At La Clinica, ‘el jardin comunitario’ grows again

May 21, 2005

Hardworking kids from the Teen Court and Juvenile Court Work Crew last week put the finishing touches on a stylish new fence around “el jardin comunitario,” Hood River’s community garden.

Jose Sandoval, Teen Court Coordinator for The Next Door, provided adult guidance for the teenagers, who spent three full weekends building the new wooden fence.

The garden is on the grounds of La Clinica del Cariño Family Health Care Center at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Eighth. Soon the garden will be a patch of colorful blooms and greenery.

Community volunteers reclaimed the long-neglected corner lots last year, removing trash and overgrown shrubs, installing an irrigation system, and building up the soil for the area’s newest community garden.

“For the garden’s second season, we hope to emphasize its community-building possibilities,” said La Clinica’s executive director, Daniel Ward. “We’re surrounded by apartment dwellers who don’t have access to land for growing their own food. We’re a community-owned clinic, and we have extra land, so we think we should share with our neighbors.”

This year’s volunteer garden coordinator is Linda Floyd, a longtime Hood River resident and experienced gardener. “I’m eager to help people who may not have gardened before discover the pleasure of raising their own food,” she said.

In addition to acquiring donations from Next Door, Inc. and area businesses, Floyd secured a small grant from Hood River County’s Commission on Children and Families to enable fence construction and irrigation improvements. Some of the grant funds have also gone to providing seeds and vegetable starts for first-time gardeners.

The garden will also be a teaching resource for some of the participants in La Clinica’s weight management programs. “For some people, reacquiring their tastes for unprocessed fresh fruits and vegetables helps get their weight under control. Healthy food seems to taste better when you’ve grown it yourself,” Ward said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to teach and learn from each other, to build on the diversity of our community, and just have fun digging in the dirt,” added Floyd.

Odell orchardist Calvin Smith tilled the garden this weekend. Layout of the pathways between the plots is underway. Plots will be available for planting by the end of this week.

People who are interested in gardening can call La Clinica at 386-6380 to get in touch with Linda Floyd, the volunteer Community Garden Coordinator.

The garden can accept tax-deductible donations from individuals and businesses, such as seeds, seedlings or starts, nursery stock, gardening tools, and benches. Arrangements can be made by calling Daniel Ward at 308-8354.

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La Clinica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc. (LCDC) is a nonprofit community health center in Hood River and The Dalles, dedicated to providing high quality medical and dental care in a manner that honors the cultural, ethnic, social, and economic concerns of the 73,000 people of the Mid-Columbia Gorge.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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