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News November 2023

Practice Regenerative Agriculture
This Fall by
Leaving the Leaves!

Your Purpose Driven Volunteer Organization
From Elaine, President of LEAF

Excerpts from a post by Brooke Franklin, NRCS in Conservation Oct 17, 2022   

Happy November LEAF Members, Friends and Neighbors,

Winter is almost here and your deciduous trees are or will be dropping their leaves. One of the best ways to help reduce climate change and benefit your garden at this time of the year is to leave the leaves!

Leaf mulch is a simple regenerative practice you can use to create a healthy garden. Leaves create a natural mulch that helps to suppress weeds while fertilizing the soil as it breaks down. Mulching protects the soil surface and helps stop erosion from rainfall. Mulch also helps to moderate temperature extremes by keeping roots warmer during the winter and cooler in the summer, plus it helps to keep moisture in the ground. All of which is helpful in our coastal climates of USDA Hardiness Zones of 10a and 9b and Sunset Zones of 15 and 17.

You can mulch leaves where they fall from the trees, scatter them around fruit trees, heavily trafficked areas, compacted soil, shaded areas where vegetation doesn’t grow and wherever there is bare soil. Leaves can also be mixed in your compost bin with green leaves considered as greens (nitrogen) and brown leaves as browns (carbon) or you can make a huge pile, be a kid again and jump in. 

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The leaves also serve as a habitat for wildlife such as lizards, birds, frogs, toads and insects that overwinter in the fallen leaves. These creatures keep unwanted pests in check and increase pollination in your garden. The leaf litter provides “the bed and breakfast” for these beneficial creatures so they want to stay around. The decayed leaves add organic matter back into the soil which feeds the soil microorganisms.

Soil microorganisms are the keys to making healthy soil and stronger, more vibrant plants. So, leave the leaves.

And . . . save the fruit from your trees. Harvest your extra apples, persimmons, pomegranates, lemons and other fall fruit and bring them to LEAF Stone Garden on Monday and Thursday mornings between 9 and 10:30 and we will bring them to the food bank where they will be shared with the community.


October Volunteer Events

We had a record number of volunteer events this past month to prepare our gardens for winter and next spring. The StopWaste SWEET Team made a new Johnson-Su bioreactor so we will have wonderful fungally dominated compost next year. The Second Saturday and Sunday Volunteer Events kicked off our Junk-It Project to clean up some of our good, bad and ugly junk piles around the gardens. The Young Professionals were very energetic and helped with our Junk-It Project by taking out two fences that were no longer needed. Thank you volunteer teams for helping us with those big projects that take team efforts.


 LEAF in Photos

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Weekend Workshops

 We are happy to announce that we have two more workshops in 2023.

Our very own Education Coordinator, Katie, will be running these

FREE workshops at the Newark Library, Curiosity Shop Room,

37055 Newark Blvd near Thornton Ave in Newark.

For more information, visit

Saturday, November 4th
11:00 am to Noon
Herbal Medicine in your Backyard

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Saturday, November 18th
11:00 am to Noon
Cultivating Mushrooms

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Gathering, Gardening

It's often tough to find knowledgable gardeners to ask questions.

Talkin' Dirt will provide you with a platform to engage with others from the comfort of your own home on the first Wednesday of each month from 7PM to 8PM. Join Master Gardeners and a horticulturist for this special hour-long online gathering. Regardless of your level of experience in gardening, we'd love to have you!

Register at


Our next online gatherings are:

Wednesday Nov 1st &  Dec 6th

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Lazy Saturdays?

Get BUSY as a LEAF volunteer! On the 2nd Saturday of every month, your help is needed to help us tackle projects that benefit from a group effort. Be a part of a community helping a community.


More info at

Registration is required. Info at

Our next volunteer work days are . . .

Second Saturday Nov 11th & Dec 9th from 9 to Noon

Extra Day: Sunday Nov 5th from 9:30 to 12:30

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Food Donations

At LEAF, we work year-round to feed our community by planting, nurturing, and harvesting fresh produce that we donate to our food banks. If you'd like to be a part of our volunteer gardening team, contact us at

DONATIONS YTD: 5,947 lbs.


Fruit Tree Gleaning

Every Monday and Thursday morning from 9am to 10:30am, you are invited to bring us fresh fruit from your trees to the LEAF Stone Garden. Your donations will be added to the produce we grow and deliver to our food banks to help out our friends and neighbors.

Fresh, imperfect but unbruised fruit is good! 

Here's what's growing in the neighborhood!


Got questions? We've got answers at

LEAF Stone Garden is located behind

the Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic at 55 Mowry Ave.

More info at at

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