Garden Milestones

Pacifica Gardens 2016

Pacifica Gardens ninth growing season in 2016 smashed the record for the amount of food grown, at over 5,400 lbs. A new greenhouse and gazebo were built in the garden. Through private donations, a much-needed refrigerator was purchased to store harvested produce. Saturday workdays regularly attracted 15-25 volunteers each week. And a new weekly Wednesday morning work session was also fully established. Besides the workdays, the usual annual events, programs, and plant sales continued as in past years. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, grains, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 5,400 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 13 cubic yards of compost
  • Planted 10 new blueberry bushes
  • Held 45 Saturday volunteer work days

Garden Infrastructure
  • Installed a new greenhouse, funded by Kaiser
  • Installed a new gazebo
  • Purchased a new refrigerator for storing harvested produce

Education
  • Continued our Kaiser-funded garden-based education field trips for Pacifica School District elementary students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.
  • Hosted and provided instruction for 20 class fields trips (~540 kids, K-6th grade)
  • Hosted and provided instruction for 26 special needs classes (~100 kids)

Community
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations.
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center to donate over 1,400 lbs of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Continued with El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens.

Fundraising
  • Held Spring Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Native Plant Sale
  • Hosted a Valentine's Day fundraiser at Sam Mazza castle
  • Hosted a Halloween Open House fundraiser at the garden

Pacifica Gardens 2015

Pacifica Gardens, in its eighth growing season, matched its record for the amount of food grown (3,900 lbs) in spite of low fruit tree production due to drought conditions. In addition to the ongoing operations at the garden, the main emphasis for 2015 was a major garden infrastructure upgrade. A team of 10 Americorp workers built and installed 27 raised beds, 4 propagation tables, 4 compost material stalls, 30 flatting boxes, and an herb bed made from recycled concrete. A garden volunteers also built a new shed for wheelbarrow storage. Weekly workdays, annual events, programs, and plant sales continued as in past years. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, grains, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 3,900 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 26 cubic yards of compost
  • Held 45 Saturday volunteer work days

Garden Infrastructure
  • Added 27 new raised beds (80 square feet each)
  • Built 4 new propagation tables
  • Built 4 new compost stalls
  • Built a new wheelbarrow shed
  • Built a new herb bed from recycled concrete waste
  • Installed a new drip irrigation system

Education
  • Continued "Eat Your Greens" cooking classes in collaboration with St. Edmund's Episcopal Church, Pacifica Resource Center, and chef Hillary Bergh. These classes taught low-income community members how to prepare low-cost yet nutritious meals using Pacifica Gardens produce.
  • Continued our Kaiser and Recology-funded garden-based education field trips for Pacifica School District elementary students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.
  • Hosted and provided instruction for 16 class fields trips (~430 kids, K-6th grade)
  • Hosted and provided instruction for 26 special needs classes (~100 kids)

Community
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations.
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church to donate over 1,100 lbs of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Continued with El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens.

Fundraising
  • Held Spring Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Native Plant Sale
  • Hosted a Fall picnic fundraiser at the garden

Pacifica Gardens 2014

The year 2014, the seventh growing season for Pacifica Gardens, resulted in another record for the amount of food grown (3,900 lbs) -- over half a ton of that was donated. This was also the year that the garden became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Weekly workdays, annual events, programs, and plant sales continued as in past years. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 3,900 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 25 cubic yards of compost
  • Added 12 new dwarf citrus trees
  • Held 42 Saturday volunteer work days

Education
  • Continued "Eat Your Greens" cooking classes in collaboration with St. Edmund's Episcopal Church, Pacifica Resource Center, and chef Hillary Bergh. These classes taught low-income community members how to prepare low-cost yet nutritious meals using Pacifica Gardens produce.
  • Continued our garden-based education field trips for Pacifica School District elementary students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.
  • Launched a new garden field trip program for special needs classes at Linda Mar Education Center.

