Anacapa interns continue to plant the future of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

by Anne Burdette, Josh Colahan, and Ashley Emma

Josh Colahan and Anne Burdette with recently planted lettuce in the new adobe planters at the Northwest Corner Visitor's Center. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Josh Colahan and Anne Burdette with recently planted lettuce in the new adobe planters at the Northwest Corner Visitor’s Center. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

“Hey what up” from the Fall 2016-17 Presidio Heritage Garden interns from the Anacapa School. The Anacapa interns work with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff to develop and maintain the interpretive gardens, living history programs, and exhibits at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. In order to establish a more awesome garden, we care for the plants throughout the Presidio, including lemon, orange, mandarin, pomegranate, fig, and loquat trees, wheat, bananas, peas, lettuce, carrots, fava beans, strawberries, and onions, as well as native shrubs. The gardens must be watered nearly every day during the summer, and occasionally we must remove the persistent encroaching weeds when it rains.

Vegetables with new tile labels at the Northeast Corner of the Presidio. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Vegetables with new tile labels at the Northeast Corner of the Presidio. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Another important part of maintaining the gardens is planting new plants. Some of these crops will be eaten, used for seeds or will simply be admired by the public. Beets, carrots, green beans, peas and wheat were started from seed in nursery flats. Once the seedlings have grown bigger and stronger they are moved to the various garden planters throughout the park where they will permanently reside until they are mature enough to harvest. The fava beans, however, were planted directly into the ground. We think this might be because they are more durable.

Anne and Josh harvesting giant cane (Arundo donax) at. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Anne and Josh harvesting giant cane (Arundo donax). Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We also made trellises out of the invasive plant Arundo donax or giant cane. The cane, which closely resembles its relative bamboo, was introduced to North America by the Spanish during the 18th century as a building material. During the Presidio era these canes were used extensively to sheath the roofs of the adobes. The trellises are placed next to pea plants and beans so they have a structure to crawl up.

Ashley Emma (the Queen of Hearts) winnowing White Sonora Wheat. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Ashley Emma (the Queen of Hearts) winnowing White Sonora Wheat. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We have even worked on separating wheat from the chaff. One must grind the wheat in a rather forceful manner. This process removes any unwanted roughage, leaving behind small delicate wheat berries (seeds). We also helped SBTHP curator Rose Thomas clean the Casa de la Guerra Store exhibit and hang the Casa wallpaper exhibit.

Josh and Anne transplanting banana pups at the Presidio  Northeast Corner. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Josh and Anne transplanting banana pups at the Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The noble fowl of the Presidio, the Black Minorcan hens, majestically frolic and peck about their palace. We give the chickens food and water and have collected their eggs twice. In the future when it is less cold we hope there will be more eggs to collect. We also cleaned the chicken coop and installed new laying pads. A surprisingly arduous task, however a very necessary and rewarding one at that.

Lion dancers at the Asian American Neighborhood Festival. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
Lion dancers at the Asian American Neighborhood Festival. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

Along with our normal Presidio endeavors we helped set up the Asian American Neighborhood Festival in October. Paper lanterns of various colors and size were hung by rope along a bamboo enclosure that encircled the front of the Presidio. This event was held on a Sunday but even so we showed up to support the event. We moved ice buckets, set up posters, decorated booths and even drew dragons with all of the little kids who came to the event. After we helped set up the event we sat down and enjoyed the festivities. We watched several different dances some included forms of martial arts and sword dancing. There was even a dance where large lion costumes were worn by the dancers which undeniably was a favorite among the crowd.

Anne, Josh and Ashley are a welcome sight in the gardens and at our public programs.  We are grateful for their hard work and positive spirit, and our ongoing partnership with the Anacapa School. 

Dia de los Muertos 2016

Photo by Fritz Olenberger.
Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

On October 23, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) hosted a free family craft event to celebrate Dia de los Muertos at Casa de la Guerra.  The event also included a display of ofrendas created by Presidio descendants and SBTHP staff to honor loved ones and those we lost this year.

For more beautiful photos from the event by Fritz Olenberger and Suzi Calderon Bellman, please visit our Flickr album here.

