June 2017 | sunflowerhill.org
June 28, 2017 
SFH at Irby Ranch is On Track!
Specific development plans are progressing nicely for Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch, the planned
residential community in Pleasanton. Sunflower Hill will build approximately 30 one-bedroom and two-bedroom units and a large community center within the new Irby Ranch subdivision created by Mike Serpa of Concentric Development.

The Pleasanton City Council approved plans for the Irby Ranch subdivision in February 2017. Sunflower Hill, along with our non-profit housing partner SAHA is now working closely with city staff on the specific vision for the 1.64 acre parcel. SAHA is also planning to apply for Alameda County A-1 Housing Bond funds in Fall 2017- putting the project on track for a March 2018 state tax credit application.

Pleasanton's Planning Commission and City Council will also review in late 2017. Concentric Development has also announced that Meritage Homes will be the builder for the private home subdivision. Grading is expected to begin in Fall 2017 and Meritage will soon launch a new
webpage specific to the Irby Ranch development. For more information please visit their website.

Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch

Sunflower Hill Named Nonprofit of the Year for the 16th District!
Sunflower Hill will be honored as Nonprofit of the Year for the 16th Assembly District at a special celebration at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday June 28! The selection was made by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-16). The organization will join nearly one hundred other nonprofits from across the state as part of the second annual California Nonprofits Day, an event formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 54, and authored by the chair of the new Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblywoman Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara).

"I am pleased to recognize Sunflower Hill as our Non-Profit of the Year," said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker. "This local organization not only creates an environment of hope and purpose for special needs adults, but it also enhances their life ahead. Our community is better and enriched by Sunflower Hill, their garden and their planned residential communities."

As part of the honor, Assemblywoman Baker plans to hold an in-district reception for Sunflower Hill, families and local residents on Thursday June 29 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event will be held at Sunflower Hill Gardens at Hagemann Ranch, 455 Olivina Drive. Livermore.  To attend please RSVP here.

Moonlight in the Vines is July 29 at Wente Vineyards!
Our annual gala, Moonlight in the Vines, is on Saturday, July 29, from 5:00-10:00 p.m.  at   Wente Vineyards  in Livermore. We are thrilled that local CBS News Anchor, Juliette Goodrich will be our evening's emcee!

Just for some fun, we want to share some of our Live Auction items with you:
-Four tickets to Hamilton (Aug 5th), 2:00 show, Orchestra Seats, H117-123
-Pixar Tour for FIVE plus lunch and gift bag
-Four Warriors Suite Seats tickets for the 2017-2018 season
-Michael Jordan Legend Basketball   (have all paper work)
-One night Stay for FOUR with two rooms @ McClelland-Priest B&B, plus private wine tasting for all of you at both  Ahnfeldt Winery in Napa and  Ledson Winery in Kenwood
-Four days, 3 nights at Squaw Creek 

Plus many more items! 
To see all the info on sponsorships and to purchase tickets, please go to our  website and 
we will see you on July 29 under the stars!

Produce Available from our SFH Gardens!
We are now harvesting and selling lots of wonderful produce from our garden!  We have romaine lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, English cucumbers, Armenian cucumbers, raspberries, lemon cucumbers, and kale. In addition, on request we have chives, oregano, mint, sage, basil, and garlic, as well as nasturtium and viola flowers. 

You can come to our garden Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. if you are interested in purchasing any produce, or you can join our CSA program and get a box of produce every week or two weeks. For more information, please see our garden website or email us at gardens@sunflowerhill.org. 

Briana's Story

The next installment in our series of "stories" comes 
from Sunflower Hill Community Member and Supporter, 
Lisa Cecconi, about her beautiful daughter, Briana. 

You can read Briana's story here.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Lisa!