Community
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations.
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church to donate over a half ton of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Continued with El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens.
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea

Fundraising
  • Held Spring Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Native Plant Sale
  • Hosted a Halloween fundraiser at the Sam Mazza castle in Pacifica

Organization

Pacifica Gardens 2013

Pacifica Gardens, in its sixth growing season, broke its own records for the amount of food grown (3,500 lbs) and food donated (1,500 lbs). Weekly workdays, annual events, programs, and plant sales continued as in past years. A pilot program was launched to teach low-income families how to prepare low-cost nutritious meals using organic produce such as that grown at Pacifica Gardens. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 3,500 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 24 cubic yards of compost
  • Added 3 new fruit trees and 15 blueberry bushes
  • Participated in the Great Sunflower Project, planting 600 sunflowers in the garden
  • Held 41 Saturday volunteer work days

Education
  • Piloted "Eat Your Greens" cooking classes in collaboration with St. Edmund's Episcopal Church, Pacifica Resource Center, and Google chef Hillary Bergh. These classes taught low-income community members how to prepare low-cost yet nutritious meals using Pacifica Gardens produce.
  • Continued our Kaiser-funded garden-based education field trips for Pacifica School District elementary students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.

Community
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations.
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church to donate over 1,500 lbs of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Continued with El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens.
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea

Fundraising
  • Held Spring Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held Fall Native Plant Sale
  • Hosted a Fall picnic fundraiser at the garden

Pacifica Gardens 2012

The year 2012 was the fifth growing season at Pacifica Gardens. In addition to the now familiar weekly Saturday workdays, most events and programs continued as in previous years. Elementary school field trips, youth community service program, veggie plant start sales, Earth Day events, educational workshops, the fall fundraiser, and food donation through the Pacifica Resource Center all continued as in years past. This was also the first time a fundraiser took place on the garden premises allowing donors to experience the garden first-hand. In 2012, Pacifica Gardens was proud to become part of the "urban farming global food chain" with financial support from Urban Farming. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 2,090 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 31 cubic yards of compost
  • Collaborated with the 4-H Million Trees Project, planting 25 new trees in the garden
  • Participated in the Great Sunflower Project, planting 600 sunflowers in the garden
  • Held 40 Saturday volunteer work days

Education
  • Continued our elementary school education program hosting garden-based education field trips for hundreds of Pacifica School District and Jefferson School District students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.
  • Provided garden space and guidance for several home-schooled families.

Community
  • Became a part of the "urban farming global food chain" with the Urban Farming organization.
  • Joined the San Mateo County Food System Alliance.
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations.
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church to donate over 600 lbs of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Continued with El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens.
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea

Fundraising
  • Held Spring and Fall Vegetable Start Sales
  • Held first garden picnic fundraiser and silent auction, with support from New Leaf Community Market. This was the first fundraiser held on the garden premises.

Pacifica Gardens 2011

In 2011 Pacifica Gardens began to find its "steady state" stride. In addition to the now familiar weekly Saturday workdays, most events and programs continued as in previous years. Elementary school field trips, youth community service program, veggie and native plant start sales, Earth Day events, educational workshops, the "100 mile meal" Fall fundraiser, and food donation through the Pacifica Resource Center all continued as in years past. Beyond that, expansion of the school field trip and youth community service programs made them even better, involving more students than ever before. And Pacifica Gardens was especially pleased to be able to hold educational workshops taught by experts John Jeavons and Pam Peirce. In detail:

Garden
  • Dug and planted over 4,000 sq.ft of garden beds in vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers
  • Harvested 1,800 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 37 cubic yards of compost
  • Participated in the Great Sunflower Project, planting 300 sunflowers in the garden
  • Sheet mulched the back of the garden as a demonstration method for soil enrichment and weed control
  • Held 42 Saturday volunteer work days

