Category Archives: Gardens

The Garden Thrives, But We’ll Miss You Gazal and Corinna!

by Gazal Hamayouni and Corinna Roberts

During their internship, the Sonoran Wheat grew as tall as Corinna! Or did it? Photo by Gazal Hamayouni.

We are nearing the end of our internship, so there is no better way to say goodbye than to tell our readers what we have accomplished in our five months of volunteering with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

Building the pea trellis. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The last time we blogged, we shared information about the vegetables that were growing behind the cocina on the Northeast corner of the Presidio. Most of those vegetables have survived, and we have planted new crops such as strawberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes, and more peas (check out our handmade trellis, it’s pretty awesome).

Arugula? I hardly know 'ya! This monster arugula plant's days are numbered, but it will taste good no matter how large it gets. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The radishes are still there, and if you read this blog post and still haven’t checked them out for yourself, you better get on that because they have gotten so big that they are going to explode! We also have arugula, beats, chard, carrots, and cabbage.  They are growing little by little, but they are getting there! You can also find wheat and peas over at El Cuartel, so we urge you to stop by and look at the progress.

Weeding the wheat furrows. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Our last task before we leave has been to restore all of the signs made from roof tiles that were used to label the crops around the gardens.

First peas of the winter crop! Photo by Gazal Hamayouni.

It’s been a pleasure working with Mike Imwalle and Anne Petersen, we have learned so much about the history of Santa Barbara’s Presidio, as well as the art of gardening. We have been inspired to start our own gardens at home and we are even starting a garden at our own school, Anacapa, which is right down the street! We have enjoyed this time with our readers, and until next time. Peace and vegetables!

Gazal and Corinna in the Presidio Northeast Corner garden. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Corrina and Gazal are seniors at The Anacapa School.  Last week they finished up their one-semester garden internship at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. Anacapa School is just down the street, so we look forward to bumping into them as they pop into the garden from time to time to check on the fruits of their labor.

Garden Update: An Abundance of Radishes!

First harvest. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

In Santa Barbara, we are lucky enough to garden year-round.  This fall, our garden interns from Anacapa School, Corinna and Gazal, planted  a winter garden at the Presidio’s Northeast corner, and we have been eagerly watching the tiny seedlings sprout and unfurl tender new leaves.   The biggest success so far?  Radishes.  Lots of radishes.   Last month we harvested the first batch, and they just keep coming!

Radish cam. Photo by Anne Petersen.

What’s your favorite way to prepare and cook with radishes?  Believe me, we could use some ideas.  And, if you are in the neighborhood, come check out our thriving radish patch!

What’s New in the Garden!

By Gazal Hamayouni and Corinna Roberts

If there's one thing true about the garden, it's that the weeding never ends. After planting new vegetables from seed, the fight begins to keep weeds from crowding out the seedlings. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We have been working with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation for three months now, and we have made a lot of progress in both the Presidio Northeast corner gardens as well as at El Cuartel. At the end of September, we began our internship by threshing White Sonora Wheat that had been grown this summer. By the beginning of October, we were able to plant a new crop of wheat, and started planting beans at El Cuartel.

The first radish of the fall crop! Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Behind the cocina on the Northeast corner of the Presidio we planted vegetables such as beets, carrots, radishes, celery, arugula, spinach, beans, and various types of lettuce. Once we planted the garden, we stepped back and focused our time on the grapes, which were at the end of their season. We trimmed up the vines so that visitors could get a better view of the other garden plants.

Working on "What's Blooming" with Anne Petersen at the Presidio Research Center. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Most recently we published a fall version of “What’s Blooming,” an illustrated guide about the gardens that is distributed to Presidio visitors. Almost every day we go to water what we have planted so far, and we enjoy seeing the crops progress every week!

We hope you can come and check out all our hard work! Peace and vegetables!

A beautiful young red cabbage growing at the Presidio Northeast corner. Cabbages are a hardy cold-weather crop. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Corrina and Gazal are seniors at The Anacapa School. They are about half-way through their fall semester garden internship at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

It Takes a Village to Tend the Presidio

On Saturday September 17, SBTHP hosted about twenty volunteers who signed up to work at nonprofits all over Southern California through United Way’s Day of Caring event.

Turning new compost into the vegetable garden on the Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Anne Petersen

The volunteers accomplished a tremendous amount of work at the Presidio in four short hours, including whitewashing adobe walls, preparing beds for a winter garden, and making adobe bricks.

Preparing the furrows for a new crop of wheat. The volunteer team from Pacifica Suites rocked! Photo by Anne Petersen

For more photos of Day of Caring at the Presidio, look for the winter issue of La Campana, SBTHP’s membership publication (Not a member? Join today!).

Whitewashing new plaster patches on adobe walls. Photo by Anne Petersen

Our summer wheat crop from the Presidio Garden

This spring we planted white Sonora wheat on the Northeast corner of the Presidio with the help of local third graders participating in our Early California Days program.

Mother and daughter planting wheat in the field prepared by archaeological intern Frank Arredondo. Photo by Frank Arredondo.
Garden interns Ila Rutten, Emily Johnson, and Alyssa Gregory from nearby Anacapa School tended the wheat field throughout the spring.

This month we harvested our crop and will save a portion of the wheat berries to plant a new crop next spring.We plan to grind remainder of the berries into flour for making bread and tortillas. The stalks or “wheat straw” are a great source of fuel and will be saved the next firing of our demonstration pottery kiln.

Archaeologist Mike Imwalle with the Presidio garden’s first wheat harvest. The plants are harvested after thoroughly drying in the field. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
After the heads of dry wheat are threshed, dry plant material or “chaff” is blown free, leaving the wheat berries to be planted next season. Demonstrated here by Associate Director Anne Petersen. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

White Sonora wheat was the most important crop during the California’s Mission period. Its glutinous white flour makes stretchable dough suitable for large tortillas. Because of this wheat, large white flour tortillas largely replaced corn tortillas in Mexico’s Northwest and the United States’ Southwest. It was the source of most of California’s flour through the Civil War. This variety is the oldest known in North America.

A portion of this year’s wheat berries, which will be saved for seed. Photo by Mike Imwalle.