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Alameda Backyard Growers Share Green Thumbs

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Alameda Backyard Growers hosted a successful Global Work Party on Sunday — it was one of 7,347 events held in 188 countries around the globe, thanks to the work of 350.org and volunteers worldwide.

Organizers say that the group attracted more people than expected. “Even Doug DeHaan came to pay us a visit,” they shared.

There were more than 20 people working at Ploughshares Nursery in Alameda Point.

Volunteers turned out to support the “beat the heat,” aka stop global warming event, which — like other events worldwide — focused on creating sustainable growing areas and other projects designed to lower our carbon footprint.

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One Alameda project was the planting of a tree guild, a series of complementary trees, plants and shrubs. Volunteers also learned how to install sheet mulching and planted a black mission fig tree as the anchor point for the guild.

They also created “compost lasagna” to provide much warmth and nutrients for vegetables and other plants in the the nearby greenhouse.

Ploughshares does not have power, apart from a solar panel, so the compost pile will be very beneficial for plant life in the greenhouse, group members say.

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Event organizers add that they were pleased with what the team accomplished and hope to stage similar events in the future.

The local group is set to meet from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, at High Street Station coffeehouse, located at 1303 High Street at Encinal Avenue.

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Guerrilla gardening: pathways to Alameda

For those of you who ever happen to come on or off the Island by way of the Fruitvale Bridge, perhaps driving or walking or cycling from the BART station, you know that the particular stretch of road is one of the most homely anywhere: chain link fences, wind blown trash, run-down buildings, weeds in concrete. A few days back, my trusty research assistant noted a man on a bike watering a lone plant on the median strip right near the bridge on the Oakland side. And I myself have noted these petunias, set against a backdrop of concrete, being tended on the east side of Fruitvale Avenue, between the train tracks and the 880 underpass. Guerrilla gardening, the cultivation of neglected public spaces by energetic individuals, is not a new concept, but it’s nice to see a little sprig of color where none had been before. Is anyone aware of any on-Island guerilla gardens?