olive, a California olive oil and vinegar tasting room in Carmel Valley, CA, and is a member of the California Olive Oil Council and the Independent Olive Oil Retailers Association. He believes his store allows a platform to introduce healthy eating habits “one palate at a time”.

Steven is also a board certified cardiologist inMonterey, California. He currently is medical director of thePerioperative Clinic at Community Hospital of theMonterey Peninsula and chair of the hospital’s Interdisciplinary Quality Committee. His particular areas of interests are preventative health care, non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostics, and adult congenital heart disease.


Demonstration Information:

Hens in the Hood, Chicks in the City, Candice McLaren

Candice’s demonstration will show you the variety of poultry available both locally and through websites and poultry catalogs.  There are so many decisions when one is thinking about getting hens. Do you want large or small birds, white, brown or blue/green eggs, fancy feathered birds, full grown hens or baby chicks, or rescue birds from Animal Services?   

Candice will talk about local city codes, types of feed, where to place the coop, predators, and when to expect that first egg!

Before you bring those baby chicks home you’ll want to know how to prepare their first home, how to keep chicks warm, what to feed them, and how to make their transition from a warm house (yours!) to their new chicken coop outside.  

Come and find out why Sunset Magazine calls the chicken coop the new doghouse.

Candice is a UC Master Gardener of Monterey Bay and while no longer raises chickens, she had a bad case of them for over 20 years!

Summer Fruit and Small Garden Pruning, Peter Quintanilla

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning: Fruit trees can benefit from summer pruning. Learn the pruning techniques to help your fruit trees develop a strong branch framework, enhance fruit production and keep them at manageable size.

Small Garden Tree Pruning: Pruning can either maintain a tree’s natural growth habit or do long term damage. Understanding how trees grow and respond to pruning is key to proper tree pruning.  Learn the basic concepts and pruning techniques to both control growth and keep your small garden trees looking great.

Peter Quintanilla is a ISA Certified Arborist, UCCE Master Gardener and Certified Aesthetic Pruner. Peter teaches landscape pruning at Cabrillo College, for Monterey Bay Green Gardeners, UC Master Gardeners and gives pruning workshops for both landscape crews and home gardeners. Peter's experience spans from native and formal gardens to fruit tree orchards and Japanese gardens.

The Secret Life in Compost, Otis Johnson

This demonstration will show “How to harness your microherd for soil health and garden success”. Otis will demonstrate compost in various stages of decomposition and it’s various applications. He will answer question on how to build and maintain a successful compost heap and as well talk about the microbial life along the way of the composting process.

Otis Johnson describes himself as an organic farmer. When not working on his business, Land Stewards Landscaping, he is often educating gardeners and others on composting, vermiculture, and achieving zero waste. Otis completed both the Master Composter and advanced Green Gardener programs in 2009, has been a UC Master Gardener since 2010, and is a member of the Ecological Landscaping Association.

Beekeeping, Ron Morgan, Richard Carr

Ron and Richard will share many good tips and advice on how to start your own hive. They will have an observation hive set up.

Ron Morgan and Richard Carr are a local home beekeepers with seven years experience. Managing their own beehives, they have gained extensive knowledge in the art of bee keeping. They will share many good tips and advice on how to start your own hive.  Stop by to see an observation hive and a variety of beekeeping gear.

Teas - Growing your own Herbal Infusions, Sara Steiner

Have you ever complained about ever spreading mint and yellow daisy dandelions popping up in the lawn? Come learn how to turn garden problems into delightful and beneficial beverages.

Sara Steiner, winemaker turned estate tisane grower, is the proprietor of San Benito Tea Company. Specializing in herbs grown at her Three Horse Farms and wild collected botanicals, her unique and health conscious blends have been well received at certified farmers markets. Sara will show you how to harvest, dry, blend and package your favorite herbal infusions.

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