Monte Rio is a small community where many homes are settled in the heavy shade of redwoods, Doug Fir and Bay Laurel trees. The limited sunlight in these area makes gardening a difficult if not impossible task. In 1993 local organic gardener Marcy Martin began the Riverside Community Garden located on the east end of the Monte Rio Beach parking lot and at the entrance of the River Front Meadow. Of the 22 plots, some are ground plots others are raised beds but all are enthusiastically cared for by local folk who enjoy this warm and sunny spot in which to grow food, watch birds and just relax.
The Parkside Community Garden was developed shortly after the community play structure was relocated to Koret Park where it now gets much more use. This site is adjacent to the Tennis and Basketball Courts on the site of the Monte Rio Amphitheater and the Monte Rio Youth Center. All 24 plots here are raised beds and are carefully tended by dedicated gardeners. In this semi-public location you will find colorful vines growing on the fences here that make a showy display to all enjoying the Tennis Courts or just walking past.
Creekside Park Communal Orchard and Farm is located a half mile south of town on the Bohemian Highway. This one-third acre farm was established with the intention of providing the community with an opportunity to tend public land in the interest of producing food for the farmers and the greater community. The farm is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers who plant, propagate, tend and harvest plants throughout the year. In exchange for use of the land and irrigation water farmers also contribute to the tending of the park environs inside and outside of the fenced food producing area. The farmers are responsible for tending the permanent plantings within the fenced growing area as well as maintaining rotating crops on the flat bottom within the farm.
Any revenue generated from produce sold from the farm will be invested back into the farm and the park. The flat bottom area of the farm is irrigated with a modifiable drip system. The drip lines are reset seasonally as required to provide water to the plantings for the configuration of the particular year. The flat bottom row crops are to be supplied with water stored in catchment tanks. The farmers are responsible for establishing a list and planting plants for each season. The farmers share in the harvested produce. Excess produce will be sold on the property or donated and the proceeds of the sales will be reserved for future improvements to the communal farm.
The Dutch Bill Creek Trail was designed by Ann Baker Landscape Architect of Petaluma and is intended to allow a visitor to the park to understand native plants which were valued and harvested by the native Pomo Indians, as well as provide supplemental food for native and migrating birds, insects and animals.
Please look for the low metal identification signs to help locate the various plantings. Starting at the new bus turn-around a park visitor walking the one-third mile trail will encounter cherry, walnut and oak trees the fruit of which were all used by the Pomos as important food sources.
California roses which are planted at several locations were used to create medicinal rose hip teas. Logan, coffee, service and thorn-less black berries are other examples of native fruits which are included in the park adjacent to the Skate Park.
Within the Communal Farm and Orchard look for plum, apple, hazelnut lemon and walnut trees.
Other edible plantings include blueberries, red grapes, kiwis, red raspberries and black-cap berries which will all be harvested for the public to enjoy.
Please do not pick the fruit unless signs in the park indicate an abundance and say "free for the taking".
**Interested in joining the Farmers?** Please contact Brian @ 707-490-7606