Monday, June 30, 2008

Build an Arbor!

This image is from a great blog, called Charles and Hudson. Here are their directions:

1. Wood: Four 6×6 posts, Two 6×6 beams, Rafters (usually 4×4 or 2×6), Lath, 2×2 or 1×2, to run over rafters, Wood (2×4) and stakes for bracing of posts

2. Hardware: One post base (including anchor bolt) per post if building on concrete, One concrete pier per post and concrete mix if building on soil, Galvanized nails, 10″ lag bolts with washers to fasten beams to posts, 7″ lag bolts with washers to attach rafters to beams (if using 4×4)

3. Doing the Work: Start by attaching posts, cut to desired length and using post bases, to concrete slab. Or, if building on soil, dig posts holes and fill with concrete. Then set concrete piers on concrete about 3 to 4 inches above grade. Cut posts to length and nail to piers. Use wood, stakes, and a level to brace up posts so that they are plumb in all directions. Leave these braces attached until the arbor framing is complete and everything is nailed down. With help, place the two beams on top of braced posts. Drill a pilot hole through the beam and down into each post. Install 10″ lag bolts and washer to secure the beams at each post location. Install rafters across the beams. If using 4×4 rafters, drill and install 7″ lags through the rafter and into the beam below. If using 2×6 rafters, it is a good idea to use extra 2×6 and install “roll blocking” between each rafter to prevent side-to-side motion. Nail rafters and blocks to beams. Install 1×2, 2×2 lath over rafters to provide shade. You can also use vines if you prefer a more natural look.
When everything is nailed off, remove braces and stakes. Congratulations. You now have an arbor!

Reduce, Reuse, and Grow

Used cardboard coffee (and other) containers are a free source of seedling cups. You're saving a few cups from landfills (they can be composted after they eventually become nice and soggy) and make fun gifts. Who wouldn't smile getting a seedling gift in a Ben & Jerry's ice ceram container?
I work with a small group of people and already have dozens of cups saved. Imagine if you work in a large office building...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mary Janes Farm in Moscow, Idaho

You must check out her website! It is amazing!

How to Make Strawberry Freezer Jam from the Groovy Green Blog

These are all the ingredients needed to make your own freezer jam. My gram and I took 2 quarts of strawberries, two packages of certo, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice a giant bag of sugar (8 cups!) - and turned them into 12 containers of deliciousness.
Click Groovy Green to read more of the recipe. Gram Alice Rethink looks like a pro.
Preparing, processing, and saving our food is the next step of community gardening. My grandmother used to jar and can everything, but she forget how now and cannot teach me.
I have so many leftover tomatoes at the end of the season, I would love to can them, but I worry about doing it wrong and poisoning my family.

One Straw Blog Is a Must See

Here is a fantastic post about compost bins to get you started:

I spend alot of energy trying to literally build soils on site for my little Garden of Eatin. Year 1 had us going form over function as I struggled to plant an entire half acre by hand, including a lawn and 2000 sq ft of perennial beds, and 1000 sq ft of prairie. But the next year I went up to a nice cedar two bin system that was intended to be a display model for our side business. That bin is/was gorgeous, but even with 2.5 cu yards of capacity, we still outgrew it in the winter when nothing was breaking down. We make about 5 yards annually, so I had Bigger Plans. Imagine that… So I sold the 2 bin system to the daycare that lives in our Church during the week, and Got Busy.

When we built our Earth Victory Gardens, we discovered a source for 3×12x16′ reclaimed fir boards. A company had salvaged them from a warehouse that was being torn down. And they were selling them for $20. Sure they’re full of nails, but that is an INSANE amount of lumber. The day after I visited the salvage yard the idea for this bin was born. It was to be 4 bins wide, and made almost entirely of these Titan Sized boards. It was to be a bin that just may become an heirloom in our family for generations. I bought 6 3×12’s for $120, and purchased another $100 in cedar and got to work this past Saturday. The pile of lumber at left weighs over 600 pounds and I had to borrow a circular saw that takes a 8.5″ blade to cut them. From Great Beginnings come Great Things! I will spare you the play by play -the design is amazingly simple and should be apparent from the pics. So here it is:

Each “Stall” is 36″ deep by 39″ tall for no other reason than that is the max I could eck out of a 16′ board with little to no waste. The cedar slats in the front are made from decking so they are 5/4″ thick and pretty dang stout. Here is another shot from the side to show the interior:

You can see the 3×12’s are spaced about 1.5″ to allow in some air, and the stall sides are assembled with 2×2 cedar to set the spacing, and the back 3×12’s, which are 153 inches long, are screwed into the stall sides using 5″ long lags. Once they were drawn tight this thing is Rock Solid. In fact it didn’t even tweak out of square when I levered it into place with a 6′ pry bar! The doors to the stalls are just decking run in slats formed by a 2×2 and a piece of decking screwed into the front edge of the stall divider. Spacing for the front slats? A galvanized roofing nail:

This set up will be able to hold 3 separate 1 cu yard piles in various stages of decomposition with an empty bin to allow me to turn the piles into to… which should be just right. I am VERY pleased with the results of a weekend’s labor -as Mia said, its a nice mix between Farm practicality and HOA looks. And it is so tough not even I should be able to break it! Why do I need so much compost space if I don’t have any trees?

The buckets are 3 weeks worth of “gorp” that the local Coffee Shop saves for me -to the tune of about 25 gallons weekly. The barrow load is weeds from half of one of my large perennial beds. True its been a while since I weeded, but that is a 10 cu ft wheel barrow… We are essentially a “pioneer” ecosystem that I have yet to fill all the niches in, and Nature is filling them for me with thistle, quack grass, and bladder campanula.
But that still begs the question of WHY I go through all this. The answer couldn’t be simpler:

The Smooth Penstemon is in bloom in the prairie…
Be the Change.

OSU cutting back on honeybee research

By Spencer Hunt

As scientists nationwide are trying to figure out why honeybees are abandoning their hives and dying, Ohio State University has abandoned its bee research.

Ohio State has cut funding for the Rothenbuhler Honey Bee Research Laboratory, which was created in 1989 and was once home to two renowned bee experts.

Susan Fisher, chairwoman of the Ohio State entomology department, said the lab's demise began in 2005 when Brian Smith, a neurobiologist studying how bees learn, took a job at Arizona State University. He wasn't replaced.

Two years later, researcher Susan Cobey, an expert in artificial insemination and breeding, left for the University of California at Davis. Ohio State did not fill the position.

"I'm very frustrated by this," Fisher said. "If there is any single area in which we should be investing in entomology, this is certainly one of them."

Colony collapse disorder has caused bees to abandon their hives and killed billions of bees in 35 states. Beekeepers lost 35 percent of their hives to the disorder this year and 31 percent last year.

Last year, Ohio lost about 72percent of its hives — about 1billion bees — to colony collapse and harsh weather. Ohio bees, which pollinate more than 70 crops, including apples, peaches, strawberries and pumpkins, did better this year.

Nationwide, bees pollinate $14.6billion worth of fruits and vegetables every year.
Rich Hall, associate dean of Ohio State's College of Biological Sciences, said the decision to mothball biological bee research freed more than $242,000 annually in salaries, benefits and maintenance costs.

He said the money went to support and expand research in biochemistry, molecular genetics and organismal biology.

"It's a question of priorities," Hall said. "The department of entomology has relatively few students taking those courses."

Fifteen majors are offered in entomology. The college, with an annual budget of $24.9 million, offers a total of 3,000 majors, Hall said.

The loss of Rothenbuhler isn't the end of Ohio State's work with honeybees. A separate OSU honeybee lab exists in Wooster.

Jim Tew, an OSU beekeeping specialist, said his research is oriented to the needs of Ohio beekeepers, including strategies to help bees get through tough winters.

Though his work can involve queens and breeding, "I'm more of a generalist," Tew said.
"My work has never been the more advanced genetic studies," Tew said. "I would be hard-pressed to do the kind of work Brian (Smith) was doing."

Researchers at other schools, including Penn State University, are studying Israeli acute paralysis virus as a possible cause of colony collapse.

The bee colony losses also have captured the attention of Congress, which held a hearing on the issue yesterday.

Experts told a congressional panel that a record 36 percent of U.S. commercial bee colonies have been lost to mysterious causes this year, and the worse might be yet to come.

The escalating campaign against colony collapse disorder includes more state, federal and private funding for research.

The five-year farm bill recently approved over President Bush's veto authorizes, but does not guarantee, $20 million for bee-related studies.

In 2005, Smith was paid an annual salary of $96,540 and was working on four research grants that totaled $1.5 million in 2003, Fisher said. In 2004, he won a $1.8 million National Institutes of Health grant for research that was supposed to continue through 2009.