 

 

The 2016 Epic Olive Odyssey

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Trust staffers Kevin McGarry (l) and Sue Udden (r) picking Italian variety olives. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

by Michael Imwalle

On October 22nd, a group of twenty-five volunteer pickers joined Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff to harvest the 2016 Santa Inés Mission Mills olive crop. SBTHP staff, board, and community volunteers gathered on a mild Saturday morning to pick the Italian varietals Arebequina, Lucca, and Grappolo variety olives. Santa Inés Mission Mills Agricultural and Maintenance Supervisors Leeann Haslouer and Tom Walton spearheaded the effort that yielded almost 1000 pounds of olives. On Wednesday October 26th, a team of professional pickers picked the Manzanillo and Mission varieties in the Rasmussen and Mill groves.

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Barbeque lunch for volunteers prepared by Tom Walton. Photo by Kevin KcGarry.

By the end of the week we harvested almost four tons of olives. On Friday October 28th, the folks at Figueroa Farms crushed our olives into 120.9 gallons of Extra Virgin olive oil. That converts to almost 120 cases of 12 – 12.5 oz bottles.  The following Monday, the oil was delivered to Olivos del Mar for storage and bottling. The first forty cases were bottled as our 2016 “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor. It is loaded with polyphenols making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest.

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The first forty cases of Olio Nuovo being delivered to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park gift shop. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. This year’s oil has been delivered and is available today! Order yours online here, or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It sells for $15.00 retail ($13.50 for SBHTP members).

For more great photos from Olive Picking Day 2016, visit our Flickr Album here.

Michael Imwalle is the Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resource Management at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2016

On October 9, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, with the extraordinary support of its Asian American History Committee, hosted the 7th annual Asian American Neighborhood Festival at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.

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Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

Hundred of visitors attended this free, family-friendly event which celebrates the history and cultures of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio.

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Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

This year’s festival was sponsored by Perry Mazda and the George H. Griffiths and Olive J. Griffiths Charitable Foundation.

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Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

For more photos of the festival by Fritz Olenberger, Dr. Paul Mori and Mike Imwalle, visit our Flickr album here.

Professor Valerie Matsumoto Presents City Girls

By Anne Petersen

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Kevin McGarry, Kay Van Horn, Anne Petersen, Valerie Matsomoto, Mika Thornburg and Terease Chin. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

On September 31, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation hosted Professor Valerie Matsumoto, faculty in both the Asian American Studies and History Departments at UCLA, to speak about her new book, City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920 – 1950.  Professor Matsumoto’s project explores the ways that young Japanese American women’s social clubs helped them navigate discriminatory environments before WWII, through internment and resettlement after the war.

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Valerie Matsumoto presents, City Girls. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

More than sixty guests attended the lecture at the Alhecama Theatre, and stayed for the book signing and reception with the author that followed.  Professor Matsumoto’s presentation included amazing historic photographs she collected during her research. In a special highlight of the evening, SBTHP Asian American History Committee member Kay Van Horn spoke during the Q&A about her family’s long history in the Santa Barbara Presidio Neighborhood and her mother Masako Saruwatari’s participation in similar Nisei social activities in Santa Barbara.

citygirlsProfessor Matsumoto has been a good friend and partner to SBTHP over the last twelve years, participating in a 2004 National Endowment for the Humanities advisory workshop to develop themes for a new visitor center, and then again in 2009 to advise on a Visitor Experience Plan for the Historic properties SBTHP manages in downtown Santa Barbara. Her research on Nisei women’s social clubs helps inform our understanding of similar experiences in Santa Barbara’s Nihonmachi, or Japantown, which was located on the site of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park in the early 20th century.

We look forward to staying informed about Professor Matsumoto’s next research project.  Did you miss the lecture?  You are in luck.  City Girls in available at La Tiendita, the gift shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP, and on the website here.

Anne Petersen is the executive director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

San Salvador Visits the Central Coast

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The complex rigging on the San Salvador. Photo by Anne Petersen.

by Anne Petersen

On September 15, staff of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation visited an exciting new mobile living history exhibit, the replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s ship the San Salvador, which was docked for a few days at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum.

The original San Salvador sailed up the coast of California in 1542 to aid Spain’s search for trade routes, and made the first European contact with many Native Californians. Though period ships are not available to inform the reproduction, the San Salvador team conducted exhaustive and fruitful research and used period appropriate tools and materials wherever possible.

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SBTHP staff get comfortable in the ship’s galley. Photo by Anne Petersen.

