January 23, 2020
VISTA MATTERS: Welcome New Members
Welcome Gardeners!
Whether you joined last week or have been a member since the gardens inception, we want to take this issue to say "Welcome" to everyone.

VISTA is far more than a full or half bed rental where you stop in to tend your plants before moving on to the next item on your to do list. It is over 100 like minded neighbors who believe in the positive benefits not only of growing vegetables but also in cultivating a healthy community.

So the next time you visit to work on your bed, plan to stick around for a bit. Explore the trail that Marty has fashioned in the woods or have a rest by the beautiful pond that was recently enhanced by the Eagle Scouts. Smell the flowers and fresh herbs, look for birds or search for butterfly chrysalis. Join a class, bring a meal, or a cup of coffee, or meditate... whatever you do, make the time to experience everything VISTA has to offer.
Fun with Herbs
presented by Vicki Kuse
Saturday, January 25
10:00 -11:00 a.m.
Having trouble getting your witch’s broom to fly? No worries. There is a herb in the VISTA garden that will help. There’s also a herb that acts as an aphrodisiac and another that can repel evil spirits. This session will cover the cultivation, harvest and uses of the herbs found in the VISTA herb collection. We will also learn about the historical and magical uses of herbs. Join us for fun information and discover how to make your meals herb-alicious!

Roots Urban Night Market
@Urban Roots
Saturday, January 25
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Urban Roots first market of 2020 features live music, a fashion show and plenty of vendors, including our own Susan Baxter Gibson. Be sure to stop by her table and check out her beautiful jewelry designs.

Tai Chi
Saturday, February 8
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Lily from Taoist Tai Chi Society will be conducting a class under the oaks at VISTA Gardens. Class is complimentary and open to the public. Wear loose clothes and sneakers.
Welcome New Members
Our new membership chair, Rolfe Evenson and his mighty committee of two - Fran Bennette and Steve Taylor - have made short work of renting all available beds.
Please join them and the rest of the Board of Directors in welcoming our newest community members: Shallyse Gasteliem,  Tom and Birgit Hansen (shown, left), Jay Heilmann, Yvonne Scalise and Brittany Sierra.

Stop by and say "hi" when you see them in the garden. We look forward to making more announcements like this in the future!
A Welcome from Education Chair, Barb M.
Welcome new VISTA mates! We are so thrilled that you are with the garden. I've lived in the Village for over 30 years but only knew some of my neighbors. Years later, I got my dog Bosco and then met a lot of other dog folks walking the Village. It wasn't until I joined VISTA that I felt a real sense of community. Our members are so nice and helpful.

We have potluck dinners, Tai Chi, yoga, and education on when and where to plant your goodies. We also have talks on herbs, nutrition and a host of other topics. I hope you take the time to join us at these events to get to know your plot mates.

Welcome aboard!
Showcasing VISTA’s Compost Committee
Author - MJ Wentzel, Compost Committee Chair

Most garden members know we pick up produce from the Community Food Pantry, a partner of Feeding Tampa Bay. But did you know a team from the Compost Committee picks up and transports expired produce six days a week?

These contributions allow us to produce enough compost to enrich the soil in every raised garden bed at VISTA. Did you know that we are the only community garden producing enough compost for every gardener with an all-volunteer crew?

So, we want to share with everyone this most amazing fact that the Pantry just shared with us.
ARE YOU READY? In the year of 2019, we picked up 33,740 pounds of produce to make compost! WOW! That results in a lot of happy worms, not to mention strong backs for compost volunteers!

It is important that everyone knows who these dedicated people are. When you see them around the garden, please thank them for the beautiful “Black Gold” that enriches your gardens and supports plantings with beneficial microbes. Gratitude to Rolfe, Mary Ellen, MJ, Jim, Hugh & Marilyn, Cheryl.

And a shout out to VISTA gardners who come over when they see us unloading produce and offer to help transfer those heavy boxes and bags from our vehicles into the compost geo bins. We thank you all!
Here We Grow Again!
If you have been to the garden recently you may have noticed a big pile of soil. This is the first step in the construction of our new pavilion. Thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of the late Alicia Laddon and a generous grant from Hillsborough County (made possible through the also tireless efforts of Bill West and Marty Kleiner), the pavilion is going to be a wonderful gathering place for community programs and education.
Reminder: Please Keep Bringing In Your Leaves!