Fire Safe Landscapes
Following the October wildfires, the Sonoma County Master Gardeners will offer a free program Feb. 1 on “Fire-Safe Landscapes.” They have created a document on “What Can I Do Now,” and it presents steps homeowners can take to make their landscapes more fire resistant. A preview of this document will be presented at the next Valley of the Moon Garden Club meeting. The club’s yearly membership is $20 per person, and guests are welcome at $5 per meeting , that would be credited to a yearly membership. 7 p.m., the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. West.
Best of the vine pruners
Check out the professional skills demonstrated by some of the area’s top vineyard pruners at the 19th Annual Alexander Valley Winegrowers Regional Pruning Contest on Jan. 30. The public is welcome to attend and watch for free. 10 a.m. to noon, Vimark Vineyards, 19500 Geyserville Ave.
Wine or table grapes in your backyard?
Diane Kenworthy will help you make that monumental decision in her free workshop Feb. 10. Kenworthy has been growing grapes professionally for nearly four decades, and she has been a master gardener since 2011, where she is co-leader of the Integrated Pest Management Specialists. If you don’t think you can have a miniature vineyard in your backyard, think again. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., 1717 Yulupa.
Pruning the full gamut of roses
To provide hands-on experience pruning roses, the Russian River Rose Co. is offering classes Jan. 27. Students will get a full demonstration in techniques on all types of roses –– climbers, bushes, shrubs and miniatures –– before they tackle pruning. The fee is $35 for the pruning class and it includes an hour-long propagation demonstration. For gardeners who opt only for the propagation demonstration, the fee is $10. Class participants get 10 percent discounts on all plants. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the class, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the propagation demonstration, 1685 Magnolia Drive.
Healthy gardens, a balanced approach
This free workshop Feb. 10 offers a 45-minute presentation with demonstrations and displays on drip irrigation, composts and beneficial insects. It also covers garden practices that are known to prevent pest problems with less toxic chemicals. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd.
DJ DeProspero will give a free talk on the Healthy Gardens Approach to Weed Management on Feb. 10. This will appeal to those who opt for toxic-free gardening. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Rohnert Park Cotati Library, 6250 Lynne Conde Way.
Fruit tree exchange
The California Rare Fruit Growers Garden Club will offer fruit tree cuttings, scions and expert custom-grafted trees at low cost Jan. 28. The club’s annual exchange is where more than 500 varieties of common, rare and experimental scions and fruit plants from all over Northern California are available. There’s a $5 entry fee and it covers all pruning and grafting classes and here’s the line-up: 10 a.m. Master Gardener Fred Revetria will offer a grafting class; 11 a.m. author Robert Kourik will cover topics including planting, irrigating and fertilizing; and a noon class on pruning fruit trees. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.
If You Find An Injured Bird
-First, make sure the bird is actually in distress. Particularly with young birds, it may be the case that the parent has temporarily left it alone to acquire food. This can be 30 minutes or more. Be patient and observe.
-If a baby bird is on the ground and has no feathers (a hatchling), look to see if it has fallen from its nest, and return it to the nest. If it has feathers, it is likely a fledgling and its parents may be nearby. Keep pets away from it, and observe.
-If you believe a bird is injured or abandoned and needs rescue, call the rescue center at 707-523-2473 to help with an assessment and learn how to properly handle and transport the species.
-If the bird should be transferred to the rescue center, handle with care. Prepare a suitable carrying container — a cardboard box with air holes and lined with a towel, for example. Once the bird is safely inside, don’t peek at it. It’ll calm down faster if it’s left in peace.
How To Volunteer
In addition to caregivers for baby birds, the Bird Rescue Center is seeking volunteers for its phone team, transport team, and field response team, among others. If one role doesn’t suit, another might fit the bill perfectly.
During baby bird season, from May to September, volunteers must commit to a four-hour shift each week. In addition, baby bird volunteers must attend four training classes, typically held in March, April and June.
To volunteer, membership is required. The annual membership fees vary; visit the website for details.
Volunteers must be at least 13 years old. Junior volunteers, aged 13-18, as well as adults, are welcome.
Volunteer orientations are listed on the rescue center website at birdrescuecenter.org.