Extra hands make light work in Vallejo’s unity garden
Get in and grab your garden tools. We’re going gardening!
Community service center Vallejo Project invites the public to learn wellness at Unity Garden on Aug. 27 for a garden cleanup. The event is designed to teach participants about sustainable food production, help expand a market garden, and give of demonstration a food forest garden.
The Vallejo Project’s mission is to “improve student outcomes by connecting youth to multi-generational enrichment and development opportunities in the trades, art, wellness, and culture.”
Executive Director of the Vallejo Project David McDonald says education is at the center of the Unity Garden.
“The garden was envisioned for three things,” said McDonald. “One of the plans of the garden is to teach youth about how to grow their own food, and therefore take seeds and cuttings from the garden and develop their own mini garden. They can have fresh fruits and vegetables in areas that are considered food deserts like South Vallejo. The second reason for the garden to spring up is to have kids who are from urban areas and experienced trauma get in there, get their hands dirty, and connect back with the Earth as a form of the meditative healing process to handle trauma.”
McDonald says homelessness is a factor, calling the Unity Garden a “direct need” due to its proximity to a homeless shelter.
“The garden funnels right into the homeless shelter to feed the homeless and get them fresh eggs and fresh vegetables,” said McDonald.
Volunteers of many ages are welcome. Participants that are minors need parental or guardian approval.
“If they can work a shovel, they’re old enough,” laughed McDonald.
The volunteers’ task will be to dig swales, move logs, move material around the garden (soil, mulch, planter boxes, etc.), cut down old plants to make way for a fruit tree grove, and prepare the garden space for seasonal planting.
McDonald’s goal is to increase cultural diversity in Vallejo’s gatherings.
“Vallejo is one of the most diverse cities in the nation,” said McDonald. “We are trying to create cross-cultural events or events that are open to all humanity essentially, bringing different communities together and having them work together. So that there can be a blend of cultures as opposed to isolated silos. There are different areas that have different groups, and there’s not a lot of cross-culture. So one of the things we’re trying to do is bring together different groups and this will help do that.”
The Vallejo Unity Garden CleanUp takes place on Sunday, Aug. 27. Please visit www.vallejoproject.org/ for additional information on the Vallejo Project.
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