Did you know the Ojai Valley has an organic community garden? It is the result of the actions and hard work of founders Robin Graham and Keith Brock.
“I got involved originally with community gardening working with ‘Food for Thought’ in 2010 at Topa Topa Elementary,” says Robin, Certified Master Gardener. “The school garden was so popular I ended up having to turn students away. That’s when I got the idea to start another community garden.”
The Ojai Valley of the Moon Community Garden was founded in 2011 at Help of Ojai’s West Campus, 370 Baldwin Road and operates under the non-profit umbrella of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition. The Garden is now home to three different programs: a traditional “community garden”; The Help of Ojai Vegetable Garden; and a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) site, for hands-on training of Ventura County Master Gardener Trainees.
The traditional, “community garden,” portion of the Garden provides for a gardening individual, group or family to tend apportioned plots. The Garden’s minimal annual dues, ranging from $65 to $180 depending on the size, covers the cost of the lease of an individual plot, including water, and the automated entrance gate. Fourteen participants of varying ages and experience have signed up for the 2013 season so far.
“For those who are interested in donating about an hour a week,” says Robin “The Help of Ojai Senior Lunch Program will need a couple of volunteers to harvest weekly beginning in June. Or, there are lots of other ways to join in.”
If you want to know more or to volunteer contact Robin at (805) 640-0569. To find out more about the Ventura County Master Gardener Program go to http://www.ucanr.org/sites/VCMG/.
The “Help of Ojai Vegetable Garden” was planted and is maintained by seven Ventura County Master Gardeners and Trainees with the help of three local citizens. The fresh produce is given as a donation to the Help of Ojai Senior Food Program. For donating the garden’s starter plants Help of Ojai received 1,100 pounds of food for the 2012 Senior Lunch Program.
The UCCE approved portion of the site serves as a hands-on training for local Ventura County Master Gardener trainees. In the future these trainees will provide the leadership to sustain the Garden for years to come. As part of their training VC Master Gardener trainees must devote a minimum of 50 hours annually to earn and then maintain their certification. Each year the VC Master Gardener Program is committed to providing trainees to the Garden. In 2012, four trainees donated over 200+ hours to the Garden and will be stepping up to provide hands-on training for the 2013 trainees beginning this month.