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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Santa Rosa Snippets - October 2011

I have exciting news to share this month.  Sonoma County is going to have its first ever Community Garden Summit right here in sunny Santa Rosa!   Before I tell you the details of the Community Garden Summit, I want to share with you a little about my community garden and the difference it has made in my life.  Perhaps it will entice you to attend the Community Garden Summit.

 I live on a postage stamp sized lot in a relatively new development in Southwest Santa Rosa.  There really isn’t enough sun on my property to have a garden.  But just a couple of houses down from me there was a weed infested patch of land that had a sign indicating that a street was eventually going to go through there.
I cut down the weeds, broke up the soil and started to put in some raised beds.  And somewhere along the way, the “I” became a “we” and pretty soon there were other neighbors out there.  One neighbor kicked in some boards for the beds, another brought by some tomato cages and zucchini plants, and still another neighbor planted some seeds.
We’re in our 2nd year of the garden and we’re still chugging along.  There are 3 families who garden about 100 square feet of land. Not big by any stretch of the imagination but I think that we’ve made a real positive impact in our little community.  We’ve become a “bumping spot” where neighbors visit on their evening walks.  It helps that we have sheep living right behind the garden because the kids love to stop by and say hi to them.  But I’d like to think that the garden itself is a destination point and reason for neighbors to stop by, check out the zucchini, and get to know each other.

Our little community garden has really enhanced the quality of my life here in Santa Rosa.  I’ve gotten to know my neighbors, grown some wonderful veggies and make a small dent in reducing my carbon footprint – all due to creating bounty from a derelict patch of unsightly weeds.   With that in mind, let me tell you about the Sonoma County Community Garden Summit and how you can join in the fun.

Community Garden Summit   
On Saturday, November 5th from 1-5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 1551 Montgomery Drive in Santa Rosa, there will be speakers, workshops, and resource tables. Miles Gordon of the Mendocino Garden’s Project and Bill Maynard of the American Community Garden Association will be on hand to share their success stories with you.
If you aren’t involved in a community garden, this will be the perfect opportunity to learn how to start one.  If you already are involved in one, this is your chance to share your knowledge and learn from others on how to make it even better.

Join your neighbors and help build a community garden network right here in Sonoma County.  And special thanks to IGROW Sonoma for sponsoring the Community Garden Summit.  For more information about the Community Garden Summit at

Bayer Farm Corn Festival
Wait!  There’s more!  For everyone interested in community gardening events, join the LandPaths’ Bayer Farm community and celebrate its corn harvest with family-friendly activities, entertainment, a corn-based meal, and a raffle on Saturday, October 8th , 4-7 p.m.  The event is free and the dinner tickets are $10.  Entertainment includes cooking demonstrations, a corn maze, bilingual singalong, dancers and educational booths, plus much more!  The raffle and dinner are a fundraiser for the project
If you haven’t been to Bayer Farm, you’ve got to check it out.  Bayer Neighborhood Park and Gardens is a unique collaboration between Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks and LandPaths. It is a 6-acre urban farm & city park-in-the-making in the heart of the Roseland neighborhood just 2 miles from Downtown Santa Rosa.  About 2 acres are currently used for a community garden which is just bursting with sun flowers, corn, tomatoes and lots more.  (Visit for more information about Bayer Farm.)

BTW…you can help in the garden at Bayer Farm by pitching in on its projects.  What’s great is that children are welcome to volunteer too.  There’s lots to do including gathering input for the compost pile, planting cover crops and watering.  And if you get tired, you can always take time out and visit the goats and chickens.