Get Involved in the Peninsula Gardening Scene!

Get Involved in the Peninsula Gardening Scene!

Novice and professional gardeners alike can participate in a number of different programs happening on the San Francisco Bay Area peninsula; participation in these programs will help better one’s education and grasp on Bay Area plants and gardening techniques, as well as provide a network of like-minded people.  New friendships bloom at the monthly meetings and bi-annual celebrations of the Pacifica Garden Club, and your group of horticultural allies will just keep growing if you join the UC Master Gardener Program of San Mateo & San Francisco Counties.  Both of these programs can transform a novice into a budding garden consultant, eager to share their newly learned garden advice, whereas a professional can take their business to the next level with an influx of new connections and credentials.

The Pacifica Garden Club is an excellent resource for learning, meeting others that are interested in gardening, and helping build a richer community as the members of the Garden Club help raise money for non-profits in the area, and extend their knowledge to other Pacifica citizens.  They have a guest speaker at each of their meetings that teach the members various gardening techniques such as pruning, irrigation installation and repair, growing vegetables, and keeping bees.  They also encourage their members to share their own specialized expertise in round-table discussions.

There are a number of ways to participate in the Pacifica Garden Club; as a member, a guest speaker, or as a Pacifican garden owner for the annual garden tour.  There is open enrollment and a small annual dues fee for interested parties to become a member– members meet once a month throughout the year for education and club business.  The Pacifica Garden Club invites guests to come and sit in on a meeting before deciding if they want to join.  Besides monthly meetings, their members also attend a potluck party in July, a holiday party in December, and the all-day Pacifica garden tour in June.  The proceeds for the admission to the garden tour are put back into the community as the Pacifica Garden Club raises funds for local charities, such as the Pacifica Resource Center and the Pacifica Libraries.  There are a number of other activities throughout the year in which members may find themselves learning, sharing their knowledge or giving back to the community, such as at the beach on Earth Day, at their booth at the Fog Fest, and at the Sanchez Art Center where they maintain a flourishing, fog-loving, flower garden.  Please view their website or contact them with any questions at this email:  pacificagardenclub@gmail.com.

If you have more time on your hands and want to get more involved in gardening and helping out your community, then it’s time to become a Master Gardener!  This program is sponsored and run by the University of California agricultural and natural resources department, so the members are trained by UC scientists and other experts.  After completing an intensive education series, members go out into their community to volunteer their knowledge to the home gardener, promoting sustainable gardening practices and a healthy, balanced environment.

You don’t have to know a lot or have a lot of experience in gardening to join the UC Master Gardeners of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties program– all you need is the desire, drive, and time to make a long-term commitment to become a certified Master Gardener, and then to maintain your status.  There is a $325 fee to join the program that pays for the 16-week garden training program, which entails over 75 classroom and field hours.  After the education time is complete, the next step is to take your new knowledge into the community as you will be expected to volunteer fifty hours in the first year before you are able to graduate and obtain your certification.  Volunteering can be in the form of manning the UC Master Gardener Helpline (answering gardening questions from the public and doling out garden advice), teaching workshops, and helping homeowners with their gardens.  You will become your own garden coach after this strenuous year, and will have the certificate to prove it!  If you are interested in learning more about the program, please visit the UC Master Gardeners of San Mateo & San Francisco Counties website or email your questions here:  smsfmgapplicant@gmail.com.

Out of the various clubs, classes, and programs available on the Peninsula, these are just two examples of how you can get more involved and educated in gardening, more involved in your local community, and make new friends and acquaintances along the way!

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