Happy New Year everyone

Happy New Year everyone, 

Wow, our first week back in the garden was so productive! Many thanks to all the regulars and to our new volunteers too. It was so fun to be back in the garden and see how much it had grown over the holidays, just a couple weeks and such a difference. Those of you who were out on Wednesday got to experience the wonderful phenomenon of the ‘garden sunshine ring’. It happens often, our shifts starts off rainy, then the colds break and the garden is bathed in sunshine while all around us are dark threatening clouds that hold off until we are done with chores and ready to go home. Oh so cool to see! I am sure there is some scientific reason but I choose to think that it is the garden reflecting the warmth of our hearts as we work to help the garden stay happy and growing. A good karma inversion zone? Or just cap clouds on the ridges surrounding Livermore? I think I will just be thankful for the sunshine.

In the sun or clouds, together we got so much done. We were able to harvest 211 pounds of fresh greens and root crops to share. We added about 65 pounds of shed squash to the greens, one whopper 55 pounder to the Open Heart chefs and another 10 pounds of trombetta to the Del Valle Culinary Academy students. 

After harvesting we went to work pulling weeds, some tiny ones and some giant mallows from nigh on 8,200 sq. feet of garden space from the orchard in the South moving North around the big hoop house, out to the tree line in the front of the garden, from the berry beds in the East to the Asbury gardens in the West. The JHB and family even gave about 600 sq. ft. of the weeded berry path a fresh layer of wood chips. They added about 6 cubic yards of chips, aka about 4,700 pounds. I hope the little one slept well Saturday night! The garden is looking loved again! THANKS everyone!

We also sowed about a thousand more carrots and a hundred fava beans to fill holes of plants that we had already harvested or weeds we pulled. It was great to see how many seeds we had sown before the holidays had germinated, lots of native wildflowers, radishes and daikons. We thinned the radishes and sent them in as baby greens for folks to use on their salads.

The big hoop house got some extra love inside as well as outside as we pulled a couple giant mallows out and leveled the West bench. It was a four person job but by golly we figured out an effective process for doing it. Which is a good thing as chances are that the other legs will push their ways through the landscape cloth too and we will be doing the same for them- who knows maybe we will even do it as a prophylactic measure. Many thanks to AW and the ladies for going that extra step of putting the plastic back over the hoops to dry – not a fun chore at all. Then we cleaned up the flats that were in there too. Getting everything ready for the seeds to start later this month. 

Lori is still in hog heaven about how much easier it is for her to get things out of the transportainer and ready for the day, after she and the Johns attacked and reorganized the supplies and wheelbarrows in there. It looks beautiful in there folks – enjoy it everyone.

A couple other changes this new year to share. Some of you may already know Hannah. She was a regular Wednesday compost maven in 2023 and started her internship with us on Saturday. She is a lifelong gardener and will be a boon to the garden. Lori also asked if she could express her garden joys with you all too and will be writing some happy Monday notes herself. YAY a new voice!

Until next we meet may your new years continue to be happy and productive. 

All my best