First fruit tree of the year – Ziziphus jujuba

Last week we dug through the incredibly rich top soil which the students created by sheet mulching in the fall. Six inches down we hit solid clay.

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Even so we planted the tough drought tolerant Jujube, donated by Sylmar High school’s garden program. A thorny deciduous small tree or shrub (Ziziphus jujuba) is native to Asia, and widely cultivated for its edible fruit.The small sweet greenish to red fruit of this tree is also called Chinese date.

It was exciting to plant our first fruit tree in a soon to be orchard at Luther Burbank’s expansive garden.

The kids learned about planting holes, depths, berms, mulching, and watering. Our tree is too small for stakes but that too will be learned when we plant a larger tree.

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At the north end our densely planted fava beans are three feet tall, bursting with blooms and keeping the weeds out.

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The purple Tibetan barley is beginning to show its violet hue on the kernels and the lady bugs are having a feast keeping aphids off the plants.

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At the north east end three compost stations passively do their magic

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Tahereh Sheerazie

Tahereh likes to hike, bike, quilt, cook and most of all garden. She has been a garden ranger with EnrichLa since January 2015. She teaches middle school children, many of whom have special needs which has necessitated a slow, mindful approach to place based garden education. Improving soil, making compost, harvesting water, growing natives and ancient grains and journal writing, is what she enjoys doing most with the children.