"He more than paid for himself," Fisher said. "When he left, he took that money with him."
Cobey, whose salary was $57,312 a year, said it was difficult to stay at Ohio State after Smith wasn't replaced.

"It just spiraled down," Cobey said of the program. "I really think it's tragic that honeybee research will not be continued."

Bee enthusiasts and researchers called the lab's closing a big loss.

Tim Arheit, a Delphos beekeeper, said breeding research is critical to creating strains of bees better-adapted to Ohio's winters.

Dewey Caron, a University of Delaware bee researcher, said the work Walter Rothenbuhler, the OSU researcher for whom the lab is named, performed on bee diseases is relevant today.

"At this time, with the demise of bees, we need the strength of programs and use of facilities such as the one Ohio State had," Caron said.

Information from McClatchy Newspapers was included in this story.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Photo by Jo McCulty, courtesy of Ohio State University.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research suggests that the average supermarket shopper is willing to pay a premium price for locally produced foods, providing some farmers an attractive option to enter a niche market that could boost their revenues.

The study also showed that shoppers at farm markets are willing to pay almost twice as much extra as retail grocery shoppers for the same locally produced foods. Both kinds of shoppers also will pay more for guaranteed fresh produce and tend to favor buying food produced by small farms over what they perceive as corporate operations, according to the study.

“Our conclusion is that if a farmer wants to consider producing food for local distribution and marketing it locally, there are people who are willing to pay more for it,” said Marvin Batte, a co-author of the study and the Fred N. VanBuren professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State University. “We are not saying that we should be producing all of our foods locally, just that this may be a viable, profitable activity for farmers.”
And what’s good for farmers also benefits consumers in this case, said Batte, director of the research project.

“This is an indication that certain groups out there value locally produced food and if farmers deliver that, it makes these consumers happier, so it’s good for them, too,” he said.
Most of the survey was conducted in late 2005. Batte said the findings – and his contention that not all food should be produced locally – still apply today, even in the face of rising fuel and food prices. Many food crops that thrive in specific types of climates cannot be efficiently and affordably produced for local distribution elsewhere. And, he said, those who buy local food to support nearby growers likely would be even more motivated to lend that support in a flagging economy.

The study is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
The researchers surveyed shoppers at 17 Midwestern locations, including seven retail grocery stores, six on-site farm markets and four farmers’ markets hosting sellers from multiple farms. The researchers used data from 477 surveys.

"We were able to determine how important price was, how important where the strawberries were produced was and whether the freshness guarantee was a factor,” Batte said. “Basically what made the biggest difference was local production.”

The survey presented shoppers with two product options. Both were baskets of strawberries, but they were presented under 80 combinations of price, farm location and farm type. Some scenarios also included a freshness guarantee. After presenting the options, the researchers asked shoppers which basket of strawberries they would buy.

“Statistically, we sorted out what explains each person choosing one basket over the other. We were able to determine how important price was, how important where the strawberries were produced was and whether the freshness guarantee was a factor,” Batte said. “Basically what made the biggest difference was local production.”

In the study, local production meant the berries were grown within Ohio. The average retail shopper was willing to pay 48 cents more for strawberries produced locally, and shoppers at farm markets were willing to pay 92 cents extra. With the base price for a quart of berries set at $3, farm market shoppers were willing to pay almost a third more for the local produce.
The freshness guarantee also held meaning for shoppers. If shoppers were promised fresh produce that was recently harvested, farm market shoppers were willing to pay 73 cents extra and retail shoppers indicated they would pay 54 cents more.

The researchers also tried to test shopper interest in supporting small vs. large farms by naming one fictional berry producer “Fred’s” and the other “Berries Inc.” Shoppers in grocery stores were willing to pay 17 cents extra for a quart of berries from Fred’s, and farm market shoppers were willing to pay 42 cents more for the perceived small-farm produce.

“We suspected people who go to farmers’ markets go there for a reason, because they are willing to pay more, hunt it down and travel there. But we also found that the typical shopper in a retail grocery store is willing to pay more, as well. And in fact, we’re seeing that grocery stores are figuring this out by prominently labeling locally produced food,” Batte said. “So we were trying to see if that group of people who shop at retail groceries are willing to pay X amount, and determine what that amount is.”

