Costanoa Commons logo with the tagline, "We grow for life."
Costanoa Commons
February 2017
Save the date: April 29th
The green cover crop after the recent rains.
Spring is fast approaching and with it comes the new growing season. Our cover crop, flowers, weeds, and foliage are exuberant, fueled by the rains.There is so much to do!

Please join us on April 29 (or May 6 in case of rain) for our Spring Work Day.

From 9 a.m. until noon, we’ll build raised beds and a soil prep area, install more deer fencing, plant flowers and vegetables, paint, and continue creek restoration. Stay until 1 p.m. for music, a delicious lunch, and a chance to hang out with new and old friends.

Also, we’re looking for 2-inch thick redwood boards of any lengths for the raised garden beds. Please contact if you have any to donate.

We can really use your help!
Register for Spring Work Day
Farmer in the making
by Heidi CartanNoah and his aide examining aquaponic lettuce.

In the early years of our son’s life, I could not have imagined sending him off to community college. One bit of bad medical news after the next and soon our new marriage gave way to wheelchairs, a specialized vehicle, hospitals, special ed, and endless appointments.

One spring morning back then, I remember using precious respite hours to set up a potting area so that Noah could work with me in our garden. I didn’t feel like I could leave the house, but when our respite provider showed up, I often went straight for the backyard. My renewal came when I got into the dirt: weeding, planting, and tending flowers and veggies. The dilemma always came when Noah wanted to be included. How about a wheelchair accessible potting bench? If Noah could roll under it, mix soil and then fill pots, he could help and I could get more outside time! He loved it!

My son is now 21 and really enjoying his first horticulture class at Cabrillo College. He reminds me nearly every day to queue up the assigned videos, and I read aloud to him about hydroponic tomatoes and aquaponic lettuce. His timing is perfect!

Our team wants to include greenhouse production here at Costanoa Commons Farm. Hydroponics and aquaponics offer year-round, accessible work that Noah is excited to do.
Youth Drama For All
YDFA performers dance and sing.YDFA's 10th anniversary show, Planet Fizz! will be held Sunday, February 26, 2017 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

An inclusive cast of special needs actors, general education students, and young adults, will play a group of small-town friends, reminiscing about previous aspirations while adventuring from planet to planet.

Youth Drama For All (YDFA) is an inclusive drama group open to all special education and general education students, as well as young adults, where the focus is on each actor’s abilities, not disabilities. YDFA’s purpose is to build camaraderie and support for the special needs community through the performing arts. Some of the YDFA actors also volunteer at Costanoa Commons.

Youth Drama For All’s roots started in Sue Voiss’s living room in 2007. Sue’s daughter Tessa hesitated to join her school’s drama group in sixth grade because her friend, who had a physical disability, was worried about falling off the stage. This became the catalyst for a new approach to theater for dozens of Los Altos and Mountain View students who loved performing and expressing themselves artistically, but never did because of their disabilities.

Sue rewrote a familiar script for the two girls to perform at home. During rehearsals, several classmates and other children joined—including those of fellow parent, Stacy Rademacher. The home-run show took on a life of its own, and Stacy and other moms stepped up and helped stage a live performance with props, music and curtains erected from PVC pipe. A total of 10 actors, 8 of whom were special needs, performed for an audience of 21 in the Voiss’s living room.

The following year, Sue and Stacy teamed up and held rehearsals and the performance at a local elementary school. They both quickly fit in the roles of Director and Producer and became fast friends. Their passion and commitment has kept the program running for nine years—and it’s still going strong.

For more information about Youth Drama For All, see (
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