Costanoa Commons logo with the tagline, "We grow for life."
Costanoa Commons
September 2016
Many hands sure got a lot done
Dozens of volunteers pose for a group picture.

by Janie Whiteford
Board Chair

Nearly 100 volunteers amazed us on Saturday, September 24, by turning out to support Costanoa Commons for our Fall Farm Work Day. Many hands indeed make light work! We were able to check off many items from our to-do list, including painting our new shed, future farm stand, and new wheelchair ramp.

Most of our volunteers began restoring the habitat along beautiful Pogonip Creek which parallels the back edge of our farm field. To ensure sound management of this natural resource, Costanoa Commons reached out to our neighbors across the street at Ecological Concerns. Josh Fodor, who himself used to farm this area, founded Ecological Concerns and helped train our work day crew leads. Josh commented that, “Costanoa Commons’ efforts to remove nonnative invasive plants from Pogonip Creek is an essential first step towards long term sustainable management of biodiversity adjacent to the farm fields.”

He also noted that “the integration of organic farming with biodiversity management is the essence of sustainable agriculture. Pogonip Creek is a significant wildlife corridor for amphibians, birds, and small mammals connecting the Pogonip open space with the larger corridor of the San Lorenzo River.” If you check out our Facebook page you will see examples of such wildlife!

Thanks to all who turned out and made our work day such a success, including our talented musicians. Three cheers for our meal crew, too, who put together a delicious lunch enjoyed under the shade of our willow trees.

Habitat restoration is an ongoing effort so we hope you will consider joining us in the Spring for our next Farm Work Day. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!
One of the youngest volunteers and her mother paint the shed.
Volunteers young and older work together to paint the shed.
Volunteers work together to clear brush and restore habitat along Pogonip Creek.
Volunteers use loppers and other tools to remove overgrown invasive plants.
Volunteers line up for a delicious lunch after a morning of hard work.
Two fiddles and a banjo give us something else to enjoy on a beautiful and productive day at the farm.
Bunnies and goats and sheep, oh my!
A farm isn’t complete without animals, right? But, what if you are new to farm animals? Well, if you are Noah and Tessa, you go to Animal Assisted Happiness, a wonderful non-profit organization that brings animals to you!

That’s right! AAH enriches the lives of children and their families experiencing special needs, health or family challenges by providing barnyard friends to bring moments of happiness and smiles into their day. When Noah and Tessa visited recently, they were able to hold and pet some of the barnyard animals while their moms learned a bit about sheep and goats.

Vicki Amon-Higa, AAH’s founder and president, who is always willing to share her expertise, is helping Costanoa Commons choose the best animals to bring to our farm.

You can support AAH by attending their upcoming 2016 Evening at the Barnyard fundraiser on October 23. For more information, please visit Thank you, AAH!
Noah holds and pets a rabbit while Tessa watches.
Tessa and Vicki pet a burro while Noah smiles.
All SPIN but no hype

by Heidi Cartan
Executive Director

Costanoa Commons found a friend in Cece Pinheiro of SPIN (Special Parents Information Network) last Fall. “You have to meet Cece” I heard over and over again, and now I know why! Cece, SPIN’s Executive Director, is a tireless networker who brings people together in such a way as to make it seem effortless.

In mid-September, SPIN brought some of its friends, board members, supporters, and parents together to tour our farm parcel and learn about our vision for Costanoa Commons. We had a great afternoon enjoying good company, a sunny afternoon, and our first farm-to-table meal featuring potato salad, tomatoes, and basil from our garden.

SPIN has a long history supporting special needs families, and Costanoa Commons wants to be another resource for young adults as they transition from school-based services to life as an adult. Helping transition-aged youth build skills, find meaningful employment and create those all-important relationships is something SPIN and Costanoa Commons both believe in.

Stay tuned for more collaboration, and thanks to SPIN for coming out to the farm!
Friend of SPIN, board members, supporters, and parents enjoy a delicious, farm-to-table lunch.
Friend of SPIN, board members, supporters, and parents enjoy a delicious, farm-to-table lunch.
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