Though the study was conducted in Ohio, Batte said the findings could easily extend to the rest of the country. However, the definition of local would be likely to differ in California, a large state with multiple growing regions, and New England, where several small states are clustered closely together.

“The shoppers are expected to be there in each kind of shopping venue nationally, but ‘local’ would need to be defined more precisely for various regions,” Batte said.

Though not all farmers would be able to set up a niche operation to grow and sell their produce to nearby consumers, Batte said some smaller farm owners could consider adding hand-harvested local production with the expectation that they can charge a premium for that produce.

“Farmers could actually be a little less efficient on the production side and still be more profitable on the revenue side if they can capture that premium price,” he said.
This work was supported by the National Research Initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Fred N. VanBuren Program in Farm Management at Ohio State, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Co-authors of the study were graduate student Kim Darby, outreach program leader Stan Ernst and Professor Brian Roe of Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Contact: Marvin Batte, (614) 292-6406;

Written by Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310;

Hello 4 Season City Farm Volunteers:

The season is in full swing!

Now join us on Wednesdays evenings from 5:30-7pm at one of the following gardens to plant and cultivate. Mark you calendars!

  • Wednesday June 25th 5:30pm @ The Garden of Champions @ the corner of Champion Ave. & E. Mound St.
  • Wednesday July 2nd 5:30pm @ Sunflower Alley @ the corner of Bryden and Ohio Ave.
  • Wednesday Jully 9th 5:30pm @ The Garden of Justice @ the corner of Carpenter and Cherry, behind the Police Substation on E. Main St.
We will supply the tools and the project. Bring garden gloves(if you have them), a hat, and water.

Garden Update: We've been planting since early April and now as we continue to plant summer crops there is also a lot of weed cultivation to be done among the early crops. This time of the year there is a delicate balance of planting and maintaining what has been planted. We have some great new tools this year for cultivating the weeds when they are only inches high, not feet! Cultivating at the right time can save a gardener hours! We have begun to harvest peas, collards, lettuce, and herbs. This week we will also be harvesting radishes too. The harvests have been sold to The Black Creek Bistro and The Bexley Market. We've donated to The Community Kitchen at St. John's Center. We look forward to donating to the Salvation Army Food Pantry on E. Main St. this week as well. Look for our booth at the Near East Farmer's Market on 18th St. next to the Blackburn Rec. Center every Saturday starting June 21st through October.

This season we have 11 community gardens! If anyone is interested in their own plot, we have some areas set aside at The Garden of Freedom at the corner of E. Mound and Carpenter St. Please let me know ASAP! Every Saturday we meet at the Garden of New Freedom at 913 E. Mound St. to plant and cultivate from 9am- 1pm. There are other gardeners in their gardens on Satudays too and volunteers can stop by New Freedom for directions to these gardens.

Thanks again for your continued support of this project! Volunteers make all the difference!

Leslie Markworth
Community Garden Organizer

Quite possibly the best website of all time...

Make sure to check out the backyard composting slide show. So cool!

Friday, June 20, 2008

What would you like to learn?

Please join us at the
Community Gardening
Curriculum Open House
July 16, 6-8 pm
at Franklin Park Conservatory
We are in the process of developing
the curriculum of classes we will offer
through Franklin Park Conservatory’s
Community Garden Campus.
We’d like to learn more about what kinds of
classes you might like to take, so that we can
better serve our community.
Here are potential class categories, and we look forward
to creating more classes based on your ideas:
School Gardens
Nutrition & Wellness
Community Gardening Leadership
Sustainability Practices
Can’t attend?
Contact us at

Monday, June 16, 2008

You are invited!

Planting Partnerships Potluck

June 19, 2008 6:00 P.M.
East Fifth Avenue Community Urban Garden
3025 E. 5th Ave.

