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Our Story

A whole acre of rich Oxnard soil.
A bunch of caring people.
And a dream…

Community Roots Garden is a ministry of the North Oxnard United Methodist Church.  Our Garden started in response to hunger issues in Oxnard and a desire to share food and land with those in need.

A pastor had no food to give to the hungry.  On the side of the church lay a vacant lot.  And people began to dream dreams…  This is the story of our Garden.

The Story of Community Roots Garden

The North Oxnard United Methodist Church has been involved in addressing hunger in the Oxnard community since the 1980s.  In 2006, the church had to shut down a grocery distribution program that it ran. Following the closure, Mixtec farm workers, who used to get groceries from the church, periodically came to the door asking for food. Reverend Sandy wrung her hands; there was nothing to give.

On the side of the church was about an acre of land that had been vacant for years. The land was originally intended for a large sanctuary for the church.  Over the years, several church members remember thinking to themselves, What if, instead of grass and weeds, there was a garden here?

One Sunday morning in January of 2008, a church member named Cindy awoke from an incredible dream. “It left one clear message on my brain,” she said: “This church is going to successfully feed many, many people… and a garden is going to be the means.”  Cindy’s dream grew within the congregation, and donations started coming in for future water bills.

Around the same time, a group of renegade volunteer gardeners from all over Ventura County were meeting to convert yards to gardens.  They called themselves the “Grow Food Party Crew.”  The Grow Food Party Crew heard of the ideas that were sprouting at the North Oxnard United Methodist Church and joined these caring people to start planning for a garden that would feed many people.


By the spring of 2009, that small bunch of caring people had grown to a big crowd from all different backgrounds: church members, farmers, local peace activists, community organizers, permaculturalists, Oxnard City Corps youth, friends and neighbors. Together, they broke ground on May 2nd and Community Roots Garden was born!

people who started community roots garden

The Story Continues…

From our first zucchini harvest, the garden has grown to produce hundreds of pounds of lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cilantro, peppers, cucumbers, and other vegetables and fruits for distribution to local charities that serve those in need.  Volunteers come out to enjoy the beautiful space, learn gardening skills, share potluck meals, and give back to their community in a meaningful way.

In 2010, Community Roots Garden partnered with Community Action of Ventura County to promote gardening among low-income Oxnard residents. We hired our first staff, Garden educators Eric and Katerina. They conduct bilingual gardening classes, train at-risk youth in urban gardening, and help to support other community and school gardens starting up in the Oxnard area.

Many other friends have joined us along the way and our group of caring people continues to grow!  Friends from Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) tend a large area of the garden, and a group of Mixtec families now come to the church to grow their own food and traditional plants. Volunteers from Ventura County Public Health and Nutrition, Kiwanis Club, Oxnard City Corps, the Association of Retarded Citizens, and FOOD Share have also lent a hand in helping our garden grow.

We need your help, too, as a dream becomes reality!  Will you lend your hand?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on volunteering and getting involved, click here.