Successful Summer Solstice Farm Feast

3rd annual SSFF


View of pond bannerauction tables happy guests cheers foodThe Summer Solstice Farm Feast was a success thanks to all our 2014 guests & donors!

Michael and Carol Broadhurst

Pacific Harvest Catering

Robert and Sue Hartzell

Charles and Fran Pritchard

The Heinzen Family

Susan and Bill Cochrane

Clayton Grant- Bitterwater Outfitters

Dulcie Taylor

Stolo Family Winery

Cayucos Cellars

La Montanita Vineyards

Wine Down Designs

Michael Utin Photography

Hearst Corporation

Fandango Olive Oil

SLO International Film Festival

One Cool Earth

Morro Bay Tourism Bureau

Laura Kelsay-Edwards

Bon Niche Cellars

SLO County Worm Farm

Cody Farms

Juicy Fruit Farm

Bounty of the Valley Farm

Aaron Linn of Linn’s Farm

Manuel & Apolonia Bautista

Susie and Jamie Spitzley

Hope Family Wines

Paso Robles Grange

Parrish Family Vineyards

Charter Oak Meats

Opolo Vineyards

*There are so many volunteers, businesses and organizations to thank that made this event possible. We apologize if we missed anyone from this list.

US-LT RCD Welcomes New Executive Director!

Dear readers,

As of June 2, 2014 I have taken the role of Executive Director for the Upper Salinas – Las Tablas RCD.  I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to use my skills and experiences and to work with a vibrant community.  I grew up in SLO County and have been on a 10-yr hiatus in Oregon and Northern California.  My first experience with the RCD involved collaborating on some restoration projects many years ago.  For the past few months I served as the RCD’s Conservation Director which gave me the opportunity to get familiarized with ongoing projects, the community, and the RCD Board.  I look forward to continuing the great work the RCD has done over the years as well as building new partnerships and programs in years to come.  Please feel free to stop by and say hi.

Devin Best

Executive Director

Lessons Learned in Collecting Rain

Written by Laura Edwards, Program Director US-LT RCD

Hot, rainless summer days make planning for rain catchment seem senseless. It’s not! Rain barrels and/or cisterns should be a staple for every home in California! This is the time to get great deals on rain saving products. Prices can range from $25 to $4,000 depending upon the size and style of the cistern you buy. It doesn’t have to be a glamorous affair, although I have seen some very unique and fun styles out there. It can be a great way to dress up or dress down your landscape.

rain barrel w flowersLast year I installed 5 rain barrels on my house. I don’t want to hassle with taking them down so I try to integrate designs that can work year-round, like this flower planter style (left).

Next time, however, I will use larger cisterns.  My barrels captured 55 gallons each (825 collectively) during 3 storms with 1″ precipitation, equaling 275 gallons per storm. It takes me about 3 weeks to use all the captured water in my drought tolerant garden. Therefore, larger cisterns could literally water a well-planned garden for an entire summer, with the right size catchment and pumping capacity. Calculate volume of rainfall with this nifty calculator tool.

 Did you know?

•  “Normal” Rainfall is slightly acidic (average pH of 5.6, origin pending) – great for roses!

•   Use filters to trap sediments and debris BEFORE it goes into your tank.

•   Raise your cistern at least 12 – 48” off the ground, for better cistern drainage.

•   Install an outflow hose at the top of the cistern for excess water from heavy storms (avoid flooding garden areas immediately adjacent to the home. A long hose can be run to a well-drained area to relieve excess storage).

•  Summer watering is expensive! Don’t delay in planning for this winter’s rain catchment.