Community Connections

Sharing Events

Every second Sunday, from 11:00 AM until noon, gardeners and homesteaders gather at Common Ground for a Local Garden Share. They share the produce of their gardens, good food from their kitchens, tools, books and recipes, and most importantly, themselves. Bring the bounty of your garden, meet new people, and go home with some delicious things in return.

A few times a year, the second Sunday event blossoms into a grand Sharing Expo. Besides food, people share craft supplies, books, toys, clothing, and more. Bicycles are repaired. Skills are demonstrated – we have had soap making and cookie decorating. Storytelling videos and music are made – and sometimes musical instruments too! See Common Ground Enews for the Sharing Expo dates. Mark your calendars and come out to join us. Visit the California Ave. Farmers’ Market before or after. -Transition Palo Alto & Common Ground

A Gradenshare event video, courtesy of Toni Gooch


Monta Vista Market

“Fresh & Local Organic Produce”


The Common Ground team won California’s prestigious WRAP Waste Reduction Award Program for redirecting about 4.6 tons of potential waste to recyclers or for reuse. Pallets and shipping materials were returned to suppliers, unsold calendars were made into colorful envelopes, corrugated cardboard was cut into take-home plant trays or taken to a recycling center, and organic waste was donated to local gardens for compost. We reuse nearly every piece and section of blank paper. Staff and volunteers reduce fuel emissions by walking, bicycling or using public transit to get to Common Ground and for errands. Students and customers help by donating their unneeded grocery bags for reuse here. Thanks to the entire Common Ground community for their support towards achieving this distinguished honor.

Our friends started a new market in Cupertino

Gabriel Robinson has been coming in and assisting with various moving and cleaning projects Wednesday mornings for many months. Gabriel brightens our day with his unhindered enthusiasm for life.

He is in “Achieve Kids” Student. This program that teaches self-reliance through mental health and education. It is Vocational Training a Road to Self-reliance. We are happy with Gabriel’s performance and presence at Common Ground.

NASA Ames Earth Day Event on April 22, 2004

Common Ground Representatives Evelyn Kmetovic and Arnie Cornez did a fabulous job of introducing new folks to the Common Ground Store, our Saturday Gardening classes and the concept of sustainable landscaping.

Green Business Certification and City Proclamation

In October 2003 Common Ground was certified as a Green Business by the Green Business Program of Santa Clara County. We were recognized by the program and by the City of Palo Alto Council and Mayor “for the initiative taken to operate in an environmentally responsible manner to conserve resources, minimize waste and reduce pollution.”

Palo Alto Mayor Dena Mossar used to work at Common Ground and stated that we have been walking our talk for over three decades. It is with great pride and joy that we accept the acknowledgement of our years of being as sustainable as possible. Your continued support makes all this possible. Thanks to all!

Bug Buster and Super Soil Workshop and Fair Trade Coffe Tasting

Sept 20, 2003 Sponsored by City of Palo Alto Water Quality, Recycling and Community Garden Programs; Valley of Heart’s Delight, and Common Ground

Village Harvest Tasting and Master Gardener Clinic

July 19, 2003 Jams and Jellies! Mmmm! Plus great advice from the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners.

Network of Friends and Organizations

Once you start growing food in your backyard organically, you begin to wonder what all is being done to the food you buy. Here’s information on current issues with our food supply, as well as pointers to a better way.

  • Common Ground is a project of Ecology Action and is a champion of sustainable practices locally and worldwide.
  • Biointensive for Russia is a project of Ecology Action, bringing sustainable practices to Russia through tranlation of Ecology Action publications and seminars.
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers(CAFF) gives info on Sustainable Agriculture.
  • The Organic Farming Research Foundation aims to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming practices.They give grants for research on organic farming methods and aim to help family farmers through outreach and education.
  • Ecological Farming Association On the leading edge of sustainable agriculture for 25 years. Annual January inspiring conference in Monterrey, California.
  • Wegmen’s Nursery, our friends, have forty years of experience gardening in the Bay area.
  • Wheeler Farms is the Compost Caviar of Organic Matter.
  • Canopy is a Palo Alto-based non-profit advocate for the urban forest and works to educate, inspire, and engage the community as stewards of young and mature trees.
  • Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (“Diet for a Small Planet”) is a think tank that tackles the job of reforming the global food system, from the bottom up. Lots of meticulously researched books, reports and other media to be found here.
  • Safe Alternatives to Pesticides, It’s a resource guide to pesticide harm and safe alternatives that is pretty accessible.
  • Village Harvest works with local community groups to harvest local backyard produce to help feed the hungry. They sell preserves made from locally grown fruits!
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists
  • True Food Now
  • The Center for Media & Democracy
  • Howard Lyman: MAD COWBOY
  • Pesticide Action Network
  • The California Certified Organic Farmers site gives an overview of the new law, as well as explaining the certification process in California.
  • The USDA has a site devoted to The National Organic Program.
  • Another place to find information about many Organic Topics is ATTRA’s (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service). There are over 200 printable publications on various pertinent topics, and a wealth other useful resources.