The VWC sponsored the Scotts Valley Garden Faire financially for the first time in the Faire’s 9-year history, at the recommendation of the Environmental Committee, after the Faire’s organizers reached out for support. The theme of this year’s Faire was, “Growing During Times of Drought.” That, and its on-going efforts to encourage organic, native methods of gardening, made it an event worth supporting.
The Environmental Committee provided an information booth, enjoying the wonderful opportunity to outreach, educate and share. Our booth focused on interactive “Make ’n’ Take” activities and information in alignment with water conservation, Coho salmon education, non-point source pollution and how this impacts our waterways, septic and grey water safe best practices, simple nontoxic cleaning recipes including how to wash without water, and other tips for living sustainably in our watershed.
Our booth was busy throughout the day; we were able to distribute information including the two latest brochures published by the VWC Environmental Committee, SOS Essential Septic Guide, with content provided by Tai Stills and final phrasing and design by Nina Moore, and Living in a Watershed, with content and design by Stephanie Sakasai.
Another really fun addition to Green Solutions activities at the information booth this year (first at the Sanctuary Festival on the Wharf, then the Redwood Mountain Faire and at the Garden Faire), was to make-n-take your own block print image on recycled paper of our very own adult Coho salmon. The inks were made from scratch using non-toxic petroleum free ingredients. The linoleum block print was designed and carved by Stephanie Sakasai as a tool to inspire people to learn more about this important locally endangered species. Many prints were made through out the day. Other make-n-take activities that kept us busy were focused on washing water free, and making personal hand sanitizers, all-purpose liquid and powder cleaners.
Our booth was located next to the main speakers tent where speakers discussed a range of topics including the following: “Planting Natives in Time of Drought,” Alrie Middlebrook, California Native Garden Foundation; “Non-Toxic Gopher and Mole Control,” Thomas Whitman, Gophers Limited, “Water Wise Ways to Conserve” LeAnne Ravinale, Water Conservation Coalition of Santa Cruz County; “Washing Without Water” Stephanie Sakasai, Valley Women’s Club, “Communicating with Animals: Learning New Wisdom,” Laurie Moore, Ani-Miracles. Our 29th District Assembly Member Mark Stone discussed current bills in process and answered many questions from the audience related to local water and erosion issues.
Adding to the day’s enjoyment were various topics in the nutrition tent and an awesome line up of music throughout the day. As if that were not enough you could experience a host of relaxation activities in the Recreation Building: chair massage, Reiki, Hyperbaric Therapy, heart rate variability biofeedback, and even a Tea House.
Overall, this Faire was an inspiring and nourishing experience that every gardener deserves; learning how to treat yourself, and the garden you care for, in harmony with the natural world around us. Taking every aspect of gardening full circle, information and tools for self reliance and sustainability were incorporated into the theme of this faire everywhere you went. This free community event is truly a gift for all to enjoy, a place where garden and nature lovers can converge and collaborate. Kudos to Sheryl McEwan and the rest of the organizers for providing such a valuable event.