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CANCELLED: Lafayette’s Amazing Natural History

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Doc Hale has informed us that has to cancel our event this afternoon. Due to an illness in his extended family, he has to fly to aid in the end of life care of his uncle. We are sorry to have this last minute glitch, but will notify you when we reschedule.

Thanks for your understanding.

Go Gaia! The Three Rs! Our Break Down Experiment. Directions.

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Our Secret Garden has gotten off to a great start. On Monday, June 30, we discussed ways to keep Mother Earth healthy and made recycled newspaper trees. We also went on a hunt for litter and leaves around the garden. We, then, dumped everything into a bucket of compost and worms to find out what will break down over the next four weeks.


Today, July 3, our theme was “following directions.” We learned that different plants needed to be planted in different places, based on the sun and shade. And we found out that sunflowers in particular follow the sun throughout the day.

Local yoga instructor Alison Leitheiser lead us in some garden yoga. Our little gardeners were excellent listeners and followed directions very well. Let’s hope the sunflowers that we planted today also get to follow the directions of the sun.

Happy Fourth!

See you Monday, July 7, when we talk about being great neighbors and community helpers.

We Had a Great “Chime”

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Thanks to Susan Dannenfelser,Kirk Beck, our volunteers and material donators, the Wind Chime Workshop was a success!

We had 21 participants by day’s end, six of whom were helpers, and three of whom were engaged children.20140518-151653-55013179.jpg
All the “smiling faces added to the wonderful energy in the class! Good right brain tickling is also good for the soul!” commented instructor Susan.

Thanks, Susan. As Chris Young said, “We had a lovely chime together.”20140518-151652-55012168.jpg

Make a Little Music on Saturday, May 17

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Come to the garden Saturday, May 17 for a fun day of making music!

Wind chimes can be made with an exciting mixture of elements. We’ll have fasteners, adhesives, and basic materials, like filament, string, drills, glues, and bamboo. But to make your wind chime uniquely yours, bring items like old keys, bottle caps, earrings, beads, flatware, (smooth) sea glass, and industrial hardware. Just use your imagination!

You’ll have time to make one for yourself and possibly one for the garden. Search the web for inspiration for your music maker!

Join instructor Susan Dannenfelser, local sculptor and garden member, at the Lafayette Community Garden from 2:00PM to 5:00PM to discover your inner artist.

For more inspiration, visit Susan Dannenfelser at

Kids 10 and under, please bring your own adult.

Sign up here.

Lamorinda Lunch ’n Learn: Habitats for Humanity

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The Lafayette, Moraga or Orinda Parks and Recreation Departments are offering a three-part series on backyard habitat gardening. Attend one class or all three! Everyone from the basic to the advanced gardener will learn something new.

Linda Mizes is an Orinda resident, Contra Costa Master Gardener, certified Master Composter and instructor who provides workshops throughout the county. Lecture/Q & A begins at 10:30 am. Lunch is served at 12:00 pm.

To register, contact the Lafayette, Moraga or Orinda Parks and Recreation Departments for their class registration.

1. It’s for the Birds (and Bees…)
Date: Tuesday, May 6 from 10:30am to 12:00pm
Location: Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way
Fee: $10 MIN/Max: 10/30

Learn about providing and protecting habitat resources for the birds, bees and other critters in our gardens using native plants and other garden strategies. Lunch is generously provided by Tiffany Court Assisted Living of Walnut Creek.

2. Inside Dirt
Date: Tuesday, June 10 from 10:30am to 12:00pm
Location: Moraga Gardens Farm, 1370 Moraga Way
Fee: $10 MIN/Max: 10/30

Soil composition is one of the most important factors of a flourishing
garden. Learn about soil biota and how to keep the soil organisms healthy.
Composting basics, mulching guidelines and fascinating soil facts will be discussed.
Lunch is generously provided by Moraga Royale Assisted Living.

3. Habitat Garden Visit
Date: Tuesday, July 8 from 10:30am to12:00pm
Location: Private Orinda Residence (address will be sent to participants only)
Fee: $10 MIN/Max: 10/15

Visit a certified National Wildlife Habitat and a Bay-Friendly Garden located in Orinda. Demonstrations on composting, habitat gardening techniques, organic gardening, and permaculture will be provided. View a backyard chicken coop as well. Lunch is generously provided by The Kensington Independent and Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Take a Natural and Cultural History Walk with Doc Hale This Sunday

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On Sunday, April 6 from 9:30am to 2:00pm, celebrate Spring at this Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center-sponsored fundraising walk.

James (Doc) M. Hale, pictured, is an expert on the natural and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

James (Doc) M. Hale, pictured, is an expert on the natural and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Explore Mount Diablo with new eyes on this natural and cultural history walk with local wildlife biologist and naturalist Doc Hale, as he interprets the fire ecology of the recent Clayton Burn, wildlife, geology, wildflowers, and the material culture of the Native Americans, their useful, edible, and medicinal plants. We will visit bedrock milling stations, as well as a village site and pictograph site.

Hiking level is easy. Bring lunch and liquids. We will carpool from the garden at 8:30am or meet at 9:30am at the John Muir Picnic Area just below the summit of Mount Diablo.

Register here.

Cost: $10/individual; $20/family tax-deductible donation to Lafayette Community Garden to support our education programs.*

*A park entrance fee applies at both the north and south entrances, and is separate from the cost of the class.

Big Gardens in Small Spaces This Sunday

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Do you want to plant a garden, but feel overwhelmed? Or perhaps you are a seasoned gardener who is looking for new ideas to optimize your growing space.

Join us at the Lafayette Community Garden this Sunday from 3:00 to 4:30pm  to learn more about creating big gardens in small spaces.

Lori Caldwell, certified Master Gardener and Master Composter, will discuss the possibilities that containers can offer us to make an impact in a small space.

Ms Caldwell will also discuss the topics of maintaining soil fertility, best plants for container gardens, watering and crop rotation.

It’s a great way to start a garden or add on to maximize your existing garden possibilities.

Sign up for Big Gardens in Small Places: Container Gardening here.