HOME GARDENING PROGRAMS
Locations in San Jose, CA
Escuela Popular (East San Jose)
Escuela Popular is a public charter school in the Alum Rock neighborhood of San Jose. The school serves families 6 months old through adults by providing after school care and education. The school offers services in Spanish and English and provides a path for adults to learn English and earn their GED. Many families are new immigrants to the United States and receive support services through the school. Valley Verde currently serves 36 families at Escuela Popular with plans to expand to a Shared Garden model with both children and parents learning about organic gardening and nutrition.
El Rancho Verde Apartments (East San Jose)
El Rancho Verde apartments are located in east San Jose and are one of the largest low-income housing communities in the state of California, with 700 units. Our garden group at this site consists of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cambodian families, with vegetables tailored to their ethnic preferences. In 2018, Valley Verde began working with this community and built 20 raised garden beds. Each year since then, we have worked with approximately 20-30 gardeners, teaching them how to grow organic vegetables and herbs. This group of gardeners is extremely committed and boasts beautiful vegetable gardens year-round.
Santee (South San Jose)
In partnership with the Santa Clara County Catholic Charities, the Santee Home Garden program is a group of 35 raised beds and fruit trees nestled behind Bridges Academy Middle School in the Santee neighborhood of San Jose. This program would not have been possible without the efforts of a Home Garden graduate from 2018 who took the initiative to organize the classes to provide the gardening knowledge and resources she had received to this community. The garden workshops will be taught to 20 Spanish speaking gardeners in the area. Most of the gardeners prefer our Latinx garden grid and classes are conducted in Spanish. Currently, we serve 14 families at this site.
Seven Trees Home Gardeners (South San Jose)
Seven Trees community is a group of individual home gardeners living in San Jose’s Seven Trees neighborhood. This group previously met at the Seven Trees Community Center but is now participating in online training along with the rest of the sites due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The home garden programs (also including Gilroy) were the first foundational programs starting in 2008 for Valley Verde. Workshops are taught in English, Spanish and Vietnamese where gardeners experiment with more ethnically preferred vegetables.
Second Street Studio Apartments (Downtown SJ)
Second Street Studios is a permanent residential apartment complex for previously chronically un-housed persons and is owned by First Community Housing, located in downtown San Jose, California. Valley Verde manages the micro farm at this location consisting of 14 raised garden beds and has trained interns to care for the organic vegetable garden. Harvest is regularly distributed to the approximately 160 residents.
Locations in Gilroy, CA
Gilroy Home Gardeners
One of the first Home Garden programs was held in Gilroy, California. Gilroy Home Gardeners is a group of gardeners who previously met at the United Methodist church in Gilroy, and now attend classes online due to the shelter-in-place restrictions. This group consists of approximately 20 gardeners. Services are provided in English and in Spanish. .
Monticelli Apartments is a low-income housing complex in Gilroy. Valley Verde currently works with 13 gardeners at this site, providing services in Spanish. Valley Verde updated existing garden beds at the site by raising them to an ADA accessible height, replacing rotten boards, finishing them with a fresh coat of paint, and adding compost to the beds.