Gardeners, with or without green thumbs, are invited to plant themselves in El Cajon on Saturday.
Events are scheduled throughout the morning and into the day in Feb. 23, the official “Day of Celebrating Community Gardens in El Cajon,” as proclaimed by the city.
One of the highlights of the event will be a grand-opening celebration at 11 a.m. at Circle Community Garden, 476 Highland Ave., at Farragut Circle. The community garden has room for more than 40 families to have their own plots.
The garden was established to provide access to land so community members can grow food in an eco-friendly manner while learning organic gardening techniques in a cooperative environment.
“Over 50 percent of our population lives in apartments,” City Councilman Gary Kendrick said. “This is an opportunity for them to have their own gardens and grow their own veggies.” The City Council recently adopted a garden ordinance supporting community gardens.
The event kicks off with a worm composting lesson at 9 a.m. at 1457 E. Madison Ave., and will finish at 3:30 p.m. with “Seed Balls at Sunset” at the the Kaiser Permanente El Cajon Community Garden, 203 Travelodge Drive. Kaiser donated $5,000 to the International Rescue Committee to build a community garden on its former site. That garden is scheduled to open next month.
There will also be an event at 10 a.m. at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, 2119 E. Madison St., called “Seeds & Soil Fun” and a 1 p.m. “Young Gardener Workshop” at the El Cajon Library, 201 E. Douglas Ave.
More than 200 people are expect to attend the celebration at Farragut Circle, according to spokeswoman Sandy Hood. Master Gardener Joyce Gemmell and others will answer gardening questions.
“In 1979, my husband and I worked with Joyce and community members to develop a community garden and park at Magnolia Elementary School on Greenfield Avenue in El Cajon,” Hood recalled. “That garden, 34 years later, is still growing strong with 36 20-foot-by-20-foot plots worked by families who live in the area — mostly in multifamily housing units — and still has a waiting list. We developed the garden because there were so many apartments, condos and mobile home parks, and those community members had nowhere to garden.”
A tour of the Magnolia Garden at 650 Greenfield Ave., is set for 2 p.m.
“El Cajon is literally going through a rebirth now,” Kendrick said. “We have a new city manager (Doug Williford) who is a very forward thinker and open to new ideas. We are working to recapture the small-town feeling that El Cajon had when I was growing up (in the 1950s and ’60s).”
Article by Karen Pearlman on U~T San Diego.com