WHAT'S GROWIN' ON
IN LAKE & MENDOCINO COUNTIES
The Gardens Project is happy to welcome members of the Jesus Christ Fellowship church to our garden this year!
Jessica leads the children's church and is working with some friends to tend to two plots in the Middletown Community garden. Although Jessica has gardened before, she is also working with a friend who is new to the process. "This is her first time using a hose!," she told us, laughing.
They are looking forward to bringing kids into the garden to teach them about how things grow, and to show them home beautiful nature can be.
Over the past decade, the Gardens Project has been growing more than just delicious, local produce. We’ve built 47 community gardens to grow resiliency in our community.
Take it from Lorindra Frances, a member of the brand new Middletown Community Garden. “The whole fire thing this year was really scary since I lost everything in the first one. But to have a garden again makes my heart really really happy,” Frances remarked as she watered her raised bed, beautifully adorned by a variety of vegetables. “I left during the evacuations and those that didn’t, watered my area while I was gone. What better way than with the earth to unite a community with so much devastation.”
Community gardens have the power to transform grief, daily annoyances, and hardships intobeautiful friendship, resilient community, and organic produce. The garden represents the cycle of life, and with the new growth comes the recycling of last season’s nutrients. Two of our beloved community gardeners have passed on this year, as many more have celebrated the birth of new loved ones. Seasoned gardeners have passed on their knowledge, tools, and saved seeds to newer gardeners.
It’s been a year of growth and renewal. In 2017 alone, we’ve held 20 food production workshops on topics ranging from seed starting and transplanting to compost production to edible wild plants. Over 3,000 community gardeners are currently growing organic produce to feed their loved ones on land that was previously vacant, underused, or paved over. We’ve built 4 new community gardens, and laid the groundwork to complete a fifth by early next year. We celebrated a decade of empowering community, with family, gardeners, and friends, and of course garden-fresh cuisine. Along the way, we’ve enjoyed countless garden potlucks, marveled at the sweetness of fresh spring strawberries, and rallied as our communities were hit hard by this year’s North Bay Firestorm.
Invest in a more resilient food system in your community. Support the Gardens Project this #givingtuesday.
This community garden story is told from the perspective of Steph Logsdon, our Community Healthcorps Service Member.
We're in the process of posting all of our old gardener of the month videos up on our website. Check out each garden site to see the people who make Ukiah a healthier, more self reliant community! Below is one of our favorite interviews with South Ukiah Head Start volunteers. Cheers to all who are making the movement happen!
Congratulations to our first Gardener of the Month: Genaro Vega! At The Gardens Project, we know Genaro as The Chili Man, for his knowledge and cultivation of different varieties of chili peppers. Genaro is also the volunteer coordinator at the largest and oldest community garden in Ukiah – the Cleveland Lane Community Garden. To witness the tremendous work Genaro dedicates to this garden and to hear him speak of his respect for chili peppers is truly inspirational. The Gardens Project interviewed Genaro one afternoon and, unsurprisingly, he offered some valuable insight into the world of Ukiah community gardens. To watch the interview, click here.
Do you know someone who should be our next Gardener of the Month? Nominate them! Contact us and tell us why you think they deserve be highlighted.
To see pictures of the Cleveland Lane Community Garden, click here. To see Cleveland Ln. in person, visit it! It’s located behind the Grace Hudson Museum. Here is a map.
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