Sharing from the garden | News | Almanac Online |


Sharing from the garden


Click on pictures to enlarge.

By Dave Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

The second Garden Share event under the redwoods at Portola Valley Town Center drew a gathering of 20 or 25 people and a picnic table of fresh goods between 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. There was plenty of encouragement to take home what you did not bring.

On the picnic table were recently picked herbs and greens, grapefruit and lemons, flowers and nut butters with sampling sticks, eggs -- they went fast, said resident Danna Breen, who had brought them -- and one jar of strawberry-rhubarb jam, brought and made by a reporter and scooped into a tote bag by a passing dad.

"It was simply precious. I can't wait to grow more so I have more to provide and share," said Ms. Breen in an email. "I came home with lots of herbs, fresh baby lettuces and lots of grapefruit. Everyone there today was so delightful and happy. Sharing makes you happy. The simple act of mutual reciprocity is beautiful. I was uplifted."

Garden Share happens on the fourth Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in the redwood grove near the schoolhouse. Future events could include offerings of vegetables, seeds, pickles, chicken manure and earthworms.

Such events cultivate community, share best practices, encourage appreciation of homegrown food, reduce waste and lower food-gathering carbon footprints, Brandi de Garmeaux told an appreciative Town Council when she presented the idea in March. Ms. de Garmeaux is the town's coordinator of initiatives on sustainable living.

The April Garden Share was "absolutely charming" and "quite wonderful," Councilwoman Maryann Moise Derwin said in an email. "I predict that the farmers' market will be similarly uplifting for the community."

The council approved a six-week trial for a farmers' market sometime this summer in the parking lot of the Historic Schoolhouse. The proposal met with fierce opposition by residents of Family Farm/Hidden Valley, a Woodside neighborhood within hearing distance of the Town Center. Concerns included interference with equestrian activities, the abundance of existing farmers' markets, and "noise," including the possibility of musicians.

Musical accompaniment

Herb Moore, a musician from Redwood City, entertained at the Garden Share with his guitar, several flutes, and a handheld African thumb piano. What the sharing public heard, if they were paying close attention, could not have been detected by anyone outside the shade line of the trees.

Appropriately for a gardening event, Mr. Moore played a few verses his composition "Compost," from his album "Song of These." A sample of the lyrics:

"Of your garden, you will boast,

"If you will make the most

"Of Mother Nature's cycled sweet compost


"Your radish will be faddish,

"Your salad will be valid,

"If you will put some toil into your soil."

Go to for more on Mr. Moore and his music.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Jan Schachter
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Jan Schachter is a registered user.

I was there, and it was indeed great fun. Do come to the next one - to share your bounty or gardening stories.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Los Altos's State of Mind opening NYC-inspired pizza shop in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 17 comments | 7,951 views

Flying: How much is enough? It's personal.
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 2,617 views

Wait, wait – we’re working on it
By Diana Diamond | 18 comments | 2,205 views

My Pet Peeves
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 7 comments | 1,715 views

Goodbye toy stores
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 955 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details