Community Outreach

The Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club has a number of service projects in the Tri-Valley Area. We also support the Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.


Camp Arroyo

Camp Arroyo is inactive

5535 Arroyo Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Camp Arroyo is a 138-acre park owned and maintained by the East Bay Regional Park District since 1995. It was used by the YMCA for outdoor education during the school year and by the Taylor Family Foundation during the summer for children with serious illnesses. Camp Arroyo is a pesticide free garden with an emphasis on vegetables.

Kim Billingsley wrote in late September, 2020: Camp Arroyo, and especially the garden, is a special place, nurtured by LAVGC and the Camp Arroyo staff for many years. However, the pandemic has hit Camp Arroyo's mission and the bottom line of UCCR (the company I worked for) very hard. UCCR has been unable to financially or emotionally support any program at Camp Arroyo to bring in needed cash. I made the hard choice and have tendered my resignation.

Camp Arroyo is no longer an active part of the LAVGC community outreach groups.

I have loved my time at Camp Arroyo and all the help and support my gardening friends have donated to make it all possible. I loved seeing some of you at our September, 2020 Zoom meeting and hope you are all well.

For more information about the Camp Arroyo status, please contact Jeri Stark, LAVGC President.

Directions

The address is 5535 Arroyo Road in Livermore. Once you are on Arroyo Road, continue past Wente Winery on the left. Camp Arroyo is a short distance from Wente and is located on the right hand side. The first gate is for the Taylor Family Foundation, you want the second gate and you will recognize it by the stone walls either side of the gate and of course, the sign!

Once inside Camp, you can park in the lot on the left and the garden will be across the road on the right.

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Clare's Fare Garden - Feeding Community, Fueling Our Future

Work parties: Saturdays 9:00 am for 2-3 hours

Clare's Fare Garden is located on the side of St Clare's Episcopal Church, 3350 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588. Access to the garden is from National Park Road, off North or South Valley Trails Road, which intersects Hopyard Road.

The garden has really come together this month; flowers appeared in the pollinator garden, all the fruit trees are alive and some are flourishing, and the vegetable beds and herb garden are planted. We've planted a pumpkin patch alongside the road and added another flower border at the North end of the garden. Finally, the irrigation system is done. The church finished the beautiful labyrinth and that completes the picture. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our many benefactors and volunteers. Thank you all.

If you would like to join in, you will find us in the garden on Saturday mornings 9:00 - 12:00 noon, and you can be added to the email list for weekly updates. Please contact Clare's Fare Garden: Anne Vincent and Karen Abbruscato. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their additional contact information.

You are welcome to visit at any time and join us if you can.

The garden has 4 long in-ground beds, earmarked for vegetables, a newly planted orchard of 15 trees, courtesy of generous donations from Alden Lane Nursery and Eden Garden volunteers, and a curving pollinator garden. A Hügelkultur bed completes the planting areas. All around, we are scattering native wildflowers. There is a barn owl nest box to keep rodents at bay. We also look after the church’s existing roses which border the garden.

The team at Clare’s has put in hard work over the this year and it really shows in that the layout of the garden is complete, some spring planting is showing and we put up an owl box.

Nasturtiums have been planted beneath the apple trees to deter codling moth and also to supply Culinary Angels with edible flowers.

The Hügelkultur bed is finished and planted with field peas with garlic at the bottom border. The plants are already showing. The bed itself is generating heat (83F) as the woody materials start to decompose. Later on, we plan to plant sweet potatoes in this bed, to take advantage of the heat.

Two compost bins based on “This Old House” design have been made and filled with autumn leaves, coffee grounds & horse manure. These are also generating heat, to 130F.

In the in-ground beds, asparagus, onions and shallots have been planted, but mostly the winter cover crop/ hay is still in place. Potatoes are next on the list. Two additional beds were added to the garden, one for collard greens and the other will become an herb garden.

The garden is drawing more attention including an earlier visit from Trevor Probert of Stopwaste. This organization is pulling together a network of edible gardens.

Hügelkultur (German for hill/mound cultivation) is an old technique that involves planting on top of buried decaying material such as tree trunks and branches. There are many instructional videos available online. The benefits of hügelkultur are said to include:

  1. Water retention;(the wood acts as a sponge, holding and releasing moisture, so good for dryland agriculture and the water shortages we are likely to face)
  2. Provides slow release of nutrients
  3. Warms the root zone via decomposition
  4. Returns carbon to the soil
  5. Good way to solve a wood disposal problem
  6. Cheaper-than-dirt way to fill a raised bed or depression
  7. Self tilling because it settles over time.

