St. James Church Community Garden


Petaluma | Community Food Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden volunteer John introduces the garden.

A volunteer team converted a vacant lot into a food, prayer, and flower garden. We started with sheet mulch and wood chips and built many large raised beds made of wood, cement blocks, and metal tubs. We scavenged and re-purposed a variety of materials for the infrastructure. Food has been delivered to our local COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) kitchen almost every Wednesday for 8 years. The food production is free of all pesticides. Flowers are used in church decorations. The garden also has a restful quality and shrine for meditation and prayer. Many people come by to walk, sit, and contemplate. Besides the 15 large raised beds, there are over 30 fruit trees and vines, two field plots, a children’s garden, and herb perimeters. We have a 3 bin system for mulching crop waste and use the finished product in our gardens. We invite students and scouts to do projects in the garden. This past year we installed a 14 valve, battery operated irrigation system to conserve both labor and water. We installed a large array of solar panels in the concurrent vacant lot and are in the process of landscaping this quarter acre area into a community use facility. We had a major problem with Bermudagrass and bindweed building up on the mulched paths and had to use several methods to control them, which we can discuss on site so you can avoid issues on your site with these invasive and pernicious weeds.