While “buy fresh-buy local” is frequently mentioned in promoting farmers markets, “grow fresh-grow local” is now being considered with the increased emphasis on local gardening.   

Advocates of gardening cite the many advantages of vegetable gardening, such as great tasting food, safer food, better health, less food waste, less environmental impact, saving energy, fighting soil erosion, saving money and fostering a sense of pride.

Since the founding of Tehama Together in 2009, the development of local gardens has been considered, but never materialized. 

Now, as a project of Tehama Together’s Community Food Alliance, funding has been allocated to support a garden development program in which mentors will be provided to assist in the development of a variety of garden types in Tehama County. 

Our two mentors include Will Fulton and George Perry.  

Will Fulton started working in his family’s garden at the age of four and has spent a lifetime in a variety of gardening experiences. Harvesting berries and beans, owning a commercial cut flower business, working in a botanical garden in Hawaii and working at the Sacramento River Discovery Center have given him a rich gardening-related background. Graduating from Oregon State University and majoring in soil resource management, he realized that if you want to grow good plants you need to grow good soil. 

George Perry started farming when he was eight years old and has farmed nearly every year since. He came to understand that most of what was being done with the soil was wrong. Thus, he developed a system of healthy organics and has designed a system to reduce water demand by more than 60 percent. His goal now is to help people grow healthier and stronger plants. 

It is hoped that several groups or individuals will volunteer to participate in this mentoring program, whether they be individual households, a neighborhood, a church or school group, a senior housing facility, a group home or a youth group. 

Please consider the following questions to see if this program is appropriate for you:

• Have you or your group ever considered establishing a vegetable garden?

• Do you have space whether it be a small container garden or a larger in-ground garden?

• Would your proposed site be secure with access to water?

• Do you or your group have the time and energy to establish and maintain a garden?

If you answered any of these questions with a “yes”, please contact Tehama Together to receive a brief application form. Completed applications need to be submitted by Aug. 31, to Tehama Together, 332 Pine Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080 or by email to tehamatogether@gmail.com.

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