Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sand Village Farm's Three-Day Makeover

Jonathan of Backyard Food Gardens built this beautiful new arbor

Back in August, I started looking for someone to help me with rebuilding the arbor that was falling apart. I thought it could be a project for a horticulture student or students. I received a few inquiries through permaculture department at Merritt College but couldn't find a good fit for the job. On the first day of Mushroom Cultivation class at the end of August, one of the new students in the class started a conversation with me. It turned out that he, Josh, runs a landscape business called Backyard Food Gardens. That night I emailed him to find out more about what services he provides. After looking though his website,, I arranged a time for him to come over and give me an estimate. I decided to give Sand Village Farm a makeover after learning all the options and possibilities

A few days ago, Backyard Food Gardens crew - Josh, Jonathan, Tomas, and Jose arrived with a truckload of tools and started working on getting all the weeds out, putting in an irrigation system, and building a new arbor. On the first day, they set the 4 posts for the new arbor, made wings on the top bars for the arbor, removed all the weeds, ran the tractor all over the hardened soil, and installed the valves for the irrigation system.

On day two, Josh took me to pick out new plants. During the drive to the nursery, I found out that Josh started his landscape business five years ago. When he first started, it was just himself. As the business grew and expanded, he purchased various tools and equipments to work more efficiently. Now he also has a good crew who work well together. Josh became fluent in Spanish from working with his crew everyday, and they study English during their commute to the work sites. As a multi-lingual person, I understand that learning a new language is difficult. I am extremely impressed with these hard working guys.

Sand Village Farm is now covered in mulch

On day three, Josh and Jonathan returned to finish up. Automated irrigation system is a brand new concept for me. Josh gave me a crash course on how to program the time and frequency for different stations.

My propagation table with sprinkler system

This morning, I stood in the rain to admire the work of Backyard Food Gardens.  I can't get over how beautiful it is.  With the automated irrigation system, I won't have to manually water everything or mist my seedlings with a water bottle. I love the new arbor, the propagation table, and all the new plants!

If you are looking for a landscaper, I highly recommend Backyard Food Gardens. Josh can be reached at 510-289-8712 or

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