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« There will be a special side event on the Reception lawn behind the Garden house where 50 special guests will be enjoying a six course meal made ...»

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 There will be a special side event on the Reception lawn behind the Garden house where 50

special guests will be enjoying a six course meal made on site and paired with six different

meads which were fermented especially for this occasion.

 The central part of the Garden will be given over to the six Mead brewers (all prize winners at the

Del Mar Fairgrounds Mead brewing completion) on one side of the road and six micro breweries will be represented on the other side of the road.

 There will be four food vendors one of which will be preparing sushi  Live entertainment (at least two headliners)  A silent auction for over sixty bottles of extremely rare limited editions of special beers and Meads This event promises to be quite unique and a lot of fun!

Spring Equinox and Labyrinth Walk is March 21st at 2:00p.m.

Buried deep in the spatial Sacred Geometry of the wheel are the foundations of so many global traditions - not just Native American - that exude from the Kabbalah and The Tao, that share expression in this one universal, united form of The Wheel.

This year, for Spring Equinox, the full sphere of the wheel is to be engaged. We open the afternoon to all who care to share their visions and dreams, to join us in celebration of this vital time for our own Humanity. In this way we will share a collective heart and mind, and set a visualization for the future for each of us to carry to others.

Join us for an afternoon of meditation and ceremony...and our first open Drum Circle..!!

Please Bring: Water, portable chair(s), light snack, hand instruments; drums, cymbal, gong.

Cost: $3 Garden Fee Paid at Wheel (free with membership); Love Offering for the talent Fellow volunteers, we will be holding our next Grooming Day on Saturday, April 4th from 9 am to 12 noon.

We will meet in the Garden parking lot from 8:30 to 9:00 with morning refreshments and then begin our assignments at 9:00. Our last grooming day was very successful and I look forward to another great day! Please bring your garden tools, including clippers, pruning shears, rakes, hoes, brooms, gloves, hats and sunscreen. I will supply drinking water for the day.

I would also like to invite you to join us on Friday, April 10th at 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm to help us set up the Garden for our Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 11th or help us from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the celebration.. If you are interested in helping out on the 10th or 11th, you can contact me or Carole and we will contact you with a time and place to report.

Please respond back to us if you are able to attend our April grooming day, our Earth Day celebration or any future grooming days. Your volunteer time will allow us to keep our Gardens looking good for all to enjoy and help us to keep our maintenance costs down! If you have any questions about either the grooming day or Earth Day celebration, please feel free to contact me via email.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank you and I hope to hear back from you soon!

Ken Bouchard, Board Member, Volunteer Coordinator

–  –  –

Mark Your Calendar!

Annual Scheduled Events @ A.V.B.G.

 Spring Equinox at the Medicine Wheel March 21st at 2:00 pm  Alta Vista Beer Gardens Pro-Am March 28th  Earth Day 2015 is Saturday April 11th  World Labyrinth Day:as One at 1:00 p.m. May 2, 2015  National Public Gardens Day May 8, 2015  Annual Alta Vista Gardens ‘Grow Getters’ Plant Sale Saturday,May 2th 2015 8:00 am - 2:00 pm an even bigger plant sale  Strawberry Festival May 24th, 2015 in downtown Vista– look for us there!

 Concert in the Gardens June 6th 2015  Summer Solstice Medicine Wheel CeremonyJune 21, 2015  4th of July Dinner & Fireworks  Fall Equinox Medicine Wheel CeremonySeptember 21, 2014 at 2:00pm Fall Festival Children’s Activities/ Creative Healing/ Plant Sale October 11th,   Novemberfest in the Gardens Saturday November 21, 11:00am to 4:00pm Winter Solstice Medicine Wheel Ceremony Dec. 21, 2015  Sukkot Festival Sept. 27– Oct. 4, 2016

–  –  –

Click on the Wheel to go to an interactive version of this wheel and a link to a pdf version that you can really zoom in to.

The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans.

Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking — think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food. Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbacious, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising.

It’s not uncommon to see flower petals used in salads, teas, and as garnish for desserts, but they inspire creative uses as well — roll spicy ones (like chive blossoms) into handmade pasta dough, incorporate floral ones into homemade ice cream, pickle flower buds (like nasturtium) to make ersatz capers, use them to make a floral simple syrup for use in lemonade or cocktails. I once stuffed gladiolus following a recipe for stuffed squash blossoms — they were great. So many possibilities… Eating Flowers Safely So. As lovely as eating flowers can be, it can also be a little … deadly! Not to scare you off or

anything. Follow these tips for eating flowers safely:

Eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on  edible flowers and plants.

 Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

 Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.

 Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.

 If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.

 To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

1. Allium All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful!

Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible.

2. Angelica Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.

3. Anise hyssop Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.

4. Arugula Blossoms are small with dark centers and with a peppery flavor much like the leaves. They range in color from white to yellow with dark purple streaks.

5. Bachelor’s button Grassy in flavor, the petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.

6. Basil Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder.

7. Bee balm The red flowers have a minty flavor.

8. Borage Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!

9. Calendula / marigold A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds dash to any dish.

10. Carnations / dianthus Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.

11. Chamomile Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

12. Chervil Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.

13. Chicory Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.

14. Chrysanthemum A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.

15. Cilantro Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.

16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat) Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.

17. Clover Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.

18. Dandelion Read more about dandelions here: Backyard Forage for Dandelions.

19. Dill Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.

20. English daisy These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!

21. Fennel Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.

22. Fuchsia Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.

23. Gladiolus Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.

24. Hibiscus Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.

25. Hollyhock Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.

26. Impatiens Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.

27. Jasmine These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.

28. Johnny Jump-Up Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.

29. Lavender Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

30. Lemon berbena The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.

31. Lilac The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

32. Mint The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

33. Nasturtium One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

34. Oregano The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

35. Pansy The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

36. Radish Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

37. Rose Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

38. Rosemary Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

39. Sage Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

40. Squash and pumpkin Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

41. Sunflower Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

42. Violets Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.

–  –  –


In our traditional Italian family, this is the first course for our Christmas eve dinner (followed by Maine Lobster) but it could be served for any occasion.


1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined (I like to serve 8-10 shrimp per person) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 5 minced garlic cloves (I sometimes use a whole head of garlic) 1/2 cup dry white vermouth 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 pound imported Italian linguine or gluten-free linguine (quinoa pasta works very well in this recipe)


Cook the linguine ‘al dente’ while you are preparing the shrimp and sauce (according to package instructions). Drain and place in a large pasta serving bowl.

Put the shrimp on a large plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the pasta.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and toss to combine with the pasta.

Located at the Top of the Hill inside Brengle Terrace Park in Vista Directions to the Gardens web site: www.avbg.org • (760) 945-3954 • email: info@avbg.org Admission is $3.00 (free to members) • Open 7:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. Weekdays; 10:00 - 5:00 on Weekends To Unsubscribe please Click Here Alta Vista Gardens is a 501(c)3 Not for Profit Corporation This Newsletter has been edited and published by Bryan Morse for Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

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