Photos by CCGC

Lead Me Down the Garden Path

T he City of Carlsbad and the Carlsbad Community Gardens Collaborative (CCGC) recently announced an Open House event at the new Calavera Schoolhouse Community Garden. The ribbon cutting had an unveiling of interpretive signage as well as staff and volunteer acknowledgements. Carlsbad City Council members, along with Parks and Recreation staff, CCGC board members and the garden committees of both the Harold E. Smerdu and Calavera Schoolhouse Community Gardens were present for the event.

Festivities included presentations featuring Chef Michelle McDonough on healthy cooking with herbs from the garden and Jim Duffy, “The Pepper Guy,” brought his knowledge of growing and cooking sweet and spicy peppers. Michelle graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, OR and has a love of gardening and cooking that made her a terrific speaker for the event. Jim was inspired by peppers when his coworkers began sharing sauces and salsa recipes in 2003. In 2004, his passion truly began when he started his chili garden with 100 plants. Another celebration of presumed oldest garden in San Diego, Carlsbad’s original community garden – Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden – marked its thirtieth birthday. There was also a composting demonstration by one of the local Girl Scout troops, a children’s activity table, and a variety of gardening displays.

The event, interpretive signs, outdoor classroom and garden amenities were made possible by a grant from the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation. The garden was named in honor of the small schoolhouse and children’s garden that occupied the land in the early 20th century.