ABG Highlights from 2017
Alameda Backyard Growers proves that a small group of people with big hearts and a lot of community support can accomplish great things! Take a look at the highlights of our group’s progress and impact in 2017:
- Continued our very popular and successful Project Pick gleaning program. “Grow Some, Keep Some, Give Some Away to the Food Bank” has been ABG’s goal and motto since our start. In 2017, ABG volunteers picked, and donated to the Alameda Food Bank, 2,830 pounds of fruit and vegetables from yards in Alameda – food that otherwise might have gone to waste on the ground or in city green bins! We picked from 22 new trees and worked with more than 20 pick volunteers.
- Purchased a new used van for Project Pick, to be used for storing our picking equipment and transporting picked fruit to the Alameda Food Bank. To fund the van we ran an successful online crowdfunding campaign. Thank you again to everyone who donated!
- Completed Phase I of Project Tree, a new partnership formed in 2016 when The Alameda Sun donated $1,000 to plant trees within the city borders. Phase I involved purchasing 34 young trees (citrus, plum, apricot, apple, fig and purple-leaf plum) from locally-owned Ploughshares, Pollinate Farm & Garden and Encinal Nursery, and then planting them in the gardens at Alameda Boys and Girls Club, NEA Community Learning Center and 19 Alameda residences. On a very modest scale, Project Tree seeks to improve neighborhood habitat and provide backyard fruit for families to enjoy and share for years to come.
- Increased attendance at our educational meetings and special events that cover timely gardening issues and are led by local experts and gardeners. Since our first informal meetings at the former High Street Station in March 2010, to our current location at Rhythmix Cultural Works on Blanding Avenue in Alameda, our attendance has grown significantly and now averages 30 to 50 people per meeting. In 2017 our meeting topics, speakers and events included:
- January Growing Bay Area Native Vegetables with Jeff Bridge
- February Growing Tomatoes in Alameda with Jeff Bridge
- March Vegetable Growing 101 with Ann Naffziger
- April Spring Fruit Tree Care with Marla Koss and Jasmine Tokuda
- May Home Composting with Lori Caldwell
- June Integrated Pest Management with Birgitt Evans
- July Potluck and Update on Jean Sweeney Open Space Park with Alameda Recreation and Parks Director Amy Wooldridge
- August Fruit Tree Gleaning in the East Bay with The Urban Farmers of Contra Costa County
- September Container Gardening with Jennifer McGaffey
- October Seed Saving with Irene Beebe
- November Prepping Your Soil For Great Tomatoes Next Summer with Farm2Market
- ABG continued our collaboration and public outreach through a variety of special community events, press releases and articles:
- April Had a booth and participated at the City of Alameda Earth Day Festival, Washington Park
- May Participated in Alameda Home Garden Tour (at C. Mason’s home)
- June – September Provide information on ABG at Alameda Farmers’ Markets
- July Designed a float and marched in Alameda’s Annual 4th of July Parade
- August— Provided an information table at Immanuel Lutheran Church fair celebrating Alameda volunteer organizations
- October – Had a demonstration table at Edison School Fall Festival
- Began writing a monthly gardening information column in our local paper, The Alameda Sun, starting in October 2017. Several of our ABG Board Members take turns writing these columns.
You can view ABG’s impact from previous years here: