Sunday, November 18, 2018

Temecula Valley Garden Club

We were so excited to share our passion for Proteas with over 75 members of the Temecula Valley Garden Club. Hands down that had to be one of our favorite events this month. Our presentation consisted of all the things we love so much, the amazing array of proteas being grown here in California, growing tips and the delicious ways we arrange them… bouquets, designs and wreaths.

As many of you may know, autumn is the best time of the year to plant proteas. Plants that are established in the fall and winter grow faster in the spring and require less water when summer comes. This event gave us an excuse to bring along some plants, bouquets and wreaths, and for the members to take home and enjoy.

The Temecula Valley Garden Club is a nonprofit organization with 160 members, that aims to encourage interest in home gardening, promote better horticultural practices, conserve natural resources and aid civic groups. It also provides a wonderful place for those who share a common interest in gardening, to become acquainted and develop meaningful friendships.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

San Diego Farm & Nursery Expo

Cultivating Answers for Southern California Agriculture

When it comes to farmers, nurserymen, and industry professionals we always enjoy sharing and exchanging information about protea farming in California. And what could be a better opportunity then rallying with the California Protea Association and our friends at the San Diego County Farm Bureau for the 4th annual Farm and Nursery Expo held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This educational event brought farmers and vendors together to network and meet with top researchers and authorities who provided attendees with lots of valuable resources. In addition, seminars were held on a variety of topics such as water runoff regulations, labor issues, squirrel & gopher management and more.

The Cornucopia

It's time for another glimpse at our favorite ‘symbol of the harvest’… the Cornucopia or also called a horn of plenty. It was traditionally made of a goat's horn overflowing with fruits, flowers and grains of the harvest.

At what time the cornucopia made its way into our country's consciousness as a Thanksgiving holiday symbol is difficult to say. But with its meaning of abundance, prosperity and good fortune, the horn of plenty is now a symbol of Americans’ thoughts of thankfulness.

Cornucopias have become customary fall centerpieces and usually feature a horn-like basket or container. Filled with autumn leaves and foliage, flowers, pods and cones, and even fresh fruits, they make a lovely holiday display. Whether referred to as a cornucopia or horn of plenty… the meaning of this ancient symbol still resonates today.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Día de los Muertos

Just like witches, black cats and pumpkins are typical symbols of Halloween, sugar skulls, marigolds and monarch butterflies are associated with Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. However, as Halloween is celebrated October 31st, the Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 2nd.

Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico and Central America where native tribes, including Aztec, Maya and Toltec, had specific times when they honored their loved ones based on whether the deceased was an adult or a child. When the Spanish arrived, this ritual of memorializing the dead became two holidays: All Saints Day on November 1st and All Soul’s Day on the 2nd. Día de los Muertos is typically celebrated on the 1st as a day to remember children who have passed away, and the 2nd to honor adults.

These ancient tribes believed that death was part of the journey of life. Rather than death ending life, they believed that new life came from death. This cycle is often associated with the cyclical nature of agriculture, like crops grow from the ground where the last crop lies buried.

Día de los Muertos is an occasion to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones. And as with many celebrations, Día de los Muertos is filled with music and dancing. The ofrenda, is the most recognized symbol. This temporary altar is a way for families to honor their loved ones and provide them what they love while on their journey.

Portraits of the deceased, along with items that belonged to them are placed on the altar. The cempasúchil, a variety of marigold flower native to Mexico, is often placed on ofrendas and around graves. Their vibrant color petals are used to make a path that leads the spirits from the cemetery to their families’ homes. Plus, the marigold’s distinct smell when paired with the right kind of candle, allows the departed to return for a brief short time to enjoy the pleasures of life once more.

Monarch butterflies play a role in it because they are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter on November 1st, which coincides with Día de los Muertos. Calaveritas de azucar, or sugar skulls, along with toys, are left on the altars for children who have passed. The skull is used not as gruesome symbol but rather as a whimsical reminder of the circle of life.