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Alameda Backyard Growers Get Organized

The first meeting of Alameda Backyard Growers, held last week at High Street Station coffeehouse, was quite a success.

“We counted about 30 people in attendance and received 23 completed gardening surveys,” report Amanda MacLean and Janice Edwards, organizers of the event.

According to Amanda and Janice, of those who turned out for the kick-off:

- 9 of 23 people were relatively new to gardening (less than two years experience)

- 3 of 23 had 2-10 years of experience and

- 11 of 23 had 10+ years of experience (about half the group!).

The majority of those surveyed, 18 out of 23, are interested in growing fruits and vegetables for themselves, family and friends, and they also want to learn how to garden or garden better. Many also would like to meet people in the community and grow food to share with non-profits that serve low-income Alameda residents, such as the Alameda Food Bank.

The backyard-gardening group has a website and can be reached at alamedabackyardgrowers@gmail.com.

“People are growing an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables here in Alameda, and the group generated lots of ideas for sharing gardening information and skills as well as for exchanging produce and recipes.” Amanda and Janice said.

“We are now in the process of figuring out possible events and workshops for the next couple of months.” The group sends a special thanks to guest speaker Paul Russell, executive director of the Alameda Food Bank.

Paul told the group that last year, two staff members and 50 volunteers distributed nutritious food, much of it fresh produce, to an average of 1,350 Alameda residents per month — and the need is growing.

Residents with surplus fruit on their trees or an abundance of vegetables should consider sharing some with the food bank, 1900 Thau Way.

A member of Alameda Backyard Growers, Christine Jones, will be heading the group’s donations and can be reached at rcjdwj@comcast.net.