· Come see the latest “growing’s on” with our Community Gardening efforts. Learn and discuss seeds, plants, funding, volunteers, new and needy projects. If you are new to the group just bring a dish to share, your hunger for help and your curiosity for community.
· For Directions or More Information Please Contact Nicholas J. Ard

Friday, June 13, 2008

Glenwood United Methodist Community Garden in Valleyview suffers flash flood

This garden took a toll from last night's storm. they lost some rootcrops, a small fridge and water pump. If any one knows where they can get some replacement onion sets, 4x4 lumber, dorm fridge or any other help please contact me and I will put you in touch with Linda Casto, garden leader.
Thank you,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Food gardens a growing trend

Here is how the Denver Post article starts out:
Seed sales are way up. Community gardens are long sold out. Calls for help to convert suburban lawns to lush raised vegetable beds are coming in to extension agents fast and furious.
Folks worried about rising food and fuel prices, and concerned about how and where their fruits and veggies are grown, are investing heavily in home-grown produce.
Soil, it seems, is the new oil.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Grace Lee Boggs Interview

This was sent to me via a 4SCF gardener:

In the early 1980s when Detroit was a devastated “bombed-out” city, Grace and her husband Jimmy Boggs advanced the concept of self and community self-sufficiency through organic city farms and gardens, and inspired a vision of Detroit’s empty lots and unemployed factory workers as the natural and human resources for creating, step by step, garden by garden, neighborhood artisinal shop and artist studios, one by one… a new permaculture civilization!

Grace Lee Boggs Celebrated Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power Partners in Her National Interview with Bill Moyers Tonight at 8 p.m.

Significance of Moyers/Boggs Interview Expected to
Equal Contribution of Moyers Interview with Joseph Campbell

Dear All,

Tonight at her 8 p.m. interview with Bill Moyers, legendary Detroit movement writer activist Grace Lee Boggs will tell the nation that Milwaukee’s Will Allen’s Growing Power city farm and community garden projects are prime, real-world examples of her compelling visions of “cities of hope.”

Grace is 92 and still going strong. She won a PH.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr in 1938, partnered with C.L.R. James in a highly signficant “anti-communist” left tendency in the 1940s, married renowned Detroit auto worker/philosopher Jimmy Boggs in the 1950s, was a major leader in the labor, civil rights, peace, black power, Asian American women’s and environmental movements in the 1960s and 1970s, and, since the 1980s, has been a major planetary actor of the permaculture movement.

I am looking as much forward to this interview as I did of Moyers’ interviews of Joseph Campbell, and I expect Grace’s statement to reverberate through the culture for years to come.
view a clip of this interview at: see the Boggs/Moyers free online after broadcast at and iTunes - free of charge go to Moyers Blog and contribute to a conversation about the permaculture movement inspire schools, faith communities, and eco-associations to purchase the Moyers/Boggs Interview on DVD/VHS tape and present it to their constituents.
God willing, Moyers and team will visit Milwaukee and spend some time with Big Will Allen and team at the Growing Power City Farm and Community Food Movement center!
If you would like to receive copies of Grace’s newsletter “Living for Change,” send an e-mail to

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Schnormeier Garden in Gambier

I just got this from the Master Gardener listserv:

Saturday and Sunday, June 14 & 15, 1-5 PM

The Schnormeier Garden in Gambier is having its only open house of the year this Saturday and Sunday. The Schnormeier website says the free open house is from 1-5. The website is

If you are unfamiliar with this garden please check out the website. It is even better in person and is a truly amazing and inspirational private garden.

Another edible schoolyard in Columbus

Would you like to be involved in Columbus' newest edible schoolyard project? Lincoln Park Elementary, an elementary school in the Columbus Public School system, has recently installed it's 'Soaring Eagle Edible Garden'. The children have planted their large garden space with a variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and could use some assistance from the community in maintaining it this summer. Please join us on Thursday evenings from 7-8 p.m. (weather depending) as we weed, mulch, plant, water, harvest, and enjoy community! If you have a hoe, please bring it with you. Lincoln Park Elementary is located in the south side of Columbus at 579 Markison Avenue, Columbus, 43207; the garden itself is located behind the building. For more information, contact Susan Weber at, or Kathleen Gmeiner at We hope to see you there!

Monday, June 9, 2008

OSU Master Gardener Hotline

The Ohio State University Extension has re-established its hot line, which provides answers from experts for gardeners through the growing season.

The hot line has a new number -- 614-866-6900, Ext. 209 -- and instead of talking to master gardeners live, "People can call in anytime, 24/7, with their gardening questions and leave voice mail," said Cory Skurdal, the new program assistant for the Franklin County Master Gardener program.

The master gardeners will research the questions and return calls between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays each week of the gardening season, beginning Monday.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tending God's green acres

Great article from The Columbus Dispatch on our friends at Shepherd's Corner! It starts like this:

Shepherd's Corner at Dominican Acres sticks out like a green thumb among the subdivisions and shopping centers that surround it.

