OGCVC Members’ Fruit and Veggie Garden Tour

When you choose to grow an organic food garden, you will discover that your garden gives you not only food, but peace and happiness. A garden is restorative, giving you a sense of birth, growth, death, and new life, while nurturing your soul. Gardeners, like our members, are wonderful down to earth folks who make life better!

The Organic Garden Club Members Fruit and Veggie Garden Tour inspired all of us! We started in Thousand Oaks at Nancy Skewes-Cox’ Backyard Garden at 9:30 am, by 11 am visited Pat Browne’s Aquaponic Garden in Camarillo and got to Imara Shaw’s 2.3 acre garden and orchard in Somis at 12:30 pm. 

We had a delightful time celebrating new member, Nancy’s, raised bed garden recently built by Joe Holt. She put in 8 new raised beds, filled them with Peach Hill Soil and compost, and planted wildflower seeds and starter veggies.

Nancy’s garden included several fruit trees, where we tasted sweet nectarines straight from the tree. She covered the ground beneath the trees with compost and cardboard to preserve the moisture. She has worm bins to make organic compost for her garden. 

Nancy’s tranquil waterfall in the midst of pollinator flowers attracts birds, butterflies, and pollinators to her veggies and creates a peaceful backyard oasis near her outdoor dining area. 

The second stop on our Members Garden Tour was at Pat’s aquaponic garden. We learned how it uses 1/10th of the water, is totally organic, and grows crops without much maintenance. She has many water storage units and techniques to keep the water in the garden.

At 10:30 am, before our Tour arrived, Pat put a quiche in her solar oven for dinner, which is a healthy, easy, environmentally effective way to cook. Behind the oven is a solar food dehydrator, where a variety of foods harvested can be dried and preserved. 

Pat also raises chickens, mascovy ducks, and rabbits happily together, which she feeds by recycling food from local restaurants. 

At the last garden on our Members Garden Tour, we were enchanted by Imara’s garden, large avocado orchard, and pond on 2.3 beautiful acres with gorgeous views and newly constructed pathways. Her 60 illustrated and informative labels on the veggies, herbs, and plants scattered on the property tell their properties, care, and benefits and are a walking outdoor educational experience that we only began to absorb. 

In Imara’s garden, we saw several metal trough raised beds and pots with tomatoes and other veggies. We took her new paths through the avocado orchard to see the farmer’s harvest box raised beds with protective wire, which are great examples of how to grow organic food and protect it from the critters!

We visited Imara’s chicken house and got to meet and feed her beautiful chickens. Diana loved that the chicken ate from her hand! 

Imara showed us her wonderful greenhouse. It has fans and automatic skylights to keep the baby fruit trees happy; it felt cool inside on a hot day!

The lovely pond and waterfall in Imara’s aquaponic garden are peaceful and serene growing watercress and lemongrass and filled with the turtles and koi fish (who have a protective tunnel).

Ponds are a delight in the landscape, holding the water on the land and attracting wildlife.

Imara has a new Flow Beehive by the pond, which allows honey to be extracted simply by turning a knob and requires no protective gear for humans. Some beekeepers think this may encourage lazy beekeeping with new beekeepers never performing the regular inspections. But its great for responsible beekeepers like Imara.

This Bird Feeding Station in Imara’s neighbor’s garden was created to protect small birds from predators with a bit of shade and branches for roosting. Imara treated us to an enjoyable organic luncheon! Fabulous salads and fresh from the tree guacamole, everything was especially delicious and healthy! A great ending to a wonderful day!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. katrinaplate@gmail.com says:

    I would love to join your organic club. Please let me know how to join. I have been an active organic gardener since 1974 and was an assistant editor of the California Organic Garden Journal back in the 1970’s. I look forward to hearing from you. Katrina Plate. 805 415-7627 or Katrinaplate@gmail.com.

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. gardenguru1 says:

      Welcome! On the Home page of our website is a PayPal link to pay dues to be a member of the Club. I also added you to our email list.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s