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Earth month syc


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Earth month workshops

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Earth month syc

  1. 1. Earth Month Celebration- Global Teach-ins Smart Yards Co-op
  2. 2. About us: Smart Yards is an ecological landscaping co-operative based in San Jose, California. We design, install and manage gardens with a focus on non-toxic, reusable and local materials, native and drought-tolerant plants, and rainwater and greywater systems. Our goal is to create sustainable urban spaces that are regenerative and cost-effective for residents in Santa Clara County and beyond. We regularly collaborate with nonprofits and socially responsible organizations to organize campaigns to promote environmental awareness. 
  3. 3. Ecological gardening and Permaculture design workshops. This Year, SYC celebrated the Earth Month with a series of hands-on workshops on Ecological Landscaping and Permaculture Design. Workshops are divided in three parts: Workshop I, March 29 Introduction and details of the project Education class on- Ecological Landscaping & Permaculture Design. Workshop II, April 14 & 15 Angie Thomas’s Yard Conversion- Hands on Workshop II, April 20, 21 & 22 Juan and Pam Gudiño’s Yard Conversion
  4. 4. Project’s Mission Workshops are designed to provide hands-on ecological gardening education based on cooperative principals. During the series of workshops we learned and worked together on the following: • How to design and practice permaculture principles step by step • How to plant and care for California native gardens / plants • CA native plants and water relationship, why they use little to no water ones established • The various benefits of having native plants with edible gardens • How to install a drip irrigation system • How to capture rainwater and install a rain • How to design and install a gray water system • How to install a weed barrier and prevent weed from taking over your garden • How to plant plants to insure success • How to install a pathway using recycled materials • How to build and install a raised bed • How to plant and care for fruit and vegetable plants
  5. 5. Our Plan Our focus is to engage a group of low income and under represented area of East San Jose and to invite them to work together in a step-by-step garden design, installation and maintenance process s well as building a resilient community . All families work together on the installation of each other’s garden until all gardens are completed.  During the program we replaced 2050 sq. ft of water thirsty lawn into beautiful, sustainable and habit supportive gardens. In order to do this, we engaged over 40 people, including families, their neighbors, volunteers, community leaders, organizations, water resources management agency and elected officials.
  6. 6. Acknowledgment We thank our sponsors: Synod of the Pacific for believing in us and the funding opportunity for this project. Also thanks to our co- sponsors: The office of Assembly Member-Ash Kalra, D-27, Human Agenda, Sacred Heart Community Service, Stone Church and Santa Clara Valley Water District. We also thank our interns, volunteers and Smart Yards Team: Angie, Doug, David, Jacqueline Rivera, Juan Gudino, Damian and his brother Eric (both young kids), Lisa Landry, Lidia, Margarita, Salvador, John, Jesse, Pam, Rita, Delma, Shay, Clarissa, Joel, Rebecca, Jorge, Ada, Kenneth, Gloria, Ashley, Jose, Francisco, Horacio, Jacquline, Mamta, Mario, and Rob.
  7. 7. We hosted our first educational workshop at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose on March, 29. We started the event with a presentation by Elizabeth Sarmiento, Smart Yards Co- op founder and member Mario Tapio. Following are the topics covered: California Biogiographical Landscape Design, Flora and Fauna What is Permaculture Design principles and Eco-gardening State of water resources (availability and conservation) in CA Plant, water and soil relationship Gray water, rain water capturing and ground water recharge Energy and water nexus Benefits of a Co-operative Using recycling materials and conservation Habitat gardens Working together and building community IPM (Integrated Pest Management) 
 Workshop 1, March 29
  8. 8. Everything good starts with a filled stomach The class started with a organic meal fresh from Elizabeth garden followed by presentation from Elizabeth Sarmiento, our founder and Mario Tapio, our long time member.
  9. 9. Served was a sustainable and healthy meal that included mixed organic salad, Quinoa with broccoli, organic blue corn chips, walnuts and a fresh lemonade to welcome spring.
  10. 10. Elizabeth brought a collection of native plants to as example of the type of California beauty that would be planted in each garden and to showcase their beauty and benefits.