Oct 30, 2020: Spreading compost

Oct 30, 2020: Spreading compost'.

See more Clare's Fare Garden pictures from 2020-2021 including the Hügelkultur bed.

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Eden Garden - an organic project

Every Friday (tentative) except 3rd Friday work party 9:00 am - Noon

3rd Saturdays (tentative). Next: May 15, 2021 9:00 am - Noon

1660 Freisman Road, Livermore. Pleasanton if you are using GPS! Although it is actually in Livermore!

'Eden Garden - an organic project' has 2 simple goals: to provide fresh, organic food for those in need and to give people a hands on opportunity to learn about growing their own food.

Eden Garden is located near the barn on the Crosswinds Church property in Livermore, on the frontage road just beyond the Outlet Mall. Volunteers come from the garden club, Crosswinds Church, and the community. See Directions below.

The Eden Garden is finally back to having regular work parties! Our tentative schedule is every Friday 9 AM to noon, except the 3rd Friday of the month. The third Friday of the month is of course, the Sensory Garden work party day. Our monthly Saturday work party will be on the 3rd Saturday of the month, also 9 AM to noon. We are using the word "tentative" because things sometimes change! Thanks to all who have helped out this past month, the garden is looking great - many seeds have been sown and summer crops planted and weeds pulled.

Thanks to all who supported our plant sale to support the Goodness Village homeless project - we had a goal of raising $500 and we made a little over a $1,000! Yay!

So please let us know if you like to be on the list for notifications of work parties so we can keep you up to date and informed by emailing EdenGarden@lavgc.org.  We hope to see you! Beth Clark, Bill Tallon, Barbara Stott or Graham Stott. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their additional contact information.

We are famous!

A video has been made about the Eden Garden - an organic project. Here is a link to the video which not only features the Garden but an insight into the South Hayward Outreach Center where much of produce is delivered.

Directions

Click Map to Eden Garden to see an aerial map then follow the blue line to Eden Garden. From Dublin, take 580 east towards Livermore. Get off at El Charro/Fallon Road and turn right on to El Charro. Turn left at the Outlet Mall and then left again at the end of the Outlet Mall block. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

From Livermore, you can take 580 west and exit at El Charro/Fallon Road or you can access the property from Jack London Blvd (via Isabel/84). Turn right at the outlet mall. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

2020 Eden Garden - end of year newsletter

Click Eden Garden - end of 2020 newsletter.

2020 Eden Garden - mid year newsletter

Click Eden Garden - the year so far newsletter to learn what we have done so far in 2020.

Pictures from the 2018-2019 Eden Garden

Click Eden Garden in Review newsletter to learn more of our 2019 activities.

Bruce Daggy and Matt Abbruscato assembling our new garden cart. See more Eden Garden photos at Eden Garden 2018 - 2019 photos.

