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Incredible Edible MId-Peninsula is group of San Mateo County CA residents who were inspired by the Todmorten UK sustainable community gardens and how they invigorate a community on many levels from front yard veggie plots to shareable edible community gardens and orchards in public and commercial spaces. We wanted our communities to be part of this movement.
In California & globally, water is valuable & limited resource and lawns are disproportionate users. Instead, let’s sustainably plant with natives and fresh organic produce, which also contributes to a healthier community. Let us plant colorful flyways of native plants for the pollinator, birds, bees and supportive insects to feed upon. Let us replace tour front grass with edibles and encourage other residents to follow.
We are partnering with the Redwood City Parks & Recreation, City Trees, Whole Foods Market, and Redwood City Parks & Arts Foundation to dedicate some public space to grow fruits and vegetables that can be grown and shared by all. As our population is expanding, many more living in places with limited land; Incredible Edible is working to harness and network schools, garden non-profits, developers and individuals to find farmable plots and negotiate the logistics to make viable community gardens. Through education and invitation we hope that families, students, young & old will come to consider edible and native gardens as community birthrights.
We invite any residents of San Mateo County who are interested to join our group and become part of this incredible movement. While we are currently active only in Redwood City, we would love to see our mission expanded across the county with your involvement! You can also request to join us on Facebook for our latest happenings
About a year ago Incredible Edible began an inventory process of all plots owned by the city of Redwood City. Team members visited each of the plots to determine whether their topography, access to water and other characteristics that would be suitable for fruit trees, berry bushes or vegetables beds. A vacant lot adjacent to Roosevelt School at the corner of Alameda de las Pulgas and Vera offered a sunny slope. Partnering with Public Works, Parks & Rec landscaping, Redwood City School District and CityTrees team member Tom Cronin, we worked through issues of utility lines, visual safety sighting for students that cross the intersection, irrigation and augering of holes in preparation for planting.
On January 28, 2017 sunny skies greeted a team of volunteers who planted & staked eight fruit trees on the upslope and two ornamentals streetside.
Apple, pear, plum, apricot & nectarine are among the fruits that students and nearby residents will be able to harvest in the next season or two.
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.
Our intrepid CAD designer Josh Shade will be hosting them at his home and we will share the joys of the Bay Area local food movement with them during their stay.
The culmination of their visit will be a presentation by Mary on Sunday, April 24 at 1 pm at the Redwood City Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. She promises to be both inspiring and entertaining!
If sharing a Sunday afternoon with Mary sounds like your cup of tea, register for the event at http://maryclear.eventbrite.com
If you can, please spread the news to others by posting a flyer at your school, congregation, coffee shop or work place. Upload the flyer below to print out for distribution.
If you are on Facebook, you can share our Redwood City Incredible Edible page with friends.
Please join us in giving Mary a huge Golden State welcome!
|Cindy Johnson, Tom Cronin, Carol Cross, Ann Morrison, Claire Felong and Dave Hyman representing CityTrees, Incredible Edible Redwood City and the UU Redwood City gathered after planting the first tree.|
Saturday, January 18 was the first official planting for Incredible Edible Redwood City. Nine bareroot fruit trees including apple, orange, plum, pear, cherry and fig were planted with help from CityTrees experts who demonstrated best practices for hole size, root trimming and alignment, amendments and berms for water retention.
Six months in the planning, the fruit trees are now at home in Red Morton Park behind the main baseball field wall where all are invited to watch their progress! Chris Beth, head of Redwood City Parks and Rec, is an enthusiastic partner and cheerleader for the progress and engaged landscaping staff Francisco Esperanza and Valerie Matonis to coordinate with Incredible Edible for removal of old plantings, tree location, drip irrigation, hole augering and the first deep root watering.
Trees were donated by CityTrees, Chris Beth, Valerie Matonis, Dave Hyman and Incredible Edible members. Special thanks to Rethink Recology for the compost.
Cindy Johnson, Tom Cronin, Carol Cross, Ann Morrison, Claire Felong, Carla Waters and Dave Hyman representing CityTrees, Incredible Edible Redwood City and the UU Redwood City
We also want to recognize Josh Shade for site design and layout, and Carolyn Chaney who is an ongoing member of the planning committee.
See the entire article in the Redwood City-Woodside Patch.
We are so jazzed to be partners with Redwood City Parks & Recreation and also with CityTrees for our first tree planting at Red Morton Park on January 18, 2014 at 10 am.
Mark your calendars and start exercising your abs! We’ll soon be sending out a sign up invite. CityTrees will be providing tools and expertise but we need more folks. If you’d like to become more involved with our group, join our Incredible Edible Redwood City Yahoo!Group.
We will be planting nine fruit trees behind the baseball field wall and so far have six tree donations. If you would like to donate a tree (any but kind EXCEPT peace or nectarine) or would like to contribute toward the purchase, please respond to this post, as well
A special shoutout to our awesome Parks & Rec partners Chris Beth, Francisco Espinoza and Valerie Matonis.
The Incredible Edible Core Team
Ann, Carol, Josh, Tom, Carolyn & Claire