This is year two of our private partnership with some apartment dwellers, their friends, some Incredible Edible core team members and their friends.
Built into a steep hillside the team did their best in the first year of the garden and harvested tomatoes, beans, sunflowers, squash, salad greens and more. Flowers were interplanted to keep the bees happy and strawberries and a grape vine were planted in hopes of future year harvests. Carrie Lee worked with her landlord supported by Incredible Edible’s Carla Waters to build basic retaining walls with Vici Varghese.
This spring with the dreams of Carla, design savvy of Josh Shade, materials scrounging talents of Claire Felong and hard labor of Miguel Dilg, Vici & Paul Higgins substantial improvements were made. In April new retaining walls were built and old ones raised and re-enforced. Many buckets and bags of rocks, courtesy of a Freecycler, were packed, transported then dumped as a bottom layer. In May a City of Redwood City compost giveaway day, along with the prospect of planting and transplanting, energized us to fill up the beds.
Planting soon ensued and helping Carla were Eyleen S, Christen D, Bianca C and Nova; last year’s choices were rotated along with additions of aztec spinach, amaranth and blueberries. Some of the imported soil for the retaining wall sections was low in nitrogen and phosphorus but thanks to Vici’s home soil test kit skills we knew to add chicken manure and bone meal. The plants responded immediately!
Next, Redwood City again to the rescue with mulch giveaways and we’re able to lay down a few inches everywhere to retain most of the moisture for the growing produce during this record drought year. Billy James donated a more robust compost bin and Kelly C joined our venture at mulch time.
Everyone, including several residents and their children are now watering and harvesting. Our most recent project has been learning to bend rebar to form an arch both to create a proper welcoming entrance and to support our prodigious grape vine.
If you’d like to join us on our projects or follow us on our projects, contact us through our Incredible Edible Facebook page.
P.S. Sadly the Farm Hill garden closed in 2016. Carla moved to the East Bay and the apartment building was sold to new owners who had other plans for the garden space. Let us know if you know of another location that you’d like to be part of making into a new community garden.