Gardening Gazette
Give the Gift of Gardening

North Coast Community Garden Collaborative seeks community support for community gardens as they prepare for the upcoming growing season. Community gardeners of North Coast Community Garden Collaborative (NCCGC) recently assessed material items needed to prepare for Spring planting. On behalf of its more than 500 gardeners and 45 gardens in Humboldt County alone, NCCGC is asking our community of avid gardeners for support in the form of donated garden supplies, monetary donations, and/or volunteer time. Specific items needed include gardening tools, irrigation supplies and water storage containers, fencing materials, lumber, “organic” fertilizers and soil amendments (no chemicals, please), seeds and starts, and mulches. Please contact (707) 269-2071 or debbiep@nrsrcaa.org if you are able to assist. Monetary donations are tax deductible through NCCGC's fiscal sponsor, Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA). Checks may be made out to RCAA with "Garden Collaborative" in the Memo field, and mailed to RCAA, c/o Garden Collaborative, 904 G Street, Eureka CA 95501.

NCCGC is a support network of and for community gardeners and community partners who work together to improve people’s access to healthier lifestyle choices, particularly access to nutritious, locally-grown, and culturally appropriate foods. More information about North Coast Community Garden Collaborative may be found at www.northcoastgardens.org or by contacting (707) 269-2071 or debbiep@nrsrcaa.org.


News from Local Gardens

Find a Community Garden Near You

If you are looking for space to garden, lots of North Coast communities have community gardens with space for more participants. Contact information for many local gardens is available on the Local Garden page of www.northcoastgardens.org, or please call (707) 269-2071.

Jefferson Community Center Garden

The new Jefferson Community Center Garden is hosting the March Gardener Meet & Greet and monthly meeting of North Coast Community Garden Collaborative on Tuesday April 14, 2015 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. The garden is located at the Jefferson Community Center (old Jefferson School) at 1000 B Street in Eureka. The Gardener Meet & Greet, from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., is an opportunity to tour the new garden, learn how to get involved with Jefferson Garden, meet other gardeners and local gardening experts, get free resources for planting your garden, enjoy snacks, and get assistance applying for CalFresh (formerly food stamp) benefits, which can be used to buy seeds and plant starts for growing food. Come early at 4:30 p.m. for the monthly meeting of North Coast Community Garden Collaborative - anyone is invited, and we especially value input from local community gardeners. For more information please email debbiep@nrsrcaa.org or call (707) 269-2071.

Bayside Park Community Garden

Plots are open at Bayside Park Community Garden, next to Bayside Park Farm (formerly Arcata Education Farm) on Old Arcata Road in Bayside. Plots are 100 square feet (4' x 25') and rented annually. To rent your plot or for more information please contact Arcata Parks and Recreation at (707) 822-7091 or visit www.cityofarcata.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks/bayside-park-farm-and-community-garden/community-garden.

What to Plant, and When

Growing up in the Midwest where there is one growing season, knowing what to plant and when is a pretty "cut-and-dry" topic. On California's North Coast, with microclimates galore and increasingly bizarre weather patterns, "What can I plant now?" becomes a loaded question. There are many micro-climates - pockets where variations occur in climate such as temperature or humidity - on the coast, and even within a piece of property. Talking with local gardeners and farmers and researching temperature requirements of crops have been some of my best resources, as well as "trial and error." For tips on timing of planting I also consult several sources available at www.northcoastgardens.org under "Links and More," including a planting chart for coastal Humboldt County created by UC-Cooperative Extension, a planting chart from Mid Klamath Watershed Council, and a monthly calendar at www.humgardens.com. Another excellent resource is local farmer Eddie Tanner's Humboldt Kitchen Gardener book ($12), which has planting charts for both coastal and inland Humboldt County as well as a winter planting chart. 

April is a tricky time of year where frost can still strike despite sunny warm days. On the coast I've been planting seeds of carrots, radishes, and peas while keeping an eye on nighttime temperatures and a bedsheet on hand to cover tiny seedlings. With prolific snails and slugs on the coast I tend toward planting starts versus seeds for crops like lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, and hearty greens like kale and chard (which in addition to growing extremely well on the coast, are considered "super foods" and loaded with vitamins and minerals). I've been planting many "cool season" crops, such as lettuces, greens, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, collards), peas, and beets. I'm waiting until next month to plant the few "warm season" crops I've found that do well on the coast, including squashes and beans, which grow best from seed. Without a greenhouse of sorts, many "warm season" crops like tomatoes, peppers, or melons do not fair well in the damp cool coast weather. For "cool season" crops, starts are also a good option if you are anxious to get growing - though there's really no hurry since most "cool season" crops grow well on the coast throughout the year. Buying seeds and starts from local farmers can offer varieties better suited to the local climate - and CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase seeds and starts including at Farmers' Markets. NCCGC is always looking for more gardening tips to share so if you know of a great resource please contact us through www.northcoastgardens.org. 

Plant A Row for the Hungry

Many food pantries are in need of more fresh produce. If you have room in your garden please consider planting extra food for donation to those in need. Or even if you have an abundant harvest to donate, excess is really appreciated by pantry clients. To find a pantry near you, contact (707) 445-3166 or try the nearest community center.  

