Grow, Teach, Donate - Our Garden

Jul 1, 2014
Our Garden - produce that gets donated to local crisis center. © University of California


Since the University of California Master Gardener Program first launched in Riverside and Sacramento counties in 1980, volunteers have donated more than 4 million hours educating the public about home horticulture, pest management and sustainable landscaping practices. With more than 1,200 demonstration, school and community gardens across California, Master Gardeners are making a huge impact in the communities they serve.

Through education, Master Gardener volunteers have inspired hundreds of gardeners to begin successfully growing vegetables in their own backyards. One award-winning project by Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County is Our Garden, an ongoing collaborative edible demonstration garden managed by dedicated Master Gardener volunteers.

UC Master Gardeners partnered with the Contra Costa Times and founded Our Garden in 2009. All food produced by Our Garden is donated to the Monument Crisis Center - which offers nutritious food, quality resources and referrals to low-income individuals and families in the community. 

“The mission of the Monument Crisis Center is to serve low income families and individuals in Contra Costa County through dynamic service programs focused on providing nutritious food, education, general assistance and referrals. We believe that healthy families help create overall community wellness. The 6.5 tons of produce that the UC Master Gardeners donated have gone on to help provide 15,000 low income households in Contra Costa County fresh, straight from the earth nutrition.” -Sandra Scherer, Executive Director Monument Crisis Center

Short demonstrations and classes are taught every Wednesday, from April through October, and offer the public a free and open venue for up close and personal learning about the process of growing one's own food. The garden provides a vision for a bountiful growing space and classes provide in depth, practical instruction. 

Our Garden has become an important meeting place for like-minded community members to make new friends, share resources and learn together. Since its inception, more than 12,000 pounds of fresh organic fruits and vegetables have been donated to the Monument Crisis Center.

Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County even have home gardeners coming back with a new found confidence, success stories and sometimes produce to share!  

About us

The University of California Master Gardener Program provides the public with UC research-based information about home horticulture, sustainable landscape and pest management practices. It is administered by local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) county offices that are the principal outreach and public service arms of the university's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information, visit camastergardeners.ucanr.edu


By Melissa G. Womack
Author - Communications Specialist III