News: Growing community: Church garden project brings neighbors together to grow healthy food

Another community garden success story. — Douglas


Growing community: Church garden project brings neighbors together to grow healthy food

News: Growing community: Church garden project brings neighbors together to grow healthy food

Two short years ago, the backyard of Waynesville’s Grace Church in the Mountains was basically just grass, save for a single container bed at the top of the hill.

These days, the view is quite different. Six long container beds stretch out along the slope from the road to the church’s back door. A scaffolding that held a tent of beans during the warmer months stands to the side, and at the bottom of the hill is yet another group of raised beds, built high at the end of a flat walkway so that people with mobility issues can still access and enjoy them. There’s a toolshed, a gaggle of scarecrows and two in-ground beds dug directly into the land.
It’s the home of the Grace Giving Garden.

“We decided, ‘We have this land. It’s just growing grass. Why do we have to grow grass?’” said Emily Chatfield-Lusto, who co-facilitates the garden along with fellow Master Gardeners Jim Geenan and Mary Alice Lodico.

So, they got to work — making plans, making beds, making connections. All the produce grown there, they decided, would help feed the more than 200 families that use the church’s food pantry. But now, the produce goes to more homes than just 200.

“It just sort of took off,” Chatfield-Lusto said. “This year we decided, ‘Why don’t we reach out to different community organizations and see if they want to come garden with us?’”

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News: The Community Garden as a Tool for Community Empowerment: A Study of Community Gardens in Hampden County

An interesting study of Community Gardens and their impact on their communities. — Douglas

The Community Garden as a Tool for Community Empowerment: A Study of Community Gardens in Hampden County

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how community gardens can catalyze positive change in an urban environment, to determine and catalog the impacts, and to learn about their importance to small-scale agricultural production. The study surveyed neighbors of the two umbrella organizations community gardens, The Nuestras Raices of Holyoke and Growing the Community of Springfield, who strive to ensure that local families gets enough food to feed their families on a daily basis.

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Event: Native Plant Sale Weekend – California Native Plant Society – Oct 14-15, 2017 – Encino

Event: Native Plant Sale Weekend - California Native Plant Society - Oct 14-15, 2017 - Encino

Native Plant Sale Weekend

Sale items will include seeds, irises, mints, sages, berries, hummingbird and butterfly plants, shrubs, perennials, and trees.Wildflower seeds. Books: native gardening, natural history, children’s, field guides, posters. Refreshments available for purchase

Date: Oct 14 to Oct 15
Time: 10am-3pm*

Location:
Sepulveda Garden Center, (near Hayvenhurst)
16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino 91436
Contact: Snowdy Dodson – 818-782-9346

snowdy.dodson@csun.edu

Tips: For SoCal veggie gardeners, fall’s warm soil makes this ‘a fabulous time to plant’ via Los Angeles Times

We Los Angelenos are blessed with many different growing seasons. Here is some great advice about what you can start growing while the East Coast is harvesting and getting ready to put their gardens to bed for the winter. — Douglas

For SoCal veggie gardeners, fall’s warm soil makes this ‘a fabulous time to plant’ via Los Angeles Times

News: For SoCal veggie gardeners, fall's warm soil makes this 'a fabulous time to plant' via Los Angeles Times

Fall is prime planting time in Southern California. The bugs are fewer, water demands lighter and the plants happier, if they’re the cool-clime varieties that prefer mild SoCal winters.

Plus: Many cool-weather crops are sloooow growers, so planting in early fall gives them ample time to mature, said Lucy Heyming, a master gardener and host of the “Gardening With Lucy” show on RiversideTV.

“If you plant [in fall], the soil is still nice and warm, so your seeds and little plants develop faster than in cooler soil,” Heyming said. “It’s a fabulous time to plant.”

Read For SoCal veggie gardeners, fall’s warm soil makes this ‘a fabulous time to plant’ via Los Angeles Times

News: Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture via LA Weekly

This story was recently discovered by one of our CTG board members. This new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Initiative could be a great benefit to many neighborhoods in providing fresh produce. — Douglas

Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture

Imperfect produce up close smallerjpg

Most recently, they worked with L.A. City Councilmember Curren Price to pass a new initiative that aims to connect land owners in possession of vacant lots with residents ready and able to grow produce. The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Initiative, approved by the City Council at the end of June and slated to take effect August 6, is an attempt to encourage farming while also addressing the demoralizing eyesores of overgrown and underused lots.

The initiative dictates that property owners who lease their “vacant or unimproved property” to food growers can in return receive state tax benefits. The lot being leased must be between 0.10 acres and three acres in size and be dedicated entirely to agriculture. The property owner also has to sign an agreement with the city to maintain operations for at least five years.

“An initiative like this is exciting because it gives individuals a chance to really be more proactive,” Price says.

Read the entire article: Fighting South L.A.’s “Food Apartheid” With the Help of Urban Agriculture

News: Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

A great combination of art, science, nature and community garden. Perhaps you could adopt something similar for your own garden? — Douglas

News: Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

Bat boxes at community garden part of art show

Two bat boxes have been installed at the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden in conjunction with the Black Mountain Center for the Arts “The Beauty of Bats” awareness event. The boxes were donated by Sue Cameron, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

            Bat houses offer a safe environment for hundreds of bats. Due to habitat loss, bats need safe places to roost during the day and to raise their young. Most bats have only one pup a year, which means populations are slow to grow. These two houses at the community garden mean neighborhood bats will remain safe and warm.

As with last year’s chimney swift towers, the arts center, the town of Black Mountain and its Recreation and Parks Department were instrumental in the construction and placement of the boxes.

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