Reflections on Gardening

New members of the garden community

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.

Winter Watering in Times of Drought

(Our beautiful new Middletown Community Garden)

In Lake and Mendocino Counties we are blessed with a climate that allows winter gardening. Greens, onions, garlic, and root vegetables enjoy and even excel in cooler fall and winter weather here. While usually we enjoy a wet winter that allows us not to water our crops, this year we have so far seen very little rain but cold nights, an issue for drip irrigation users. Why? Drip irrigation, and the pipes that the water is delivered through, can get damaged and broken if there is water in pipes during freezing temperatures. For that reason The Gardens Project turns off the water during the winter, however in years like this one where there isn't much rain, how do you ensure your plants get adequate water?


Strides Made at the Middletown Community Garden

For the past year we have been working to put in a community garden in Middletown with the generous help of Calpine Corporation. We are finally on the final stretch with hopes to be completely done by early June. We were featured last week in the Lake County Record Bee!

To read the rest of the article click here!


Willits Earth Day Garden Workday

Read all about our Willits Earth Day Workday in the Willits News and the Willits Weekly

Middletown Community Garden Updates!

After over a year of planning we have finally broken ground at the Middletown Community Garden!

In the past month we have dug post holes, set our fence posts in the ground, and dug trenches to lay irrigation. Along the way we have had to fight against the rainiest year in California since 1895, and super rocky soil (as you can see from the picture) to get everything done. We've had great help from our volunteers particularly Jeff Regan and Mel Bullock in getting the fence posts set. During a workday on April 14th we were able to set the bottom boards and tack up the hogwire and on Friday April 21st we held an Earth Day Workday to finish nailing down the hog wire panels and get the top boards up. It finally looks like a garden now!


From 2007 to 2017: A decade of community gardens and the future promises more!

Since the Gardens Project was founded in 2007, we’ve worked with the people of Mendocino and Lake Counties to develop 45 community and school gardens. That’s an average of 4.5 gardens a year! A lot has changed since the first community gardens in Ukiah, but the need to increase food security in both counties is still there and the work continues…

Setting up the drip irrigation at the Willits Head Start Preschool Garden


A Community Treasure

This December brings great promise to Mendocino County! There's the welcome rain, of course. But there's also a new social movement afoot... a movement towards creating a culture of health and wellness. It's called Leaders for a Healthy Community.

Over 40 service professionals (including professionals from health clinics, school gardens, family resource centers, afterschool programs, Health and Human Services, high schools, preschools, hospital foundations, teen leaders, and parent leaders) came together in both Ukiah and Willits for the first of 10 monthly Leaders for a Healthy Community meetings. The participants officially signed on as Health Leaders, committing to work within their organizations to implement health, nutrition and physical activity programming and policies, and committing to collaborate and form new health connections across the community.

What a community treasure! The Health Leaders bring so much enthusiasm and experience to this work. All are dedicated to creating a community where health and wellness are front and center, where opportunities to eat well and be physically active abound. They are excited about sharing resources, learning more about nutrition education, promoting activity, building relationships across the community, and truly moving the dial towards greater health and wellness in Mendocino County.

In the new year, expect to see "health happening here" as the Health Leaders roll out their programs and make presentations to decision-makers and governing bodies around Mendocino County.

Wheelchair Accessible Pathways at Vinewood

Next time you're going for a walk in the park, check out Vinewood Park Community Garden's new hard-scape pathways! These gravel paths make the garden more accessible to gardeners in wheelchairs and gardeners who have other mobility issues. Thanks to the Chamberlain Creek Conservation Camp Crew for all of their hard work!

Check out more photos on our Flickr!


Saved From the Gophers! Thanks CCC

Thanks to the California Conservation Corps crew members for all their hard work gopher-proofing and cleaning up the Mendocino College Preschool Garden! It was a beautiful fall day. Keeping the gophers and other burrowing critters out of the garden beds will definitely allow the preschoolers to see the fruits of their garden labor!!

How to gopher-proof you ask?
We dug out the raised beds, laid in gopher-wire metal mesh, and nailed it to the bender boards 3 - 4 " apart. We then filled the beds back in with a mixture of the original soil and compost. In addition to keeping the gophers out, this work helped aerate and add important nutrients to the soil.

Want to see more photos?
Click here!

Interested in volunteering at workdays like this?
Let us know!


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