September 20, 2019
VISTA MATTERS: A Hive of Activity
We're Buzzing with Activity

Education - How to translant your crop for a great bounty (details to the right)

Planting root vegetables - Time to plan seeding those delicious root vegetables! The House of the Rising Seeds has radish, beet, carrot, and turnip seeds available - asking $1 donation for 2 small packets. 
Contact Karen Rose  

What Is Our Mission?
With fall comes membership renewal time and it's also a great time to refresh ourselves on why we are here at VISTA.

Here is our mission statement and goals / benefits:

“Our mission is to provide education and create a sustainable model for organic gardening, native landscaping, and related technologies while providing opportunities to participate in healthy outdoor activities, responsible environmental stewardship, growing organic food, and community building.”
Goals and Benefits:
  • Support/Educate/Promote/Demonstrate Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Technologies for Urban Applications
  • Improve the quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development 
  • Stimulate social interaction among all ages 
  • Encourage self-reliance – create a connection to the environment 
  • Beautify the neighborhood
  • Produce nutritious food, reduce family food budgets, conserve resources 
  • Reduce/Repurpose community Waste (composting and mulch)
  • Create opportunities for recreation, exercise, art, therapy and education.
  • Increase area property values
How to transplant your crop for a great bounty
Saturday, Sept 21
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Lisa Meredith from UF will teach us how to successfully transplanting and raising nightshades. Informing gardeners before they transplant their eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. Ideally, we would offer two consecutive thirty-minute presentations - the first presenting basic information for beginning gardeners and the second presenting more sophisticated information for experienced gardeners

How to plant winter crops
Saturday, October 12
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Lisa Meredith from UF teach us how to successfully transplanting and raising brassicas informing gardeners before they transplant their broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, collards, and kale. Ideally, we would offer two consecutive thirty-minute presentations - the first presenting basic information for beginning gardeners and the second presenting more sophisticated information for experienced gardeners.

Save the Date: VISTA Gardens Intergenerational Event
November 16, 2019
Time: TBD
VISTA Gardens Intergenerational Gathering
From Lori Vella, VISTA Gardens member

Greetings all,

Another successful intergenerational event took place at VISTA Gardens this past Saturday, and each and every one of you was an integral part of that success!

To recap, VISTA hosted 18 children between the ages of 1-11, along with their parents. The grant money from Forever Friends was put to a creative, educational use once again. We did a fine job of connecting the generations and allowing each generation to learn from one another by rotating through the three stations (Birds of Carrollwood, Painting and Incredible Edibles). The feedback I have received to date has been extraordinarily positive. We have nearly 20 children already signed up for the next event in November!

We could not successfully manage events like these without the help of individuals that are willing to give their free time, ideas and insight into making our program shine. 

Thank you Ann Wallace for leading the “Incredible Edibles” station. The children (and parents!) certainly enjoyed learning about the new, exciting fruits (blood oranges, kiwi, dragon fruit, cactus pears, rambutan, and three kinds of pluots) as well as some of the “tried and true” variety (e.g., green beans, celery, green, yellow and red bell peppers). Thank you Mike Escobar for cutting sugar cane and allowing us all to try it! Delish! 

Scarlet Rodriguez and Susan Patricia Golden shared paints of many colors for Little Villagers to decorate rocks (such as ladybug or spider rocks) and create shimmery butterfly paintings. Thank you Scarlet and Roberta Owens for gathering paints, paper and rocks for the painting. You worked well with the children and all of them wanted to stay in your station a bit longer! The final products were gorgeous!

Mary Ellen Dallman and Jay Nilmeier shared stories and pictures about the role of birds in our gardens and community and explored bird-friendly habitats at VISTA gardens. Mary Ellen, thank you for selecting stories and props to use. Thank you Roberta for collecting photos of the birds visible at VISTA which I then laminated to use for the presentation to the children (the final “Birds of VISTA” product is hanging in the shed for all to enjoy!). Thank you Jay for giving the children a tour of the gardens while also searching for birds. 

M.J. Wentzel served up ice cold water under the shade of the “Black Gold Mine” where we compost at VISTA. Thank you for obtaining the water, ice and cups which kept us refreshed. Thank you also M.J. for covering the tables with tablecloths and setting up much needed shade with umbrellas. 

Families and gardeners watched a demonstration of repurposed plastic water bottles turned to planters by middle-schooler Owen Saperstein , who grows tomatoes, pumpkins, basil, and many other seedlings using these homemade planters. We were able to gather plastic water bottles destined for the recycle bin, salvage them and re-use in a creative way. Each child was able to take home their own planter. Thank you Owen for volunteering with us on Saturday. We learned a lot from you. Thank you to Mike Escobar who assisted Owen, while also making sure he was there for his child participant AJ. Thank you Roberta for gathering the soil and seeds for the planter demonstration. Owen’s brother Alexander even decided to join us on Saturday and assist the other volunteers at the gardens. 

Thank you to Roberta who created the signage, name tags, and assisted with the station ideas. Thank you to Melissa Perotin for assigning navigators to escort families from station to station. Please pass on our thanks to our navigators Reagan and Paola for keeping the stations on time and organizing our groups of children.

Thank you to Marty Kleiner for guiding all of the "extra" Sickles HS volunteers (that we did not use as navigators and to keep folks hydrated), as well as the group of UT volunteers. Marty did lots of advance prep work for our event, including moving picnic tables in place, eliminating dozens of wasp nests (under tables, hose racks, etc.), cleaning inside of the black "tunnels" so children could crawl into them if so desired, clearing a woodland path in case families wanted to explore, etc. We sincerely appreciate your efforts!

Thank you to Jennifer Casares Photography for generously photographing this event for us once again and capturing these wonderful moments. We cannot wait to see the final photos! Thank you to Jet’s Pizza that provided several varieties of simply delicious pizza. The pizza was a hit!

All in all, the event was enjoyed by all. The families loved seeing the new additions to the garden, especially the pond. We look forward to our next event on November 16, 2019 . If you have any ideas about activities we can do, please feel free to share with us.  

Our community is truly remarkable! Thank you for being a part of our success!