Big Thanks For a Very Productive Month In The SFH Gardens!
We have had a VERY productive month in the garden!! Not only have we begun to harvest delicious organic produce, with the help of many volunteers we have also completed several projects. The most exciting one was the completion of our beautiful new greenhouse, which was manufactured by Sturdi-built and assembled with the help of Rick Warner, the owner of Sturdi-built, and several volunteers. We did a lot of prep work for the greenhouse, including clearing the area, building the foundation, and staining the wood. In addition, we created a wheelchair accessible area, built a new pergola, extended our brick deck around the shed, extended our compost area, built a final compost box, built a compost sifter, improved the arbor, spread mulch around the garden, did lots of weeding, and flipped lots of manure and compost! Whew!
A VERY BIG THANK YOU you to all the individuals and groups who helped us this past month with all of these projects! Special thanks to the following for all of your amazing work!:
*Rick Warner (Owner Sturdi-Built) - for coming from Portland to volunteer his time to help us assemble the Greenhouse he manufactured, with daughter Michelle and boyfriend Daniel 
*Dave Espinoza (Regular Garden Volunteer) - for building the Greenhouse foundation, helping to assemble the Greenhouse, and building the Shed deck
*Tom Fuller, Derek Baxter and John Chandler - for helping build the Greenhouse foundation and help with assembling the Greenhouse
*Carol Vander Meulen from  VVM Designs- Landscape Consulting  - for managing/leading the wheelchair access area project
*Rotary Club of Livermore Volunteers - for helping to assemble the Greenhouse
*John Sensiba and Sensiba San Filippo (~110 employees) - for helping with the Greenhouse prep, the wheelchair accessibility area, and several other projects above
*Robert Half volunteers & Hands On Bay Area - for building our Pergola and adding mesh/mulch to the arbor
*Danville Cub Scout Pack 546, Wolf Dens 1 & 2 - for building the Compost Sister 
*Armanino Great Give Workday - for working on weeding, mulching, and general garden work
*And all of our wonderful Garden volunteers and Ranchers who helped this past month!
Also,  thanks to the following groups for helping with the costs/materials/equipment for the above projects:
Rotary Club of Livermore - for a $5K grant for the Greenhouse
Pleasanton Rotary - for a $3.8K grant for the Greenhouse 
Gina Bonanno - for a $2K donation for the Greenhouse Benches
Cresco Express of Pleasanton and Store Manager Shane - for loaning a Trencher, Bobcat, and Roller
Peninsula Building Materials  and Kevin Castner - for donating all the fines and gravel for the new wheelchair accessible area

Special Needs Garden Program Update
We had end of the season ceremonies for each of the groups that were coming from Livermore, Pleasanton, and Dublin, as well as the Danville Adult Day Program. Each student receives a certificate for completing a full year of the program and all of the ranchers received a straw garden hat as a thank you for all their hard work.

In May we also had a new group in the garden of 30 special needs individuals and their teachers/aids from San Ramon Daugherty High School. They had a wonderful time learning about all the various areas of working in the garden, including sowing seeds, planting, harvesting, weighing, and packing seeds. We hope to see them come again when school starts up again.

Livermore's Futures Explored Adult Day Program has begun coming to our garden every other week and they are loving their time in the garden. Additionally, the Livermore HS Summer program will begin this next week. 

SFH Gardens Special Needs Family Workday
We had a wonderful time at our June 3rd Family Workday harvesting, planting and weeding. Thank you to all who came!  Our next Family Workday is August 5th, 9:30-11:30 a.m.  We will be doing lots of harvesting of produce that day, including many tomatoes from the plants that were planted in our April Family Workday!! You can sign up for the event and get the necessary forms on our  website .

New Career Enhancement Internship
We have begun a new summer internship program for a neuro-typical college student! This is targeted towards individuals who are studying a major leading towards a career working with the DD (Developmentally Disabled) population. In addition to learning about horticulture, this CEI volunteer opportunity will provide experience working with DD individuals, creating DD garden curriculum, learning how a garden environment is rich in development opportunity, and learning how to operate a large Special Needs garden and garden programs.

Our first CEI Volunteer is San Jose native, Haley Frizzell. She is a senior, majoring in Human Development & Family Studies with a concentration in Child Life at Auburn University. She has just completed her fourth week working in the garden and will be with us through mid-August. We are thrilled to have a new internship program and to have Haley join our team! She is doing a great job!!  

Las Positas College Adaptive Horticulture Summer Program - FREE
We have been working for a few years with Las Positas College on creating some programs for individuals with special needs and are excited to announce that Las Positas College is offering a FREE Adaptive Horticulture Summer Program for students with special needs from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Friday, July 18-21. During the program there will be a day spent in the Sunflower Hill Gardens for the students to learn about farming, growing plants for food and urban agriculture! You can read more information in this Independent News article.  There are still openings available, so please register if you are interested in participating in this wonderful program! 

The application deadline is Friday, June 30. For information and applications, please contact Community Education Program Coordinator Frances DeNisco at FDeNisco@laspositascollege.edu   or (925) 424-1467.

Sunflower Hill Gardens Long Table Dinner
Our Sunflower Hill Gardens Long Table Dinner will be  Saturday, August 26  from  5-8 p.m . Matt Grecco, Owner and Culinary Director of Salt Craft in Pleasanton, will be our chef again this year and will be preparing a delicious farm to table dinner, which will be served in the middle of our beautiful Sunflower Hill Gardens. Stay tuned for more details and to register soon!

Sunflower Hill is Dublin Whole Foods' "Nickels for Nonprofits" Recipient July - Sept!

We are thrilled to be chosen for Dublin Whole Foods "Nickels for Nonprofits" partner for their fiscal quarter running July 3 - September 24!!  This program rewards the recipient organization with one nickel for each reusable bag used when customers check out and choose to "donate" vs "deduct" that nickel from their total shopping cost. These nickels really add up and we are super excited to have been chosen! 

Please shop at Dublin Whole Foods at
5200 Dublin Blvd. in  Dublin  during July-September (and all the time, actually, because, well, have you been there? It's awesome!) to help support SFH and this program! 

Sunflower Hill | | info@sunflowerhill.org |
P.O. Box 11436
Pleasanton, CA 94588