Nothing brings people together quite like a garden, and nothing brings small-scale urban farmers together quite like the Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative. Founded in 1995, the collaborative now supports nineteen schoolyard gardens and eleven neighborhood gardens on public and private land throughout Berkeley by securing funding, serving as a liaison with the city, and facilitating the sharing of resources like compost. Community gardens range in age from 2 to 21 years and serve all corners of the city, from leafy North Berkeley to industrial West Berkeley. And demand for plots remains steep, with multi-year waiting lists exceeding twenty, thirty, even forty names. Coordinator Beebo Turman — who got her start in food advocacy helping Alice Waters launch the Edible Schoolyard Project — is on the lookout for more underused lots to convert to future gardens, like the Santa Fe Right-of-Way, where contaminated topsoil has so far stymied plans for a community orchard.
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