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Local leaders give Sunflower Hill garden a fresh start

Planted spaces provide vocational opportunities for those with special needs

State, regional and local leaders joined with Sunflower Hill managers last week in a "first harvest" ceremony at the nonprofit's Gardens at Hagemann Ranch in Livermore to plant crops for the needy.

The one-acre garden will provide vocational opportunities for individuals with special needs and grow food for local pantries, including Open Heart Kitchen. Crops planted included tomatoes, lettuce, basil, corn, peppers, 3 sisters, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, artichokes, kale, beans, pumpkins, collard greens and squash.

Speakers at the ceremony included Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty and Livermore Mayor John Marchand.

Pleasanton City Council members Kathy Narum and Jerry Pentin, along with Livermore City Councilmen Stewart Gary and Steve Spedowfski, planted sunflowers to mark the occasion.

Also there were representatives from the offices of Congressman Eric Swalwell, State Senator Steve Glazer and State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker.

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