Ashby Community Garden

Urban farming in your community

Garden Journal

Our chief gardeners have a lot to say about what's happening in the garden. To read what Ellen and others are saying about our wonderful, hidden nugget, click here.

As a member of the Ashby Community Garden, we want to hear what you have to say about our garden.

You may enter your gardening entries to this journal of what's happening in the garden.

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CAN YOU DIG THIS - film screening

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on May 21, 2016 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Thursday, March 24th, 7:30pm


California Theater, 2113 Kittredge, Downtown Berkeley


We had a successful screening of this film, selling over 100 tickets. Everyone enjoyed seeing the film and meeting in the lobby afterwards.


Synopsis: South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. CAN YOU DIG THIS follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil. This is not a story of science and economics. This is a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and “plant some shit.”

#plantsomeshit #Canyoudigthisfilm

Welcome Our New Gardeners!

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on April 28, 2015 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This year we have three new plots established, all by families in the community.

Simi and her two kids Urban and Rose have planted Cecilia's former plot, with the bear totem at the corner. Look for the toy trucks among the forest of lettuces and herbs in that plot.

Minda and her son Leo have been visiting the garden for awhile and now have their own small plot on the west side by the sunflowers.

Simi's friends Wilber and Pamela, with their kids, Nissi, Najuna, Babirye and Kato, just cleared a spot by the raspberries where they will be starting their new garden.

Besides members with plots, we have other constant friends of the garden who stop by and lend their hands and material support to the garden. Included are Carolyn Goldwasser, Jenny Shore, and Sam Strong. Carolyn has been a very strong advocate with her help in garden chores, printing and organizing projects, plant donations and much more. Sam has brought plants, seeds, and new books for our library. Jenny has donated many plants, our greenhouse shelves, a solar panel and helped with garden advice and encouragement.

Thank you all for making the garden such a wonderful place to come to!

Berkeley Project Day

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on November 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

UC Berkeley students from the Environmental Design Dept. came to the garden on 11/08/14 to help with projects and ongoing maintenance. Come see their work. Five garden members lead rotating teams of students in completing new projects: 

Nora- preparing community beds and planting cover crops.

Mark- Building a nifty new hugelkultur on the community side.

Ally- Tuning up and redesigning the paths in the pollinator garden.

Rachel- starting new seed flats for winter /early spring crops.

Bonnie- painting new front gate signs, stakes for pollinator garden, water use signs.

Natural Dyeing Party - Saturday, October 18, 2014

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on October 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Rachel has been experimenting with growing dye plants and preparing dye baths and took the opportunity to share her explorations and knowledge this fall in a free community workshop.


Participants made dye baths from many garden and collected plant material including, dyer's camomile, rose petals, onion skins, hibiscus, marigold, and tumeric.


Check for pictures of the dyed fabrics soon in our gallery..

Cal Rotaract Volunteer Day Transforms Garden - 9/13/14

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on October 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

We had a very productive and fun work day at the garden with the help of 10 volunteers from the Cal Rotaract Program. The City of Berkeley, through the leadership of Shallon Allen, generously donated 20 bags of decorative mulch, new work gloves, and 3 bags of potting soil. Margaret Shyu, from Cal Rotaract, organized the work crew, with Lawrence, our site leader.

Tomodachi Program Students paint colorful stakes for the Garden

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on October 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

100 high school students were selected to visit and study at UC Berkeley from July 21st to August 10th, 2014. They came from the Great East Japan Earthquake affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The students experienced an intensive three-week course on global leadership development and community service. During their stay, they visited Berkeley and painted these colorful labels to identify Ashby Garden plants, and to make Berkeley Pollinator Friendly. See pictures in the Photo Gallery.

Native Bee Workshop - Taught by Jaime Pawelek - 8/23/14

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on October 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

About 35 people attended a very successful workshop where we learned about native California bees, explored the bees in our garden (more than 12 species identified on the spot), built bee houses for mason bees, and planted a pollinator garden. You can learn more about Jaime's work on her website, Wild Bee Garden Design and more about native bees at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab website. See more pictures of this event in our photo gallery.

Delivering Produce to Sojourner Truth Manor

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on August 7, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Ashby Gardeners have been picking produce from our garden and the Gil Tract Community Garden and delivering it fresh to residents at Sojourner Truth Manor in North Oakland. Sojourner Truth Manor is a low-income senior housing project located at 6015 MLK, Oakland CA.

Below Nora is helping Social Service Coordinator, Alice Axel prepare produce for distributiuon.

Comfrey Workshop

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on August 1, 2014 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Comfrey is an important herb in organic gardening, used as a fertilizer and herbal medicine. One name for comfrey is ‘knitbone’, a reminder of its traditional use in healing bone fractures. Modern science confirms that comfrey can influence the course of some types of muscle and joint pain. Comfrey extract is used as a skin treatment. The plant contains allantoin, which is thought to stimulate cell growth while depressing inflammation.

This June we hosted a Comfrey Tincture Workshop taught by homeopathic practitioner, Lourdes Gonzaga, as part of the Transition Albany Medicine-Making Series.

Permablitz at the Garden!

Posted by Bonnie Borucki on February 27, 2014 at 2:50 AM Comments comments (0)

On February 16, 2014, the Ashby Garden had our 1st Permablitz, which was attended by about 40 visitors. We all enjoyed a sunny day after a few days of rain, along with some great music provided by the bluegrass group, Mud Fence, and DJ David Petrilli.

Projects included:

A new greenhouse/toolshed built from the structure of our old chicken coop

An organized composting area with signage

Seed saving and propagating

Check out pictures of this event on our photo gallery.