Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone!

Wow it has been more than a month since I last wrote but what a time so many big things have happened. The Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) team finished the new 4,200 sq ft expansion-first they lasagna mulched it with cardboard sheeting then about covered the cardboard weed barrier with 62 cubic yards or about 75,000 pounds of a mixture of Fertile GroundWorks compost and native soil from the new AUMC church office diggings-good ole Pleasanton loam ( high in clay and very heavy!). Then they installed the irrigation and this past weekend they planted it in fava beans and oats. GO TEAM!

While they were doing that the Breaking BEARiers (BB) team started on a beautiful new mural on the tool transportainer – such a talented team creating a wonderful addition to the natural beauty of the garden. Another team worked on helping get all the trees in the orchard identified with really cool signs. Plus the team of SC and SG Wood working started the new well house with the help of YMSL folks. With Betsy back in action we also got to start chipping the huge pile of garden plant parts, so now we can make even more compost!

We also were able to celebrate our 10th Anniversary! YAHOOOO! It was great to reconnect with the folks that founded the garden and rejoice with them in all that they had started and that a community of volunteers had continued to build on. Members of the Boy’s Team Charity (BTC) and the National Charity League (NCL) were on hand to help make the event a success. Folks were so happy to spend a day in the garden and amazed at what had been accomplish over the years. Almost 200,000 pounds of food grown and given to our community.

On top of all these big things, life carried on in the garden and with the help of teams of folks from Kaiser, The Asbury Methodist Church youth group, the Global Leadership Initiative for Youth group, the Promoting Leadership Among Youth group, Boy Souts, Girl Scouts, missionaries from the Mormon church plus students from Livermore, Granada, Amador, Foothill, Dublin and Bishop O’Dowd High Schools, and the aforementioned YMSL, BB BTC, NCL groups, we have been able to share 4,434 pounds of produce with our neighbors in need and an additional 1,633 pounds with our community of volunteers, supporters and You Pickers.

Back in August we started 1,500 seeds for our winter crops. Alas, many of them that fed some very fat mice in the little green house. We have restarted them and 1,728 more. We are now covering the flats of germinating seeds with screens to protect them from marauding mice. Then we are moving them into the big hoop house after they germinate, for whatever reason the mice don’t seem to like the big hoop house as much as the little green house. We transplanted out the survivors of the mouse feast into the first 6 beds we gleaned and amended. We have gleaned and prepared 2,434 square feet of bed space so far and have started putting out the second set of seedlings into these beds. This year we are doing lots of companion plantings in each bed, mixing peas, garlic, shallots, onions, parsley, carrots and other herbs in with our standard winter crops of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mustards, cabbages, collards, chard and beets. So far we have directly sown or transplanted about 13,700 seeds and seedlings. Yes, we have been busy!

Such a short note does not truly convey the gratitude I feel for all of you and your efforts to keep the garden growing and producing. You all make the garden a truly special place of kindness and joy in these ‘interesting’ days we are all living through. You keep the truth of the wonderful world we live in alive in my heart-THANK YOU! For all your generosity and energy.

Until next we meet please do take care of yourselves, study hard and try to have a little fun too!

With sincere gratitude