Help Us Grow

Our first gardening workshop of the Spring season - Soil and Compost

Last Saturday, we had a wonderful guest speaker present our first workshop of the spring season. Gladwyn d'Souza taught us the fundamentals of microbial life in our soil and the importance of creating your own homemade compost.

We also had a hands-on experience turning and sifting the compost pile at our 1785 Woodland Ave. Community Garden and office. As well as starting a worm bin by worm farming.

Please join us for our next workshop of the Growing the Foundation workshop series on Thursday, March 16 from 6 PM - 8 PM. Our next topic will focus on Clean Eating – Learning why & how we should “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” - Michael Pollan

Register for our workshops at collectiveroots.org/workshops

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East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market: Providing Access to Healthy Fresh Food and Cultivating Community

“This farmers’ market has deeply changed the way I eat. I started to eat more fruit and vegetables. For example, I started to eat chard and kale, which I’ve never had before. The doctor said that my diabetes has improved thanks to the changes I took in my life.” (Yazmin Garcia, EPA resident and regular market customer and volunteer, 2016).

What a year it has been for us at Collective Roots, and in particular for our EPA Community Farmers’ Market. The market not only provides increased access to healthy, affordable produce for the community, but also offers a valuable gathering place that encourages connections and thoughtful consumption. Families from East Palo Alto and surrounding neighborhoods gather together to meet up with old and new friends, while buying fresh vegetables and fruit, delicious bread, and local eggs. Here is a glimpse of  what we accomplished this last season, and where we’re heading next!

Let’s take a look of our main accomplishments:

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  • Increased overall attendance (almost 4,600 families in total, which includes repeating customers) by almost 45% and average monthly attendance (542 families) by more than 20% over last year (in 2016 over 990 families are enrolled in the Matching Programs)
  • Provided over $15k of matching funds, which doubled participants’ purchasing power, enabling them to purchase $30k worth of produce
  • Almost doubled enrollment to 991 Matching Programs participants, an almost 68% increase over previous years’ enrollments
  • We doubled number of vendors from three to six, adding eggs, bread, and honey vendors. Vendors generated over $53,000 over the season
  • We improved our market operating, reporting, and evaluation systems by utilizing an online database service.
  • We improved weekly volunteer support by securing a group of 4 dedicated volunteers.

Looking forward to the upcoming market year, we will be starting the market in the latter part of April and are working on some new ideas to continue to improve the market, add variety, and increase community connections.

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Whole Foods Market Team-Building Event

Last Friday, we hosted a fantastic group of Whole Foods Market artists at our 1785 Woodland Ave. Community Garden and office. Their creative flair brings life and very useful information for the gardeners and visitors who come to the garden. Check out the great shots from all the fun!

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Third Saturday of the Month Maintenance Day

Last Saturday, we had a wonderful time with a group of volunteers and CGN gardeners who helped us set up the heating units and cell trays for the greenhouse project. We are set to begin sowing and will do so on Monday, January 30. Come by and check it out! 

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MLK Day of Service

We had a fantastic group from the JCC to help us today at 1785 Woodland Ave. Community Garden. We prepared trays and pots, dug up soil, compost, weeds, and built a new work bench for our greenhouse. Things are moving along with our greenhouse project and groups like today make the biggest difference! Thank you JCC volunteers! We hope to see you again soon. 

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