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The Highlights of the 2014 Season

Thanks to the community of Lafayette for a wonderful year! We enjoyed many successes. Here are some of the highlights:

- We reached capacity, with 70 garden member families (about 120 members) and sixteen families on the waiting list for next season.
– Soil was greatly enhanced through addition of compost and other organic nutrients.
– Ten beautiful new beds were constructed.
Propagation of our plants took place in homes and at the garden. Planting was done with attention paid to what was planted where. Rotation of crops, water conservation and bio-intensive methods of planting guided our planning.
– Plants which we propagated but couldn’t use in the garden were given to Chateau Lafayette and Belle Terre Eden Senior Housing facilities for their patio gardens.
– We opened the garden to the entire community Wednesdays 2–5pm, Thursdays 9am–12pm and Saturdays 9am–1pm. Many community groups (scouts, schools, garden clubs, etc.) were given tours.
– The garden produced over a ton of vegetables and herbs. Almost all of the harvest was taken by community garden members. What was in excess was donated to the new Belle Terre Housing and Chateau Lafayette.
– We got water! We worked with the City to access and purchase piped in water rather than depend on it being trucked as in years past. Thanks to a grant from the Lafayette Community Foundation and private donors, we were able to install an efficient drip irrigation system. We remained cautious in what and how we planted in order to save water.
– We took down our “not to code” greenhouse and purchased a beautiful new greenhouse, thanks to support from the Happy Valley Garden Club and the Brenner Foundation.
– Over 350 people visited our third annual Harvest Festival, enjoying activities from scare crow building to sachet making, listening to music, and learning about the natural history of Lafayette.
– Our education programs provided a variety of rich experiences for community members of all ages:
– Partnering with the Lafayette Library, we hosted regular themed book events and workshops for children.
– This summer we offered a month long series of eight preschool classes and a weeklong Native American immersion camp for 7 – 12 year olds.
– Ten adult and intergenerational classes and workshops were attended by over 200 visitors.

It’s Nearly Bedtime!

It’s Nearly Bedtime!

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What a great way to end the season! We had a great turnout at our Third Annual Harvest Festival. The garden was abuzz with energy.

Papa John gave an interesting talk about the sustainability of raising chickens. Susan Dannenfelser helped kids young and old bring life into apple dolls. Karol Dondero allowed our noses to guide us in making sachets and tea/herb bags. Peggy Magilen brought us back to the time of Miwoks. Doc Hale captivated an audience with a riveting talk about the indigenous peoples who inhabited the East Bay and his study of mountain lions.

We now have a have few more weeks until we close for the season. Until then, we’ll be busy tucking everything in for the winter, so it’s all ready for bed.

THE HARVEST FESTIVITIES HAVE BEGUN!!

THE HARVEST FESTIVITIES HAVE BEGUN!!

From now until 3PM today, our gates are open. You are invited to learn more about us and how you can be involved. We have lots on the schedule, from chicken talks to Apple doll making. Come out and have a little fun this afternoon. It’s sunny after all.

YOU’RE INVITED TO GET TO KNOW US BETTER

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If you’ve driven by recently, you may have noticed that our garden is lush with harvest. We continue to be blessed with a diverse, energetic, positive community of garden members and supporters who have helped bring the garden and learning center together.

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New Little Free Library now open at Lafayette Community Garden

New Little Free Library now open at Lafayette Community Garden

Little Free Library #18575 officially opened on Saturday, September 13 at the Lafayette Community Garden located at 3932 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

With the motto “Take a Book, Return a Book, the Little Free Library’s mission is to promote literacy and love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. Books of all kinds, appealing to all ages, are welcomed. The members of the garden have initially stocked the LFL with their favorites, but other patrons are encouraged to borrow and to bring books to add to the collection.

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The Little Free Library is considered a gift to the community. The books are labeled or stamped “Always a gift, never for sale,” to reinforce the idea that these books should circulate freely within the community.

The Little Free Library is a movement started by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks in Wisconsin in 2010 and it has grown to include LFLs in most states and dozens of countries. More information can be found at the Little Free Library site.

The library is located beside the entry gate to the garden. It can be accessed from the street through the pedestrian gate to the left of the vehicular entryway.

Contact: Jeanie Hill
jeanie.calnini@gmail.com
(479) 841-9555

Have a “CAN”-DO Attitude

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Penny Porter of All in a Jar will be at the garden on Sunday, September 21 from 3:30 to 5:00PM to share her knowledge of food preservation at home. Have fun learning the basics on water bath canning for high-acid foods. We will discuss the best foods for this process, the tools you need and the do’s and don’ts.

There are many tricks and techniques that make canning a unique process for extending the life of your favorite foods. Most importantly, this class will provide quintessential knowledge and skills for how to begin canning in your own home.

Join Penny Porter for some Canning Basics.

Say “CHEESE!”

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Due to the overwhelming popularity of this workshop, we have closed registration. We hope to repeat it in Spring. Thanks for your understanding.

Have you ever entertained the thought of raising goats in your backyard?

Join the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA) on Sunday, September 7 from 3:30 to 5:00PM at the Lafayette Community Garden for the Fresh Farmers’ Cheese Making workshop. Hear about Leah’s first year of raising three goats in an urban setting and say hello to mama-goat Tessa, the star of the workshop.

“Baaaaaa!”

Watch and learn how to make delicious fresh goats’ milk cheese, and sample a few different flavors. This hands-on workshop—designed for beginning cheese makers, cheese eaters, and anyone interested in goats—will teach you the techniques of basic fresh cheese making that you can do right in your kitchen with store-bought milk.

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