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April 2017

Why Celebrate EARTH DAY?

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:35 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Founded in 1970, by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first EARTH DAY was conceived as a day focused on education about environmental issues. Forty seven years later, EARTH DAY has grown into a global phenomenon. More than one billion people now rally, plant trees, pick up garbage, make speeches, and engage in a widely diverse range of activities as they rededicate themselves to the task of caring for our planet. EARTH DAY has become the largest secular event in the world.

On Sunday, April 23rd, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center will host an EARTH DAY celebration on the beautiful Oak Tree Campus. Our EARTH DAY commemoration is a joyous gathering to celebrate life. We humans are not separate from the planet we inhabit. The elements that comprise our bodies are present throughout the great diversity of life that shares this beautiful world, as well as throughout the planet itself. It doesn’t matter if you consider global warming to be a hoax or a fact, or believe that you reside on a disc or a sphere. What matters is that you are here now and are part of, not apart from, Planet Earth.

We hope that you will join us for a day of fun and frolic at our 2nd annual EARTH DAY CELEBRATION on the San Juan Ridge. There will be music, food, vendors, children’s games and activities, a raffle, art auction, fashion show, and more. In addition to being a fundraiser for children’s summer camps, this gathering is a celebration of the great beauty and diversity of life that is all around us. Happiness is good for us and good for the Earth!


Why Celebrate EARTH DAY?

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:29 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 4, 2017, 1:37 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Read how our some of our good friends and neighbors responded when asked, “Why Celebrate EARTH DAY?”

“We should celebrate Earth Day so we can represent what’s around us- our families and friends, plants and animals. Earth Day is a good day to get together, have fun, and enjoy life.”

Sienna Goodman

5th Grade Student-Grizzly Hill School



“We need to keep where we live clean. We need to raise awareness and stop pollution so we can keep things clean.”

Bryce Kersey         

5th Grade Student -  Grizzly Hill School



“The Earth is our home. No matter what walk of life you come from or what shape you take or what you do for a living, you inhabit the Earth. I think that’s worth celebrating.”

Camryn Ahhaitty

9th Grade Student-  Bitney College Prep High School


“Celebrating Earth Day helps me plug into the local projects that are helping us be good stewards of the Earth. I’m able to network with other environmentalists and stay involved throughout the year.”

Heidi Starr                                                            

Mom & Environmental Justice Activist



“Every day is Earth Day, but we take it for granted. It’s nice to dedicate one day to appreciate Mother Earth.”

Tal Benrud

 Artist & Mother

“The Earth is our Mother. We depend on her for our livelihood. All good, natural things come from the Earth.”

Kim Hobbs



We should celebrate Earth Day because the Earth gives us everything we need to survive, and  it’s so beautiful We need to appreciate our Earth and what it gives us.”

Kathy Zallar

North San Juan Postal Clerk


Earth Day brings awareness to treating the Earth with respect and kindness. Every day should be Earth Day!”

Melanya Gonshorowski

Midwife & Mother


San Juan Ridge Community Library Update

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:04 PM by Kristin Snell

by Julie Childs, San Juan Ridge Community Library

Hours: Tue. & Thur. 11 am- 7 pm, Sat. 10 am - 4 pm

Phone:  292-3008

· Wi-fi and computers available for public use

· Work stations and comfortable seating

· DVDs for checkout, Book sale shelf, Periodicals, Children’s room

· Experienced staff on hand

· An ever-evolving collection of wonders


March was another very busy month at the Library. There are so many items circulating, and new books are being brought into the collection every week,... we are no backwoods, boring library. We are instead a bright, vibrant hub for curious and creative people enriching their lives. Our collection provides with it’s encompassing array of information, fantasy, mystery, politics, history ,more, and movies! With spring busting out, we’ll be having a harder time staying indoors. On our bookshelves we also have many resources to help make your projects and dreams come about.

It’s been a day or two since I’ve mentioned it, so... our Library is 100% volunteer run. Any donations you make go to our operating expenses. Thank you to all of you who donate time and /or money to keep the Library running. It is an amazing resource for us in our geographically isolated region. I look forward to a permanent source of funding so we can expand hours, add programs, and hire staff. Until then, anyone who is interested in helping out, come on by and say hi.

