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Habitat for Heroes’ Home Gardening Adventure

Posted by in Habitat Family Support, Jurupa Valley | Comments Off on Habitat for Heroes’ Home Gardening Adventure
Habitat for Heroes’ Home Gardening Adventure

On the afternoon of September 30th, Habitat for Humanity Riverside, in partnership with Community Action Partnership Riverside’s Healthy Vets program, held a home gardening class for Veteran applicants and their families at the Jurupa Area Recreation and Parks District’s Community Center (JARPD). A special thanks also goes out to our instructor, master gardener Karen Bradford. She is also involved locally with Healthy Jurupa Valley’s Gardens and Markets action team. 

“Who here has a green thumb?” Laughter broke out as Karen Bradford began asking some questions to get a feel for the skill level of her students.

“I’m not so bad, but I think my wife has a brown thumb,” I heard from the back of the room. “She can kill plastic plants!”

Most of us laughed guiltily, for many of us had also lost a plant or two in our lifetimes. With the ice successfully broken, Karen launched into a lesson plan tailored to the attendees, both as a class and as individuals. The class size was small enough to accommodate everyone’s needs.


During the session, we discussed topics such as successful composting, the life time of plants like herbs and vegetables, how to read the back panels of seed packets, and how to maintain the herb gardens we were about to make.  After the first part of the lesson (and some bug wrangling), it was time to get our hands dirty. The soil scoop made its grand debut, and we layered soil into each planter, spraying it down lightly with water before adding other layers. Everyone was involved; we all got our hands delightfully dirty!


Once the planters were filled, participants were able to select the seed types they wanted to plant. The planters would successfully fit a few plants when grown, and each person had a choice between 5 packets of seeds. After the seeds were planted, everyone had a chance to make soil markers (so we could all remember what we planted). We learned a little more about maintenance and care, and then all of us packed up our planters and headed home for the night.



We look forward to more photos in the future so we can see how great those herb gardens are doing!

[Hazen, AmeriCorps VISTA]

For more information about our Habitat for Heroes build and the community partners mentioned above, you can find their web sites below:

Community Action Partnership, Riverside

HFH Riverside’s Veteran Build

JARPD – Community Center

Healthy Jurupa Valley