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Lynn MacFarland, Best in Show
Livermore Amador Valley Garden Club (LAVGC) is a non-profit educational service organization affiliated with California Garden Clubs, Inc. serving the Tri-Valley Area: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol.

LAVGC Mission: Encourage interest in all phases of home gardening; Promote better horticultural practices; Promote civic beauty; Promote conservation of natural resources.

LAVGC offers special interest groups and workshops on a variety of related subjects.

Different special interest groups include Floral Design, Herb and Culinary, and Mediterranean/Native Plants.

Members take tours to see outstanding gardens, nurseries and to attend horticultural events. In addition, there are local hikes to see the wild flowers growing in the Tri-Valley area. Members also perform community service locally and nationally.

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Waterwise Gardening - September Monthly meeting

Thursday, September 11 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

LAVGC monthly meeting is at the Alisal Elementary School multipurpose room, 1454 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA 94566.

Susan Handjian will speak on the current state of the drought, our Mediterranean climate that makes us susceptible to drought, how plants tolerate dryness, how we can deal with the drought, including irrigation techniques, graywater, and a selection of plants that do well in heat and clay. Dinner with the speaker: all club members are invited to join the speaker for dinner before the meeting at the Oasis Restaurant, 780 Main St. in Pleasanton at 5:30.

If you plan on attending, please contact Lori Martin.


Visitors Are Welcome!

Please join us at the monthly meeting or contact us at the Contacts link above. Please take a moment to fill out the 2014-2015 Membership Application Form for July 2014 through June 2015.

PDF requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Thanks, thanks and more thanks

....Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic participation in the many Club activities in the over the summer. > > More

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Budget Vote -

Members will vote on the 2014-2015 LAVGC budget at the Sept. 11 meeting. See the September Newsletter for details.

Meeting Refreshments -

We all love to socialize at the meetings as well as try new & interesting treats. The Hospitality Committee provides the coffee, tea, drinking water, ice, all of the paper goods & the table decorations but all of those tasty treats are brought by different members of the general membership.

Our expectation is that each club member will bring a sweet or savory finger-food, serving 30-40 people to at least 1 meeting per year. At the June meeting we sent around a sign-up sheet & some of the slots were filled. We will send the sign-up sheet around at the September Meeting & hopefully fill the remaining slots. You will receive a reminder 7-10 days before your month. To help you with ideas or inspiration, Sue Farr, chairman has compiled the following list: Sweet - Baked - cookies, brownies, cookie bars, mini-cupcakes & muffins, fruit & nut quickbreads- pre-slice, bundt cake- pre-sliced, fudge, toffee. Or, Fresh Fruit like grapes clusters, strawberries, sliced oranges, skewered fruit chunks, melon, pineapple, dried fruits, nuts, & small candies. Or, Savory - Dips/Dippers like crudites & creamy dip, tortilla chips & salsa or guacamole, hummus & pita chips, basil pesto & sliced french bread, olive tapenade & crackers, cheese cubes on toothpicks. Or, Baked or Hot like Hot chili & cream cheese dip & tortillas, Artichoke/Parmesan spread & crackers, quiche, frittata, meatballs, sausage bites, shrimp & cocktail sauce, stuffed mushrooms or deviled eggs, tortilla roll-ups, bruschetta, tea sandwiches.

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The Gardener's Forum table - The Gardeners' Forum table is set up at monthly meetings to hold items, tips, questions, and solutions from members to members in an effort to share information. If you have a question, a suggestion or item of interest, bring it to the meeting so all of us may learn. If you do not have the time or wherewithal to display your contribution, contact Elizabeth Judge and she will facilitate the demonstration for you. Everything will be self-explanatory. In an effort to shorten the business meeting, there are no oral reports planned for this function at this time. Instead, during the break and before and after the meeting, members may check out the Forum at their leisure. No items for sale at this table, please.

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Seed Savers Library

To increase our holdings for the seed library, we need to know if any of you have saved seeds over the summer. Lettuces are an easy bet as are tomatoes, peppers, and beans. As long as they are non hybrid, they should come true from saved seeds. If the plant was a hybrid, like sungold cherry tomatoes, best to pass that by. When fully ripe, cut open pepper seeds and let them dry in the open. Let beans dry in the pods on the plant. For tomatoes, squeeze the seeds out and mix with water in a container. When they mold over or ferment in about 3 days, rinse the seeds with clear water. The mature seeds will fall to the bottom of the container, while the pulp and debris will pour out. Dry them in the open air. If you are growing only one type of basil, those seeds can be saved, but if you have an abundance of basil types, you would need to isolate them up to 150 ft or more. The same goes for plants of eggplant, squash etc. These need isolation or only let one variety flower at a time. We also would like flower, herb, and ornamental seeds so any seed that is a non hybrid is of interest to us. Label the variety of seed and next month we will provide envelopes and labels for you to package them up. Sondra Bierre is always available to answer any seed saving questions so please contact Sondra Bierre. We really need lots of seeds to make our seed library thrive. Please help out and join in the art of seed saving and sharing.

Should you choose to save seed to pass on, please let Barbara know what it is you are saving so we can enter it into our database. Sondra also has some resources in book form, Seed to Seed, the first edition published by the seed savers group and a book on saving native seeds. She is willing to look up info for you, perhaps loan the books.

