Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TomatoMania Redux

There is good news for those who might have missed TomatoMania last weekend when it was at Tapia Brothers Farm.

The next event is this weekend, Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31st at the
Grow Native Nursery in Westwood. The Nursery is a division of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and is also now at the home of the Veteran's Garden, a 12-acre horticulture therapy garden that helps our veteran's heal and learn valuable new skills in plant propagation, plant care and maintenance and sales. 

Aside from the great selection of tomato seedlings you can buy, there are two great lectures during the weekend:

The first is on Friday, when Mr. TomatoMania himself, Scott Daigre, tells you how to grow perfect home tomatoes on Friday, March 30 at 1 p.m.

The second is by the awesome, John Lyons (of the Woven Garden), who will talk about how to grow a beautiful, native garden on Saturday, March 31st at 11am.

Here are the details on the event:

Friday, March 30 & Saturday, March 31 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days
Location: Grow Native Nursery, Westwood, on the grounds of the Veteran's Administration, (just north of UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium)
Constitution Ave & Davis Ave, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90049

Friday, March 23, 2012

TomatoMania Time!

If you are like me, and can't wait each year for tomato planting time, then you need to head over to Tapia Brothers Farm Stand in Encino this weekend because TomatoMania is back!

With nearly 300 varieties of tomato seedlings available, this is TomatoMania's biggest event.  In addition to great heirloom tomatoes, you will also find heavy duty tomato cages, ladders, smart pots, tubs, tomato food, fertilizer, and more.

For LA Farm Girl, this is also my favorite venue because it is held at one of only 2 traditional farms left in the San Fernando Valley. Tapia Brothers Farm is family-owned, and still has an old-school produce stand on the farm. After you buy all of your tomato seedlings, walk over to the counter and buy some of their fresh, in-season strawberries. They even have tomatoes now, since yours aren't ready yet, buy theirs! Support this local farm!

Here's the details on the remaining days of this TomatoMania event:

Saturday, March 24 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 25 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Tapia Brothers Farm, 5251 Hayvenhurst, Encino, CA

Monday, March 12, 2012

Post-Ishibashi Farm Estate Sale

I have spent the past two days trying to get over my sadness after Saturday's sale. I haven't checked to see how they did as far as selling equipment etc. but it seemed that they sold quite a bit of it.

I want to thank those of you who went to support them after reading about it here and to thank Felicia at LA Weekly for blogging about it. Hopefully, it helped in some small way.

I was able to get some items to give to the Torrance Historic Society and Museum so that we can preserve the Ishibashi farm legacy here in Torrance. I got a strawberry tray, a lug box, a green basket they used for green beans and some strawberry baskets. I am hoping to get a t-shirt as well.

One of the things I am getting is this sign that they have said I can have to give to the Museum:

So bittersweet, I really cried when I saw this as I walked up to the sale.

What once was the farm stand is now empty
Empty area where the bustling  farm stand once stood

I am also going to give the Museum this memento that I got (they were given to all guests) at Tom's Memorial Service:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ishibashi Farm: "Going Out of Business Sale"

As hard as it is for me to even type these words, I promised my friends at the Tom T. Ishibashi Farm that I would publicize their upcoming sale.


Tom T. Ishibashi’s farm stand and farm is located at Torrance Airport and is the last farm in Torrance. Those who have followed me and/or know me, know that sadly, Tom passed away in May of last year.

He was the last farmer from a Japanese American family that has farmed in the South Bay since the early 1900s, mostly on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in Torrance. The Ishibashi family have been farming the area at the Torrance Airport for the past 60 years and sadly, with his death, their farming legacy is gone too and the farmstand, etc. will be gone shortly.

As I posted back in October, they have lots of farm equipment and supplies for sale and they have decided to just hold a big "garage type sale" to get rid of these things if possible. I will be there to help them and to document the day. I am a farm writer after all, and as heartbroken as I am, I need to do it.

So, here's the details:

When: Saturday, March 10, starting at around 8 a.m.

Where: Tom T. Ishibashi Farm Stand

Address: 24955 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance, CA

In March, he would always have Iceland poppies and usually his strawberries were already showing up.