Tag Archives: P-Patch

Giving Garden

On a recent warm, breezy summer Monday night, I braved the strange crosswalks and lights over the bustling N. 45th St and followed Bagley a couple blocks north until it dead-ended into a park. In the wide open spaces, shade sheltered a woman throwing a ball for her small dog, children kicked around a soccer ball, and I could hear the clanking sounds of gardening tools from my right. Following my ears, I rounded the corner and entered the Good Shepherd P-Patch.

None of the gardeners could remember exactly how long the P-Patch has been sponsoring and cultivating a Giving Garden through Lettuce Link, but it’s been at least several years. As a result of these dedicated volunteers, not only can a casual passerby enjoy the quiet yet abundant sanctity of the garden, but one can learn about various sustainable gardening techniques: green roofs, pollination, succession planting, summer/winter rotation, cucurbit trellis, double-digging raised beds, floating row covers, interplanting, companion planting, broadcast sowing, tomato trellising, and more. Moreover, the volunteers tend a Giving Garden, an area in which the produce grown is donated to FamilyWorks Food Bank.

On this particular evening, the P-Patch volunteers dug in and harvested over 51 POUNDS of food for FamilyWorks! I’d highly recommend checking out this gorgeous P-Patch, honing your gardening skills with the information posts you can find throughout the garden, and enjoying the bounty of organic food mixed with the beauty of various flowers. Just be sure to take note of the yellow plum tree you’ll pass through as you enter the gate – or you’ll end up with an overripe plum splattering on your head! (No one will notice, luckily, if you proceed to lick your fingers after you clean your hair.)

Want to get involved? The waitlist for P-Patches is notoriously long (I’m currently waiting for a spot at any of them, hoping not to have to ditch my potted tomatoes and beans when I move), but you may be able to find a space and a new friend with this garden listing. For more photos, please visit FamilyWorks’ Facebook Page.

Leave a comment

Filed under FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security

PCC Packing Party

Just before 7 this evening, the library was closed, the building was closed, and only a single door directly to the food bank in the back of the building was open. But six volunteers recruited by PCC found us. There were some regulars who’d been packing every other month for longer than the two staff members, and there were a couple newbies, and even a ten-year-old who was there “to help feed people.” FamilyWorks food bank employee Jesse, known affectionately to some of us as Bubbles after he helped clean up a rather large spill of bubble soap, had already set up a line of metal carts, each with a large plastic bin, a pile of clean plastic bags, twist ties, and food labels. Richard, a long-time veteran who used to pack food in Fremont in the 1980s and has been a regular at FamilyWorks for close to a decade, began moving food from 25-pound bags on a pallet to our bins. And we began packing. One food label in the bag first, two to three scoops of black beans, then a twist tie and into the crate goes a bag. We also discussed everything from the labor movement in San Diego to recently-read library books to P-Patches to community playgrounds. We were a diverse bunch, all there for a couple hours with a common purpose, and it was inspiring to see how much we all accomplished. RIchard shared with me that we were a lean bunch of volunteers; frequently we actually have more than a dozen. On those nights, Richard and another volunteer will continuously fill bins and move the food, while others pack, and others stuff labels. Tonight, we all pitched in and did a little bit of everything. Over and over and over – until we had packed over 1100 pounds of black beans, blueberries and cream granola, brown rice, rolled oats, and cous cous! All in all, it totaled 32 crates worth of staples for our families. By 9:15 PM, the food bank was empty of all but Jesse closing up, and no one would have known just how much scooping had been occurring a few minutes before.

Thank you to the dedicated volunteers who came out even in the busy summer months, and thank you to PCC for donating all that food! For photos of the event, please check our Facebook page (our Flickr account reached its maximum with the parade photos on the weekend). PCC Packing Parties are open to volunteers and occur at 7pm the 3rd Wednesday of every other month.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks News, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Parenting, Parents of School-Aged Children (5-12), Parents of Young Children (Ages 0-5), Poverty, Teen and Young Parents