Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

TRCD announces Native Plant Sale

Land of Four Seasons

The Tehachapi Mountains can be a challenging place to garden. Many of the plants carried in chain stores or purchased out of town and brought to Tehachapi don't thrive here. California native plants tend to have a much better success rate, and you can get some of them locally at an upcoming plant sale held in conjunction with Earth Day on April 22.

The Tehachapi Resource Conservation District is announcing the return of their annual Native Plant Sale for 2023. A variety of California perennials, shrubs and grasses will be available for purchase.

The TRCD has held a plant sale for many years, but it was interrupted because of the COVID pandemic and is now coming back for the first time in several years.

Customers preorder the plants they want, and then pick them up at the TRCD office on 321 W. C St. on the day of the sale, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 22. There will be some plants available for same-day sale, but supplies of these are always limited and tend to sell out quickly. If you want to get some native plants for your garden, yard or patio, it is best to preorder them.

The easiest way to browse and purchase from the Native Plant Sale selection is to visit http://www.TehachapiRCD.org and follow the instructions. There are descriptions and prices for each of the different species available.

Alternatively, you can fill out a digital order form and send it by email to [email protected] and mail in a check, or you can print out an order form and mail it with a check. One final method would be to pick up an order form, located in a green mailbox in front of the TRCD office on W. C St., and mail it in with your order with a check.

California native plants tend to be hardier and more drought tolerant than most ornamentals, and many of them provide food and shelter for butterflies, hummingbirds, wild bees and other pollinators. Native plant gardens are typically more resilient and require less water and maintenance.

Those who purchase plants at the sale will receive a free bag of compost to use as a planting soil amendment, courtesy of the Agrimin company.

I am now a TRCD board member, and we are excited about bringing the Native Plant Sale back to Tehachapi. Proceeds from the sale of the plants go to the TRCD, which is a local, non-regulatory special district.

Resource Conservation Districts were organized after the Dust Bowl of the 1930s to help farmers, ranchers and property owners access federal and state funding and expertise to help conserve soil, water and wildlife habitat.

The Tehachapi Resource Conservation District was founded in 1947, and in the ensuing 75 years has been involved in many important projects, including the establishment of the Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District, and the Antelope Canyon and Blackburn Canyon flood control projects on Highline Road.

Many local windbreak tree lines, soil erosion reduction efforts, flood control mitigation and other resource protection projects have been completed through the TRCD. Our purpose is to help conserve and enhance the natural resources of the Tehachapi Mountains. We do this in different ways, including through technical assistance and grants in conjunction with the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service.

If you want to try growing some California native plants that can be difficult to find in nurseries, check out the TRCD plant sale at the http://www.TehachapiRCD.org website. Hurry though! The ordering deadline is April 2, so it's time-sensitive. The TRCD thanks you for your support, and your interest in growing native plants.

Keep enjoying the beauty of life in the Tehachapi Mountains.

Jon Hammond is a fourth generation Kern County resident who has photographed and written about the Tehachapi Mountains for 38 years. He lives on a farm his family started in 1921, and is a speaker of Nuwä, the Tehachapi Indian language. He can be reached at [email protected].