Thankful for Ocean Beach and Solar Farming

by on November 24, 2021 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Kathy Blavatt,

Photos by Kathy & Cartoons by Ray Blavatt

As we join our loved ones, we can feel thankful this Thanksgiving 2021!

As crazy as the world has gotten, we still have our beaches and our wonderful community fighting for trees. The closest we came this year to fires were the blazing sunsets.

I am thankful to those that try to change the world for the better.  There are innovators with new farm methods that can bring positive environmental changes. These solutions make so much sense.

New technologies are taking hold that provides needed productivity, restore forests,  feed our communities, and help improve our environment. What more could you ask for than an economic bonus while combating global warming!

I always wondered why we farmers weren’t combining solar panels with farms? I have used glass doors in my garden to protect, shade, warm and create a bit of a glasshouse effect in my yard that benefits my plants.  It seems solar panels and farming are a natural combination for getting double the use out of farmland.

An innovative farmer in Colorado is doing just that! He has found a way to multi-use his land by creating a combination “Solar Farm” that has saved his farm!

Link to the following stories to read the details of this inspiring story of a Colorado farmer that had to break away from traditional farming and embrace solar technology in a way that benefits his farm and his finances.

May 17, 2019, Enrique Gili, a local Ocean Beach writer, published an article for KCET on this Solar Farm titled “Harvesting Solar Could Help Small Scale Farmers Improve Sustainability.”

This month another article shows how the Solar Farm has progressed: “This Colorado Solar Farm Is Literally a Farm Under Solar Panels” by Kirlk Siegler, NPR November 14, 2021, Excerpt: “This year, the garden produces more than 8,000 pounds of produce, while panels above generated enough power for 300 local homes.”

It is terrific to see this Colorado farm that incorporates solar panels is still doing well three years after Gili’s report.

Also, another featured technology recently seen in the news is the use of drones to replant forests and grow new forests. This drone-dropping seeds method of planting trees has advanced with the latest technology in the USA and other countries.

The following article is an example of the use of forestry technology plant needed new trees.

Excerpt : June 18, 2021, “These Drones Will Plant 1 Billion Trees in Just 8 Years” — “Offsetting carbon emissions can be easier by automating reforestation.” By Derya Ozdemir, Jun 18, 2021, “In
that sweet spot where forestry meets technology, a Toronto-based startup called Flash Forest is employing aerial drones to plant trees 10 times quicker than a single worker planting with
shovels, with a goal of planting a full 1 billion trees by 2028.”

The company modifies drones to fire rapidly germinating tree seeds into the soil, combining technology, software, and ecological science to outperform traditional tree-planting efforts at a
time when accelerated global reforestation is much needed. Moreover, this technology does its job at a cost that is 80 percent cheaper than traditional tree planting methods.

How does it work? The heavy-lift drones are outfitted with a pneumatic firing system which allows them to place the planting pods at the optimal depth into the soil. This allows the team to
get into trickier areas where human planters would not be able to enter.”

The Kate Sessions Commitment: 100 trees for shade, health, and happiness?

San Diego has recently come up with a new tree planting program, but realizes on traditional planting methods. The city’s new plan, “Kate Sessions  Commitment.” The city website includes Kate Sessions Canopy / Community / Climate Action.”  As much as I applaud any effort in planting more trees in San Diego, I am a bit underwhelmed by this new plan with Kate Sessions name on it, having researched Kate Sessions many achievements: Balboa Park  (formally City Park), owner of Mission Hills Nursery, work with many organizations, started the California Garden Magazine, and worked with horticulturalists, prominent San Diegans and many others.

The city plan talks about planting a hundred trees a year.  Sadly, a  hundred trees are a drop in the bucket on what is needed.

A century-plus years after Session’s planted her park trees, we are a huge city that needs a large number of trees. In the last couple of decades, Ocean Beach and Point Loma have lost thousands of trees from development, the city removing trees, cutting down established trees for low water gardens, widening thoroughfares, disease, and other reasons.

In the first couple decades of the 1900s, the Point Loma Lomaland Theosophists planted roughly 50,000 trees on the peninsula, including pines, fruit trees, palms, cypress, eucalyptus, and many other varieties.  These trees were our peninsula’s forest canopy for over a hundred years.

San Diego’s history is full of tree planting collaborations between its many experts, organizations, farmers, and residents that made our city into a waterfront paradise surrounded by trees and plants from around the world.

As we become more aware that climate change is accelerating, trees are a big part of the global warming solution in purifying and cooling our atmosphere, holding Co2 in the ground, cooling our neighborhoods, and more.

If you feel like a drive in the country where you can enjoy trees and the countryside during the holiday season, consider driving up to Fallbrook’s Welburn Gourd Farm, Inc. at 40635 De Luz Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028, Web site

The drive to Welburn Gourd Farm takes you through lovely landscapes, farms, and a view of the hills on the backside of Camp Pendleton then drops into a picturesque valley where Welburn Gourd Farm grows over 325,000 quality organic gourds annually. If you’re into crafts, this farm is heaven. Besides having gourds for sale, you can buy tools and supplies, video classes,  get the latest gourd news, and more. The farm sells miniature gourds that make great Christmas tree ornaments. It’s a fun project to do with kids.

Two of my favorite gourds look like love birds caressing.

The Weyburn Gourd Farm property also includes three vacation residences surrounded by beautiful ancient oak trees—a perfect quiet getaway.

In preparing your Thanksgiving meal consider organic root vegetables that can have their top leafy end and their root end replanted to produce new plants. Beets and carrots are great for regrowing.

I have lucked out and been given a plethora of Fall fruit just in time for Thanksgiving. An old college friend mailed me a box of persimmons from her tree. Neighborhood friends loaded me up with Asian pears, lemons, limes, pomegranates, and other goodies.

I have made over a dozen different meals, side dishes, and drinks from the Asian pears, which have the crispness of apples with the flavor of pears. I am looking forward to creating a healthy and colorful Thanksgiving fruit salad and vanilla pear sorbet.

Having  guests over to enjoy fresh seasonal fruit from friends or my garden makes holiday meals all the more special.

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