Pictures from the 2017 Eden Garden

  • 2020 HARVEST
  • Apples 109 lbs
  • Apricot 52 lbs
  • Basil 43 bunches
  • Beans 284 lbs
  • Berries 19 lbs
  • Blackberries 1 lbs
  • Broccoli 26 lbs
  • Cabbage 7 lbs
  • Cauliflower 5 lbs
  • Chives 13 bunches
  • Collard Greens 20 lbs
  • Corn 45 lbs
  • Cucumber 1683 lbs
  • Eggplant 305 lbs
  • Garlic 13 lbs
  • Green Beans 8 lbs
  • Grapes 14 lbs
  • Herbs 13 bunches
  • Leeks 5 lbs
  • Mint 1 bunch
  • Melon 535 lbs
  • Onion 193 lbs
  • Oregano 2 bunches
  • Pears 25 lbs
  • Peaches 15 lbs
  • Peas 19 lbs
  • Peppers 222 lbs
  • Persimmons 37 lbs
  • Plums 109 lbs
  • Potatoes 135 lbs
  • Pomegrante 114 lbs
  • Summer Squash 840 lbs
  • Tomatoes 1302 lbs
  • Tomitillos 5 lbs
  • Watermelon 30 lbs
  • Winter Squash 200 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 6,446 lbs
  • 2020 VOLUNTEER HOURS: 1237
  • 2019 HARVEST
  • Apples 101 lbs
  • Basil 13 lbs
  • Beans 179 lbs
  • Broccoli 26 lbs
  • Cabbage 7 lbs
  • Cauliflower 5 lbs
  • Collard Greens 18 lbs
  • Corn 45 lbs
  • Cucumber 1081 lbs
  • Eggplant 127 lbs
  • Garlic 8 lbs
  • Green Beans 8 lbs
  • Grapes 6 lbs
  • Herbs 8 lbs
  • Leeks 5 lbs
  • Melon 254 lbs
  • Onion 132 lbs
  • Peaches 13 lbs
  • Peas 19 lbs
  • Peppers 129 lbs
  • Persimmons 4 lbs
  • Potatoes 135 lbs
  • Summer Squash 440 lbs
  • Tomatoes 667 lbs
  • Winter Squash 166 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 3,596 lbs
  • 2019 VOLUNTEER HOURS: 1169
  • 2018 HARVEST
  • Apples 25 lbs
  • Beans 103 lbs
  • Cucumber 201 lbs
  • Garlic 110 lbs
  • Onions 104 lbs
  • Melons 20 lbs
  • Peppers 28 lbs
  • Persimmons 201 lbs
  • Pomegranite 100 lbs
  • Potatoes 69 lbs
  • Summer squash 787 lbs
  • Tomatoes 229 lbs
  • Winter squash 228 lbs
  • Watermelon 10 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,215 lbs
  • 2017 HARVEST
  • Beans 161 lbs
  • Berries 4 lbs
  • Carrots 5 lbs
  • Cucumber 831 lbs
  • Eggplant 79 lbs
  • Fava beans 150 lbs
  • Garlic 145 lbs
  • Melon 31 lbs
  • Onions 50 lbs
  • Peppers 120 lbs
  • Persimmons 9 lbs
  • Pomegranite 60 lbs
  • Summer squash 412 lbs
  • Tomatoes 248 lbs
  • Winter squash 422 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,727 lbs
  • 2016 HARVEST
  • Beans 30.5 lbs
  • Berries 21 lbs
  • Cucumber 103.25 lbs
  • Garlic 45 lbs
  • Leeks 8 lbs
  • Melon 82 lbs
  • Onions 12 lbs
  • Peppers 57.5 lbs
  • Potatoes 59 lbs
  • Summer squash 416.5 lbs
  • Tomatoes 204.75 lbs
  • Winter squash 57.5 lbs
  • Other (Tomatillo) 26.5 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,123.5 lbs
  • 2015 HARVEST
  • Apricots 2
  • Blackberries 16 lbs
  • Cucumber 495 lbs
  • Eggplant 10 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Herbs 19 bunches
  • Leeks 22 lbs
  • Onions 60 lbs
  • Peppers 170 lbs
  • Persimmons 32 lbs
  • Potatoes 71 lbs
  • Summer squash 327 lbs
  • Tomatoes 476 lbs
  • Winter squash 366 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,072 lbs
  • 2014 HARVEST
  • Basil 3.5 lbs
  • Blackberries 1 lbs
  • Butternut squash 32 lbs
  • Cucumber 3 lbs
  • Eggplant 196 lbs
  • Garlic 66 lbs
  • Leeks 16 lbs
  • Onions 277 lbs
  • Peppers 205 lbs
  • Potatoes 55 lbs/li>
  • Summer squash 672 lbs
  • Tomatoes 317 lbs
  • Winter squash 153 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,996.5 lbs
  • 2013 HARVEST
  • Beans 78 lbs
  • Cantaloupe 7 lbs
  • Eggplant 16 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Kale 16 lbs
  • Onions 36 lbs
  • Peppers 90 lbs
  • Persimmons 7 lbs
  • Potatoes 159 lbs
  • Squash 328 lbs
  • Tomatoes 390 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,152 lbs
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Sensory Garden

3rd Fridays. Next: Friday, May 21, 2021 9:00 am - Noon

5353 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton; Across from Raley's. Adjacent to the Pleasanton Senior Center on Sunol Blvd

The Sensory Garden is open to the public and draws many visitors, so the purpose of the work party is to keep the Garden looking good throughout the year. The feedback we get during work parties is always positive and heartwarming.

