The 2017 Harvest Dinner was a perfect end to summer and celebrated the bounty of our local farms and gardens. Guests enjoyed botanical cocktails with garnishes from the Edible Garden, followed by family-style dinner in the Stratford Garden prepared by all-organic caterers A Fork Full of Earth. Proceeds of this magical evening support the care and programs of the Edible Garden.
The vivid fall colors throughout the grounds have signaled the time to prepare for winter rains and the opportunity for new plantings. With continued inspiration and guidance from Silvina Blasen, our grounds crew has prepared two large areas for renovation and visitors will soon notice a new palette of plants in the main courtyard and a native fern garden near the Butterfly Cottage. We are also improving lighting in our south parking lot to help with evening events at The Studio, and replacing the vintage door on the building to improve access for visitors. All this work is made possible by the generous support of our friends and community. The MAGC Annual Appeal is underway, and you can make your gift here .
MAGC on Pinterest
The 2017 wedding season at MAGC has come to an end with many happy memories for the couples and their families who chose to celebrate their big day with us. Here are some of the beautiful pictures from this year’s events to help you imagine your own magical celebration. 
Dig It, Grow It, Eat It
Several mornings each fall, big yellow school buses pull into the MAGC parking lot, and soon dozens of third and fourth graders are shuttling between stations in the Edible Garden, the Butterfly Cottage, and the Habitat Garden. This is the Dig It, Grow It, Eat It program, which hosts some 400 schoolchildren each October here on the grounds of the Marin Art & Garden Center. As they peel back the layers of a bean or dig through soil looking for tiny critters, the students are learning about the connection between the things we grow and the food we eat. The basic premise of these interactive, engaging field trips is that we love the Earth because we care for it, and we care for the Earth because we love it, and what better place to learn about loving the natural world than MAGC?
Volunteer docents from the UC Extension Marin Master Gardeners have been leading this program for local schools since 2013, and the Marin Art & Garden Center provides support for the buses so that Title I schools can participate. The students rotate through six stations that teach them about edible plant parts, how plants grow, seed science, propagation, social science and pollination, and judging from the colorful, exuberant thank-you notes they have sent, the kids love every minute. Here are some examples of their work!
Profile: Charlie Kennard, Master of Baskets
When you think of the gardens at MAGC, perhaps the neatly planted beds near the gazebo come to mind, or the wild riot of color that is the Sun Garden near the Fountain Pond. What you may not have discovered is the Basketry Garden, on a sunny slope up by the Barn Theater. The intrepid visitor can climb the trail leading up from the parking lot where, interspersed among some 70 species of plants, you may spy a basket the size of an armchair, a woven fence, a tule reed boat, and even baskets woven from the stems of a living bush!

This remarkable area is primarily the work of Charlie Kennard, who is a longtime basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. Originally from England, Charlie is a San Anselmo resident of many years and is active in native habitat restoration in Marin. He studied with Pomo basket maker Susan Billy, and it was an existing patch of whiteroot sedge, a grasslike plant traditionally used in Pomo basketry, that led Charlie to propagate other native plants in this corner of the property for making baskets and cord.

In addition to several species of willow, deer grass, creek dogwood and redbud are flourishing in the Basketry Garden, and a set of skeps—woven beehives—keeps the MAGC grounds abuzz with pollinators. You can see other examples of Charlie’s work in the California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, and in the collection of the Oakland Museum. And of course, there is the Giant Basket, woven in March 2017 of donated willow branches, which is in the Habitat Garden off MAGC’s main parking lot. Charlie offers tours of the garden by arrangement, and you can watch him giving an explanation of the weaving process used in making the Giant Basket on the MAGC Facebook page here .
Recycling Initiative at MAGC
Although we chose them to be inconspicuous, we can’t help hoping you have noticed the new trash and recycling bins we have placed around the grounds. They are an important part of MAGC’s efforts to reduce our impact on the environment and especially, to reduce the amount of waste we generate.

A few months ago, we commissioned what is called a “trash audit” through Marin Sanitary Services. One lucky person went through our large landfill container and classified what she found there. She discovered that nearly 75% of our waste could have been recycled instead! We are determined to change the way we do things here to reach our goal of having NO recyclable material going towards landfill, and of course we want our visitors to be involved.

These new waste receptacles guide you in separating your trash: there are bins for paper, plastic/glass/aluminum, compost, and landfill. We have posted information on the bin lids about which materials belong in each receptacle to help you in sorting. That extra moment you take to put your banana peel in the compost and bottle in the glass recycling means that those materials won’t spend thousands of years in the landfill, where trash is packed so tightly that nothing can break down. We’re fortunate that Marin Sanitary composts our food scraps; if they end up in the oxygen-free environment of the landfill instead, they produce methane gas and contribute to climate change.

In the coming months we’ll be telling you more about the other actions we are taking around the grounds and as part of our organizational policy to be a greener neighbor.
Holiday Events
MAGC is celebrating the season with two holiday events this year, come join the fun!

Gingerbread House Decorating Fundraiser
Saturday, December 2
Bring the whole family from 2 to 4 pm to decorate a gingerbread house and support MAGC. We’ll have all the candy and frosting you need for you and your kids to make a masterpiece, and even Santa will be making an appearance. Then, from 5 to 7:30, it’s Decorating After Dark! Perfect for couples and friends, spend the evening decorating a gingerbread house while enjoying live music and beverages that contain a little extra holiday cheer. Some of the Bay Area’s top pastry chefs area will be there too, to provide guidance and inspiration. 21+ only, please!
Holiday Fair, Saturday, December 9, 10 am - 2 pm
Pixie Bake Sale in The Studio
A luscious array of hand-made goodies will be for sale, all created by Pixie Parents to support Pixie Park. Kids can decorate cookies and visit with Santa.
Laurel House Patio Sale in the Garden Room
Treasures galore will be available at prices that you can’t resist. Line forms early for the best bargains! All sales at Laurel House Antiques support the operations of the Marin Art & Garden Center.

Greens Sale to benefit North Bay Fire Relief
Your chance to purchase beautiful wreaths, swags, and garland fresh from the Northwest, to benefit a good cause. Hosted by the MAGC board and staff, this sale brings back a beloved MAGC tradition. Proceeds will be donated to North Bay Fire Relief to assist families impacted by the October wildfires. Look for us in the main entry courtyard. Hot beverages and snacks available.
Marin Art & Garden Center  -  magc.org   -  30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross CA  -  415 455 5260

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Marin Art and Garden Center · 30 Sir Francis Drake · PO Box 437 · Ross, CA 94957 · USA