Calendula – yellow, Pineapple Sage – red, Strawberries, Scarlet Chard in back
The Green Bean Connection started as correspondence for the Santa Barbara CA USA Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden, Santa Barbara CA. January 2009 it became a Newsletter with several intentions. I want to help newcomers who are overwhelmed by a small plot when they start – what to plant where and when, what about soil and irrigation, pests and diseases?! I want to put more ‘community’ in the word community by interesting each other in things we are doing; stirring thinking and sharing. In the section ‘Other Community Gardens’ I hope to inspire gardeners everywhere to see how community gardens work, what gardeners do together – educational events, meetings, tours, projects, and to see how gardens are so different! The Green Bean Connection has further evolved into this blog for Southern California coastal Urban farmers! We started with about 30 gardeners! The blog now (2017) has almost 850 followers!
Compared to the many lifelong veggie gardeners at Pilgrim Terrace, I started in the summer of 2002. I am, however, a sincere student. Between the elders at the garden and seeing first hand the successes and failures of 49 other gardeners, plus online advice, shared experiences, and research, I learned a lot in a short time! And in 2007-8, I gathered my courage, and took the Master Gardener program from the University of California Cooperative Extension, partnered with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Master Gardener training is a strenuous and worthy course. Mainly you learn how much you don’t know, and that is another reason I write the newsletter and blog – to keep learning! Because there is no way you can learn it all is why people specialize in facets of agriculture they love the most. It might be irrigation, pruning, entymology (study of insects), botany, landscape design, veggies, native plants, trees, whatever your pleasure!
Small plot gardening, urban farming, yard farming, pocket gardens, Food not Lawns, are different ways we are using land more wisely these days. A sustainable footprint makes a difference. Community Gardens fall in this category as well. I have become a huge fan of Community Gardens, and at times represent ours at events. They provide land for people who don’t own property, a place to relax outdoors in fresh air and all kinds of weather with no one to please or give orders but themselves. It’s a place to make friends who also love veggie gardening, and, to have the freshest, tastiest, organic veggies right on your table with no food miles at all!
All three of Santa Barbara’s community gardens are very coastal. During late spring/summer we are often in a fog belt/marine layer most years, locally referred to as the May grays, June glooms and August fogusts. Keep that in mind compared to the microclimate niche where your veggie garden is.
Please add your comments, your ideas, offer your best, encourage each other, let us know about events!
If you or a friend would enjoy gardening at a community garden, please join us! Every month offers special treats! A 10 X 20 spot at Pilgrim Terrace is only $65/year! YES! Go directly to the Westside Community Center to sign up. That’s at 423 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara. We will be delighted to meet you, share friendship, the great outdoors, and garden craft!
Love your Mother! Plant bird & bee food! Think grey water! Grow organic!
Bless you for being such a wonderful Earth Steward – may you and your gardens flourish!
Rancheria Community Garden
In the garden of thy heart, plant naught but the rose of love. – Baha’U’Uah
“Earth turns to Gold in the hands of the Wise” Rumi