The 160-acre organic farm in Jefferson Township west of Waggoner Road is run by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Spring, a Roman Catholic community. It is home to turkeys, chickens, sheep and a llama as well as hay fields and vegetable gardens.

Today is the farm's 10th annual Neighbors' Day open house. Ten years ago, residents of the newly built developments around Shepherd's Corner were curious about the farm. The event started as a chance to show off the farm to the new neighbors, said Melissa Camp, director of Shepherd's Corner.

Friday, June 6, 2008

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

One more for your reading pleasure! Here some information from the website:

Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it? Because most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we're consuming it -- in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone -- is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible foodlike substances" -- no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.

Book: The Ominvore's Dilemma

The Ominvore's Dilemma sounds like an amazing book!
Pollan turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating. His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance.

A cookbook for all seasons

There is a fantastic cookbook out there called Simply in Season (thanks to Annie again!). I would highly suggest it for gardeners who like to cook what they grow! Here is some information from their website:

Through stories and simple “whole foods” recipes, Simply in Season, a new World Community Cookbook explores how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors. It shows the importance of eating local, seasonal food — and fairly traded food — inviting readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit.

In April 2004, when a call was put out for seasonal local recipes, just under 800 contributors responded over the next year, submiting over 1,500 recipes and participating in just under 3,000 recipe tests. The authors Cathleen Hockman-Wert and Mary Beth Lind shepherded the recipes through the testing stages and choosing the best seasonal range of delicious recipes.

Upon futher research, I stumbled upon the co-author's blog (and you know how much we love blogs!):

The Future of Food is a great way to learn more about Genetically Modified Foods and was suggested by my fabulous friend, Annie!

The Columbus Dispatch & Gardening!

If you like fresh, locally grown produce, and you don't have it growing in your garden, check out The Columbus Dispatch's interactive map for 35 farmers' markets and another 16 pick-your-own-farms.

They also have great recipes and ideas!

Volunteers and Friends of Four Seasons City Farm:

Just a reminder, volunteer work days in the gardens take place every Saturday from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Volunteers meet in the Garden of New Freedom located at the intersection of Mound and Carpenter. We look forward to seeing you then!

In addition, as many of you may know, City Farm will be attending the Near East Farmer's Market with fresh produce on Saturday mornings starting June 21st and going through the beginning of October. The market will be held on 18th, between Main St. and Rich St. by the Blackburn Recreation Center, from 9am-4pm. The Near East Area Commission and partnering organizations need volunteers to make this Market a success! Volunteers are needed to set up the moveable street barriers (I'm told they are not heavy) and help staff a Farmer's Market information table.

Even if you help out on one Saturday this summer, your help is needed!

Please contact Pam Argus at the Central Community House to volunteer at 252-3157 ext. 124. Tell her you're a City Farmer! As always thank you for supporting City Farm and the community!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

benefit raffle at the Urban Gardener

Hi Bill,

Bill, I wanted to let you know about a raffle that Christie at the Urban Gardener (on high Street) is doing this weekend in conjunction with Gallery Hop. She will be raffling off a Can-O-Worms with worms and proceeds will be donated to help the Haiku employees that were injured several weeks ago. We are donating an additional pound of worms to go with the Can for every 100 tickets sold. I hope we have to give away a lot of worms! If you know anyone who might be interested please pass this on.


Jeff Smith
Vermi Wonder LLC

The Can-O-Worms is an odorless, user-friendly worm composting system that allows anyone to participate in recycling and garden enrichment through composting. Whether you live in an apartment or have a backyard, you can provide organic fertilizer for indoor plants and your garden. Stacked ring-upon-ring, each section of this worm condo can house thousands of worms for composting year round. Each unit features a tap drain on the lowest ring to collect compost tea directly from the source. Harvesting of castings (worm manure) is easy because the worms eat their way up, leaving their rich castings behind which are readily removed, free of worms.
(The Franklin Park Conservatory will be displaying and teaching about worm composting at our booth at the Arts Festival this weekend as well. we will be creating worm puppets with kids and highlighting the Growing to Green Program. Stop by and say hello!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Next for conservatory: garden 'campus'

Today was the groundbreaking for the Community Garden Campus at Franklin Park Conservatory. Click here to read more!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Amid city streets, a growing trend

Click here for a great article from the Boston Globe that starts like this:

Can't stomach $4 a pound for organic tomatoes at the supermarket? Maybe it's time to grow your own.

