Volunteers with the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita plan to hold a farm-to-table event for Santa Clarita Valley youth May 5, at their location inside Central Park.
The event is set to start at 10 a.m. and cover the importance of pollinators in gardens and the community. Event organizers plan to discuss honeybees, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, bluebirds, and barn owls and the resources they provide.
Children will get a chance to see and use the products that come from honeybees, as well as view inside an unused beehive. They will also learn more about the migration of monarch butterflies while viewing butterfly gardens, and observe a bluebird nesting box and the family of bluebirds living inside.
The next farm to table event will be on May 19 from 10 a.m. to noon, teaching children how to make lemonade, guacamole, salsa and barbecue.
The gardens enables residents who sign up as members to rent plots to grow their own pesticide- and preservative-free vegetables.
In 2015, the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita Education Committee was formed, offering free organic gardening classes to valley youth and low cost organic gardening course to adults. Each year over 100 youth sign up to participate in the classes, workshops, and events. The organization offers weekend workshops and private classes for youth, as well as events, said Gardens Education Committee Chair Gisa Seeholzer-Haggin.
The gardens currently has a waitlist with a 6- to 12-month wait for available plots. They currently offer 131 garden plots, five Universal Access raised beds, as well as two 4’x 4’ raised beds and a U-shaped raised garden bed for children. The waitlist has 10 people on it, but can get as high as 30 throughout the year, Seeholzer-Haggin said.
SCV residents can still get involved with the Community Gardens through volunteering, attending events and workshops, or by requesting a free garden tour.
“My family and I joined the gardens in 2014, and at the time my daughter Charlotte was 4 years old,” Seeholzer-Haggin said. “I felt it was a good opportunity for her to learn to garden and eat healthy. Today, my daughter is nearly nine years old and can be found leading new families and children throughout the gardens. I feel the gardens has evolved from a place to plant healthy organic produce to a community that works together to provide one another with the tools to succeed in a healthy lifestyle.”
The gardens is home to a large composting area, greenhouse, chicken coop, Monarch Way station, pollinator bee garden, herbal garden, native garden, and orchard. It also has a bluebird nesting box and two barn owl nesting boxes inside the gardens.
The city of Santa Clarita, along with the Community Garden Council, launched the nonprofit in 2011. For more information, go to communitygardensofsantaclarita.org.
Central Park is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.