Collective Roots has been very busy this summer with many gardening projects, events, and changes!
1785 Woodland Ave. Community Garden Transformed!
We are transforming our 1785 Woodland Ave. Community Garden (at our main office). We moved the community planter boxes to the back, created pathways, signs, and a compost pile to redesign the space and make it more efficient and beautiful. We also added larger community growing plots for those interested. In the front yard, we added an instructional garden in the style of edible landscaping, as well as a small children’s garden, greens, and herb gardens. These modifications were completed by the help of our many dedicated and greatly appreciated volunteers from around the community, including Americorps members, school groups, different Stanford groups, residents from East Palo Alto and surrounding communities, as well as several corporate groups during Team-Building Workdays. We had the pleasure of hosting enthusiastic corporate groups such as VMware, Shutterfly, Genentech, and Google to help us recreate the space and form a connection with our surrounding communities. The hardworking folks from Shutterfly also built us several outdoor benches for use in our monthly workshops outside.
Maintenance Days & Garden Box Installations
In addition, we’ve held our weekly maintenance work days every Friday with a potluck lunch. To accommodate school schedules, we are moving this weekly workday to Thursdays from 5-7:30PM where we will continue to do hands-on gardening and then eat healthy-dishes under our beautiful oak trees. We also have a third Saturday of the month workday for those of you who are interested in volunteering with us but do not have time during the week. In addition to our garden maintenance, we have also completed some backyard planter box installations for community members throughout East Palo Alto. They are so happy being able to grow their own vegetables and fruits right at home!
Our monthly workshops for our Backyard Gardener Network members are crucial for the development of gardening basics throughout the whole year. We’ve learned to prepare our soil, sow our seeds, integrate pest management, harvest, save seeds, and preserve our harvest. We also teach nutrition and cook and/or potluck together at our workshops.
Collaboration and Partnership
We’ve partnered with wonderful organizations and companies to support us in our efforts to improve our East Palo Alto community and Collective Roots’ programs, such as the Ravenswood Family Health Center (site host for our East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market each Wednesday from 11AM-2PM), San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Sweetgreen, Facebook, and Whole Foods at next week’s 5% Days where Whole Foods will donate 5% of net sales for the day at two of their stores! We will have a table with a growing activity for children at the Redwood City and San Mateo Whole Foods stores on Wednesday, September 14. Common Ground also partnered with us to include 1785 Community Garden as one of their gardens for their Annual Edible Garden Tour. These are just some of the exciting events that have been going on throughout the summer. We look forward to the next season with more growing, sharing, and eating of nutritious foods and forming connections throughout the community!
We have been able to be a part of some wonderful community events as well by tabling at such events as, the EPA Seventh Day Adventist Church Health and Wellness Fair, the community events section of the Facebook Farmers’ Market, the EPA Non-Profit Fair and SV Gives Event, the East Palo Alto Reading Bonanza in the Park, and the Stanford 4th Annual Stephen H. Schneider Memorial Lecture at which Will Allen (farmer, founder, and CEO of Growing Power) spoke. We have truly enjoyed connecting with more of our community members at these events.
We look forward to participating in the Whole Foods 5% Days by providing a growing activity at Whole Foods Redwood City and San Mateo stores next Wednesday and to our fall planting and maintenance and hope you will join us in each!