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2016 Garden Development: Year of the Raised Bed
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The Gardens Project staff, volunteers and community members of Lake and Mendocino Counties have built 3 new community gardens and 1 new youth garden so far this year! Can you guess how many raised beds we’ve built in the past 6 weeks? (Start doing the math as you read about each garden!).
In Boonville, the first community garden was developed in partnership with the Anderson Valley Elder Home. Support from the Anderson Valley Food Shed, Senior Center and many others in the community are contributing to the project as well. The garden, uniquely built over an existing leach field, showcases an impressive 20 raised beds accessible to gardeners of all abilities. In an area without the leach field, 10 additional in ground beds were marked out for production. Produce will be used by the families and individuals renting the plots, donated to the Senior Center and residents of the Elder Home, and submissions into the Mendocino County Fair have been encouraged!
In Ukiah, the Gardens Project received a grant from the Mendocino County Office of Education to develop a garden at a Redwood Community Services home site for Foster Youth. The garden is to be used by youth in group homes and their families as they visit. The garden includes four 8x12 foot redwood beds and 12 individual 2x2 foot boxes for each youth to grow whatever they’d like! Over the course of a couple workdays, youth aged 8-16 years practiced their drill skills putting together the beds and shoveled 10 yards of compost into the new garden spaces.
In Lake County, the Highland Senior Center Garden in Clearlake has been renovated and revitalized! The garden has been split into a production garden for the senior center’s meal program and a community garden for Clearlake residents. With the help of Lake County and Mendocino County volunteers and the California Conservation Corps, a new irrigation system has been installed in the community garden and 10 new raised beds have been built to ensure accessibility to all. In addition to the raised beds, there are 21 in-ground plots and plenty of undeveloped space for future expansion. This garden is currently seeking more gardeners and volunteers to help build a new garden tool shed.
A second garden has been built in Clearlake at the Praises of Zion Baptist Church for use by the church congregation and residents of the Avenues neighborhood. A new irrigation system has been installed and with the help of a mostly female crew of volunteers, eight raised beds were built. The garden has an additional 23 in ground plots and the produce will be used by families renting the plots and any excess will be given out to those in need in the community. Volunteer help is still needed to help fence the garden and build a garden tool shed.
As you can see, the Gardens Project staff and volunteers have been busy bees this spring building a total of (have you done your math yet?) 54 new raised garden beds! Check out the Gardens Project Flickr albums for photos of the garden work days and follow the Gardens Project on Facebook to see updates on these three new gardens and learn about future projects.
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Check out the Mendocino County Local Food Guide which has information on what to plant and when, local farms, seed saving, educational opportunities, community and school gardens, farmers' markets, and much, much more!