urbanite wall

Raised vegetables beds are built out of recycled plastic. These are a good height for seniors not to have to bend over too far or if they are in wheelchairs.

I’ve helped with countless garden installations over the past twenty years here in the East Bay. My first three years was helping co-found Spiral Gardens, where we started 12 community gardens. I’ve since helped out in many other community gardens, school gardens, church gardens, etc…

At the same time I helped initiate ASUC Composting, which lasted over 14 years and changed its name to Berkeley Worms. At UCB the compost project was staffed by students and workers who collected kitchen scraps from the dining halls and composted them with hot piles and redworms. At one point we were collecting and processing and selling or donating 14 tons of compost annually.

compost 1

Merritt College summer students 2012 layering greens and browns to make compost

At Merritt College my students and I have put in over an acre of food forest with more than 300 species and varieties of fruit trees, fruiting shrubs, vines, ground covers, annuals, native plants, drought tolerant Mediterraneans, etc…
And with Wildheart Gardens over the past 15 years I’ve put in countless gardens for people’s home gardens. This has always been a blend of local food plants, with some local East Bay native plants. I always have started with large scale compost and woodchip applications. And also planting lots of fruit trees with a look on the long term vision of creating orchards to last a lifetime. Later I got more interested in water harvesting and started to include greywater and rainwater systems. And the food forest idea was always there, but its getting better defined what works well where. And each site is unique and each client has an individual pallet, so some gardens get raspberries and others get blackberries or blueberries. Many get all three choices.

urbanite wall

“Urbanite” is another way to say broken concrete, and it makes fine substitutes for rocks that might come from across the globe. These garden beds are now growing vegetables, fruit and herbs.

rainwater 1

Going under a sidewalk to route the rain gutter to the rain garden, diverting the “stormwater” from the driveway and the city sewer to the garden where it belongs.

Improving soil quality with lots of cardboard, woodchips, and compost. Later fruit trees and berries and pollinators were planted over the heavy clay site.