Class Schedule Notes

                                   

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Notes from the 2013 Class & Event Schedule:

 

More and more gardeners are becoming interested in choosing landscape plants that can do more than just look nice in the yard. Interest is growing in plants that are easy to care for, that use less water and sprays and that also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.  Douglas Tallamy wrote in ‘Bringing Nature Home’ (2009, Timber Press) that there has been a 50% decrease in the songbird population in the Continental United States since 1962 directly related to the loss of habitat for those species. Insects are the main food source for most songbirds. About 90% of the insects in this continent are specialists, meaning that they only eat certain plants and use those plants for their reproduction. The other 10% are generalists and they will eat a variety of plants for their sustenance and use many kinds of plants on which to lay their eggs. Birds are very similar and have developed a taste for certain insects. If we as gardeners are choosing to plant European landscape plants, we are providing habitat for the insects that European Starlings thrive on. Starlings are now considered an invasive species in this country, they form very annoying, noisy flocks and they are out-competing our native birds. They take over nesting sites and they eat insects that live on European plants as well as other insects native birds need. Mr. Tallamy writes that if every one of us plants some native species in our yard, we would help to create the habitat that native insects need and in turn, we would help to provide food for native birds. We can be a part of providing something that development has taken away, simply by our choices of landscape plants. Come in to the nursery to find out more about which native plants will do well in your location. These plants are not only able to provide habitat, they are easy to care for, adapted to our climate, often are fragrant and very beautiful to behold.

 

Notes from 2012

Healthy living starts with knowing where your food comes from and there is a rapidly increasing interest in finding local sources of fresh food whether purchasing or growing your own home garden and orchard. In the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding area of California, there are many excellent choices. At Intermountain, we can barely keep up with growing vegetable starts for spring and fall gardeners and local foothill farmers.  Many customers have invested time and energy into building raised beds with gopher wire exclusion underneath, and producing wonderful harvests of fresh, home-grown vegetables year-round. We ask our customers to please continue to give us feedback on what varieties of tomatoes, peppers etc. are working best. This spring, the nursery has a large selection of bareroot fruit trees and now that some rain has come, 2012 will be a good year to start or increase your backyard orchards.  We also have greatly increased the varieties of seed we will be stocking. It is a lot of work to be successful with growing food on your land, but the rewards are worth it. Please consult with our knowledgeable staff for guidance. Those of you who do not have the time or energy to grow your own can choose from a variety of local sources for fresh food year-round.  There is produce available from Stella Luna Farm in Auberry, Kern Family Farm in North Fork, MOA Association in Clovis and TD Willey Farms in Madera, Fresno & Oakhurst. Fresh eggs can be purchased at Auberry Feed. There is a local source of grass fed beef: Sierra Lands Beef, through the Sierra Foothill Conservancy in Tollhouse. Mar Val Market in Prather has local produce and a nice selection of organic foods & dairy. Also, we are growing and providing seasonal vegetable starts for the Community Food Bank through the Lutheran Church. Don’t forget to donate un-needed household goods and clothing to MountainWear, our local free community clothing closet in Tollhouse. Bartering with friends for goods and services makes sense these days. A community can survive better through leaner times if folks work together.  

Notes from 2011

 

This past year we have noticed many healthy trends in the local foothill, mountain and valley communities. More folks are tearing out their front lawns and putting in low water use gardens or food-growing gardens. It seems people want to make better use of their outdoor spaces and get something back from hard work and water consumption. Also, folks are interested in becoming more ecologically and economically in tune with the times. There is definitely an interest in more of a connection with the ground that surrounds our homes, the health of the soil and helping to create habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators. We are offering many classes again this year to help with these efforts: growing vegetables and fruit, preserving what you grow, landscaping with low water use plants in the lower and higher elevations. We live in a beautifully rich area at the base of the Sierras, near the finest agricultural land in the world. We have sunny winter days, long growing seasons, wildlife viewing and recreational opportunities like walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, swimming, skiing, riding horses or just sitting and enjoying. The local land trust, Sierra Foothill Conservancy, offers many local hikes of interest. The Central Sierra Historical Society offers tours, outings and a museum. We are also lucky to have many cultural opportunities in the area. The Friends of the Auberry Library (FOAL) offers tours and free concerts at the library along with music workshops for our students in school. The drama class at Sierra High offers professional presentations.  Here at the nursery, we offer classes on Native American traditional craft, working with clay or gourds, woodworking, etc. We also offer community music concerts with potlucks throughout the summer. Come on outside and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us all and the many diverse activities that are locally available!  Connect with friends and neighbors, bring young and old alike and celebrate our great community.

Notes from 2010

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Intermountain Nursery and we want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have worked here, and all of our customers who have supported this business! Our efforts have always been to offer low water use and Native plants, vegetable starts without chemical inputs or toxic pesticides, gardening supplies for organic home gardeners and information on fire resistant landscapes.  

             In the spring of 2009, a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks nested in the Cottonwood tree right in the middle of the retail part of the nursery.   Cat Krosschell, the raptor expert, had told a nursery class that you could tell when the eggs hatched by looking on the ground for droppings. The days old chicks have the instinct to hang their rear ends over the edge of the nest and deposit droppings to the ground.  Our grandson, Paul came running in one day after school, declaring ‘There’s poop on the ground under the nest! The eggs have hatched!’ Much to the delight of everyone who came into the nursery, the parent hawks brought in voles, mice, snakes & lizards to the noisy, growing chicks. Three chicks successfully fledged from the nest in late spring. It looks like the parents are back again this year, this time in a Black Walnut tree above the picnic tables. 

Also, in spring of ‘09, we had a solitary visitor, a Great Blue Heron, each morning in the field we have gardened in for years. On the ground, moving very slowly, silently, stalking, this giant, almost pre-historic looking bird (living in our midst) was skewering and downing pocket gophers out of our gardens!  

We have always considered ourselves to be foremost, stewards of this land at the convergence of Big Sandy and Little Sandy Creeks. There are deep, rich, alluvial soils here and our water is from a 28ft. deep well with a solar pump system installed by our friend, Don Loweburg of Offline Solar, North Fork. Temperatures here are cool compared to the surrounding area. This is a great place to grow plants. 

Native people gathered and lived right here for centuries. There are numerous sites and sacred rocks throughout the nursery grounds. We try to observe and learn from this place and hope that our time here and our use of this ground has been guided out of a respect for the earth.     

 

 

        

 

 

Intermountain Nursery 30443 N. Auberry Rd. Prather, CA 93651-9600

559-855-3113     Fax: 559-855-8809