Tuesdays between 1-3, and Thursdays 10-12, the Tapestry project is happening in the back room. Come and join this diverse group of busy stitchers working on these stunning tapestries. You need no experience, just the desire to create something beautiful.


Fruit Trees Bloom at North San Juan “Postal Gallery”

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:03 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Visitors to the North San Juan Post Office are cheerfully greeted by a colorful orchard in bloom, created by a group of young artists at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. Many thanks to Artemis Jaco, Asha Kavanaugh, Henry Krautkramer, Arthur Renner, Theo Renner, Jessie Starr, and Gaia Mirelli for creating a display that brightens post office walls and gladdens the hearts of patrons. This mixed media show will be hanging in the North San Juan Post Office all spring.

Pictured at right: Artwork by Gaia Mirelli


Community Legal Empowerment Monthly Clinics on the Ridge

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:00 PM by Kristin Snell

FREE legal advice and referrals from lawyers.  Donations welcome. 

At the SJR Family Resource Center—18847 Oak Tree Road.

You must make an appointment to be seen.  Please contact Community Legal at 265.3425 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This clinic is staffed by volunteers, and is not affiliated with PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, or Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.


Grizzly Hill School Guitar Drive

posted Apr 4, 2017, 12:58 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 4, 2017, 1:36 PM ]

Controlling Pests Naturally

posted Apr 4, 2017, 12:56 PM by Kristin Snell

by Darlene Markey, Sweetland Garden Supply

Oh no, the aphids are eating my brassicas! And wait, what are those little two spotted, nearly microscopic creatures under my leaf? What is leaving holes in my green bean sprouts!

You may have said one, or more of the above sentences at some time in your gardening career. I have said all three and can add, “Aw, cute little caterpillar…”

As our garden grows, so do these pesky little arthropods and larva of arthropods. How can we minimize the blooms of non-beneficial insects in our garden? And then how can we get rid of these pests?

There are ways to create gardens that make it difficult for problematic insects to thrive. Gardens are ecosystems, right? We naturally provide food for leaf eaters by planting cabbage and tomatoes. So, if we provide habitat and food for predator insects we help create balance.

Our first, and often necessary, reaction to problematic bugs is to spray something. Most insecticides are non-discriminatory, killing beneficial insects as well as the bad guys. Then, our garden ecosystem gets a little out of whack. Leaf eaters return first and often with a vengeance because there are no predators to eat them.  For example, a tomato russet mite can reproduce two days after it is hatched, and females can lay up to 50 eggs, which then hatch in two days. In an exponential fashion a plant can be infested with russet mites within 2-4 days.

So, the trick is to somehow keep balance in your garden. How?

Add flowers that attract bees and ladybugs. Parsnips, carrots, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, basil, and mint attract good guys, but are not liked much by leaf eaters.  Plant pyrethrum and marigolds, which leaf eaters do not like.

Add predators. Yes, some will eat some. But in a few weeks you will have a bunch of juicy leaves for aphids and spider mites, so it is important to have predators ready to eat them. Praying mantis and ladybugs eat aphids. Trichogramma wasps lay eggs in caterpillar eggs. Andersoni mites eat russet and thrips. Predatory nematodes eat soil larva.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the soil under plants to slow down the march of soil dwelling leaf eaters. Sprinkle it on your leaves if need be. Excellent way to help keep down the grasshopper population.

Use bio pesticides, like naturally occurring bacteria, Bacillus Thurengiensis, which stops caterpillars from eating. Bacillus Thurengiensis Israelensis to reduces fungal gnat larva in the soil-as well as mosquitos.

Put chitosan in your soil. Frass is bug detritus and bugs don’t like to be around it.  Chitosan is also in crab meal, shrimp meal, and feather meal.  Add chitosan to a tea to foliar spray to deter insects.

Keep your garden clean. Anaerobic soils-compost piles- can attract fly larva and fungus gnats.