  11. 11. I was born in Chile and during my childhood spent a lot of time in nature. Now I enjoy teaching permaculture design principles and working with the community. Mario introduced everyone with the principles of permaculture philosophy and the benefits on environment and people. He talked about the benefits California’s native plants on our garden and environment.
  12. 12. Elizabeth discussed how can we apply permaculture principles and convert a yard into an ecological garden. She explained the steps involved in converting a yard with a lawn into a CA native garden. She also covered topics such as: protecting and preparing the soil, choosing native plants, creating home composts, using rain and gray water systems, using recycled materials, water conservation, habitat building, people and healthy foods, community building and working together.
  13. 13. We had an interactive session for question & answers. Everyone in the group shared their stories and their own connection with nature as well as their interests in gardening. They all became members of the gardening conversion project and agreed to volunteer in the effort of the upcoming hands-on workshops.
  14. 14. I have a yard and it has a few plants. My grand kids love playing in it. I would love to grow fruits, vegetables, and get rid of the grass to save water. I love the idea of ecological garden. I have been thinking about landscaping for a while. This is a perfect time for me! ~ Angie Nothing goes to waste in my home. I use organic waste in my garden and it helps my plants a lot! Spending time with nature has helped me a lot in coping with depression. I am happy to get help remove the lawn and plant native plants ~ Lisa I’d like to learn how grow vegetables in my garden. I am interested in learning ways to save water to protect environment ~ Juan I want to know learn how to to do the type of work you do and perhaps I can get a job doing Ecological gardening. ~ Lidia
  15. 15. Families applications for the formal hands-on workshop participation Smart Yards Team collects and reviews application for the workshops. We invited all the members of the group to participate and the next steps. Requirement included that each member have a front yard with a lawn and are willing to work with the group on the transformation.
  16. 16. We selected two gardens from the group to convert Our next step was to do a site visit / assessment for each family interested in a garden To draw up the Landscape design plan and outline the work required Draft a list of materials and tools needed Number of people needed from the start to the end of the project Food and beverages requirements for the workshops   Manage volunteers What Next
  17. 17. Earth Month Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 13, 14 & 15) Workshop 2
  18. 18. Angie Thomas 470, Meadow Dale Ct. San Jose, 95136 Yard Area: 950 sq. ft. BEFORE
  19. 19. Let’s work together… On Saturday, April 13, 14 & 15 Elizabeth met with homeowner to plan weekend work, finalized design and gather materials. Elizabeth started by thanking Angie for hosting and the volunteers for their participation. She explained process of converting the yard and factors such as safety tips to consider before starting the work.
  20. 20. After a few hours working on the removal of the lawn, weeds and a host of unwanted material and waste, we pruned existing trees and started preparing the site for the new garden. Step 1 We removed the lawn
  21. 21. Setting up a raised garden bed. We set up a raised vegetable garden with reused wood and other materials in the center of the yard, which home owner wanted as part of her project. Raised garden beds are not just a good way to grow vegetables but have many benefits. They keep pathway weeds from garden soil, prevent soil compaction, provide good drainage and serve as a barrier to pests.
  22. 22. Elizabeth inspecting irrigation system and making sure that everything is in place and in working condition.
  23. 23. Lay Out Cardboard (aka sheet mulching) Cardboard is used in eco-gardening instead of plastic (used in conventional landscaping) to prevent weeds. This also helps in retaining moisture in the soil. Another benefit of cardboard is that it adds organic matter to help build the soil over time. Step 2
  24. 24. Mario and Juan fixing a broken pipe from previous irrigation system foundation before converting it into a drip irrigation system to reduce water use. This broken pipe was one of the sources of big water bills that the home owner was concern about. She was happy that we found the problem and fixed it.
  25. 25. Step 3 Planting the first plant. Group is engaged in type of plants we’ll be planting, their benefits and needs.
  26. 26. What to plant? What to replace the lawn with is the most asked question among people interested in converting their lawns into a sustainable garden. Smart Yards uses local native plants in the mix to make sure garden look green, healthy and beautiful throughout the year. We also use edibles such as fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables.
