Several years ago, FINS nominated Independence Network for the San Jose Mercury News Wishbook. We were fortunate to be one of the chosen recipients of funds, and received around $20,000 for new computers and to fund Zumba and the weightlifting programs. We nominated IN every year since but have not been chosen.
We again nominated IN in 2016 and were were told that we did not make the cut. However, the Wishbook generated so much genorosity that all the chosen groups were funded and monies were left over. IN was awarded $2400 to upgrade their garden program.
At this point we have spent about $1200. We bought 2 large galvanized tubs (one for a worm bin and one for a planter);$360 of credit at Sam’s Feed for chicken food and needs; a 75 foot industrial garden hose; 2 garden hose reels; 14 bags of steer manure; a metal cart for potting and as a work area; wire mesh for tomato cages; 4 watering cans; 2 $50 gift cards at Lowes for seed and potted plants to put in garden; a dumptruck load of planting mix; a 12’X12′ collapsable shade covering; and mesh to protect plants from birds and other animals. Orchard Supply Hardware donated some of these items (worth $175). We also bought 2 bales of straw, and a composting bin and a large shovel.
Most of the remaining money will be used to buy pre-made raised beds to plant in. We may buy the wood and make them. We want to get the most for the money and also want the planters to last for a long time. This is the most expensive and complicated of the garden needs.
Thanks to the Mercury News and Orchard Supply for their geneosity.
We will all have to stop by IN in the fall and see the garden.

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