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Showing posts from December, 2020

Grow with us in 2021

Yesenia of the Samaritan House Medical Clinic with donations from GROW San Mateo gardeners Welcome to GROW San Mateo! The GROW San Mateo project started as a volunteer beautification project and has evolved into a local network of gardeners & backyard fruit foragers who generously donate produce to support the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy. Prior to the COVID pandemic, Food Pharmacy clients were challenged with health issues linked to food consumption - like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.  As we've seen, the virus has been disproportionately brutal on people with these health conditions.  This goes beyond food insecurity to actual "nutrition" insecurity - a challenge to not only provide a sufficient quantity of food, but to change eating habits.  At the Food Pharmacy, nutritious food is a form of treatment. As gardeners, we never grow just the right amount.  There's always something to share - maybe not a basketful - but a tomato, a couple of zucchini.  The G

Winter Gardening Guide for San Mateo

There's never been a better time to be out in your garden.  Think of the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions as an excuse to get a head start on growing food this winter.   And there's rain in the forecast!  Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, we've put some information together to give you growing ideas for the colder months of the year.  Click for our  Winter Gardening Guide  for San Mateo. While the pace of growing has slowed - now's the opportunity to enjoy just being outside - whether that's a backyard plot or an apartment terrace.  And if you can, please plant some extra produce to share with folks in the community who could use some extra help. Happy Holidays! -Bill S. Founder, GROW San Mateo

No Dig Gardening explained

Do not disturb.  Probably not an approach to gardening that immediately comes to mind - but in many ways, doing nothing is actually better for the fertility of your soil.  By preserving the "soil food web" and letting the fungi, bacteria and multitude of soil microbes be...your plants will thrive.    There are several problems with heavily tilling your soil.  First, it's a lot of work.  Second,  it quickly depletes available nutrients such as nitrogen - requiring the gardener to continually add them back in - which isn't sustainable.  Also, tilling the soil releases carbon into the atmosphere - contributing to climate change.  There's a better way. What does No Dig Gardening look like?  Here's a quick example: As you can see, to plant seeds, you simply poke holes into the compost (in this case, to plant fava bean seeds).  Roots from the prior season's plants are left in the ground (cutting off stems right at ground level), providing the soil food web with