The San Salvador’s permanent home is at the San Diego Maritime Museum, where it was constructed. SBTHP staff visited the ship during one of three stops on its first excursion, which also included Monterey and Morrow Bay.   We are assured that the ship will be traveling again in 2017, maybe to a port near you! If you are able to see it you will not be disappointed.  It is an experience not to be missed.

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The San Salvador stands proudly in the harbor.

Join us for a Tour of Santa Barbara’s Oldest Neighborhood!

by Anne Petersen

Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) staff have been busy hosting interesting groups for tours at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.  We enjoy and welcome these opportunities to share the Presidio Neighborhood, Santa Barbara’s founding place.  If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact us at (805) 965-0093.

On September 22, we hosted 58 Santa Barbara County planners for the Presidio Neighborhood tour. Many of the attendees were familiar with Santa Barbara, but nonetheless gleaned some new information about the rich history of Santa Barbara’s oldest neighborhood.

On September 22, we hosted ten Japanese students from Education First.  After an orientation to El Presidio SHP by Kevin McGarry, the students visited the Nihonmachi Revisited exhibit in the Presidio Visitor Center. Nihonmachi, or Japantown, was settled in the early 20th century and existed on the same site as the Presidio quadrangle’s north wing long after the fort had fallen into disrepair.

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Kay Van Horn, Anne Petersen and Kevin McGarry with Japanese student from Education First, and their coordinator Susanne Heierling.

Kay Van Horn, a member of SBTHP’s Asian American History Committee, made the tour especially interesting for these students by sharing her family’s history in the Presidio Neighborhood.

We hope you will join us for a tour at El Presidio SHP.  Bring a friend!

 

 

 

2016 United Way Day of Caring

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Transporting mulch. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

by Mike Imwalle

The United Way Day of Caring provides an opportunity to give back to the community through a morning of helping out various nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area. It is the single largest volunteer event in Santa Barbara County with more than 1600 volunteers laboring at 51 work sites. For more than the last decade Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff has worked with Day of Caring volunteers to make repairs, routine maintenance, make adobe bricks, and garden at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.

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Whitewashing the Chapel. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

This year more than 25 volunteers including groups from Westmont College, and our neighbors Anacapa School, and the accounting firm of Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset. Volunteers helped SBTHP staff complete a variety of important projects. SBTHP staffers Eduardo Garcia and Isidro Ruiz supervised the whitewashing of the exterior of the Presidio Chapel. Using rollers, long poles, and scaffolding, volunteers were able to whitewash the walls and buttresses to a height approximately 24 feet above the ground. This is an enormous task and is only accomplished when large groups of volunteers can be assembled.

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Cleaning King Carlos. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Eduardo also supervised two volunteers who cultivated the soil around all the trees in the Cañedo adobe orchard. When they were finished, they hopped on to ladders and cleaned and waxed the statue of King Carlos III. This does not need to be done often, but when it does it always provides some good photo opportunities.

SBTHP Board Member and volunteer Tim Aguilar supervised a small group of volunteers who scraped and sanded the posts and beams of the choir loft and stairs inside the chapel. Last year volunteers helped a paint the interior of the doors, this year they prepared the other interior woodwork so that it could be primed and painted to match. The reconstructed chapel was dedicated on December 12, 1985, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For more than 30 years it has once again served the community as a gathering place for lectures, films, concerts, memorials, weddings, and a variety of other special events. The volunteer efforts to keep this building maintained inside and out are always appreciated.

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Scraping paint in the Chapel interior. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
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Pruning the herb bed. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

SBTHP Executive Director Anne Petersen and Anacapa School volunteer Wes Izuno supervised a group of volunteers in the Presidio Heritage Garden. They pulled out the summer crop of tomatoes, peppers, and cabbages and pruned our sage, lavender, and rosemary. Volunteers also meticulously pruned our Misi Luki bananas, and all the plants in our demonstration plant garden.  Garden volunteers also hauled 2 cubic yards of mulch and topsoil the garden planters to prepare for our fall plantings. Anne also served as our “chicken whisperer” singlehandedly giving “dirt baths” to all six of our Minorcan Black Hens!

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The 2016 United Way Day of Caring El Presidio SHP team!

Thank you to Sue Udden for organizing the sign in table, morning coffee, and pizza lunch for everyone. Thanks to Anna Ogden and Lindsay Rorick of the United Way of Santa Barbara County for organizing the volunteers. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made the 2016 Day of Caring such a productive day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP.

Mike Imwalle is the Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resource Management at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

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