We support, educate and inspire people to create a more sustainable lifestyle in Martinez.
To embrace the principles of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share in a spirit of support, enthusiasm, compassion and sharing. To welcome Beginners and celebrate humble beginnings. To value Intention and recognize that we all start from where we are now.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Evolving CACG "I Love That"
Now at three and a half years into the development of CACG I
believe we are being guided to begin a new planting. I have some friends that
punctuate almost every statement with “I love that” and I’m feeling the same
way about the evolution of CACG. So to these new directional seeds I say “I
Late October Sunflower
Through Life in general we can be assured that change is
necessary and constant. I feel that these CACG changes are gentle and joyful
evolutionary shifts rather than a cataclysmic breakdown forcing radical change.
It might be seen as the example of the forest flora and fauna adapting to a new
stage of habitat development rather than recovery after a forest fire.“I love that”.
A friend of mine reminds me not to ‘over think it’ when I
write something for the blog ….. I can tell you that is out the window on this
What is “Evolving” at CACG?
We note that consistent, responsible weekly management of
the garden beds has landed in the hands of less than ten extremely dedicated
friends. I am honored to work alongside these folks. I will not name them but
they know who they are! These few have done much more individually than we know
of collectively. They hold the vision with me of where the garden can lead us
as a community.
The Center Avenue Community
Garden concept has always been mindful
of, and open to, other aspects of sustainable, resilient and happy Community Building.
Because of the gift of land as an available resource and my
own gardening bias the edible and medicinal components have triumphed and
formed the structure giving what is to follow a “There, there”Other aspects of Permaculture not initially
expressed in the launch of CACG would be, not in order of importance: Finance,
Energy, Transport, Art, Education and Health plus a few others. “I love that”
Pioneers of the Garden September 11 2010
Initially we had more volunteers on a weekly basis and even
though many only participated once or twice we were still able to add features
and maintain the raised beds and perimeter plantings. Many came to learn about
raised beds, what crops we were growing, when to harvest and how to eat them.
They took the knowledge home to apply in their own space and that is a success
for CACG. I hope this continues to happen because …. “I love that”
Calendulas. Good cover crop ... bit out of control!
This summer we have not been able to fully utilize the
planted areas mainly because of fewer hands on Saturday mornings. We know that
Saturdays are not good for some would be volunteers and we hold the space to be
able to offer a weekday afternoon and or evening in the future. That would be
ideal and at this time none of our ‘core’ group that know what needs to happen
can commit consistently to that time in order to instruct drop in helpers as to
what needs to happen that day. The slate by the storage area might offer some guidance
yet there is only so much we can write on there (not enough details).
This underutilization of the raised beds combined with a burgeoning
water bill ($345 for July /August) directs us to ‘edit’ our planting plans for
the 2014 season by omitting the Tomatoes and Corn, Beans and Squash in ground planting
We can look forward to a more vibrant, well cared for and
financially sustainable raised bed section in 2014. “I love that”
Another Facet of CACG Evolution
While numbers of gardening participants have dwindled this
year we have enjoyed strong participation and are inspired by the attendance at
our community gathering type activities. These include the Burlap Sack
Giveaway,monthly Crop Swap, Kids Craft
Evening and events centered around the barbeque pit. Not to forget the Movie
Night which will resume soon. We plan to host more of these events in the
future as a means of building community.
I often hear the question ”Why don’t you get more school
We have invited school groups. The challenge seems to be
fitting it into the school curriculum requirements and just simply finding the
time to visit CACG.
Our neighbor Elizabeth Mohr with Girl Scout Daisy troop33337 has contacted us regarding focusing their activities on one of our raised
beds to further their Green By Nature philosophy. “I love that.”
This is a new direction for us because to date no specific
area has been assigned to anyone. It has been decided that the “Thanks” bed
best suits their purpose and the Girl Scouts will soon be taking responsibility
for that area. They are likely to be helping in other areas of the garden and
join us with the spirit of sharing. We will have a small sign set up to inform
others of the educational function of this designated area.
Perhaps another local group will be willing to adopt another
raised bed or specific area and this could be a great way forward for us!
The "Thanks" raised bed
However CACG is growing I’m continuously touched by stories
of how people have found sanctuary, clarity, wisdom and some inner peace during
a visit to the garden.
I am encouraged and inspired by those who hold the vision
with me. Those who know, without the words to describe exactly how, that this
park like space is an important oasis and common ground to bring our
neighborhood together, to educate, open hearts and minds and remind us that
together we can evolve and thrive.