What is Simi at the Garden?
Simi at the Garden is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to provide a place for the locals of Simi Valley to grow and share their own organic produce. This organization founded and operate the first and only Community Garden located in Simi Valley. Residents of Simi Valley can benefit from the environmental, educational, and healthy resources that Simi at the Garden provides for the community.
Who Started Simi at the Garden?
Salina Perry is a local resident who studied Public Health and Education at California State University of Northridge. She is a proud mother, wife, and active member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In November, 2010, she discovered a way of living a cleaner and healthier life. Salina had a vacant lot behind her church that had yet to find good use in the community. She dreamed this 2.3 acre lot as a place for the locals of Simi could come together and build the first community garden.
Salina proposed her idea to the church and was approved by the end of the year. Thus, Simi at the Garden came into fruition. Simi at the Garden held their first meeting in January, 2011 and shortly after they formed their Board of Directors. Simi Valley residents welcomed their ideas and presentations. Volunteers flocked to help bring the new garden to life.
Together, the volunteers and the board members removed the weeds from the lot and graded the land and dug trenches for irrigation. Local businesses pitched in supplies and manpower to help build the incredible garden space.
By April of 2011, Simi at the Garden became a non-profit organization led by Salina Perry and Beth Dooley. The Board of Directors is as follows:
Salina Perry, President and CEO
Beth Dooley, Executive Director
Darin Gaines, Chairman of the Board
Michael Pery, Dave Watkins, Bob Stolz, Ben Hale and Hazel Rose make up founding Board
Word spread through the town and Simi at the Garden gained more visitors and volunteers. Murals were painted which brought more color and life to the garden space. Experienced gardeners joined the program and built an educational platform from the newfound garden. Tours of garden educated the public about the benefits of the garden space and informed local sponsors about how they could get involved. More and more people are joining this wonderful program as the word spreads throughout the town.
Simi Valley is much more than just a place to grow vegetables. It is a place for the community to come and nurture friendships, educate themselves and their families, share experiences and conversations, and together grow as a thriving community by promoting health and positivity. The fruits and vegetables grown and harvested are simply a bi-product of the community coming together for a common cause of providing a healthier and brighter future.
How Can I Participate?
Simi at the Garden has different sizes of plots for rent:
10’ by 20’ plot - $100/year
10’ by 10’ plot - $50/year
4’ by 4’ Children’s plots
Experience is not necessary and all gardeners at all levels are welcome. There are experts on staff happy to educate and help wherever and whenever necessary.
Volunteers are welcome as groups or as individuals. Anyone is welcome to help the daily and monthly projects. Please contact them for more information.
Simi Valley at the Garden would not be in existence if it weren’t for the generous contributions by the members of the community. Both monetary and material donations are always welcome. Money can be donated through their online garden store or can be mailed in, or can also be made in person. Please contact them to arrange for any material donations so that they can be allocated to the appropriate projects.
Free Famers Market
Simi at the Garden provides a free farmers market on the last Tuesday every month from 2pm - 4pm. They politely ask to please bring your own bags for environmental safety. Come enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of the labor of your community and enjoy a smile from the warm staff and volunteers.
They are located at:
1636 Sinaloa Road
Simi Valley, CA 93065