Community Spotlight: Valmonte Seed to Plate Garden

We love the community spirit at the Seed to Plate Garden next to the baseball fields at Valmonte Elementary in Palos Verdes Estates.  Nancy Lemargie, Seed to Plate Garden Director,  took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to tell us more about the garden, and how you can be a part of this great asset to our community.

When did the garden first get started?  The garden at Valmonte was started in 2013, but the Seed to Plate program was started in 2002 by Chez Melange and PVPUSD.  

How large is the garden?  The garden is one acre {located at 3801 Via la Selva, Palos Verdes Estates)

Who helps you take care of the garden?  The program and garden was originally created to give the adult special needs students of PVPUSD a place to receive job training skills.  The students from the TTI (transition to independence) have been involved in creating the garden at Valmonte from the ground up. These students are from 18-22 years old.  We now have a special needs adult program called ICAN involved in helping us out twice a week. These are people that are ages 22 and up.

What is the most special thing about the garden?  As I’m sure the neighbors know, the property lay fallow for 40 years.  The garden has a special feel that was there when we arrived. A sense of magic? I really can’t explain it but if any of the neighbors have stories about the property, let me know! The fact that groups of special needs adults along with a cast of volunteers have carved out a beautifully manicured garden on the side of a hillside is unusual and special!  Everyone works very hard each day they are there to make it happen.

The soil and climate is perfect for growing many things year round and the neighbors have been so amazingly supportive.  I have a personal goal that the garden stays in the community for generations. Though PVPUSD owns the property, continued interest and advocacy can keep the garden there. So many new families with young children will have the opportunity to have a farm where they can purchase fresh seasonal vegetables (and maybe grow on their own someday), enjoy the chickens and buy eggs when available.  There is an amphitheater where talks can be given or plays; there are tables for people to have picnics. There is a full service nursery with a funky gift shop where local artisans can display their wares.

Are you looking for new volunteers to help? Yes!  We need people who can come on Monday and Wednesday to help pull weeds, plant seeds, harvest and perform gardening chores.  And we are always looking for garden art, ceramic pots, and tax deductible donations. Right now we’re looking for a small gas powered leaf/compost shredder.

When is the garden open? The garden is open Monday and Wednesday from 1-3pm and the second Saturday of the month from 10-2pm.

Valmonte Seed to Plate
Valmonte Gardens Gift Shop
Valmonte Greenhouse
Valmonte Organic Garden

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