Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Santa Barbara Summer Events

The French visited Santa Barbara this past weekend during the annual FRENCH FESTIVAL, complete with miniature Eiffel Tower, and Statue of Liberty along with approximately 2,000 Francophiles in attendance. Having just completed it's 20th anniversary, this fun event is free to the public. Held annually at Oak Park, the festival includes Can-Can dancers, a Poodle Parade and lots of French food, crafts, art and music.
With current economic hardships it's nice to know that there are wonderful events, parks and places to go in our beautiful community at no entry fee. There is so much to do, see and participate in, it is difficult to see it all.
The INTERNATIONAL ORCHID SHOW was also held this past weekend at the Earl Warren Show Grounds and does have a nominal entry fee. Unless purchases are made, there's plenty to see once the entry fee has been paid. The Orchid Growers and Orchid Affectionados turn the entire Showgrounds into an Orchid Paradise! My problem is visiting the show without indulging my passion for Orchids. I love them and have many of them growing in and around my home and gardens. Many Orchids are grown locally by commercial Orchid Nurseries as our climate is very hospitable to these gorgeous flowers. Some of the Nurseries are open to the public for purchasing orchids. Visit Stribbling Orchids and Westerlay Orchids along with Island View Nursery (featuring many plants), all in Carpinteria and open to the public.
As a Realtor, I have sold nursery land, existing Nurseries and Avocado orchards to my Agricultural clients. During these transactions I learned that the Carpinteria Valley has one of the longest growing seasons in the world..due to it's unique exposure to Ocean breezes along with a temperate climate. The cost of growing produce, orchids, flowers, etc. in hot-houses here is cost effective (after the tremendous one-time cost of the land has been paid) because the light and temperature can be controlled with shades, vents and fans, along with the help of Solar energy from the sun. Hydroponics have become the standard in our local nursery industry. As many of the growers in the Carpinteria Valley hail from Holland, they brought along their knowledge of hydroponics...which was invented in Holland. Hydroponics allow control of water use, detrimental and beneficial insects, nutrients, and reduces labor cost. The Carpinteria Valley has a very high water table, as does Holland, and with the requirements of the Clean Creek Ordinances passed in our State some years ago, along came "hydroponics." Necessity is the Mother of Invention, as the age old saying goes. The Carpinteria Valley Nursery Association hosts several tours of these commercial Nurseries throughout the year. A most interesting and informative tour which has even been featured on KCET's Huell Howser's California Gold Program. Recently Huell featured "Hollandia's Live Gourmet Lettuce" grown in the Carpinteria Valley.
CONCERTS IN THE PARK are held each Thursday evening during the Summer months at Chase Palm Park, across from East Beach. The concerts are from 6 until 8:30 pm. Bring your friends, family, a picnic and your dancing shoes! Come early if you want to find a convenient parking spot and a place to spread your blanket. Each week features different well know bands from old time to new time. A wonderful free family event.
More about unique and special Santa Barbara Music venues in my next post...
A bien tot!
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