Sometime though, things just get out of hand. So chose an insecticide that targets whatever species you want to get rid of. Some insecticides kill, some just deter. Most need to be sprayed on the leaf surface and UNDER the leaf surface to work. Often just the act of spraying repels the unwanted insect. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. Below are a few you can find commercially.

· Neem a favorite one, repels insects, often coats them, smothers them and inhibits movement. Neem also has a compound in it called azadirachtin that inhibits the insect’s ability to reproduce.  Neem seed meal can be added to the soil as an insect deterrent and also as a fertilizer. Azadirachtin can be purchased separately.

· Azadirachtin solely, just

· Fish oil is a very strong, broad-spectrum insecticide and fungicide.

· Horticultural oils smother and repel.

· Diatomaceous earth, either as a fine dust or a flowable powder, kills insects when chards of glass like diatoms get into the belly of the insect. It also provides plants with silica.

· Soap kills and deters insects. There are commercially available insecticidal soaps.

· Nicotine and sugars kills on spider mites.

· A variety of herbs rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, cloves, garlic, cinnamon, peppermint and coriander deter and often kill insects.

· Exoskeletons of other insects deter insects,  (Is this like being in an insect graveyard to an insect?) This includes anything with chitosan: frass, crab meal, shrimp meal, etc.

· Pyrethrin, made from the flowers of chrysanthramum and pyrethrum kill many insects.

· Compost tea has also been known to reduce insect populations in two ways. One it increases the plants immune system and provides a coating on leaf surfaces that are not attractive to insects. There are microorganisms that attack insects!

· Bacillus Thurengiensis will kill caterpillars.

· Spinosad-the by-product of making Streptomyces-is non discriminate and is harmful to beneficial bees-more so than other products.

· Grandevo, a microbial based insecticide repels, stops feeding of leaf chewing insects.

So, if you need to spray, just be mindful that if you want a healthy garden you then need to reinstate a balanced ecosystem. It is always a give and take. For me, it is okay when the grasshoppers start taking nibbles out of plants. I can shake a few earwigs out of my corn. But those white flies on my cabbage..…..

Save the Date! Upcoming Classes at Sweetland Garden Supply

Compost Tea Demystified: Understand what compost tea is and learn how to make a back yard brewer.  June 16th, 10 am-12 pm & July 11th, 6-8 pm.

Problem Solving: Discuss organic problem gardening methods with other gardeners and Sweetland Staff.  Discussions will include spider mites, powdery mildew, termites and nutrient deficiencies.

For more info on classes, contact Sweetland Garden Supply at 292.9000.







North Columbia Schoolhouse News & Events

posted Apr 4, 2017, 12:55 PM by Kristin Snell

by Molly Jochem, Director-North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

The Schoolhouse is turning over a new leaf this spring! The new Director, molly jochem, hopes to spotlight Ridge Culture and showcase some local talent! In hopes of involving more of the community, current members will be asked to  complete a survey and new members will be asked to join! Let us know what events, classes, workshops, and other ideas you would like to see and participate in at our local cultural Center!!!

In the meantime, this is what we have coming up:

Rita Hosking Trio in Concert

Country-Folk Story Songs incorporating university studies, teaching experience, motherhood, and the humanity that has moved her since her childhood in the hard-hitting mountains of Northeastern California.

Saturday, April 8, 7pm,  $18-20

Spring Clean Up: Annual Schoolhouse Work Party!

Sunday, April 30, 10am~ 3pm, Free! Lunch included

NCSCC Benefit Dinner

Saturday, May 20th (time TBA), $30

2017 Plant Sale & Flea Market

Sunday, May 21, 10am~3pm, Free!!!!

For more info, visit our website: or call: (530)265~2826



Car Donations Keep Doors Open

posted Apr 4, 2017, 12:54 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Many thanks to those who have donated vehicles to the San Juan Ridge Community Library and Family Resource Center! Your donations help us to serve our community. It’s easy to donate a vehicle. Just call the Center for Car Donations at 877-411-3662 and tell them that you want to donate a vehicle(s) to the San Juan Ridge Community Library. They’ll take it from there. Thanks again for thinking of us and helping us keep our doors open.


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