A Community Garden Needs a Little Help By JANE HARADA

Friday December 24, 2004

“If we could just get through to spring, we’ll be fine,” said Daniel Miller, the mainstay and director of the Urban Garden Center. There was concern in this wonderful man’s voice and so I write a little to explain. 

Over this past year scores of volunteers have come together in South Berkeley to create a community garden where young and old grow vegetables and fruit. They give half of what they grow to homeless shelters and senior centers; the volunteers who work here take home the other half of the bounty.  

Daniel has been a steady, guiding force in community gardens in the Berkeley-Oakland area for over 11 years. Right now he works about 60 hours a week as a volunteer at Urban Garden Center. A very patient person, he calmly answers questions even as he oversees volunteers, sells seedlings at the Farmers’ Market, works on fundraising or sweeps up litter on the nearby sidewalk.  

By creating this garden at Sacramento and Oregon streets, people in this neighborhood have built a better community. They sell produce at cost on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and soon classes in gardening and sustainability will be given here. 

Because they are making the difficult transition from a grant-funded program to a self-sustaining non-profit, they need a little help from us now. Transforming a vacant, litter-strewn lot into a vibrant neighborhood garden, represents the best in Berkeley. 

Contributions can be sent to Spiral Gardens, 2838 Sacramento St., Berkeley, 94702. Their very informative website can be found at