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A Hidden Treasure at UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day

A honey bee foraging on a desert bell, Phacelia campanularia,  an annual herb that is native to California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about those tenacious tidy tips. And those picture-perfect phacelias. When you attend the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day on Saturday, Feb....

A honey bee foraging on a desert bell, Phacelia campanularia,  an annual herb that is native to California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee foraging on a desert bell, Phacelia campanularia, an annual herb that is native to California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee foraging on a desert bell, Phacelia campanularia, an annual herb that is native to California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A sign defines the Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A sign defines the Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A sign defines the Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gardening Tool Belts and Waist Level Gardening Aprons

A while ago I was at a Master Gardener community gardening event, helping with some weed pulling, plant clipping, and handing out tasty harvested broccoli florets to some excited grade school students.

I had my trusty clippers and scissors to harvest and separate the broccoli florets, my phone for fun photo opportunities, my gardening gloves for some prickly handling (which came on and off, depending on what I was working on) and an insulated water bottle for periodic gulps.

However, I realized that I needed both hands to be free for all of the gardening activities and needed to bring my trusty tools.  If I had been working in one area, I could have just set the tools down, but I was involved in many activities spanning the whole gardening area.

The phone was secure in one of my pockets, but hard to get to quickly for photos.  I had to leave my water bottle behind, and my gloves kept falling out of my pocket.  Since the sharp clippers could not end up in the hands of any of the students, I had to quickly stick them in any available pocket where they were sure to tear some pretty decent sized holes.

When I got home, I searched in my gardening shed for a “gardening tool belt” that I hadn't worn in a long while.  I used to wear it at our old house for gardening, but sort of forgot about it throughout the years.  I finally found it on a high shelf, cleaned it up, and wore the belt to the next gardening event.

What a difference it made in my gardening day!  I just wrapped the gardening tool belt around my waist, placed my main gardening necessities in the pockets and had a great hands-free day with all my gardening tools at the ready!

I had a few Master Gardeners ask me about my gardening tool belt that day – I couldn't remember where or when I got it – many, many years ago for sure!  So, I thought I would list and compare some of the available gardening tool belts and waist level gardening aprons to help decide on an upgrade, and maybe to also help others that may be searching for the convenience. I ended up ordering number 7 on the list below.

These gardening tool belts and aprons are so helpful with everyday gardening activities – much less chance of losing tools at home or in community gardens. Also, (gardeners can probably relate to this one) when your back is sore and you are finally in a comfortable gardening position, then realize that the tool you need is just far enough away that you have to get yourself back up again just to retrieve it.

I saw some fun denim garden tool aprons for sale at the Master Gardener Succulent Extravaganza last May and hope to see them again soon, but for now, here is a quick list of the gardening tool belts I found appealing.  There are many types currently available, so when thinking about the one that is right for you, here are a few things to consider: the width of waste band, length of belt, type of clasp, whether it is water proof, depth of pockets and whether or not you can secure the pockets so items do not fall out.

You can search online for the product name and brand to find the best deal.  The user reviews are usually very helpful too.

Product Name

Brand

Belt Length/ Width

# of Pockets

 

Approx. Price

1.Garden Tool Belt

Napa Valley Gardener (search online for various retailers)

Waist Length: up to 43.5” /  Width: 1.5”

8

Waterproof material/ Heavy duty clasp

$24.95

2.FASITE YL003F 7-POCKET Gardening Tools Belt

FASITE

Waist Length: up to 44”  /     Width: 1.5”

7

Wear-resistant / waterproof

$14.99

3.Esschert Design Garden Tool Belt

Esschert Design

Waist Length: up to 53” /      Width: 1.5”

3

Not water proof /Plastic clasps

$24.87

4.Handy Helper Tool Belt, Organizer, Carrier for Garden

The Helper Brands

Waist Length: up to 44” /      Width: 1.5”

3 Configurable

Heavy-Duty Suede / can order more pockets and move them with velcro

$36.97

5.Geboor Gardening Tool Waist Bag Belt

Geboor

Waist Length: up to 46” /      Width: 1.18”

7

Oxford fabric / Not waterproof, but very durable

$11.99

6. Tommyco 44020 Little Garden Belt

Tommyco

Waist Length: up to 45.5” /      Width: Approx. 1”

3

Polyester

$13.96

7. Gardener's Tool Belt

Gardener's Supply Company

Waist Length:  up to 49” / Width:  Approx. 1”

4 Configurable

Laminated cotton canvas / plastic clip

$34.95

8. Waist-Level Gardening Apron

Garrett Wade

Front:  12” long / fits most body sizes

5

Thick suede cowhide, with solid brass hardware

$58.80

 

Gardener's tool belt by Gardener's Supply Company
Gardener's tool belt by Gardener's Supply Company

My toolbelt. photo by Paula Pashby
My toolbelt. photo by Paula Pashby

Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 3:09 PM

UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day Forum: Butterflies, Birds and Biodiversity Studies

Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology in the Argentine Andes during a Laguna del Diamante field trip.

You won't want to miss this. And what an opportunity to ask questions! Three noted UC Davis scientists will speak at a special forum  from noon...

Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology in the Argentine Andes during a Laguna del Diamante field trip.
Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology in the Argentine Andes during a Laguna del Diamante field trip.

Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology in the Argentine Andes during a Laguna del Diamante field trip.

Professor Gabrielle Nevitt with a blackbrowed albatross.
Professor Gabrielle Nevitt with a blackbrowed albatross.

Professor Gabrielle Nevitt with a blackbrowed albatross.

Research ecologist Melanie Truan with a poster showcasing her work.
Research ecologist Melanie Truan with a poster showcasing her work.

Research ecologist Melanie Truan with a poster showcasing her work.

Benefits of Livestock for Fire Fuels Reduction and Fire Safety

IMG 6916

Thanks to generous support from the newly formed California Cattle Council, UC Cooperative Extension will begin conducting a study to estimate how...

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 12:14 PM

40 Years of Memories

When you move from your home after 40 years, you leave behind solid memories like the heights of children's growth penciled in doorways.  Even the sun that shined on my face in bed every morning imploring me up has moved to a new location, the library. I witness fewer sunrises. 

Last week's Master Gardener propagation class opened exciting opportunities.  That same day I started lavender and other drought-tolerant shrubs for spring planting. The clay was finally dry enough to dig for my dwarf Meyer Lemon tree.  My toddler granddaughter helped return the native soil to the hole. And I flashed on the Meyer I left behind,  the memorial for my father which my daughter and son planted decades ago. Back in San Francisco is the forsythia my mother planted the spring my daughter was born; the red twig Dogwood honoring our beloved Moe who waited at the gate for school to end.  On and on the old garden returned to me special memories. 

Now with the skills of the propagation class, I am inspired to take cuttings of those very specimens. And bring them back to my everyday reminisce, consciousness. Oh yes. Dad's favorite lemon recipe, Nicolashka: bite one thick slice of lemon, chew well one coffee bean and kick back one shot of good vodka.  Bottoms up = pronounced icky doogna in my childhood brain. Today I taught my granddaughter cheers with my tea and her sippy cup, hoping she will remember our time together too.

photo by Jean Strauss
photo by Jean Strauss

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 9:26 AM

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