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Residents want a true community garden in Mountain View

Original post made on Oct 22, 2013

In Mountain View, the words "community garden" have been used to describe the tiny city garden plots near Willowgate Street available for a fee to individuals on a waiting list. The experience of a true community garden -- where anyone can share in and learn the experience of growing food -- would be new to Mountain View. But there's a group of residents aiming to change that.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 10:42 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by patrick
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Why not use the space on Shoreline Blvd between El Camino and California?

There are at least three large areas there that would bring gardens into the heart of downtown and would save that area from stack and pack apartments such as those along El Camino and San Antonio. The City already owns these lands and should give them back to the public.

Lets save our inner city from further crowded development and do some good for regular folk instead of always giving it away to greedy developers.


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Posted by Erin
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I LOVE this idea. Our city could really benefit from something like this.


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Posted by Gardener
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

The waiting list for individual community garden plots is years long and the city should also open another community garden besides Willowgate for people to grow their own healthy fruits and vegtables.


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Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Why do I hear the flutes and music of the Berkeley Days..
With a waiting list, where do the Newbies line up? Does the City of MtnView really charge a fee to just be on the list ? Is there no level of taxation they don't like ?
Open it up and watch the non-gardeners move in when all is ripe...
Oh well.. I'll be money ahead and labor reduced with good stuff from Safeway..


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

What a great idea for Cuesta Annex! Large, fertile and unspoiled acreage, just going to waste. A perfect location for a community garden. This area was proposed for such a use several years ago, and if the NIMBY's don't get in the way, it can happen!!


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Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Take a look at www.sharingbackyards.com

Anyone interested? I have some extra dirt to share.


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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Bad idea.. those community gardens take up too much space. I want someplace open to everyone.

But if we're giving out plots.. I'll take one to park an RV on it.


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Posted by ME
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 22, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I live in a small complex of 28 townhouses and condos and campaigned our HOA board of directors for permission to remove a 30' x 8' patch of ivy to convert to a 'community garden.' Several neighbors joined me in planting tomatoes, lettuce, beets, chard, cucumbers, rhubarb, arugula, strawberries etc. It's surprising how much food you can grow in a small plot of land. I suggest others who live in HOA communities identify land suitable for a community garden in their common areas, get the boards's blessing, and start planting!


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Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm

@George:

The only fee associated with the Willowgate Community Garden are modest water usage fees. There's no charge to be on the waiting list (currently 4-5 years). I've been waiting for a plot myself for a couple of years, haven't paid a dime.

Sorry, but your outrage misses the mark.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 26, 2013 at 7:29 am

The term "Community Garden" is a feel good term, but in actuality, speaking from witnessing several of these in different towns over the years, its quite different. What you get is a large area used by very few(per lottery/waiting lists) and those few people become VERY particular about who comes in and such. You end up with a garden clique of 10 or 20 people and the rest of the community is viewed as outsiders and get treated like they don't have the same rights to be there as the 10 "community" farmers.

Its a neat idea, but it will benefit very few. A better way to get more people gardening is to instruct how to grow veggies in planter boxes. No use of city land needed and its just as productive on the individual scale.
MORE people will garden IMO if they do that than if they let only 20 people farm a big plot of city land. The taxes alone on that land could provide garden boxes to allow more people to farm than a community farm would.


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Posted by gardener
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

I have a plot at Willowgate. It's been a source of food and great pleasure for me. Many gardeners contribute excess veggies to the local food bank. The yearly fee is pretty low (even after a price hike a few years ago) when one considers the price for water in this area. I don't find the garden is a clique with a few members, as "neighbor" claims. It would be wonderful to have more community gardens in the city. But when one was proposed for the Rex Manor area many people were vehemently opposed to it and it was not approved by the City Council. I found this strong opposition quite strange. All in all the city provides a great service with Willowgate and we are grateful.


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Posted by Gardener #2
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

I am also a gardener at Willowgate and I agree with the other gardener about the benefits of having a small plot. In addition to donating to the food bank I also feed a lot of people in my HOA and they really love getting fresh produce. I don't find there are any cliques what so ever, in fact its quite the opposite, everyone is very friendly and helpful. There are many neighbors around Willowgate who don't have plots who frequently stop by and walk around and enjoy having a garden in their area. I have also given them some of my produce. My only complaint is that the City should charge even more to cover the cost of the water. We already have a wonderful piece of land for free and we should not be subsidized for the water.


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