Ploughshares Nursery – A Social Enterprise of Alameda Point Collaborative
There are many reasons I want to write a post about Ploughshares Nursery (located in Alameda, CA). For one, I (cece) volunteer there and am learning alot about plants and propagation. It is a great learning environment thanks to Claire Woods, the new Senior Propagation specialist. She is expanding the nursery like a wild fire and it’s great to be a part of it. But beyond this they simply have a great non-profit agenda – a social enterprise of Alameda Point Collaborative. They are an environmentally sustainable retail nursery that specializes in California native, drought tolerant, and edible plants. 100% of sales support housing for formerly homeless families. And this my friends is what makes them special… I mean who else does this? 100% of sales goes directly to their non-profit. It is a brilliant idea and a wonderful retail nursery. Their motto is “Make your garden part of the solution”. This touches upon several ideas – water conservation, edible gardens, native plantings that thrive and just make sense, as well as thinking about the larger issues of conservation, food production and green space. I could go on and on but you get the idea.
Alameda Point Collaborative – Formed in 1999, APC transformed vacant military housing on the former Alameda Naval Air Station into a supportive housing community. APC now operates 200 units of housing over 34 acres of land, and provides 500 formerly homeless residents, including more than 300 children and youth, with the safety and stability of a place to call home. All residents have access to life and job skills training, substance abuse and mental health counseling provided by team of highly skilled professionals.
As mentioned, APC operates Ploughshares where residents help with propagation and customer services. Other residents work with the facilities team, in landscaping, with the career services team and on their urban farm as part of the Farm2Market project.
I feel lucky to be able to volunteer with this great organization and share the good work.
The nursery is in Alameda and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9am-5:30pm. So, I am sure you are wondering what they sell in the nursery… well here you go:
- Organic mulch, soil, and soil containers
- Seeds – vegetables, herbs, flowers
- Fruit trees – standard and dwarf, including multiple varieties
- Herbs (year round) – thyme, cilantro, oregano, mint, marjoram
- Herbs (summer) – anise, basil, chives, parsley, chamomile, cumin, dill, fennel, hyssop, stevia, tarragon
- Winter seasonal vegetable starts – broccolis, brussel sprouts, cauliflowers, swiss chards, kales, lettuces, celery, tree collards, cabbages, shallots, garlic, onions
- Spring seasonal vegetable starts – kales, collards, greens, peas, spinach, beans, lettuces, squashes, cucumbers, watermelons, heirloom tomatoes, swiss chards, potatoes, corns, eggplants, peppers, soy beans, gourds, pumpkins, mellons, shallots, garlic, onions, leeks, okra
- Flowers – bunnytails, red millkweed, lavender hyssop, love-lies-bleeding…and many more
- Native and drought tolerant plants