December Newsletter


What’s new at ELSEE? December updates

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Dear friends,

We continue making connections with many new partners who share our vision of restoring nature and growing healthy food in Santa Clara Valley, all while sequestering as much carbon as possible along the way!

We find it is all the more urgent to stand together to improve our local communities since the recent election results. We have a pressing need to be progressive here at home. This can be our most powerful message.

When united in our goals, we can be a voice for others also seeking innovation, progress and economic equality—and for those who wish to protect nature with each step.

It’s time to drown out the noise and rhetoric and focus on our prize. United with purpose we can build new models for housing, schools and farms together. We can create native garden paths that connect us. We can transform our schoolyards. We can reconnect our children to nature.

Here are a few new collaborators who are supporting this vision:

University of California Cooperative Extension

Master Gardeners and Urban Agriculture Jessica Schleifer 

Katherine Rondthaler, Director of the Forge Garden, Santa Clara University

Bill Mains, Director of Sustainability Programs, Santa Clara University,

Food and Agro-business Institute, Santa Clara University

EGG Ecogreen Group of Silicon Valley

Veteran Farmers

Full Circle Farms, Sunnyvale

Please help us grow community spirit and join us at the upcoming events in December listed below and read about how you can take steps toward sustainability in your own neighborhood.

Thank you,

Alrie Middlebrook


You won’t want to miss The Watershed Approach to Landscaping workshop. CNGF is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event on Dec. 10 at San Jose Conservation Corp, 1500 Berger Drive, San Jose, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Morning session: Watershed Basics
Luncheon: California natives creatively used in free lunch provisions. Chef: Tess Middlebrook
Afternoon session: Hands on Landscape Design
Registration is required! See you there! Great day for networking!

We are hosting our first Maker’s Faire on Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Middlebrook Center where the ELSEE flagship garden is located.

There will be at least 20 producers, growers, craftsmen, artists and other makers with work for sale. Enjoy music, pizza, native food brunch, children’s activities, workshops and guided garden tours.

Reserve a ticket or purchase a VIP ticket for $25. VIP status gets you early entry, a swag bag and brunch ticket. There is a $10 donation to reserve a ticket. This is a fundraiser for CNGF. Please come out and support our work. Get to know other people in our community and support local makers who feature eco-friendly products, organic foods, native plants and hand made gifts. Support local! Support nature! Support sustainability!


Inspired by lesson plans sent by Kellogg Elementary School, we designed several theme gardens that will serve as outdoor classrooms for teaching and active play. From playing among dinos to frolicking with fairies, we think the kids will love it. Check out the great designs in progress in this article by designer Carolina Masori.

Read Angela Ngo’s article about December’s wild and edible plant of the month. This month, we are celebrating Indian ricegrass, or Stipa hymenoides. Characterized by tube-like leaves and a small yellow flower, this perennial can grow in just sand. The seeds make for a great snack—almost like popcorn.

A special study session on the Agrihood at Santa Clara City Hall took place Nov. 29. Many of our local partners spoke in support of the Agrihood. They shared their stories and described why the Agrihood is important to their lives. About 30 residents let the Council members know why it is urgent that we build this community and farm this land once again. We look forward to more gatherings such as this and will keep you posted on progress.

Upcoming Items and Events of Interest:

Holiday Pop Up Shop, UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley, Dec. 8-11

Watershed Approach to Landscape, co-sponsored by CNGF, San Jose, Dec. 10

The Holiday Maker’s Faire at Middlebrook Gardens, San Jose, Dec.17

Fungus Fair, Santa Cruz, Jan. 13-15 2017

EcoFarm Conference, Pacific Grove, Jan 25-28 2017

Save the Hive,’ ‘Yes, Bee Can’ and other great shirts on sale

Our mission is to demonstrate the beauty, garden worthiness, and ecological appropriateness of 
California native gardens and to advance knowledge of native plants and increase their availability.
Please join us to learn more about the
Middlebrook Center.

Copyright © *2016* *Middlebrook Gardens*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
76 Race Street
San Jose, CA 95126

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