Education
  • Expanded our elementary school education program hosting 17 garden-based education field trips for over 500 Pacifica School District and Jefferson School District students. The field trips included age appropriate science and math topics such as seed germination, plant life cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixing, water ecology, recycling, measuring, weighing and estimating. Garden activities included: seed sowing, transplanting vegetables, planting potatoes, harvesting a variety of vegetables, exploring and learning about compost and worm bins, soil preparation, sheet mulching and insect identification.
  • Held educational workshop: The Biointensive Backyard taught by world-renowned expert John Jeavons
  • Held educational workshop: Planning Your Fall Garden taught by popular Bay Area columnist and author Pam Peirce
  • Hosted a workshop on Garden-Based Education collaborating with The HEAL Project, The San Mateo County Food System Alliance, and Seacrest Elementary School
  • Hosted 4 county-sponsored Master Composter workshops.
  • Provided garden space and guidance for several home-schooled families.

Community
  • Celebrated Earth Day with the community, providing Master Composter demonstrations, Master Gardener information, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations
  • Teamed with the Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church to donate over 400 lbs of produce to local families in need. The Pacifica Gardens grown produce was a variety of fresh, organically grown vegetables including many varieties that are not usually accessible by food pantry programs.
  • The youth community service program joined local high school students with Pacifica Gardens' volunteers on Saturday workdays allowing students to complete their community service requirements. Youth activities included: garden bed preparation, seed propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting, sheet mulching, preparing the food donation and weekly garden activities.
  • Expanded the youth community service program with the addition of El Camino High Senior Projects Mentoring. Ten El Camino High School students completed senior projects and community service requirements at Pacifica Gardens. Senior projects included topics on: nutrition of organic produce, water ecology, sustainable food growing practices and soil ecology.
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea

Fundraising
  • Held Spring and Fall Vegetable Start Sales
  • Held fourth annual Native Plant Sale
  • Held third "100-mile meal" Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction, with support from Google chef Oliva Wu, and Bon Appetit Management Company chefs Helene Kennan and Hillary Bergh.

Pacifica Gardens 2010

The main emphasis of Pacifica Gardens development in 2010 was the solidification of the garden's basic infrastructure. With funds generously donated by the Sam Mazza Foundation, the garden was able to drill a new agricultural well, purchase and install an irrigation system, and beautify the face of the garden by installing a decorative garden-inspired, custom-built, iron front gate to cap off the perimeter fence built in the previous year. 2010 also saw the Food Donation program expand to donate over 500 pounds of garden-harvested produce to Pacificans-in-need. The Children's Education program grew to about 200 elementary school student visits. And meanwhile, garden volunteers continued supporting the community with several garden-hosted events and maintained established annual fundraising efforts. In detail:

Garden
  • Drilled a new agricultural well
  • Installed a new irrigation system
  • Installed a new decorative garden-inspired, custom-built, iron front gate
  • Assembled and installed a second donated greenhouse
  • Sheet mulched the entire perimeter of the garden along the fence for weed control
  • Sheet mulched the back 4,000 sq foot area adjacent to the mini orchard as a demonstration method for soil enrichment and weed control
  • Harvested 1,500 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 35 cubic yards of compost
  • Held 36 Saturday Work Days

Education
  • Expanded our school education program to about 200 participating elementary school kids ranging from Kindergarten through 7th grade. The students planted and harvested a few crops and the older grades learned about nitrogen fixing, seed germination and worm composting.
  • Hosted several county-sponsored Master Composter workshops.
  • Provided garden space and guidance for several home-schooled families.

Community
  • Participated in Earth Day, providing Master Composter demonstrations, Master Gardener information, garden tours and general instruction of gardening operations
  • Expanded our Food Donation Program, partnering with Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmunds' Church to provide over 500 pounds of fresh, organic produce for families in need.
  • Continued the Youth Community Service program allowing teens to gain community service credits by volunteering at the garden
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea

Fundraising
  • Held Spring Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held third annual Native Plant Sale
  • Held second "100-mile meal" Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction, with support from Google chef Oliva Wu, and Bon Appetit Management Company.

