With summer reaching its peak… our composting efforts are keeping up just fine. These last couple of months we have completed not one… but TWO wonderful compost heaps that are now nicely baking in the sun- waiting to reach their full nutrient potential. But just because those two heaps are taking it easy doesn’t mean we are too. HdV members and volunteers have continued to work hard during these long summer days starting up a third compost heap! Since compost typically takes about six months to reach its full potential it is a good idea to stay ahead in our efforts- This way we can ensure all gardeners will have enough compost when they need it. Thanks again to the many (and generous) stores and businesses that donate to our compost program!
Last Saturday HdV hosted its monthly community information meeting. The session was held at the Dorothy Quesada Community Center- right in front of the garden. As always, the meeting was a great time for community bonding, enjoying yummy fresh and local food, and learning new things! This month HdV decided to focus the meeting on health and the benefits of choosing organic. Among many activities scheduled attendees participated in an organic vs. non organic taste test and got to hear an amazing presentation by Alexa Rishton on how to read produce labels at the grocery stores. The turn out was great but we would love to see more new faces at the next meeting. Mark your calendar- the next meeting will be August 17th - hope to see you there!
Hope you marked your calendar! Huerta del Valle’s monthly community meeting is one week away…
SATURDAY, JULY 20th
11am – 2pm
at Dorothy Quesada Community Center
1010 s Bon View Ave. Ontario, CA (map)
HdV community meetings are a great way to bond or form new relationships with community members, hear updates about the garden, learn about fruits/ vegetables, and enjoy some good food. The meetings are totally free and opened to gardeners of all ages. Hope to see you there!
Last week Huerta del Valle was generously invited to take a tour of “Unity Farm” in Rubidoux, CA. It was a real treat for HdV members to tour the 10+ acre organic farm and learn all about watering, planting, harvesting, and so much more. ‘Master Gardener’, Gabriel (who gave us the tour) has been working with Pitzer College’s ‘Market Makeover’ project in Ontario- a program that’s trying to get fresh and local fruits and vegetables into Ontario’s corner markets. While at the farm Gabriel showed us the wide varieties of fruits and vegetables that Unity grows from carrots, artichokes, and onions to corn, watermelon, and cucumbers. We also got a chance to check out Unity’s unique compost heap- can’t wait to show them ours! And everything at Unity is grown organically- no chemicals allowed! Gabriel even lets the gophers live on the land rent free. Going to a massive farm like Unity that is successful in its organic efforts totally motivates everybody at HdV to try and make our garden just as awesome!
Last month a group of youth volunteers from HdV and ICUC headed out to Los Angeles to attend a Community Rights Campaign meeting to learn about their work. While there the group was impressed to see the different ways that people connected and learned various methods on how to run a community meeting with their own organization. The group came back with great ideas that we later incorporated into our own monthly meetings. Later this month the group will go back to attend CRC’s meeting on the school to prison pipeline. It will be great to hear about all the things they learn at that meeting as well. Thanks CRC!!
It was a bittersweet weekend for HdV. Despite having had many volunteers show their support at work days, seeing the phase 1 plots come together, and adding a significant amount to our compost heap we also said goodbye to one of our dear friends, Lucy.
Lucy Block has been a part of the HdV family since the VERY beginning. Before the fence or water were installed, before the land use agreement was finalized, even before HdV had a name or logo- Lucy was there! For almost two years she has been working hard both in and out of the garden to make HdV a reality. As the Pitzer Urban Fellow, Lucy worked closely with community members to ensure the HdV message and vision was accurately expressed to the City of Ontario, the City of Ontario's Planning Dept., our team of lawyers, and various other organizations.
In the Spring Lucy was awarded a CORO Fellowship and will head to New York for the next nine months. There is no doubt in our minds that Lucy will do amazing in the CORO program and any organization she works with in New York. Although we will miss Lucy dearly, we wish her the best of luck and look forward to seeing her at the garden in the future!