Hello from the Garden ~ Happy Spring

With what little we saw of Winter now almost a distant memory, The Bounty Garden is in full bloom!  In January, our Spring Crop volunteers began their 6-month program with the longer 9-month Warm Crop volunteers starting just a few weeks later in February.

Today, if you visited you would find each bed in full production… which was perfect timing for …

The John Montgomery Landscape Architect Annual Garden Tour!

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On May 8th, The Bounty Garden opened its gates for the John Montgomery Annual Garden Tour.

The tour featured five beautiful gardens designed by well-known local landscape architect, John Montgomery.  This year, John Montgomery and his wife, Cynthia, graciously donated the proceeds from their ticket sales to The Bounty Garden. The Garden was the last stop of the day and welcomed guests with fresh flowers on the fence posts and a table of homemade cookies.

Many experienced gardeners visited on the tour and everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the perfect weather and good chats about growing vegetables. It was such a nice opportunity to meet other local growers and talk about ways to share information and education.

As well, ambassadors from The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties joined the “Hive” to welcome tour visitors throughout the day. It is always fun to come together with The Food Bank and talk with the public about what we do.

  With eight beds newly added to the Garden, the Montgomery’s very generous donation greatly helps offset the cost to increase our growing capacity. We cannot say thank you enough, John and Cynthia!

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Yes, in April we added eight additional beds to the Garden which increases our total number of beds from 24 to 32.

And speaking of wonderful things… the Athenian students and faculty once again came to assist us for…

Tim Holm Day

Each year, the Athenian School in Danville celebrates “Tim Holm Day” to celebrate the life of a former student through community service.  The entire staff, faculty and student body of the Athenian School head out into the community to “do good” and, boy, do they as you can see below.  They spent a long, dirty and (hopefully) satisfying morning transporting wheelbarrows full of nutritious organic soil to the fill the new beds!

Tim Holm Day 1 Tim Holm Day 2

We are so grateful… for their time, their ongoing commitment to the Garden and their boundless ENERGY!!

Thank you, Athenian!

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And, finally, our newest volunteers have become a part of a new tradition…

A Visit to the Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank Distribution Center

Food Bank Trip 1

Bounty Garden Volunteers Take a Field Trip.

Thanks to “Hive” member Janet Howes, Garden volunteers got out of the Garden and over to The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Following a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, the volunteers also took the opportunity to lend a hand.

The group agreed that it was important to see the bigger picture. It gave them a visual reminder when they are growing their organic vegetables at The Bounty Garden of the role that their nutrient-rich foods play in the larger network. Currently, The Food Bank is working to develop a more “farm-to-table” process for the Garden’s vegetables, allowing them to be in a meal within 1-2 days after they are harvested!

The Food Bank’s Joan Tomasini lead the tour and offered real life stories about the people who need help and how hunger doesn’t discriminate.  Volunteers also learned more about how food is donated. This includes regular donations from companies like Brown Cow Yogurt and completely unplanned ones like thousands of misdirected potatoes from Idaho.

The Bounty Gardeners got their hands on those potatoes, when alongside other community volunteers, the group repackaged the 50 pound bags into small take-home size pouches. It was a great time to just roll up your sleeves and get to know the other Bounty Garden folks.

joan and gang TBGTBG volunteers gather with Food Drive Coordinator, Joan Tomasini (center), from The Food Bank.

 

Interesting tidbit: The need for refrigeration is critical to The Food Bank. This manifested in an electric bill topping $8000 during the summer months. In response, generous companies like PG &E and The Lesher Foundation stepped in to fund the installation of solar panels at the facility. Not only did this eliminate The Food Bank’s monthly bill, but they now generate enough energy to actually return some to PG &E. It all translates into being able to purchase more food and being more sustainable.

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It has been the most wonderful start to this new year and we are so excited to see what Spring will bring us…
hopefully, bountiful harvests and y-o-u!
 
We hope to see you soon in the Garden,
The Hive
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