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Happy Lunar New Year


from elaine
Your Community-Powered Volunteer Organization

As everyone in California knows, January was an incredibly wet month. We were literally rained out of our gardens for the first two weeks of the year. Bad news for us, but good news for our gardens. Our cover crops went wild.


What are cover crops? They are one of the regenerative agricultural practices used to build healthy soil by planting specific plants to provide nutrients,  improve water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, and increase biodiversity. They are planted in-between seasons. We used a mixture of both legume and non-legume cover crops. 


Cover crops, poppies and nasturtiums at LEAF CR Stone Garden.

Our legume crop consisted of clover, vetch and fava beans to fix nitrogen (N) for our upcoming spring edible crops, to support beneficial insects and pollinators, and to increase the amount of organic matter in soil. We used triticale and white oats (cereal grains), blando brome (grass) and phacelia as our non-legumes. These cover crops suppress weeds, produce large amounts of “green mulch” that adds soil organic matter, and scavenge nitrogen and other nutrients that were left in the soil from the previous season’s plants. 

I am also pleased to announce that we have redesigned our website to dedicate more information pages where you had questions. Our creative Marketing Manager, Eddie, will highlight some of the new features of our website. Check it out!


Website Refresh

Eddie Turner

LEAF Marketing Manager


LEAF inspires creativity in me. The more vested I become in our mission, the more I want to capture the good work being done here. In addition to fresh colors and images, I made an effort to show LEAF in action to our community through video. We also felt it was important to dedicate a page to the worldview we share. LEAF Center and LEAF C.R. Stone Garden are also prominently featured, as is a new events page you can visit to sign up for learning and volunteer opportunities.


There are many more new features as well. Instead of naming them all here, we invite you to do some exploring on your own. Should you have an idea for our site, let me know at


Questions & Answers
Courtesy of the New York Times


Is it healthier to eat Kale cooked or raw?

As with other cruciferous vegetables — like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage — kale is loaded with compounds called glucosinolates. When you chop or chew kale, an enzyme is released that converts glucosinolates to new compounds called isothiocyanates, which can trigger anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer pathways in the body. Heat from cooking, however, destroys those enzymes, preventing that reaction and making isothiocyanates less available.

Kale also supplies plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants, which are similarly degraded by cooking. One study also found that various cooking methods like boiling, steaming, microwaving and pressure cooking reduced levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper.


new phone. who dis?

It's Talkin' DiRT!  And we're doing it again THIS WEDNESDAY just as we do on the first Wednesday of each month from 7PM to 8PM. And yes, you're invited because . . . you know, you're one of the cool people who loves gardening! And you love to get together with other gardeners, even if it means joining a monthly Zoom call to do it. We're here for YOU.

Our next meetings...

JAN 4 & FEB 1

Register now at


Lazy Saturdays?


Get BUSY as a LEAF volunteer! On the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9am to noon, your help is needed to help us tackle projects that benefit from a group effort. To find out more information or to sign up, visit give us a shout at

Our next volunteer work days...

JAN 14 & FEB 11

In 2022, your generous donations of fruit from the trees you own added up to 1,855 lbs. How wonderful it is to have  a community who is willing to lend a hand. Needless to say, we are pressing on with our gleaning initiative in 2023!

Every Monday and Thursday morning from 9am to 10:30am, you are invited to drop your donations of fresh fruit at LEAF CR Stone Garden. Your donations will be added to the volumes of produce we grow and deliver to our food banks.

Here's what's growing in the neighborhood!


LEAF CR Stone Garden is located  behind the Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic at 55 Mowry Ave. More info at at

Fruit Tree Gleaning


Thank you all, once again, for helping LEAF meet our donating goal for 2022. Time to reset the meter, but not before celebrating our community and the work we do together to make a difference in people's lives.

Here's to another bountiful year in 2023!



New year's resolution?
Here's one you can keep.

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