How to Save Seeds and another site is Seed Matters.

Thank you for supporting the club in our efforts to save our seeds to fund our seed library.

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Tomato Tasting

Finn Home, Sunday, September 14, 3-6pm

Mark your calendar for a fun, festive, tomato eating time. Our annual tomato tasting party will be held on Sunday, September 14, from 3-6 at the lovely home of Wanda and Richard Finn, 4400 Mines Road, Livermore. The festivities begin at 3 when we you bring your favorite varieties of homegrown, Farmer's Market, or store bought tomatoes. We provide the plates and name tags. Please cut your tomatoes at home into bite size pieces and if you can, bring a whole tomato of that variety, so we can see what the tomato looks like. We will divide the tomatoes up into cherry, paste, and large and small slicer categories. Once all the tomatoes are entered, we will start the tasting. In the meantime, enjoy this time to socialize with others. As we taste the various tomatoes, we will also vote on our favorites. After the tasting, our attention turns to some serious tomato eating! This is the time to get creative and bring your best tomato inspired dish that provides at least 25 tastings. This tomato cook-off awards prizes for the best dishes!

Socialize with other club members in a lovely setting as we welcome our new season of gardening and learning together. All members are invited to attend but please RSVP Sondra Bierre, or sign up at the meeting. Hope to see you there.

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Plant Propagation Workshop

Camp Arroyo Saturday, September 27, 9am-noon

In conjunction with the Edible Gardening Group. Got an heirloom plant you wish to share with others in the family? Got a neighbor with a groundcover you wish you had? Got a friend who wants a lilac just like yours? Come learn how to propagate from some of our best propagators, and share your propagation knowledge and experiences at the LAVGC Propagation Workshop. The workshop starts with an hour for seed starting of both edibles and ornamentals, followed by division, cutting, and succulent propagation. Speakers include Molly Fisher, Jim O'Laughlin, Peggy Smith, Nancy Harrington, Tina Higashi, Karen Jefferson, and Elizabeth Judge. Since the workshop is a joint venture with the Edible Gardening Group, please sign up at the meeting or contact Barbara Stott. If you are planning to attend. We would also love to have some snacks for the breaks. If you are willing to bring snacks, please let Barbara know that too.

Do not miss this opportunity to see just how prolific you can become! No propagation experience is necessary.

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Alcatraz Gardens Tour

Thursday, October 2. Leave SF on Ferry at 10:30 a.m.

Bring a bag Lunch. Cost: $45 plus transportation to SF.

Our first day tour this year will be the Alcatraz Gardens tour on Thursday, October 2nd. The gardens were created by the guards and their families and trusted inmates when Alcatraz was operational. After the closure many plants survived although neglected for many years. The Garden Conservancy and the Golden Gate NP Conservancy maintain the gardens now.

Details are still being worked out but the plan is to travel to San Francisco (either by Bart or car), take the 10:30 am ferry to the island from Pier 33, and then have a private tour of the gardens with an audio tour of the cell blocks if desired. We can bring our lunch and eat on the island. The cost will be approximately $45. per person- $28-30 for round trip ferry service and $15 for our private tour plus transportation cost to the city. Walking is involved on the tour plus a significant elevation change ( a SEAT vehicle is available on a first come first serve basis for those unable to make the climb.)

As the ferry rides fill up quickly, if you are interested, please send a check made out to Tina Higashi, 537 Lagrange Lane, Livermore, CA 94550 in the amount of $45 (61 and younger), $43 for those 62 and older to reserve your spot. For questions, contact Tina Higashi or visit Alcatraz Gardens.

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Mediterranean Plant Group Tour

Mediterranean Plant Group Tour to Casa Dos Rios Sunday, October 26, 8am

Leave Penney's Home Store Parking lot at 8 a.m. Bring a bag lunch

The Med. Group will go to Casa Dos Rios, the garden of Jean Myers in Gilroy. It is a 14 acre estate with 1 acre of landscaped gardens around the house, which won the award for the best xeriscape garden in the state. There will be a 1/3 mile walk around the vineyard to view native plantings along the fence. We are invited to bring lunch and dine in the garden. There are bathroom facilities in the pool house. This is a Sunday so traffic won't be bad hopefully.

We will leave the Penny's parking lot at 8:00 a.m. for the 11/2 hour drive to Gilroy. In the afternoon those who would like can go over the hill to Sierra Azul in Watsonville, favorite nursery of Lee Giroux, group chairman. When you sign up please indicate if you are willing to drive and how many you can accommodate. There is a web site for the garden, Casa Dos Rios. for further information.

Lee will not be at the October garden club meeting so please sign up in September.

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2015 Annual Plant Sale

Plant Sale - mark your calendars for Saturday April 11th, 2015.

This year's plant sale is scheduled for Saturday April 11th, rain or shine, so please mark your calendar now. Karen Abbruscato will be Sale Chairperson (thank you Karen!) and will let you know of any activities and meetings as we approach the date. In the meantime, put a big Star on your calendar so there's no mistake this is our big event. She's also open to anyone who wants to host a propagation activity; she can help you plan, organize, and host it. Any questions? Contact Karen Abbruscato

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Livermore Valley Garden Club (LAVGC) serving the Tri-Valley: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, and San Ramon