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Rancho Damacitas

2019 Update:
TVGC participated in the "Pumpkins and Pancakes" Breakfast at Rancho Damacitis on October 26, 2019.  
Children made their own succulent garden and drew pumpkins, spiders, bats and different spooky things.
2018 Update:
Rancho Damacitas is no longer housing foster children as described below. The new mission of Rancho Damacitas to stop the cycle of poverty and child neglect by helping single moms now has five moms and their children living on campus. We will be helping them with their vegetable garden.
--Judy Sundermann/Committee Chair
May 1, 2018 update:  We have helped the children at Rancho Damacitas plant their kitchen gardens with summer vegetables including corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and various herbs. For color, we've added zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers.
--Judy Sundermann
Rancho Damacitas in Temecula consists of six family-style cottages housing up to 36 children ages 6 - 18 years old, and a transitional housing program serving former foster youth. For more information about their mission and services, visit their website: 

TVGC's involvement with RD comes under Community Service.  There are two aspects:  (1) landscaping the grounds at RD, and (2) providing enrichment activities for the children living at RD.

(1)  Susan Puma developed a landscape plan for the main campus, and it is being implemented step by step.

(2)  Judy Sundermann, Chair of Youth Gardening, is leading a workshop once a week for the children, introducing them to gardening, planting seeds and plants and onion sets, starting plants from cuttings, floral design, and lots of fun and educational activities.  Several members of TVGC are helping each week.  If you want to help, contact Judy.

September 1, 2017 Update:

The workshops with the children at Rancho Damacitas continued throughout the summer. We met with individual houses to troubleshoot the raised bed vegetable gardens and teach gardening skills such as rose pruning. Corn, tomatoes, and zucchini were a big success. We are now preparing for the fall planting. -- from Judy Sundermann

April 1, 2017 Update:

The Youth Garden committee members have been working toward the planting of the raised beds at Rancho Damacitas. We have held workshops at Rancho Damacitas showing techniques of propagating plants from seeds and cuttings, mixing compost, peat moss and vermiculite to create a good medium for plant growth and designing the garden beds. The irrigation system should be completed by the first week of April. Our next step will be to plant what we have propagated (watermelon, yellow squash, peppers, onion sets and herbs), plant seeds (green beans, corn, beets, carrots and radishes) and add purchased plants (strawberries and tomatoes).
We will have some entries for the Flower Show from the children at Rancho Damacitas. Please encourage entries by children from the community. Categories are dish gardens, plants, individual cut flower from their garden and floral design using three flowers plus greens in a bud vase. -- from Judy Sundermann

Putting wire mesh under planting boxes to deter gophers

Succulent Design by Student

Succulent Design by Student

The kids had definite opinions on which plants they preferred
and they came up with a variety of designs.

Pumpkins with moss and succulents



Life size scarecrows


The kids had good imaginations in creating their scarecrows.

Dried Arrangements made by Students

Dried Arrangements made by Students

Materials to choose from (and messes)

Christmas themed planters made by students

Christmas themed planters made by students


Miniature Christmas Trees made from Pine Cones


Judy talked to the students about Floral Design and they made bouquets which were given to Atria

Kitchen Garden boxes planted by students

Kitchen Garden boxes planted by students (combo of plants and seeds)

Painted Rocks

The kids painted rocks.  The sticker on the back of each gives the Facebook 
location for TVGC and for Temecula Rox.

Jeanne Roberts went by Southwest Boulder & Stone (SWB) in Fallbrook, CA to purchase rocks 
for our Temecula Valley Garden Club, Rancho Damacitas Children and Family Services, 
and Temecula Rox community project.  SWB gave us two dozen rocks!
To read Jeanne's story of discovering Temecula Rox, go to the Friendship and Fun page.

As always, there is no shortage of ideas from the kids.

Planting and watering the raised beds

The tomatoes have been planted, watered, and caged.
The cages were donated.
Did you notice the little marigolds? = companion planting.

Some Rancho Damacitas entries in the 2017 Flower Show

Some Blue Ribbon Winners

October 2017 - Halloween Succulent Planters