By Nikki Tiley (Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
This year, Gardening Know How’s School and Community Garden Sponsorships was fortunate enough to help support 10 gardens with a $1,000 each. The gardens selected represent an amazing array of the types of school and community gardens out there, and we are excited to share each of their stories with you. Once a month we will be highlighting one of our sponsorship recipients so that you, too, can see how wonderful and worthwhile these amazing gardens are. This month we are featuring the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita.
The Community Gardens of Santa Clarita is currently the only public community garden in the Santa Clarita Valley located in Southern California, catering to more than 200,000 residents. The gardens have much to offer, including low cost organic gardening education workshops for both adults and valley youth. They even work with the local Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts. Each year the gardens donate organic produce to Helping Hands for Children as well as their local Food Pantry. This is not only a great way to help those in need, but spreads the word on the importance of growing food organically – something we can all definitely appreciate.
In addition to what they already do for the community, their ultimate goal is to one day have the gardens 100% sustainable. Organic gardens that thrive all their own, what could be better than that? With the help of Gardening Know How, Community Gardens of Santa Clarita hopes to accomplish this as well as to provide additional programs on sustainability. The sponsorship funds will go towards a solar power unit that will provide power to both their shed and greenhouse, allowing them to conduct and provide more education workshops.
Having the solar power project within the garden will enable necessary light during the offseason and provide power for work tools, garden events and even a solar powered front gate – all of which will help accomplish that ultimate goal of sustainability. But that’s not all. Erecting and utilizing this solar power unit also provides an additional educational opportunity on how energy obtained from the sun can be used to create electrical power. Again, something we can all appreciate and learn from considering how much electricity is used nowadays, and how dependent we’ve become on it.
As the project moves forward, the Community Gardens hopes to include pictures of their progress, which can be found on their site. A few can be seen here showing the three areas in which the solar power will be installed: front kiosk area, garden shed and greenhouse. We are thrilled to be a part of this endeavor and will continue to monitor their progress, as their success is everyone’s success.
Gardening is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another – a unique learning opportunity that brings everyone, from all walks of life and across the globe, together as one!