What’s not to love about growing your own food? Home gardens are a time-tested local strategy that are widely adopted and practiced in various circumstances by local communities with limited resources and institutional support. Many parts of the East Bay are labeled Food Deserts; gardens are widely used as a remedy to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.
Stories from Local Heroes
Permaculture at Rogers Ranch
Local residents participated in Marian Woodard’s 7th class in the permaculture series offered at Rogers Ranch Heritage Center . This class was jam-packed with information on herb spirals, keyhole gardens, and mandala beds. Participants visited examples of these efficient and aesthetic gardens on site up the hill and learned tips for building them back home, The 8th and final class in the series is next Saturday, March 25.
Sharing Seeds, Building Community
Stan from Concord got excited by reading Carol Deppe’s works about organic gardening, especially saving locally adapted seed to grow the best varieties of produce for local conditions. He decided to start a local group to share seeds using MeetUp. The first gathering of Diablo View Organic Gardeners drew 21 people sharing seeds, plants, produce and knowledge about local growing techniques. The group has grown to almost 100, meeting monthly in members’ backyards.
Growing Food, building Community: Hundreds came out on April 24th to celebrate both Earth Day and the birthday of the Gill Tract Community Farm, a collaborative community project between the U.C. Berkeley and the local community. Participants enjoyed a beautiful Indigenous ceremony, workshops focusing about food justice and urban farming; and amazing free food. The Challenge hosted a table and gave away strawberry plants to people who pledged to commit to donate their time or money to the Gill Tract. Dedicated volunteer Ed Fields added, “I have pledged to volunteer on a regular basis because it’s so important for me to utilize land for urban agriculture! It’s very satisfying to volunteer my time to help make this project successful.”
A small but mighty crew braved the rain to lend a hand at the monthly Acta Non Verba Farm work day on April 30th. Participants cleaned up trash and created a compost pile, while enjoying the company of fellow gardeners and activists; and delicious food provided by the Farm and Challenge organizers. “It was so gratifying coming out to support this amazing project!” said participant and Challenge organizer Susan Silber. “I want to come out again soon.”