Initially, a group of members of the Lafayette Community came together to form the Local Foods Group under the guidance of local "green" activists. From 2008 to 2011, the group searched Lafayette for an appropriate place to set up a community garden and an outdoor learning centre. The aim was to create an inviting community space where citizens of all ages could grow and share food collaboratively and learn about sustainable gardening practices. In February 2011, the City of Lafayette and EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) agreed to allow the community to use the existing site across the Lafayette reservoir. Sustainable Lafayette agreed to be a fiscal sponsor and generous private donations made it possible to break the ground in March 2012.

 

Now that the space had been secured, the group talked to members of other community gardens to see their advice on how best to proceed with the organization of the garden. At the beginning, the founder of the nearby Moraga Gardens was a major mentor. He helped enormously to guide the group in the formation of a flexible set of organizational guidelines capable of changing the gardens to many future participants.

 

Another important goal for the garden was to create a beautiful space that would make Lafayette an esthetically pleasing destination for residents to come together in their communities. The ideals of artwork and design would be incorporated throughout the planning and construction of the site. Several local landscape architects have lent their talents and skills to guide the group to its initial design. We hired an inspiring garden manager who was instrumental in achieving the overall artistic feel of the garden. She and her partner designed a beautiful gateway that serves as a welcoming, organic gateway. She was also responsible for seeing that the donated Dannenbeck tiles had been incorporated throughout the garden, adding a little colorful magic to the stucco walls and the wooden beams. Her thoughtful design decisions can be seen everywhere in the organic flow of garden beds and paths.

 

The garden was initially governed by an active advisory board. From April to November, fifty inaugural families were joined, along with Boy and Girl Scouts, a church group, and a host of volunteers to build a greenhouse, shed, and garden beds using a variety of recycled and donated materials. During the season, a number of different crops were grown and shared. Much has been learned by trial and error-and everyone has had a lot of fun in the process. A number of educational workshops have been successful and have begun to fulfill the role of gardening as an outdoor educational environment open to the public. The Earth Day Open House and Fall Harvest Festival provided the community with fun gatherings to experience the many offerings of the garden.

 

As of 2015, the garden is in its very productive fourth season and has matured into an attractive, thriving space for everyone to enjoy. Chickens were a welcome and lively addition to the garden this year. Fresh eggs and an abundance of organic products have been enjoyed by all!

 

The garden is maintained on a day-to-day basis by a cooperative community of members who work under the leadership of our Executive Board Chair, who together with the Committee Leaders assist in the management of the garden. It shall be governed by an Executive Board made up of active and associate Garden Members.

Lafayette, California is home to some amazing sites that any discerning visitor should definitely check out on their next visit: 

 

  • Lafayette Community Park

  • Lafayette Reservoir Recreation

  • Lafayette Rink

  • Temple Isaiah of Contra Costa County

  • Hank & Frank Bicycles

  • Cambiati Wellness Programs

  • The Hideout Kitchen & Cafe

  • Olympic Blvd Staging Area

  • Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa

 

After visiting these lovely places make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California!

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