Aptos Community Garden put up a barn owl home a couple years ago. Coastlands Church in Aptos put up three owl boxes a year ago. And there are other owl boxes in Aptos waiting for owls.
Ideas how to ‘hoot’ for barn owl hoots? Moss Landing has a new owl family growing. Complete with video to watch them grow:
“At dusk, the large owl with the heart-shaped face stretches her wings, taking a much-needed break from sitting on her brood of eight eggs. Throughout the evening, her mate brings her loving gifts of field mice and voles. And anyone with an Internet connection can now watch this wildlife romance in action.
“The devoted couple took up residence about five months ago in a specially built owl box atop a 20-foot pole next to Moss Landing’s Haute Enchilada Café and Gallery. Not only is it giving cafe patrons something to talk about, it’s also an eco-friendly method of rodent control that gives safe haven to this owl family.
“Live streaming from an infrared videocamera shows what’s going on inside the owl box 24/7. If the links don’t work go to YouTube and search under: owls moss landing Ca
“We’ve had such a positive reaction to the owls,” said cafe chef and owner Kim Solano. “It’s so uplifting — such a privilege to see them up close.”
“And with egg hatching imminent, the Haute Enchilada has decided to host a special event Feb. 11 that includes a special presentation on the owls, light appetizers and perhaps even a glimpse of the owls at twilight.
“The new residents — named Teco and Lotte, a play on tecolote, the Spanish word for owl — took over the box soon after it was installed by the husband-and-wife team of Duane Titus and Rebecca Dmytryk, who own the local company Humane Wildlife Control.
“Lotte has laid an above-average clutch,” said Dmytryk, who notes that barn owls are cavity nesters, and if they can’t find a hollow tree or barn to nest in, will attempt to make a home in inadequate places — palm trees, for instance, where the babies are in danger of falling out.
“Because hollow trees are not as plentiful as they used to be, due to human intervention, barn owls are happy to find the owl boxes and move in.
“It’s all part of the effort to make the Haute Enchilada complex a more sustainable venture, said Solano. The restaurant strives to serve only sustainable seafood, natural and free-range meat and poultry, and locally sourced organic produce whenever possible.
“The Haute Enchilada also distributes paper straws rather than plastic to help reduce plastic in landfills and oceans; the staff uses eco-friendly cleaning products; and the property has its own beehive, maintained by Carmel Honey Co.
“Last year, Solano was concerned about rodent problems on the property, which includes the cafe, a studio and art gallery, and the Social Club, an event venue. She contacted Titus and Dmytryk, who then built and installed the box, which has been painted in bright colors by Solano’s artist husband, Luis Solano.
“Why is it important to provide a home for owls? Aside from the rodent control aspect, it’s a way to help these magnificent birds survive. Their numbers are beginning to decline, due in part to loss of habitat.
“There are a few conditions, though, for inviting in barn owls to your environs. If you install a box, you need to give up using poison to control mouse, rat, gopher and ground squirrel problems, because owls that eat the poisoned rodents could sicken and die.
Also, keep in mind that nothing keeps every rodent away, but the owls do keep them in check.
“It’s mostly about control. You’re not getting rid of all rodents,” Dmytryk said. “It’s a process.”
“People interested in barn owl boxes can also build their own, although Dmytryk cautions that not all the plans available on the Internet are adequate for barn owl needs. Boxes should have a minimum floor size of 29 by 24 inches, an entry hole that’s 5.5 by 4.5 inches, and an entry hole at least 14 inches off the floor, so that the babies can’t get out before they’re ready to fly.
To get on the waiting list for the Hatch Party on Feb. 11, call 831-760-0952 or email email@example.com. The cafe is also planning an Earth Day fundraiser for March 19 to celebrate earth-friendly sustainable practices, with an art auction and costume contest. Proceeds will be donated to The Last Plastic Straw program, which is aimed at reducing single-use plastics.
Do you have questions or tips about sustainable living around the Central Coast? Send them to Kathryn McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kathryn McKenzie at www.facebook.com/kathrynmckenziewriter.
Aptos Community Garden 831 688 5727 extension 2 needs long term gopher control assistance. We are located at 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA. Can you catch gophers? Willing to learn?
Aptos Community Garden is an outreach of Christ Lutheran Church. Aptos Community Garden is on Twitter and Facebook.
Do you have general outdoor work skills? Maybe you are just starting out in the gardening business. Maybe you are retired and want a few hours of work. Maybe you want to learn the necessary skills? We are open to all methods of gopher control — except use of poisons or chemicals.
We seek someone who wants to participate in Aptos Community Garden — in exchange for gopher control.
Please call 831 688-5727 extension 2. Live near or around Aptos? #aptosia
And you can contact Cameron Jackson.
Monerey Bay Forum
Fax: 831 688 7717
Aptos Community Garden is located at the very end of Soquel Ave. -- take Freedom Exit off of highway #1 and look for the CHP office.
Now’s the time to plant those sweet peas for lovely flowers. Hidden Nursery in Aptos has what you need: six packs for $3.99 and several varieties of seeds for $2.39.
Those lovely plants need something to grow up on. You can use individual sticks or some sort of trellis. At Hidden Nursery the least expensive trellis is $14.99. Other ones are available.
Hidden Nursery is located at 7765 Soquel Drive #A, Aptos, CA 95003 Open 9:30 – 5:30 PM
Telephone: 831 688-7011
Aptos Community Garden 831 688-5727 offers organic gardening plots. The Garden an outreach of Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos, CA http://www.AptosChurch.org
Latest information for the Garden will be posted at the bottom. Also look under Categories for posts.
Call 831 688-5727 extension 2 and leave a message that you are interested in a garden plot.
You can stop by and look around Aptos Community Garden. From Highway #1 take the Freedom Exit and go to the end of Soquel Avenue — just past the California Highway Patrol office. That’s where Aptos Community Garden is located.
Garden plots that we know are currently available have a small “red flag” on them. Other plots may come available in the not too distant future.
Take a look around and you will find application forms and other information.
Know about the game Pokemon Go? You use a ‘smart phone’ with GPS and camera and play the game wherein you ‘catch’ imaginary creatures. How to start? Download the app and go for it. The ‘rules’ are elusive. It’s fun.
Aptos Community Garden is a beautiful spot to play Pokemon to your heart’s content. Catch those critters! Aptos Community Garden is a “gym” requiring “Level 5 status”.
Take a look at current photos of the garden on Twitter. Go Twitter, put a # followed by aptoscommunitygarden
Interested in gardening with others the organic way? Call 831 688-5727 ex 2 and leave your name and number.
When you have a plot and have to go out of town? — or you are sick? — or for some reason you cannot pick your lovely produce? — please call 831 688 5727 ex 2 and leave a message.
Someone will keep an eye on your plot and make sure that your vegetables are enjoyed by someone in need and do not go to waste.
Come and enjoy Aptos Community Garden. http://www.aptoscommunitygarden.info Garden the organic way. Take a stroll. Have a sandwich. Something to do with your kids and grand kids: play the game Pokemon Go.