Pacifica Gardens 2009

With the steady support of volunteers, donors, and granting institutions, Pacifica Gardens grew considerably in 2009. With the additional work done in 2009, the number of crop beds grew to 41, a total of 20 fruit trees made up the mini-orchard, 500 square feet of blueberries were planted, and a culinary herb bed was created. 2,100 pounds of fruits, vegetables, and grains -- and 46 cubic yards of compost -- were harvested. Of the crop harvest, 320 pounds were donated to local organizations through the recently established Food Donation Program. The garden participated in many community activities, such as Earth Day and Turn Off the TV Week, expanded the school education program, and developed a Youth Community Service program. Fundraising efforts included a Fall Vegetable Starts Sale, the annual Native Plants Sale, and an Online Auction. In detail:

Garden
  • Planted an additional 14 fruit trees to our mini orchard
  • Planted 500 square feet of blueberries
  • Sheet mulched a 500 foot area adjacent to the mini orchard as a demonstration method for soil enrichment and weed control
  • Dug and planted an additional 500 square feet of crop beds
  • Planted a culinary herb bed
  • St. Bartholomew's Church-YAC group, from Atlanta, Georgia came and helped build, fill and plant the ADA/Senior beds
  • Completed construction of a permanent fence
  • Harvested 2,100 lbs of fruits, vegetables and grain
  • Created 46 cubic yards of compost
  • Held 36 Saturday Work Days

Education
  • Formalized and expanded our school education program to include field trips in Spring and Fall. On May 28, 2009 we were visited by 30+ fourth graders who learned about nitrogen fixing, seed germination and worm composting. Students assisted in harvesting and preparing a salad that was shared at lunch.
  • Held a Seed Saving Workshop
  • Held summer activities for "Circle of Friends" Day Camp at Linda Mar Education Center

Community
  • Participated in Earth Day, providing composting demonstrations, garden tours and planting instruction, 50+ visitors
  • Participated in Turn Off TV Week, providing two evenings of garden tours and children's activities
  • Launched our Food Donation Program, partnering with Pacifica Resource Center and St. Edmunds' Church to provide fresh, organic produce for families in need. On June 8, 2009, we made our first donation to the Pacifica Resource Center: 37 heads of lettuce, 6 lbs. of kale, 3.5 lbs. of collards and parsley and cilantro.
  • Began a Teen Community Service program
  • Pacifica Gardens was a bonus garden on the Pacifica Garden Club public tour, Gardens by the Sea; 150+ people visited the project
  • Held Volunteer Appreciation Halloween Costume Party at Sam Mazza Foundation castle

Fundraising
  • Held Fall Vegetable Start Sale
  • Held second annual Native Plant Sale
  • Established process for and executed first On-Line Auction

Pacifica Gardens 2008

Pacifica Gardens broke ground on April 12th, 2008. By the end of the year the garden included 24 vegetable beds, 2 native plant beds, 2 herb beds, 2 flower beds, a greenhouse, six apple trees, and vermiculture and compost bins. Over the course of the year 670 pounds of crops and 15 cubic yards of compost were harvested. 2008 also saw the beginning of garden education programs for school children and adults, the first Fundraising Dinner, and first annual Native Plant Sale. In detail:

Garden
  • Created and planted 24 vegetable beds
  • Created and planted 6 native plant, herb and flower beds
  • Planted 6 apple trees
  • Built a greenhouse
  • Built composters and worm bins from reclaimed materials
  • Built 22 compost piles

Education
  • Launched and piloted our school education program
  • Conducted our first school education program field trip for third grade students, including three "class" stations and harvesting of produce to take home
  • Launched our adult education program with workshops in composting and backyard vegetable gardening

Fundraising
  • Held first annual "100-mile meal" Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction
  • Held first annual Native Plant sale
Comments