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Showing posts from October, 2019

San Mateo Adult School - Thank You!!!

The San Mateo Adult School Garden Just yesterday I was connected to Betty Chen and Ambrosio Soto from the San Mateo Adult School Garden (Thanks, Amo!).  Their support of our "We GROW for the Pharmacy" project was immediate - and today I was invited to visit their campus garden & farmer's market.   Hard to put into words the gratitude felt while walking back to the car with 3 bags of leftover farmer's market produce donated to the Food Pharmacy. The Adult School is the 7th garden to donate to the Food Pharmacy in just the month of October.  Neighbors helping neighbors.  Thank you all for your generosity & support. Produce donated by the San Mateo Adult School Garden

Home Composting Workshop

Big thanks to Jesus & Shova from the County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability and the hospitality of the Los Prados Community Garden for putting on an afternoon home composting workshop .  It was so good to see the new 3 bin composting setup - that volunteers built a few weeks ago - being put to good use. Today's discussion covered both "hot" composting and worm composting.  Here are a few notes: Worm Bin Basics: Worms don't eat food scraps - instead they feed upward on the bacteria that is breaking down the food waste - making the stacked worm bins ideal  Note: San Mateo residents receive a discount on worm & compost bins - visit   Coffee grinds are very acidic - so a little goes a long way in giving worms grit to help in digestion.  Oyster powder is also good, as is fine grain sand Important to keep the bin in a place that can maintain a moderate temperature - out of

Food Pharmacy Update + Carey School Compost Bins + Free Composting Class

Happy Friday, San Mateo Gardeners! Here's a quick GROW San Mateo update: 1. "We Grow for the Pharmacy"....Success! Since we started on October 11th, we've made 8 deliveries to the Food Pharmacy from the generous donations of 6 gardens across the community.  A huge thanks to all those who have donated.  As you can see from the photo below, the Food Pharmacy clients are loving the fresh produce! Top: early morning Wednesday; Bottom: end of day As you are planting your winter garden, please consider growing some of these for the Food Pharmacy: garlic leeks beets kale broccoli cauliflower stevia lemon pak choy 2) A new compost bin for The Carey School The Carey School is a private elementary school here in San Mateo and has an amazing garden plot & outdoor education program.  We're going to put a 3 bin compost system into the back corner of the garden which will not only regenerate organic material for the school's raise

Helping the Butterfly Garden in Central Park

It was a beautiful morning to be helping the San Mateo Arboretum Society replant their butterfly/hummingbird garden.  If you haven't visited the 9th Ave side of Central Park - you need to go - so peaceful. Apparently the local butterfly species are particular to visiting mainly native plant species, so Ed Pease led a project to replant the space in Central Park with native species that will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. The Arboretum Society's nursery is impressive and definitely worth a visit (hours are Thurs & Sun, 10am to 2pm).  Thank you, Julie, for the quick class on propagating succulents!  Warning - you'll probably end up buying more than one plant from their large selection.

Garden to Table

To the generous gardeners from the Los Prados community garden - thank you!  This morning the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy on 39th Avenue was stocked with an assortment of fresh produce harvested just last evening from the community garden.  A donation box within the garden was installed last Friday evening.  Gardeners can contribute the extra bounty from their plots into the box, then text an alert for pickup and transport to the Food Pharmacy.  Clients of the Food Pharmacy receive text alerts when new items have been stocked - and in our case - the produced delivered on Friday morning was completely distributed by 1pm that day. In making our second delivery to the Food Pharmacy today, it is likely that we will find a more predictable cadence - for instance, making deliveries twice a week, one on Monday and one later in the week.  Until then,  if you are a gardener and would like to donate, please contact Bill S. (    

Our 1st Delivery to the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy

Today was the first of what we hope will be many fresh produce deliveries to the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy in San Mateo.  Dr. Jason Wong & Bill S. and the new "locally grown" section of the Food Pharmacy The small assortment that was harvested from two local gardens this morning should add additional flavor to meals cooked this weekend.  Here's today's harvest list: We now have a dedicated shelf in the Food Pharmacy for our locally grown & organic produce.  Many thanks to everyone who contributed to today's milestone delivery. If you'd like to participate and make donations from your garden, please email Bill S ( More information on the "We GROW for the Pharmacy" initiative can be found here: Happy Friday Everyone!

A new compost bin for Los Prados community garden

We had another opportunity to help out a local community garden this week: This morning we installed a new three bin compost setup at the Los Prados community garden in San Mateo.  As our 2nd composting build this year, we had great support from the City of San Mateo Landscape Crew.  Big thanks to Ryan Zuehlsdorf - for getting our Home Depot materials order placed well in advance of our build - and to Ron Fascenda for opening up the maintenance yard @ Beresford Park for us to get the majority of the build done on Thursday afternoon & evening.  Funding for the compost bin is made possible through a grant from the County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability.  The install crew: Anna, Howard, Neil, Bill S. and Kyoko We've learned that having a clean space for the pre-build - with access to electricity and power tools - cuts down on the build time significantly.  Thank you Anna, Howard and Dave for the big push on Thursday to get 90% of the build accomplished.