This weekend, folks braved the rain and came together with CommunityGrows for the annual wreath and card making event! The space was cozy under the tarps, with hot cider in hand, holiday music playing, and friends chatting as everyone created their masterpieces. We are so grateful to Hayes Valley Art Works and Friends of the Urban Forest for being so welcoming and sharing their space!
One of the best parts of the wreath and card making event is seeing everyone’s different personalities shine through their decorations and drawings! While some kept their wreath simple, others went bold and shiny, and others still created forest themed designs. One thing is certain though, each one had style!
On Saturday November 5, 2016 CommunityGrows held a workday in Koshland Garden to celebrate our partnership with Avila & Associates, and Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF). Avila and Associates provides provides civil engineering, environmental services, and water resources engineering services to public agencies at the federal, state and local level; private property owners; civil engineering professionals and other professional service firms. One of the many environmental services they provide is field surveys and regulatory reporting. Leanne Feely-Botanist, Sarah Flaherty-Wildlife Biologist, and Rachel Spadafore-Ecologist/Senior Project Manager, all participants in the workday, do this research. They talked with many of the BEETS about what they do and how they are working to save different endangered species. Here they are with volunteer Janine Kaiser. The morning started with introductions and welcomes from staff members Jay Jordan, Garden Educator, and Melissa Tang, BEETS Program Manager. Then people commenced to flipping compost, trellising peas, weeding the mustard and strawberry beds, collecting leek seeds, thinning radishes and preparing bed for the BEETS to plant starts. Lots of Jerusalem Artichokes, onions, collards, kale and herbs were also harvested. Sarah Penney-CommunityGrows Advisory Board member, Emily Danford-CommunityGrows office/communications volunteer, and three wonderful students from University High School (Judith Edwards, Joley Costa, and Nicole Cuthbert) also helped out in the garden. At 1:00 PM the volunteers were joined by a group of youth from Friends of the Urban Forest, who led a workshop in pruning trees. Alex Javier, Education Coordinator for FUF, talked about the essentials of pruning and tree care, the types of cuts to make, proper pruning techniques, and equipment safety. Then the youth went off to the orchard to trim back and prune the fruit trees. It was an amazing workday with lots of knowledge gained about the environmental field and how to care for the earth through the pruning of trees. Thank you Avila & Associate and Friends of the Urban Forest for a very engaging and worthwhile day. For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.
On Saturday, July 16, 2016 CommunityGrows hosted a youth day for urban agriculture for Bay Area teens at Alemany Farm. These eco-literacy teen groups included Pie Ranch, Friends of the Urban Forest, Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), Urban Sprouts, and the Cultural Conservancy. They came together to celebrate each other’s work, and discuss their hopes, dreams, and visions for a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. After some ice-breaking activities that were loads of fun, Brandi Mack, of the Black Permaculture network lead an hour-long discussion and exploration about Permaculture, especially how it relates to youth of color today. Her talk was about how “Everything is in the Garden”, honoring the earth for our heritages and ancestors. A delicious lunch was offered of hummus wraps, salads (provided by CommunityGrows), roasted veggie (harvested from Alemany Farm), and hot dogs, buns and sauerkraut (provided by the Cultural conservancy), and dessert. After lunch there were breakout sessions to make medicine bundles (workshop lead by the Cultural Conservancy), a mobile nursery transplanting activity (organized by LEJ), sketching of plants, making origami and other work activities throughout the farm. This event was sponsored by Aetna Corporation, Nature’s Voices Project, and numerous CommunityGrows donors including Angelique Farrow, Steve Allen, Pam Jackson, Nancy Osborne Almquist, Avni Desai, Chuck Gould, Yvonne Koshland, Leah Cerri, and Christine Pielenz.