Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2005
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Orchid Show and Sale
The South Coast Botanic Garden will host an orchid show and sale September 24 and 25, 2005; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Speakers will talk about caring for your plants, and ten commercial orchid growers will have plants for sale to tempt you. The garden is located at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula, 90274. Call (310) 544-6815, or go to http://www.southcoastbotanicgarden.com.

Clever Gardening Technique

Drying Overripe Fruit
Drying is an excellent choice for preserving fruit that is not very sweet or not quite ripe, as the sugar intensifies during drying. Drying grapes and figs is easy. When harvesting, leave the stems on so there are no open wounds. Wash and separate the individual fruits, sorting out the spoiled ones. (For grapes, this requires gentle handling of the whole bunches.)

Place the fruits to be dried on a rack in the sun and cover them with a double layer of cheesecloth for protection from birds and insects. Give special care to separating individual grapes so that no moisture remains between them to mold overnight. Be sure the fruit is dried in air that's at least 95 degrees, to prevent fungus from developing.

Turn the fruit pieces and grape bunches every day until they have dried to the extent you prefer. Whole trays full can be turned at one time by placing a second rack on top of the fruit and then flipping the "sandwich" over. If the fruit dries too much, the pieces can be softened somewhat by sprinkling them lightly with water and separating them on a rack placed indoors for a day. Very sweet fruit sometimes dries with an unpleasantly strong molasses flavor.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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