Sweet Wheels Farm and Garden

Summerland’s Sweet Wheels Farm and Garden on Lillie Avenue offers fresh produce, fruit and flowers most days of the week.

On July 3, the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) will carry out work to uncover and investigate another of Summerland’s old improperly abandoned oil wells. The leaky C.H. Olsson 805 well was identified as the source of beach oil, tar and stench just below Lookout Park.

Since the site is typically submerged, an extremely low tide during the early morning hours of July 3 offers the best opportunity to access the well site.

Equipment and materials will be staged in the parking lot of Lookout Park to allow a backhoe and excavator to drive down to the beach. They will excavate the area around the well casing to determine the best method of capping it.

The work should be completed by 8 a.m., and all the equipment removed. No word on when CSLC will undertake the actual capping.

Summerland helistops

Wealthy Summerland resident Pat Nesbitt appeared at the Summerland Citizens Association meeting last week to make a pitch for a plan to build two helistops on his property at 2800 Via Real. His Conditional Use Permit application for the helicopter landing sites is now before the county.

The helistops are proposed for personal use, limited to twice a week, and emergency services, if needed. They will be located on Nesbitt’s polo field and on a concrete drive next to a storage building.

Nesbitt stated he’d been operating a helicopter on the premises for 25 years with no problem until receiving a cease and desist order from the county. He noted several other unpermitted landing sites nearby and said his smaller craft would be less noisy.


Neighbors and friends showed up to voice support of the project. Several protest letters, one from the Carpinteria Valley Association, were shared by the SCA board.

Chief concerns were noise pollution, effects on public trails and beaches, environmentally sensitive habitats and wildlife, view obstruction and enforcement issues.  

One letter noted a significant increase in helicopter landings over the past several years. At a past meeting, we were advised that issues of enforcement should be taken up with the FAA. (Wonder how many calls that would take.)

A hearing on the Conditional Use Permit will go before the Planning Commission on June 26.

Beach Watch Committee

The mission statement of Summerland’s newly formed Beach Watch committee is: “We will work with community partners to keep our wild, natural beach accessible, clean and safe for the enjoyment of all and will develop a sense of community through coastal awareness of wildlife and vegetation.”

As a beach walker/user of the Summerland beach for nearly half a century, I was naturally drawn to this committee. Beach oversight is one of several committees recently formed as part of a community-wide undertaking to freshen up Summerland, revive a slumping downtown and stimulate community involvement.

We would welcome more members to join the committee. All aspects of the beach and its use will be considered—access, recreation, swimming, hiking, oil problems, horses and dog use, cleanup, marine mammals, commercial activities, etc. If interested, please contact francespdavis@cox.net.

Summerland’s summer block party

June will be busting out all over in downtown Summerland on June 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Farmer & the Flea, the town’s sweet little once-a-month flea market, will join forces with local businesses to create a big downtown block party.

Over 35 vendors will offer artisan creations, food and vintage finds at the post office parking lot, along with live music and food trucks, including SB Juice Ranch.

Many businesses along Lillie Avenue will stage special events and offerings. Mujeres Collective will have a vintage clothing pop-up, along with live music by Luminesse.

A Cork & Compass sponsored beer garden will feature world-famous chili from The Nugget at the new Summerland Center for the Arts. A group art project, with easels set up on the patio, will invite the public to create plein aire paintings on the spot.

Red Kettle Coffee will have prizes and giveaways. Summerland wine will offer wine specials, and Summerland Salon & Spa will roll out all-day pop-up body and health workshops.

Swing by for a big sip of Summerland fun!

Summerland Center for the Arts

Leslie Person Ryan, owner of Letter Perfect, has embraced a new artistic enterprise: the Summerland Center for the Arts. Since Ryan moved into the handsome building in downtown Summerland a few months ago, the needle on her business compass has swung from gallery shows to spiritualist encounters to garden carts. But art has always been her primary focus.

Ryan says she will begin offering classes in paper marbling, watercolor, calligraphy and printmaking, among other arts. Additionally, a class called Rise and Shine Summerland, which she describes as “an inspirational and light exercise series,” is now being offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

From June 30 to July 25, the nature-inspired paintings of Masha Keating will hang in the building’s spacious upstairs gallery. Keating is known for her large-scale, vividly-colorful murals and paintings. A portion of sales will be donated to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where she will be teaching a painting class.

Passers-by may have noticed an attractive little garden cart outside the Letter Perfect building. Ryan has teamed up with Sweet Wheels Farm and Garden to offer fresh produce, fruit and flowers most days of the week.

One good thing: The weather map’s slim green line along the California coast that indicates our region’s cooler days—in contrast to the burning red interior.

Fran Davis is an award-winning writer and freelance editor whose work appears in magazines, print and online journals, anthologies and travel books. She has lived in Summerland most of her life.

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