Our next scheduled work party will be 21 May, the 3rd Friday of the month as usual. We start at 9 am, but always have a couple of early birds, and we'll work until around noon. Come join us for an hour or the entire time, we appreciate any time you can spend. As a reminder, even though the number of Covid cases have dropped, the tier colors are changing, and many folks have been vaccinated, we'll still wear masks and maintain social distancing.

We ask that you bring your own hand tools (trowels, soil knives, pruners, etc.) plus your own work gloves and kneeling pads. Larger tools and other needed amendments will be provided.

Thanks and more thanks to Nancy Harrington, Anne Vincent, Bruce Daggy, Judy Matthew, Sandra Hirst and Dolores Bengtson for their time, talent and effort to spruce up the Sensory Garden to display the late spring flowers just waiting to bloom. Those attending had the joy of seeing the Chinese Fringe tree and viburnum in full bloom plus observe that the small buckeye tree was leafed out with a showing of the blossoms soon to come. It was a lovely day.

Even if you can't attend a work party, we encourage everyone to stop by the Sensory Garden when you are in the area. There is almost always something colorful blooming, something moving in the breeze, something fragrant in the air. The "Sensory Garden" lives up to its name. Like our individual gardens, it is really coming alive at this time of year. The Bluebells have been the star attraction this past month. Come check it out.

If you can attend or have questions, please contact Michelle and Bill Tallon. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their additional contact information.

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Pictures from 2017 and 2018 Sensory Garden work parties

Here are some photos taken at Sensory Garden work parties in the recent past. Work parties are fun for getting to know our members and the participants learn about horticultural practices as they perform the work of transplanting, weeding, dead heading, pruning, fertilizing, controlling pests and propagation of plants.

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Garden Angels

We have a group of members willing and eager to go out and help any garden club member that is not able to keep up their garden temporarily possibly because of illness, chemo, etc. We can deadhead, sweep, plant annuals, and generally tidy up the garden. Do you need this kind of help or know someone who does? If so, please use the signup sheet at the monthly club meeting or contact Peggy Despotakis.

Looking for Garden Angels. Periodically club members need some help in their gardens due to illness. If you would like to be on the Angel call list for a workparty, contact Peggy Despotakis.

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Livermore 1st Street Pots

No workparties are currently scheduled

Please contact Mary Davis for more information.See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

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Penny Pines

The Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.

PENNY PINES ON HOLD

Per Nina Blonski, Chairman Penny Pines for California, "All US Forest Service Offices are closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions and/or the wildfire events around the state. Please do NOT send Penny Pines donations currently. You may wish to continue collecting funds and hold until we are notified that the offices are open and able to collect donations."

Jeri announced this at our meeting via Zoom on October 8, and also noted that she has started a jar to collect her change and save the donations for after the offices open again. As a reminder to old members and a notice to new members, LAVGC collects change/donations at our normal meetings in support of the Penny Pines programs. We donate in plantations in the amount of $68 which the forest service uses to reseed, replant, or in some way replace growth in areas where needed. Since the foundation of our club we have donated 204 plantations. Save your change and when we can meet in person again we will gather the funds and send donations to our forests to help in the rebuilding of our natural resources.

Penny Pines

Have you wondered what that cute green box that is passed around at the meeting and people are putting money inside is for? Each $68 that we collect is used to plant an acre of burned out national forest land. Since 1999, our club has donated money to help plant 109 acres of trees for a total donation of over $8,000.

Through the years the members of our garden club have been very generous through donations to the Penny Pines box circulated at each meeting. We have purchased 143 plantations in honor of current and former club members as well as donations to honor the first responders for 9/11 relief, as well as others in our community.

We have also participated in the Arbor Day celebration for last two years in partnership with Alden Lane, The California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, and Davey Expert Tree Company to purchase a plantation for each of eight Pleasanton elementary schools. They are presented during an Arbor Day training session presented by club members.

In addition to donations made by the club, you can make private donations as Jeri Stark did for Christmas 2018. She felt her children have everything they need and so she gave them each a certificate honoring them in the forests near Yosemite where they have spent many years at their grandparent's home. Giving back a bit for all the years of enjoyment for the many happy and fun filled days spent in the area. How it works:

Click to see the NGC Penny Pines information.

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