Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Community Garden and More from Summer 2014

Take the pledge here to do as the words encourage us to do (Sep 2014)

Summer! ... it is my favorite season. This post is a little late getting out there but I cannot miss the opportunity to share some of the highlights of our summer break with you! I know, I know... this should have gone out in August but better late than never. =)

Many of the images will be to share about a resource in my community that was created late Fall last year by a local doctor, Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe; she is compassionate, shares resources, and is always looking for ways to partner with the community. She is the visionary behind the "community garden!"

With a team of volunteers, the Ridgecrest community garden was formed and continues to flourish! The vegetables grown in the garden are organic and non-GMO and are given to single parent homes and low-income families; it is one way we are able to fight hunger. I helped a half dozen times throughout the summer with my son at my side. Now that school is back in session, I plan to help a little more consistently. I like to get my hands dirty plus it's a good work out. Since school began I have volunteered twice and am looking to go again this week (after this post publishes). 

In the image above, pictured is Angela Cooper of Angela Cooper Wellness who just happened to open her new Massage and Yoga Center in Ridgecrest on 9/8/14!! I'm pictured in the center and for those who don't know me, I'm a certified health coach (my services) and I focus on real food nutrition, label reading, and empowering the consumer and Anna Lynn (on the right) who you will learn more about as you continue reading. 

I do not own a garden (yet) but I'm starting to think about one more and more. I may consider doing some berries in raised beds or potatoes but I'd like to get a compost going. I've been talking about starting an aeroponic garden that requires no soil or kneeling that sounds really rewarding but due to the extreme climates in my area, I haven't started one. And, at this point in time, not sure when or if I will (yikes did I just admit that out loud?!). However, if a few friends and clients order a Tower Garden then we all can help each other out in the various seasons (dry, windy, cold) and in times of overgrowth. Win-win! =)

I did enjoy having my son at my side during our learning at the community garden. Anna, one of the volunteers, is a wealth of information and has the most patience you could ever imagine and is eager to learn and share what she's learned with others! There's plenty of room in the world for people like her!!

Through some of my personal images posted on Instagram I have been able to share more about this gem in our community. I hope the word continues to grow and that more people will volunteer their time. Nothing's better than paying it forward and seeing (or hearing about) other people being blessed because of the seeds you've planted (no pun intended). 

That reminds me... that is the vision for my brand (about planting the seeds mentioned above). My logo (to the left) is that of three seeds and a flower that has blossomed. Each seed represents a stage of learning. The flower bends back toward my name "Conveying Awareness with Jessica David" because it shows a cycle of life. Should you need some guidance or encouragement along your journey to wellness, feel free to send me a message to see if we're a good fit! 

My son with Anna.

From June 2014

During the summer, we also had the privilege of picking from my neighbor's stone fruit trees. It was pretty surprising that there was a fruitful harvest with the lack of rainfall in California and especially the high desert. Not only were we enjoying the stone fruit (apriums and peaches), we also had grapes on our vine (and plums on our trees (no image available)! We know very little about gardening and with a few trims here and there, we had grapes for about 2 weeks. We are hopeful for a plentiful harvest next year with our increased knowledge on how to maintain the grape vines!

Over the summer, we also spent a few days in our old stomping grounds - Temecula, and enjoyed the duck pond where there is plenty of water! You won't find that in my area. No lakes. No ponds. No water. I miss living near the coast. This is the first time that I've ever been more than 1.5 hours from the coast. I'm starting to miss the beach! 

What makes your area a unique area to live in? What are the positive benefits of it? Do share.

One of the benefits to living in my area is the small-knit community feel. The other benefit is that we live about an hour and a half from "train town" which offers my son the best free site experience yet: The Tehachapi Loop. Below he and his friend took in the site from the hill and yes, we found a snake on the way back out plus we got an up close image of a freight train. We go to Tehachapi 1-2x a month in the warm months and 1x a month in the windy season and skip the winter (due to snow and ice). 

This is mostly a wellness blog that encompasses food so of course, you're going to see images of recipes and food experiences, but you're also going to get a peek of a mom who seeks out a positive learning environment for her son. Wellness is multi-faceted. Nutrition IS the foundation but sharing in the experiences of life, family, learning, and beyond is equally important and well, real. 

During the summer, my son and I continued to work on the center I had created for him in March to supplement his learning. You can find more about the center here (Spring themed) and here (April wrap-up) and the works we have in place. He also enjoyed counting his coins from all of his piggy banks. Yep, he's got more than one. 

In Bakersfield, about two hours away, we finally were able to visit Murray Family Farm (like their FB page here), which by the way (if all 'grows' well), they will have their certified organic label next year! 

We picked berries on a very hot summer day (over 100 degrees in July). We didn't get a lot due to sweat pouring from our brow but it helped my son realize the hard work that people do to harvest our food before it's sold in the stores, at farmers' markets, and CSA pick-ups. 

Your Feedback is Sought! 

Thanks for dropping by and perusing the post. Be sure to pledge to "listen, love and respect" others via the Community Garden's blog page. Then share why you love your town. Are you a gardener as well? What can you take away from this post to incorporate some positive learning in your life for not only yourself but your children (if applicable)? Find opportunities for learning - they're all around you. Every day we should learn something new. I encourage you to learn, grow, and share! Be well! =)

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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  1. I love your community garden, and all of your summer activities. Gardens such as that are so important to health and wellness in communities as well as in making a difference against hunger. Thanks for sharing it at the Moms Fighting Hunger Blog Hop.

  2. Wonderful idea! There are community gardens where I live but they are sort of tend your own plot sort of a thing - I like the helping needy families idea.

    1. Yeah, those are the kind that I'm familiar with. I like the doctor's vision because it does take a village... Be well! =)

  3. this community garden is totally awesome! you guys have a lot going on and such happy helpers! I hope the excitement spreads around the world! Thanks for linking with us :)

    1. Thanks for your comment and the invitation to share. Be well! =)

  4. Gardens are so much fun and I love the community garden!

  5. How fun! I worked on a community garden a few times as a kid and have never forgotten it. PS your son is adorable.

    1. Thank you Linda! These seeds have remained planted in his mind because now that he's in school and I tell him about my time volunteering at the community garden, he wants to go! =)

  6. Hi Jessica,
    What an meaningful and inspiring story! This organic community garden that provides food to single parent homes and low-income families is a wonderful model for other communities to emulate in the fight against hunger. Thank you so much for sharing this powerful post with us at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop! I sincerely appreciate it!

    1. Thanks for your readership and the invitation to share and connect. Be well! =)

  7. Love, love, love this Jessica! Your son looks so happy delivering produce. And, I really like how your community is working together to provide for all. Great, great job invigorating everyone!

    Btw, I live in an apt so I don't have an "official" garden, but I do have a container garden. It's a great way to teach kids about the importance of fruits/veggies and it's FUN! My dream, like yours, is to one day have that official garden! Hopefully, sooner rather thn later :)

    1. Migdalia, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes, my son enjoys being part of the 'action' from gardening, to cooking, to planning the adventures for the day.

      I'm known as the veggie pusher by many. I, too, hope to have my own garden and maybe you and I can both own the aeroponic gardens - they're great for a balcony (or patio) with some sun or add the grow lights if shady (or no sun at all). You can find them on my products page: http://www.iconveyawareness.com/p/products-and-tools-i-recommend-are.html.

      Be well! =)