Escalating food prices are prompting more people to return to the soil this spring, according to community garden coordinators, garden centers, and merchants. Seed sales are up across the region, and organizers of community gardens report that waiting lists are expanding.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weiland Park Community Garden News

Important news:

Cathy Treyens (our gardener extraordinaire who adopted our "Free Garden") did some donation requests and had many plants donated to the garden. Over the next few days we hope to have them all planted. Please see Jessica or myself if you'd like to help put them in the ground. Also a big thanks to Cathy and a group of volunteers who came to WPCG on Memorial Day and gave the garden some love---it looked great.

We have a new Compost bin, built and donated by Tom Barnum---thanks, it will be very beneficial to our garden---and looks much better! Way to go!

Check out our new fruit trees donated from Franklin Park Conservatory in front of our building and thanks to Jessica and our wonderful teens for all of their hard work making it happen.
Cortney Porter's pumpkin and squash patches are growing quickly---can't wait to see the kids enjoy them.

Helma Groot, City Year and myself "planted" the sculptural artwork (recycled flowers from Blooms and Butterflies) that was donated from Franklin Park Conservatory and we painted another mural---on the back side of the old mural. It looks great from 5th Ave.---come and check it out.

Heritage Centers are now a proud employer of teens from our Summer Teen Employment Program. Jessica Roach will be spearheading this wonderful opportunity for inter generational learning through gardening and recreational activities with the seniors who attend their programming.

Thanks to Linda for our new trash can in the garden!

We will find out this week if the Indianola Middle School project will continue....stay tuned. I will likely know by Wednesday!

There is a new community garden at the 16th Street Church, just past the old Indianola Elementary---flowers, food and herbs.

We met this weekend regarding a new farmers market located in the Susie Q--Xenos area on 4th St. Plans are moving ahead and we have a tentative date set for August 2nd. There will be educational workshops, cooking demonstrations, collaborative art projects, raffle tickets/prizes, community information tables and best of all fresh, chemical-free, locally grown produce, herbs and flowers! Anyone interested in being involved with this project please contact me and I will steer you towards a committee that best fits your interests. We are focusing on the University area gardens, Columbus area businesses and hand-made items. More news to come soon....SO exciting!

Summer Sizzle will be a fun event not to be missed, sponsored by United Way, located at Godman Guild, Saturday June 21st, from 12-3---Food, Games, Prizes and Activities for children of all ages, (children under the ages of 12 must be with an adult) and a Free Bike Raffle. Don't miss it!

I am putting an ask out to all members of WPCG to pitch in when you can with watering and weeding. Let me know if you need help with weed identification or don't have a key to the shed.

It's going to be a bountiful summer,

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Target Grants

Another source of tools and support for community gardens comes through Target!

Organizations located in communities where we do business:
501(c)(3) organizations, schools, libraries, or public agencies

Nonprofit programs that impact any of the following areas:
- Arts- Early Childhood Reading- Family Violence Prevention

Support for projects or programs
Average grant amount$1,000—$3,000

The 2008 grant application deadline has passed. Visit again between March 1 and May 31, 2009 to apply for a grant.

Fiskar's Project Orange Thumb


What inspired Project Orange Thumb?

Started in 2003, Project Orange Thumb is a grant program that provides community garden groups with the tools and materials they need to reach their goals for neighborhood beautification and horticulture education.

During our inaugural year, we partnered with the Chicago Park District and the Garfield park Conservatory Alliance to provide tools, materials and support to three community gardens in Chicago.

Marking our 5th successful year in 2007, Project Orange ThumbSM has provided over 100 community groups with over $200,000 to create and develop their own special community gardens. These included projects geared toward community involvement, neighborhood beautification, sustainable agriculture and/or horticultural education.
Community garden groups, as well as schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, etc. are encouraged to apply.

Grant Recipients Receive:
Up to $1,500.00 in Fiskars® Garden Tools
Project Orange ThumbSM t-Shirts for garden members/volunteers
Up to $800.00 for other materials such as plants, seeds, mulch, etc.

Waterworks Project through Organic Gardening Magazine

I just read this on ACGA's listserv:

"Organic Gardening magazine has a program where they donate and install 1,000 gallon cisterns in community gardens. You should certainly apply for one--and I expect their web site has lots of construction tips..."
I looked it up, but could not find a link to apply. Any ideas?