Garden Circle in latest PA Weekly

The Palo Alto Weekly ran a nice article about garden circles in its latest issue (May 4) on the front page of the Home & Real Estate section, page 45.

Several Transition people are mentioned, including Paul Heft, Debbie Mytels and Annette Isaacson. Several other Transitioners are past members of the circle.

Garden Circles combine several themes of Transtion — communtiy, good and DIY. And as the article makes clear, they are a lot of fun.

If you are interested in joining an existing garden circle or starting a new one, contact one of the members or transitionpaloalto AT gmail DOT com. There’s another garden circle that is centered in Barron Park.

They do know beans
Midtown gardeners share knowledge and bounty

Dexter Girton knows the best way to defend his hard-earned backyard bounty from even the craftiest squirrel.

“Loose netting, with no holes,” he said. “If the netting is too tight, the squirrels will crawl under the netting. Believe me; I’ve seen them do it.”

He should know; he’s been growing fruit and vegetables in his yard for 30 years and can offer invaluable advice ranging from fending off various pests to spacing one’s plants inside their gardens.

Girton now shares his knowledge and experience with the community through the Midtown Garden Circle.

“I was part of the California Rare Fruit Growers that meets in San Jose for many years, but I wanted to make contact with gardeners closer to home in Palo Alto. I also wanted to make additional gardener friends; that’s what it was really about,” he said.

“My partner Paul and I wanted to start growing our own food, but we didn’t have any prior experience,” member Annette Isaacson said. “Paul had done some research, but we thought it would be really nice to have some practical knowledge. The members of the circle were so supportive and nice, even though we were just beginners.”

Debbie Mytels originally came up with the idea of a support group in hopes of spurring a “movement” for local home food gardeners back in 2005.

“Small groups were the best way to reinforce new learning and behavior, and they also provided an outlet for new social connections within the community,” she said.

“The people and the friendships are the most important to me about the group,” Girton said. “I have developed many gardening friends through the group.”

Members also said that they would like to develop food sources closer to home. “Getting closer to the food supply is becoming even more beneficial for everyone due to the rising costs of gas,” Isaacson said. “People have also developed an interest in where their food is being grown.”


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About bart

I live in a small condominium in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2004-2009, I was the main editor for the Energy Bulletin website ( In previous lives I was a technical writer for Hewlett-Packard, a high school teacher and a newspaper reporter and editor.

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