Fruit Tree Database

Do you have a fruit tree that produces more than you use? If so, Food for People wants you, to sign up for their Fruit Tree Database. Food for People has a gleaning program in which volunteers harvest excess food from home fruit trees as well as local farms. To add your tree please contact (707) 445-3166.

Celebrate Native Plants

The upcoming week (April 11 - 18) is California Native Plant Week, which celebrates native plants. Native plants are an excellent choice for your garden, as they are adapted to the local climate and better withstand drought periods. The North Coast chapter of California Native Plant Society is hosting many local events to celebrate and educate about native plants. Please visit www.northcoastcnps.org for a calendar of events. Many native plants are also edible - one excellent local resource is Lost Foods Native Plant Nursery which promotes and encourages plantings of native edibles. More information can be found at www.lostfoods.org. Native plants are also useful for watershed and habitat restoration for native species and preventing catastrophic wildfires. 
 
Upcoming Events

- Rainwater Catchment and Hugelkultur Workshop: Saturday April 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hoopa's Kin Tah Te Community and Botanical Demonstration Garden at the Neighborhood Facilities Building on Hwy 96. Free workshop! Learn strategies for conserving water in your garden! Rainwater catchment installation from 10:00 - 12:30 p.m. and Hugelkultur demo from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hugelkultur is a permaculture practice of burying woody debris and other organic matter in the soil to increase fertility and water retention in the soil in years to come. For more information please contact Meagen at (530) 515-1106 or meagen18@gmail.com. 

- Gardening Class: Saturday April 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Redwood Acres Garden, 3750 Harris St in Eureka. Lunch is included! For more information please visit redwoodacres.com or call (707) 445-3037.

- Aquaponics Workshop: Saturday April 11 from 2 - 4 p.m. at Beneficial Living Center, 148 S. G Street in Arcata. Grow It Right Aquaponics presents this free workshop on how to set up a aquaponic (growing plants in water with fish) system. For more information please visit www.beneficiallivingcenter.com.

 - Native Plants in an Urban Garden: Tuesday April 14 from noon-1 p.m. Arcata Community Center Native Plant & Wildlife Garden with Pete Haggard. 

- Gardener "Meet-and-Greet:" Tuesday April 14 from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Jefferson Community Center, 1000 B St in Eureka. For more information please see Jefferson Garden in opposite column or contact debbiep@nrsrcaa.org or (707) 269-2071.

- Master Food Preserver Demo on Water Bath Canning: Wednesday April 15 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at North Coast Co-op on 4th and B Streets in Eureka. Free class; registration is required in advance, on www.northcoastco-op.com or at (707) 443-6027 ext. 102. 

- Ocean-friendly Gardening and Native Plant Landscaping: Wednesday April 15 from 7 - 9 p.m. at 251 Bayside Rd. Talk by Lia Webb and Eric Johnson. 251 Bayside Rd. 

- Cooking Class: Thursday April 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, 3750 Harris St in Eureka. Learn to plan and cook easy meals. Childcare provided for children ages 4+. For more information please visit redwoodacres.com or call (707) 445-3037.

- Humboldt Garden Expo: Saturday April 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, 3750 Harris St. in Eureka. Cost is $5 or free with donation of 10 canned goods (benefits Food for People food bank). Speakers and many vendors. More information is available at www.humboldtgardenexpo.com

- Create Your Own Herbal Medicine Chest: Saturday April 18 from 1 - 3 p.m. at North Coast Co-op in Eureka on 4th and B Streets. Class is $30 and registration is required at www.northcoastco-op.com or (707) 443-6027 ext. 102.

Shittake Log Inoculation Demo: Sunday April 19 at the Sanctuary, 1301 J Street in Arcata. Levon Durr of Fungaia Farms presents this demonstration.

- Food, Fun, and Family Classes: Tuesdays April 21 - May 19 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Jefferson Community Center, 1000 B Street in Eureka. Free class! Learn menu planning, label reading, and smart shopping. Registration is required in advance by calling (707) 445-6044.

- Workshop on Water Conservation: Saturday April 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Beneficial Living Center, 148 S. G Street in Arcata. This workshop will explore the permaculture concepts of conservation, mitigation and capturation of the Earth’s most precious life sustaining resource: WATER. Learn to reduce irrigation through permaculture models of design, recharge groundwater supplies, capture and store water, and reduce the amount of watering you need to do this coming year. Hosted by Dan Mar of High Tide Permaculture Design.

- Fundamentals of Permaculture Course: Thursday April 30 – Sunday May 3 at Sandy Bar Ranch in Orleans. This is an introductory course that covers the essential skills of Permaculture Design. For more information please visit www.klamathknotpermaculture.com or (530) 627- 3379.


Garden Collaborative

Gardening Gazette is a free publication of North Coast Community Garden Collaborative, a support network of and for community gardeners working together to improve people's access to healthier lifestyles and in particular to nutritious, locally-grown, and culturally appropriate food resources in the North Coast region. 
Please contact DebbieP@nrsrcaa.org or (707) 269-2071 with feedback about the newsletter, and visit www.northcoastgardens.org to learn more about our work.

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