October Newsletter

Ploughshares is Hiring a New Nursery Manager

Hello Ploughshares peeps!  It has been an amazing and instructive time for me managing Ploughshares Nursery and I am moving on to wonderful nursery in Petaluma soon.  Ploughshares is a fascinating nursery to work at, we are part of a pioneering effort to make people aware of sustainable gardening practices, food independence and sovereignty, native ecology and ways to end the curse of homelessness on our citizens.

This nursery will always have a warm place in my heart and I will remember Alameda as a small community that cares deeply about homelessness and is innovative in charting new ways to end homelessness. I will remember all the school gardens I stocked with plants, the many hard working volunteers who kept the nursery running during hard times and the community at Alameda Point Collaborative who never ceased to impress me with their fierce determination to overcome. 

I leave you with this quote from The Fellowship of the Ring (my favorite book). Thanks for shopping at Ploughshares!
Jeff Bridge

Bilbo: My dear Bagginses and Boffins… Tooks and Brandybucks… Grubbs, Chubbs… Hornblowers… Bolgers… Bracegirdles… and Proudfoots.

Proudfeet: Proudfeet!

Bilbo: Today is my 111th birthday! But alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable Hobbits. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. I, uh… I have things to do. I’ve put this off far too long. I regret to announce this is the end! I’m going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye.

(Puts on the ring and disappears…)

Help end homelessness working at an environmentally sustainable nursery.

Alameda Point Collaborative


POSITION:                                       Nursery Manager

DIVISION:                                        Nursery

REPORTS TO:                                   Executive Director

CLASSIFICATION:                          Exempt

SUPERVISES:                                   Sales and Propagation Staff
                                                            On The Job Trainees
            Volunteer Groups


Ploughshares Nursery is a social enterprise project of the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC).  APC’s mission is to end homelessness by providing housing and services to create communities where individuals and families who have experienced homelessness can build towards self-sufficiency. At APC, we believe we better meet our mission by recruiting, training and retaining a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the community we serve. Over 50% of APC’s employees have lived experience with homelessness. This experience, along with the many other skills and talents of our employees, strengthens our work. APC strives to recruit a racially and ethnically diverse workforce. We aim to provide a workplace that is for everyone and where everyone’s voice is heard.

APC is currently engaged in an organization-wide racial equity review and strategic planning process.  We are being guided in this effort by an external team of experts, Racial Equity Partners in collaboration with an internal working group that includes staff members from diverse backgrounds and job levels.


Under the general direction of the Executive Director, the Nursery Manager is responsible for providing leadership in development and operation of Ploughshare Plant Nursery, and is responsible for all aspects of the nursery’s operation and growth.


  • Manage day-to-day operations of nursery
  • Supervise production and sales staff
  • Develop and implement marketing and outreach strategies to increase sales
  • Oversee and participate in on-site landscape design and grounds maintenance, and inventory placement to optimally present Nursery to shoppers
  • Maintain compliance with all regulations pertaining to nursery operations
  • Purchase supplies and materials for all nursery retail, nursery production, grounds maintenance and volunteer activities
  • Prepare propagation and planting schedule
  • Perform propagation activities as necessary to meet production needs
  • Track nursery inventory
  • Track nursery revenues and expenditures
  • Publish monthly newsletter
  • Perform onsite sales at the Point of Sale
  • Conduct offsite bulk, discounted and wholesale sales
  • Perform deliveries and pickups of vendor goods and customer special orders as well as all materials for propagation and volunteer activities as needed
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Five years of experience in management experience in the nursery business, marketing focus a plus
  • Experience with or commitment to training and working with economically-disadvantaged adults
  • Knowledge or organic and conventional plant production, laws and regulations
  • Knowledge of edible plants, native plants and non-native drought tolerant plants
  • Knowledge of garden dry goods focusing on ‘less toxic’ pest and disease products
  • Knowledge of propagation and greenhouse operations
  • Strong organizational skills


  • Ability to work independently and as member of a collaborative services team
  • Ability to adapt work schedule to meet program and client needs
  • Ability to schedule and manage multiple tasks
  • Ability to work effectively in high stress situations
  • Ability to perform landscaping and repair/maintenance duties, including climbing stairs and ladders, bending over, using landscaping equipment, and lifting moderately heavy objects (up to 50 pounds)
  • Good communication skills including written, verbal, in person and by telephone
  • Ability to learn new tasks and/or systems
  • Ability to operate motor vehicle
  • Reasoning and thinking skills and ability to problem solve

To Apply:
Please submit a cover letter describing your interest, and a current resume. Emails must contain “Nursery Manager” in the subject line, and a cover letter and resume should be sent as one attachment to HR@apcollaborative.org.
Alameda Point Collaborative is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applicants from historically oppressed backgrounds and communities.

October Workshop

Craft Up ; ‘Get Your Hands Dirty Making Something Beautiful’

Craft Up Shadebowls

And FAQ about shade gardening after you get your hands dirty

Get Tickets Here

Craft up a beautiful bowl of shade plants for texture and flowers. Learn how to tend plants growing in containers in shade. Everyone takes home a bowl of their own creation composed of plants which prefer shade like that on a porch, deck, under a tree or atrium. Afterwards Ploughshare’s horticulturalist’s Bonnie Howard and Linda Jones will answer your questions about growing plants in shade.

October Tree Planting with Ploughshares
big specimens do better when planted in cool weather


Lagerstroemia indica ‘Dynamite’
Looking for amazing color and drought tolerance in a small tree?  Look no further than Dynamite Crape Myrtle tree.  Grows 15′ to 20′ tall and 10′ to 15′ wide at a moderate to fast rate.  Requires little or no irrigation when established ( I say ‘little’ because even when established properly a long drought will stress these nearly indestructible beauties ).  Prune lightly when dormant to encourage an explosion of red flowers which will stop traffic. 

Great video on pruning and thinning your crape myrtle!

Ray Hartman California Lilac

Get your native garden roaring with some amazing blue to go with the red of Dynamite Crape Myrtle.
This tree form of California Lilac brings deep blue to late winter and early spring.  Watch the native pollinators come from all over the neighborhood to enjoy a meal from one of the first plants in California’s native ecosystems to offer food to overwintering animals.  Hummingbirds love this small tree for nesting.
Grows fast to 10′-20′ high and wide.  Make sure to plant in full sun with excellent drainage, establish with regular winter water and taper off.  This tree can be killed with too much warm season watering.

Great video-lecture about Ceanothus care and factoids.

Silver Gum

Eucalyptus crenulata ‘Silver Gum’

A treat for all the senses, beautiful silver foliage, furry and deeply crenulated bark, tantalizing scent of flowers and the sighing sound of wind through her leaves!  Rare and exotic beauty in a tree from the other side of the world.  Despite being perfectly suited to our climate she is a rare specimen in California. Be the talk of your neighborhood with this easy to grow and drought accepting tree.  Expect 20′-30′ height and 15′ -20′ width if left unpruned.  Or prune heavily and top regularly to promote attractive juvenile growth and keep to any desired size.  She accepts poorly draining soil and boggy conditions as well as dry conditions.  Silver Gum is not hard to please and gets along nicely with Grevillea, Bacharis, Rosemary and Sages.

vaccinated volunteers needed, come in anytime Wednesday through Friday 10-4pm and get some free horticultural lovin