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Friday Slide Show: Pacifica Gardens Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

3 May 2024

It always seems to be sunny when we go to Pacifica just south of San Francisco. So when we drove down there this week to have lunch with Ann Mason, we weren't surprised by the glorious weather.

Ann is a sister-in-law of sorts and we had a lot of catching up to do. But after we had caught up, we visited her pet project, Pacifica Gardens.

For 15 years she's volunteered at the community garden, which grows local produce from its 42 vegetable/crop beds, 3 herb beds, 13 native plant/flower beds and 39 fruit trees. Volunteers grow and harvest 2,000 to 3,500 lbs. of food each year, creating 20 to 30 cubic yards of compost to sustain that growth.

We got the tour of the gazebo, two donated greenhouses, tool shed and the dozen composters from reclaimed lumber.

But even among her pet project, Ann has a pet project.

As we walked along, she would pick a strawberry or a blossom or two and invite us to taste. Each one was an adventure that made us wonder why we hadn't come here for lunch.

But even among her pet project, Ann has a pet project.

She designed and implemented the Linda Mar Education Center Children's Garden, which is just a short walk away from Pacifica Gardens. She spends time there every week with the preschool kids, teaching then about gardening, teamwork and the joys of eating fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the garden.

When they tug a leafy green growth from the ground and find a carrot at the end, she said, they are amazed.

For her work at the Children's Garden, Ann was awarded the Pacifica School District Elna Flynn Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2020. But she doesn't do it for the awards.

She does it, she told us, because it sustains her. Seeing things grow and transform from debris into compost to help new growth has helped her get through some tough times, including the loss of her spouse.

And if you just sighed, wishing you were so lucky, you'll be happy to know the Garden sells its hothouse plants to the public now and then.

In fact, Pacifica Garden is having its Spring Veggie Start Sales next Saturday from 10 .m. to 2 p.m. (weather providing) at its location on 830 Rosita Road in Pacifica.

If we weren't in an epic battle against the local gopher population, we'd be there to stock up ourselves.

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