By Meg Clovis, original blog post @ http://www.westmuse.org/articles/mcarlm-common-ground-garden
The Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum (MCARLM) is located at San Lorenzo Park in King City, CA—a rural community of 13,248 people in the southern Salinas Valley. The museum first opened its doors in 1983. The nucleus of the museum centers on large collection of farm equipment and artifacts that reflect over a century of farming in the Salinas Valley. These collections are exhibited in seven museum structures including an exhibit barn, blacksmith shop, one-room school, a 19thcentury farmhouse, a water education building and a tractor barn. We maintain an archival vault where researchers can access our large archival collection of documents and photographs.
We use our collections as a springboard to provide a variety of educational programs for elementary and middle school students including the Hands-on-History fieldtrip program, Hammer-In blacksmith program, and Junior Historians. Our newest addition to the museum complex is our Common Ground Garden—a venue for cross-curriculum education. In 2014 we served 21 schools and 1635 students—a 21% increase over 2013. The museum is open 6 days a week from 10:00 to 4:00 and welcomed over 6500 visitors this past year.
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The Garden is Growing!
The Common Educational Garden is growing...literally! After having planted squash, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and pumpkins we've finally seen some growth, not only in plant size, but also in fruit. But of course with fruit, come pests and around here we're talking mostly rabbits, gophers and birds. What have we learned? Well, we've learned that we certainly need plant cages and a fence of some sort to keep the fruit protected. We also knew early on that we would eventually need a sustainable water system, and we are excited to say that one has now been installed! As our garden grows, so does our need for volunteers that enjoy getting dirty! Feel free to either call and schedule a time to come in or if you're more of a "free spirit" just drop on in, we can always use a hand weeding, planting or turning soil. Hope to see you soon!