  27. 27. Lunch break!!
  28. 28. Step 4 After applying cardboard, planting the plants and making sure every plant had a drip irrigation system to get establish, we completed the project by applying a 3” layer of wood chips. This also is a system that not only improves the appearance of the landscape but provides many other benefits such adding nutrients to the soil, reduces erosion of topsoil and retains moisture. Adding Mulch
  29. 29. We did it!
  30. 30. The New Eco-Garden New garden features are: a stone pathway, various decorative boulders, a raised bed for some spring veggies, a system of native plants verge or mounds, and a few fruit trees.
  31. 31. Our first Earth Month workshop was a success! Thanks to: Angie Thomas, Doug, David, Jacqueline Rivera, Juan Gudino Damian, Lisa Landry, Lidia, Margarita, Mario Tapia, Rob Yanagida and Salvador for your love and support. 
  32. 32. Earth Month Thursday, Friday, & Saturday April 20, 21 & 22 (Earth Day) Workshop 3
  33. 33. Our next workshop was held at the Gudiño's resident. An 1,100 sq. ft of grass, weeds, trash, and dead plants was transform into another beautiful permaculture garden within three days and Elizabeth’s time working with home owners and preparing for it during the week.
  34. 34. Pruning all the plants that are going to be part of new landscape.
  35. 35. Clearing the ground by removing excess weeds and lumps of grass from the soil.
  36. 36. Elizabeth and Mario took out the sprinklers and installed a brand new drip irrigation system. They also prepared a greywater system to install a special irrigation system and valves to divert Laundry Water to the new landscape.
  37. 37. We have cleaned the yard and installed the drip irrigation. Our next step is to remove excess lumps of grass and weeds from the soil before laying cardboard. Let’s get started!!
  38. 38. The 3rd day, Saturday Earth Day, 10 more volunteers joined us today and made this event more fun and special with music, positive energy, laughter and the spirit of celebration while working hared. Two of the families kids (Damian and Eric) also join the team.
  39. 39. Volunteers clearing the ground by removing excess grass lumps before moving forward with next steps.
  40. 40. Elizabeth built a beautiful paver pathway joining the driveway and front doorway
  41. 41. After planting the plants and installing the drip irrigation system, the team laid the cardboard and finish by spreading an even layer of 3 inches of wood chips delivered on site.
  42. 42. We also cleared the hillstrip and pruned all the plants going to be part of new landscape
  43. 43. Assembly member D.27 (District 27, where the projects are held) Ash Kalra joined us and planted the first plant along with the help of the two younger members of the team. 11 year-old, Damian shared with the group that planting the plants was the most exciting and his favorite part of the project.
  44. 44. California’s Native Plants
  45. 45. Happiness is planting together..
  46. 46. Like the previous workshop we discussed about choosing native plants and how to care for them.
  47. 47. Our Earth Month workshop is a success! Thanks to: Angie, Margarita, John, Jesse, Juan, Pam, Lisa, Rita, Delma, Shay, Clarissa, Rob, Joel, Rebecca, Jorge, Jose, Francisco, Mario, Horacio, Jacquline, Mamta, Maria, Damian, Eric, Chris and Doug. Note: Not all involved during the course of 3-day workshop are on this group picture)
  48. 48. Our Success Again the credit goes to volunteers who have this project successful. All the participants came from different gardening skill levels, but most with no skills or experience in the area of ecological gardening. However, energy, a positive attitude and desire to learn. For everyone it was a new and exciting experience. A sense of camaraderie, community building, connection with the land and team work made the hard physical work enjoyable. Kudos to you all!
  49. 49. Feedback Wow. My new garden looks so beautiful. Can’t wait to see all the plants grown. Thanks Smart Yards for this wonderful work. I really appreciate all the things I have learned in this workshop….. Angie I have no experience in gardening. Working with soil and tools is so fun. I love it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience…. Mamta I am so happy to be a part of this.I have learned so much here. Not just that. I have made new friends in these workshops. I am really looking forward to more of these. Next is my garden!… Lisa
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