cart barrowCombining their efforts with members of the community, the Ubuntu Green Volunteer Squad was recently able to build nine planter boxes in South Sacramento’s Lemon Hill neighborhood. Katie Valenzuela and Emilio Balingit, Ubuntu Green’s administrative coordinators, lead the project alongside the parents and longtime residents of an area apartment complex.

There were no wheelbarrows or buckets for the children of the complex to use for their gardens, so they made their own. One of them picked up an abandoned shopping cart from a nearby empty lot and sealed the openings with cardboard. It became the makeshift wheelbarrow which was used to haul dirt from the parking lot to the apartment courtyard.

As residents saw the commotion upon entering the apartment gates, they began to join in on the planter box building endeavor. At around 12:45 there were approximately 50 residents helping  to build the boxes. It was a great way to kick off the approaching spring planting season.

Within two hours, the one-ton delivery of gardening soil was relocated and evenly distributed within each of the nine planter boxes. Ubuntu Green provided the residents with starter plants consisting of tomatoes, basil, squash, thyme, celery and strawberries.

ready to plant“It was Emilio’s work that made everything happen,” says Valenzuela. “It turned out great, we were very very pleased with the end result.”

Ubuntu Green is a community based non-profit organization which also manages a community garden behind the Home Cash Market in Oak Park. The garden is open every Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. Anyone who is interested in learning more about urban agriculture is encouraged to visit.