How long has the garden and learning center been in existence?
The garden was established in Spring 2012 after three years of planning by a small group of Lafayette community members. Our intention was to create a place for community members to grow food, learn about the local ecosystem and organic gardening and contribute back to our community.
Whose land is this?
The land belongs to EBMUD, and is leased by the City of Lafayette. Sustainable Lafayette is a sub-licensee and currently the “fiscal sponsor” of the garden, awarding it non-profit status. The garden and learning center pays all fees.
What type of garden is this?
Most of the garden is a cooperative vegetable garden. We work together, in teams or individually, but share in the produce. There are no individual plots. We use sustainable best practices, which include rotation of crops and planting of cover crops during the winter, to improve the soil. We also have native plant and other educational gardens on site and beautiful natural oak and riparian displays of plants common to the area .
Why are the garden beds raised?
This used to be a road, parking lot and staging area. The surface is hard and full of debris. The soil is not appropriate for a vegetable garden at this point. We have used soil from Lafayette locations, as well as compost and soil from local companies to build what we hope will be a very healthy habitat for our plants.
How is the garden financed?
We have had generous private donors and have received grants from the Lafayette Community Foundation, Happy Valley Garden club and other agencies. We also receive membership dues and continue to have annual fund-raising activities. A list of funders is on our website.
Whom does the garden and learning center serve?
The garden is open to the entire Lafayette Community for visits during open hours. Learning programs are open to the public. The gardens are tended by garden members who apply for membership on an annual basis. One can apply for membership by going to our website.
What types of learning programs are there?
We have ongoing lectures and intergenerational workshops open to the entire community. Information about these can be found on our website.
What happens to the produce?
Members receive produce after harvest. Excess harvest will be given to individuals taken to the food bank, Monument Crisis Center, Loaves and Fishes and other agencies.
Who makes the decisions?
We have a garden manager who is responsible for the day to day tasks and projects. Garden members with similar interests are encouraged to work together in teams make decisions and share these with the garden manager. For financial and long-term decisions and policy matters there is a ten member governing board and an advisory committee.
Can community members who aren’t garden members visit the garden?
Yes, community members are welcome during our community open hours, which are posted on the gate (Tuesday afternoon, Thursday morning and Saturday morning).
Tours and school visits are also available on request.