Friday, July 2, 2010

Growing Community Spirit

(Benjamin and Fred working the garden site, taken by Timothy)

I was asked to write a story for the San Diego County SKOOP about our local community garden group, Pine Valley Community Gardens, so here is my little 300-word story about our little group, one in which two of our boys are heavily involved.

My two boys return home, sweaty, exhausted, and absolutely filthy. After I send them to the shower, I receive an e-mail from one of the women involved in the local community garden, thanking me for sending the boys, ages 10 and 15, to work all morning at the site of the Pine Valley Community Gardens (PVCG).

In January a small gathering at the local library branch discussed planting a community garden. A long-time dream of Judith Dupree, board member of the Pine Valley Improvement Club and co-editor of The Valley Views, the assortment of young couples and families along with more seasoned residents pledged to form the PVCG in order to make this dream a reality.

One attendee mentioned that her landlady may have a plot we could use, and soon we had permission to use a thirty-by-thirty square foot area on a horse property with composted manure right at hand. The group was soon joined by Linda Hooty and her amazing Agricultural Science class from the Pine Valley Academy who tested and helped in preparing the soil.

However, growing this garden provides many more benefits than freshly-grown veggies. PVCG seeks to also grow something even more valuable: community spirit. Young people working alongside older residents fosters a spirit of camaraderie that will build far more benefit than the vegetables we grow.

Donations from The Mountain Empire Men's Club, Descanso Hay & Feed, and Accel Framing have helped greatly to develop the “pod” plan that prevents pests and critters from harvesting more vegetables than the gardeners do, also allowing the garden to be fully organic and as “green” as possible.

Check out Pine Valley Community Gardens at for current information about this group of gardeners committed to growing both community and a gardenful of organic vegetables.
Gardening with community spirit,

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