Thanks to the quick thinking of Terry Ball from the UC Master Gardeners of Ventura County, a cornucopia of multicolored carrots, beets, radishes, spinach and lettuce from the Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum were harvested and donated to Food Share earlier this week. “Watching the news with my husband Tom I kept seeing people out of work. People living paycheck to paycheck need food” says Terry, the Lead UC Master Gardener for the vegetable gardens at the Ag Museum. Terry is also a frequent volunteer at Food Share of Ventura County and understands the need for fresh fruit and vegetable donations. 1 in 6 people in Ventura County struggles with food insecurity.

The Museum of Ventura County enters its second successful year in partnership with the UC Master Gardeners of Ventura County program at the Agriculture Museum. A mutually beneficial relationship the Master Gardener’s program has transformed the Agriculture Museum’s vegetable and native gardeners into a mini utopia in historic downtown Santa Paula. In addition to the lush vegetable gardens, Melinda Pettit who leads the native and drought tolerant garden team has created a picturesque, self-sustaining educational garden for our museum visitors.

The Master Gardeners program is a national program, chartered through the United States Department of Agriculture, sponsored by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) of Ventura County and the University of California Hansen Trust. The program enables the University of California Cooperative Extension to more efficiently share its extensive gardening resources and science-based gardening information with Ventura County through public services, education and research programs. For more information on the UC Master Gardener’s program please visit their website here.

Food Share has been feeding the hungry in Ventura County since 1987. Today Food Share distributes more than 13 million pounds of food, or nearly 12 million meals annually through its 190 pantry and program partners.  Food Share’s community programs include Community Market, Kid’s Farmer’s Market, Mobile Pantry, and Senior Programs. For more information on Food Share’s generous programs please visit their site at

The gardens at the Agriculture Museum are funded through the generous donation of the Pidduck Family.

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