The Bounty Garden is a 100% non-profit program committed to providing a source of fresh vegetables to the local Food Banks of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. The program brings together community volunteers in a fun and friendly environment to grow for this purpose. The Bounty Garden was conceived by the mother-daughter team of Heidi and Amelia Abramson as they visited local food banks and took a closer look at hunger here in our own community. They came to understand that fresh produce is the scarcest and most valuable provision of all.
The Bounty Garden is tucked into a serene location in Danville’s historic Hap Magee Ranch Park. Here, volunteers of all ages come together in a hands-on program to learn about growing sustainable, organic vegetables all while becoming a part of the answer to hunger in our community.
How to join in………………..
There is no cost and no experience necessary to be a vegetable grower at the Garden. Volunteers are asked to commit to one growing season of the year. With two cool growing seasons and one longer summer season, there is plenty of flexibility to fit different needs. Each volunteer (or group/family) will be assigned a vegetable bed and can choose what in-season vegetables to grow (see “Suggested Crops” in the Gardening Program). Interested growers can send their inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask at the Barn located in The Bounty Garden. A wait list exists for each of the three seasons, so growers may add their names to as many as they please. Volunteers are accepted on a first-come basis and moved up the list every season.
As a volunteer gardener……………….
As a part of the program, gardeners are asked to visit their vegetable beds at least one time each week. Of course, they may come as much as they like! Additionally, they receive a journal that is kept in the Barn at the Garden. In their journals, volunteers log their weekly visits and their observations become a part of the history of their beds.
In exchange for their participation and the donation of their time and harvest, five special days are offered each season to the volunteers. Opening and Closing Days are required attendance, but the other three short one-hour workshops are purely recommended. The classes are a great chance to learn very basic gardening techniques, to get your many questions answered, and to meet fellow gardeners. The five gathering days are:
- Opening Day: In just two short hours, new volunteers will meet one another and be introduced to the Garden, the Barn and the beds. After registering what vegetable they would like to grow, they will draw their own bed number!
- Seedling Workshop: A one-hour presentation about seedling propagation. Volunteers may choose to grow their certified organic seedlings in the Garden’s greenhouse or at their own homes. Additionally , volunteers may decide to forgo learning how to grow seedlings and simply purchase certified organic seedlings on their own to plant in their beds when the time is right and The Bounty Garden’s green flag is waving!
- Composting Workshop: One-hour session to learn about composting at the Garden and meet fellow members who will share composting bins.
- Harvest Workshop: Gardeners learn how to harvest their crops, keep track of the weight of their bounty, and store it in the Cool Box. As well, gardeners will learn how to augment their vegetable beds with their compost in preparation for the next season’s volunteers.
- Closing Day: At the end of a growing season, a one-hour Closing Day ceremony will celebrate the completion of The Bounty Gardeners’ program.
At the Garden……………..
We are forever grateful for the Garden’s peaceful location next to the creek under the Oak trees. It is truly a special one. On-site at the Garden is an historic structure, newly refurbished and designed to harvest rainwater. Along with its vernacular charm and future rainwater duties, the old shed is fondly referred to as “The Barn” and acts as the hub for the program. Here is the spot to hang your hat, store some tools and stay in the loop via the Garden’s bulletin board.
The Number One Question………………..
Can we keep anything we grow? Well, you can keep what you learn…. and keep your new friends….but you can’t keep the vegetables. The Bounty Garden is committed to donating everything grown to the Food Bank and providing fresh, nutritious greens to people who need them. It is our mission.
We hope our volunteers will complete their Bounty Garden program filled with the confidence to give their new organic gardening skills a go in their own gardens! And if a volunteer would like to continue with the community service gardening effort that we are undertaking at the Garden, we invite growers to join us for another season or to “grow a row” for the Food Bank in their own sustainable vegetable gardens.
What is “the Hive”………………?
The Bounty Garden has a core volunteer group which is fondly called “the Hive.” These volunteers make a year-long commitment to act as the organizing group for the Garden. It is another way to stay involved with supporting this community service. “The Hive” members are here to pitch in and help in areas like master gardening, membership, harvest transport, website maintenance, and photography (see “The Hive” in the Gardening Program).
For more scoop………
At the Garden:
Hap Magee Ranch Park 1025 La Gonda Way Danville, CA. 94526