This Saturday, Transition Laguna has planned a tour to showcase the beauty and bounty of organic gardening.
Scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon, the event will feature 10 gardens in the Oak Village neighborhood in a six-block-square area east of Glenneyre and north of Cress. Installed by Transition Laguna with the cooperation of homeowners, these gardens showcase some of the group’s proudest accomplishments and demonstrate important eco-friendly practices such as composting, mulching and gray water irrigation.
In keeping with the tour’s environmental theme, participants are encouraged to walk or bike. Fifty bikes will be available courtesy of La Vida Laguna at 987 Glenneyre, where the tour begins. Maps will be available at the start of the tour. To defray costs, tour participants are asked to contribute a $10 per person donation.
Tour highlights will include multiple raised beds full of herbs, fruits and vegetables at group member Gloria Broming’s two side-by-side houses on Anita Street, including a specially-designed layered growing box for potatoes and a full-fledged seedling nursery in the backyard.
On Temple Hills Drive, participants will learn how “Dr. Dave” Schemberger cultivates sprouts, wheatgrass and other healthful foods, and get tips on composting. Mixed borders irrigated with a gray water system stand out in Max Isles’ colorful cottage garden on Seaview Street, where artichokes and broccoli rub shoulders with buddleia and salvia.
According to Sean McCracken, a Surterre Properties realtor who founded the organization’s food group two-and-a-half years ago, “By encouraging residents to grow and share their own fruit and vegetables, the food group has grown to about 550 members and has collaborated with local residents to put in 50 gardens.”
The food group operates its garden installation program on a work/share model that allows volunteers who help with other installations to eventually reap the benefits in their own yards. In support of water conservation and sustainability, many who have had gardens installed by the food group have entirely replaced all grass and similar water-thirsty vegetation with native, drought-tolerant and edible plants.
Thanks to their highly visible efforts, the food group is blooming like vegetables gone to seed. According to McCracken, membership is growing at the rate of about 50 per month. He adds that the organization is now focusing on building “micro-communities” like Oak Village within the larger community. These neighborhood groups would allow gardeners to more easily share produce, tools, information and ideas.
The food group supports the larger mission of Transition Laguna, one of 10 “transition towns” in the United States committed to developing practical alternatives to fuel-based economies. As worldwide concerns about overconsumption and the environment spread, transition communities are being established all over the world. Embracing “a new energy future that is abundant, local and sustainable,” Transition Laguna promotes alternative and mass transportation, green building, recycling, and organic gardening within a cooperative community committed to sharing resources and information.
For details about Transition Laguna’s garden tour or to sign up for the organization’s event mailing list, e-mail Sean McCracken at email@example.com.