On September 29, 2017 volunteers from Bain and Co and Gateway High School joined CommunityGrows for a workday in Koshland Garden. Melissa Tang, our new CommunityGrows Director of Programs, working with Adrian Almquist, Garden Programs Manager, led the day and assigned tasks. These great crews turned the compost, prepped beds in the lower garden, weeded, moved concrete blocks, pruned ivy near the stage and above the shed, chopped down fennel, touched up the mural, aerated roots on trees, gleaned the nasturtiums, weeded grass out of the blackberries, sweep steps and the stage, weeded along outer edge of garden, organized the gloves, checked tool shed, and watered.
During the workday we had a visit from the new Recreation and Park Department’s Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Manager, Mei Ling Hui.She was able to identify one of the mysteries of the garden: a citrus tree that seemed to grow gigantic limes. It turned out that this was a grapefruit tree, and Mei Ling suggested we prune it back and give it lots of nitrogen. We are very excited to discover the identity of this gem in our orchard.
Both Bain & Company and Gateway High School worked very well together, accomplishing so many tasks to get our garden in shape for the fall environmental education classes. Thank you so much for your great work! For more photos, check out our Flickr Photostream here.
On Saturday, September 9, 2017, CommunityGrows kicked off its partnership with Rosa Parks Elementary by literally moving over 40 cubic feet of beautiful soil into the two school gardens. Parents and students, many from the Green Team of the PTA, began arriving around 10am and pitched in where needed. It was a warm and sunny day, with lots of sweat equity going on. An hour into the workday, everyone came together in the lower garden to rehydrate and partake in the delicious spread brought by the parents. One of our new CommunityGrows Advisory Board members, Jessica Jauw, came to help out with her nephew. It was here that our new Rosa Parks Garden Educator, Anna Luberoff, emphasized the dire need to get all the soil moved by 1pm. Crews mobilized with five wheelbarrows, and by the end of the day, all soil had been brought into the gardens. Beds were shaped in an empty area 24 feet wide with 18 inch paths, and soil was added to all the plots. Drip lines were moved, dead plants pulled, and soil broken up and rejuvenated. Weeds invading raised planter boxes and fruit trees were weeded. Strawberry and blueberry plants were transplanted into temporary pots. Raspberries were pruned. Sage was dug up and transplanted. Beds in the lower garden were weeded and soil added. Trash was picked up and paths were mulched with straw. It was an extremely ambitious day for our Garden Educator’s first workday! Congratulations Anna for doing such an amazing job! For more photos from the day check out our Flickr Photostreatm here.
On Friday, September 8th, volunteers from GAP joined CommunityGrows in Buchanan Mall and the AAACC to help us get the gardens in shape for the Fall season.
We started our afternoon with a visit from two Citizen Film representatives. They shared the story of how the community came together to create, and now maintain, the Buchanan Mall street gardens.
For the first part of the workday, we divided and conquered. One group assembled student journals for the Rosa Parks garden classes, while the other group began working in Buchanan Mall.
The gardens looked healthier after some weeding and trash pickup.
And the water and deadheading went a long way towards beautifying the plots.
Not to mention how welcoming the area looked after the leaves had been swept and collected!
There was also some heavy lifting involved, not that it stopped Colleen! (full disclosure: the bag is filled with leaves).
Thank you so much to the GAP volunteers for taking part of their Friday to help us clean up and give the gardens a fresh new look for Fall! Check out our Flickr page for more photos.
On Wednesday August 16, 2017 a large group of Morgan Stanley volunteers came out to help us get Koshland Garden in good shape for the upcoming school year. After welcomes and introductions by the CommunityGrows staff, Melissa Tang, Director of Programs led everyone on a tour of the garden. The memorial planting garden was under renovation and expansion thanks to a Community Challenge grant from the City of San Francisco.Walking through the rows of beds volunteers learned about and tasted various plants that were growing. In the fruit orchard they got to see apples, lemons, prunes, persimmons, raspberries, blackberries and figs growing for fall harvest. Then volunteers were assigned different tasks that keep them busy for the afternoon. They got to clean up the memorial circle, prune ivy, rake paths, sweep stairs, weed berry bushes and community beds, as well as sweep the stage, turn over the compost and prune along the fence line. When all this was done, everyone enjoyed watering. At the end of the day the group reconvened to talk about their experiences and what they enjoyed and learned from their visit. Thank you so much Morgan Stanley for providing this volunteer opportunity for us. We are extremely grateful for your support and hard work! For more photos, please check out our Flickr Photostream here. Thank you again!
Koshland Garden got a spiffing up on Saturday, June 10, 2017 with the help of a great crew from Starbucks. Thanks to CommunityGrows Advisory Board member Jaromy Schmidt, who manages a Starbucks stores in San Francisco, many of his team came out to support us and brought delicious coffee. Adrian Almquist, Garden Programs Manager led the morning, and got people weeding the pathways, composting, and pruning back blackberries, ivy and mock orange plants.Long time neighborhood volunteer Richard Johnson trimmed the ivy along the ramp of the peace wall. CommunityGrows ED joined the day to meet and greet, take photos and organize the garden gloves, finding 23 lonely right handers! At 1:00 PM some of the community gardeners came by to check out the upcoming plans for garden renovations. A couple new gardeners were thrilled to finally get a plot and get off the three year wait list. Thank you everyone for a great day. The garden looks terrific!
Our Fall-Spring cohort of BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated & Employable Teens) embarked on a special project to improve the backyards of seniors living in Plaza East Apartments. They spent months preparing for the project by learning how to consult with residents, design container gardens and create a garden care guide based on what they learned. The garden guide highlighted the importance of growing organic, having healthy soil, weeding, mulching, watering and pruning. It also had advice on pest management. With a lot of sweat and love, the BEETS transformed overgrown gardens into spaces with endless possibilities. They also worked with the resident to design and build a container garden for their new space. All three residents received a maintained yard, new container garden, a garden tool kit and a garden care guide. One resident said, “I can actually see myself out here in the yard.” We hope our three seniors can spend more time outside in their yards to practice their gardening skills, exercise, get some fresh air and to simply smell the roses.