We had a series of community-engaged design workshops throughout Feb-March with great attendance. We broke ground on the back lot in an exciting garden week. We had a bunch of garden activities over the kids April spring break and completed the back lot as our trial project. We have a few dedicated gardeners that are caring for the back lot and the plants the kids put in are doing pretty well in this already hot summer. A student from UCDavis also made a video about our garden project.
What challenges did or does your project face?
We are still fine tuning our drip irrigation system since the temperature is so high. We are still trying to get more youth involved in the space. We are trying to piece together enough funding to create the actual food-growing spaces in the front lot, but we think it will have to wait until the end of summer. Once we get the plots ready, we have many families interested in growing food in the space. We are also having some communication challenges since there are language barriers, a lack of internet, and some of our most active volunteers don't have regular phone service.
How are you working to overcome them?
We are writing a lot of grants and encouraging community members to put on fundraisers for the garden. Our dedicated gardeners are checking in on the existing garden space regularly and maintaining the space as we go. We are trying to meet regularly on Sundays to check in about the garden progress. We are recruiting folks from the community to serve on a garden board that will be able to communicate better than we can now.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
We love decomposed granite paths! The path was not to bad to install and it is ADA compliant now that we have it packed down.