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Natural Perspectives: New garden, fresh food on the way

November 10, 2010|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
  • Brandywine tomatoes
Brandywine tomatoes (HB Independent )

It has taken almost a year longer than I thought it would, but it looks like we're finally going to get a new community garden in Huntington Beach.

Word has it that the Huntington Beach City Council is set to approve an agreement with Southern California Edison at the council meeting next Monday. We've been expecting this for months. Representatives from city staff, the City Council and Edison have all informed the Huntington Beach Community Garden president David Baronfeld that it is really going to happen this time.

The operations committee of the garden group has been meeting twice a month to hammer out the procedures of what needs to be done when. At each meeting, the details get finer and finer as they consult various contractors about how to perform the necessary tasks at the site at the end of Atlanta Avenue by the Santa Ana River.

The fundraising committee has also been meeting every other week. I'm a member of both committees, racing the calendar to get the garden up and running on our anticipated opening date of Jan. 1. We have obtained pledges for about $24,000 worth of goods and services and have raised about $7,000 that will be used to clear and till the land, install irrigation, move fences and build borders for each plot. But there is still a gap of about $40,000 between what the project will cost and what the group has raised or had donated. Fortunately, much of that shortfall can be made up in volunteer labor. But not all of it.

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Several grant applications and funding requests are pending. We think that potential donors may be waiting for the garden group to get final approval to begin building the infrastructure. If all the hoped-for funds rain down upon our group, we can pull it off. If not, well, there's a fall-back plan. That plan is simply to do as much as we can, continuing to work until the money runs out.

With luck, new funding will come in as we spend our existing funds. We're going to need a lot of luck, so keep your fingers crossed. Even better, uncross them and write a check to the Huntington Beach Community Garden or see if the PayPal button is up and running on the group's website at http://www.huntingtonbeachcommunitygarden.com.

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