Valmonte Garden Open For Spring Visits

by Katie Hageman
Valmonte Garden Open For Spring Visits
• The Peninsula garden community is set for an active spring and summer.

On the second Saturday of each month, the Valmonte Garden is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visitors have the opportunity to roam the garden looking at everything from the various vegetables to chickens in their coops.
In May, the garden visit date fell on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. The garden offered a $10 deal in which guests could make a succulent basket in the garden to take home and give to their mothers the following day.
Depending on the time of year, different goods are available to the public for purchase. Potted plants, seasonal vegetables, fresh eggs, jams, and honey are among the most popular items.
garden.250The Valmonte Garden does more than supply goods for the general public. The gardeners here are responsible for growing food, particularly vegetables, for Chez Melange restaurant in Redondo Beach through the Seed to Plate partnership.
The garden was started in 2001 by Lynn Busia, a former special education administrator, and Robert Bell, co-owner and chef at Chez Melange. In 2013 the garden was moved from Palos Verdes High School to its current location behind Valmonte School.
The goal of the partnership between the garden and the restaurant is to create an atmosphere where adult special needs students of the Palos Verdes Unified School District are able to actively contribute to the community.
The purpose of the vegetable garden is to teach these adult students, otherwise known as Transition to Independent students, skills such as teamwork and dedication to a task. These individuals are responsible for growing vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes that are then used in dishes at Chez Melange.
Community members work in the garden Monday through Thursday mornings and on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Nancy Lemargie is the current garden manager and is responsible for all of the job training.
The next Valmonte Garden visit day will be on June 9.

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