Gardening brings Cloverdale community together – Sonoma County Gazette


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February 23, 2021, 11: 06PM
Updated 13 hours ago

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. –Audrey Hepburn
Cloverdale has a strong gardening tradition. You never know when a bag of oranges, greens, or of course, zucchini, will show up on your doorstep, or when a neighborhood child will drop by to pick up a bunch of green grapes at the peak of their sweetness. Brooke’s very favorite vegetable to grow and share is the Purple Tree Collard. This perennial grows from cuttings, so collard greens can be shared for dinner, or forever!
What Ashley Porter of The Cloverdale Nursery enjoys most about her job is connecting people to nature and helping them turn their personal space into something they thoroughly enjoy. The Nursery opened in November of 2015, and has been in business for 5 years. They are a retail garden nursery and home store that offers top quality ornamental and edible plants, organic soils and garden management products, as well as unique gifts and stylish home wares.
The business owners feel that Cloverdale is a very strong and supportive community and it’s important to them to give back. As Ashley says, “It was really special for us to be able to be a part of resurrecting the Future Farmers of America at the high school. We also donate seeds to all the different local schools. Connecting future generations with gardening and nature resonates deep with us, because this connection is needed now more then ever. We are all here for each other and once you are part of this community, you will always know that others are here for you through thick and thin.”
She adds, “Gardening isn’t about success or failure, it’s about the process and about connecting to our natural world. In this process of tending to living things, we also learn a lot about ourselves and our own lives. Nature isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect, but we’re all beautiful in our own way. All of us: plants, animals and humans. We feel like in its essence our job is to help you foster and learn from that connection.” The Cloverdale Nursery is located at 216 S. Cloverdale Blvd. Visit them there, or online at

Thomas Jefferson said, “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” It seems like much of Cloverdale shares that culture. The members of the Cloverdale Green Thumb Garden Club won’t let Covid restrictions keep them from holding their annual plant sale, which will be online again this year. They are planning to have the link for the virtual sale up and running April 9th. Customers can pick up their orders or members will do porch deliveries free of charge. Monies from the sale supports educational gardening classes, SRJC scholarships and community projects. Check out their Facebook page:
If Melanie plants just one vegetable plant (fruit, actually) each year, it’s a tomato. She remembers walking through her family’s garden patch as a young child and breathing in the fresh smell of the tomatoes they’d planted, while eating all the tomatoes her small belly could hold. When her parents planted that garden, they planted memories along with good things to eat. And that’s what we continue to do each year in Cloverdale.

Melanie Hall moved to Cloverdale with her family in 1994. Since then her children have grown and she and her husband of 40 years have set down big roots in the town they love. She has a ten-minute commute to her job as Program Manager for the Cloverdale Senior Multipurpose Center, where many members also share the love of the Cloverdale community. Brooke Greene and her family moved to Cloverdale from the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1984. Over the years, she worked for the school district, private businesses, and the Cloverdale Senior Center, where she still volunteers.

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