Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Community Gardens in Parks and Recreation Departments

February 2009 Teleconference -

Wednesday, February 11

1:00 pm EST, 2:00 pm CST, 3:00 pm MST, 4:00 pm PST

Topic: Community Gardens in Parks and Recreation Departments

Hosted by Bill Maynard

Bill Maynard is the Vice President of ACGA, living in Sacramento, CA. Bill is the Community Garden Program Coordinator for the City of Sacramento Dept. of Parks and Recreation and founder of the Sacramento Area Community Garden Coalition. His work with school gardens earned him an appointment to the California State Board of Education School Garden Advisory Committee.

Enabling Gardening: Discussing Accessibility in our Community Gardens

To Join ACGA Click Here
Join us for: Enabling Gardening: Discussing Accessibility in our Community Gardens

January 23, 2009

12:00 pm Eastern
11:00 am Central
10:00 am Mountain
9:00 am Pacific

Host: ACGA's Social Justice Committee - Shannon Crossman, Dana Kamin and Robert Vine

Community gardens are hailed as open and inclusive spaces and as garden leaders and gardeners we spend much of our time inviting and welcoming new members while making many efforts to help them feel 'at home'. An important and often overlooked aspect of this is the ways that gardens can be inaccessible to people with disabilities. From issues surrounding design and the physical structures of a garden to the tools used and programs offered, there are a number of low-cost and simple ideas that can remove unnecessary obstacles and increase accessibility, making community gardens more inclusive environments. Three speakers from Toronto, Canada will contribute their ideas to this important discussion by presenting their own programs and personal experiences on the topic. Please join us for this interactive teleconference with your own experiences, ideas and questions.

Dana Kamin - Dana is a Toronto resident who has participated in community gardening at The Stop Community Food Centre, as well as organizing a community gardening group in a non-profit housing building. Dana has facilitated workshops on Enabling Gardening, or more simply on how to garden with a disability, and how not to create a disability from the not-so-simple act of gardening! Having a disability that affects her joints, muscles and fatigue level, Dana will share from first hand experience some of the many creative and often relatively inexpensive ways to ensure that back and knee problems, arthritis, joint pain, tendonitis, heart disease and other common health challenges don't become a barrier to participation in your gardening programs.

Shannon Crossman - Shannon has worked as an artist at Bloorview Kids Rehab in various integrated programs of the Centre for the Arts for 14 years, such as ARTery, Art Kitchen, Spiral Garden and is Program Coordinator of the Creative Arts March Break Respite Camp. She is a co-author/designer/illustrator of The Spiral Garden Resource Book. A focal point of her work is cultural & ecological sustainability. She has presented at various conferences and is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council in the Community & Artist in Education grants. This summer she was Artist in Residence at Evergreen Brickwork's Children's Garden. She currently is also doing work with Green Thumbs Growing Kids.

Robert Vine - Robert has wandered the Spiral Garden, an integrated art/garden/play program since 1987. Throughout those years of tending and pretending, he has had the opportunity to help and be helped by people of all ages, skills and abilities. With the Spiral Garden community he, his puppets, and his clown have prepared the soil, planted seedlings and seeds, designed raised and ground level beds, adapted garden tools, watered, investigated who's eating the garden, harvested the abundance of food and seeds for the next season. All the while being aware of connectivity, creativity, and celebration.Spiral Garden is an integrated outdoor art, garden and play program that has been integral to Bloorview Kids Rehab since 1984. This innovative program, staffed by artists, brings together children ages 6 to 12 with and without disabilities from the community and Bloorview.

Register today by emailing your name, ACGA membership number, organization, city, and short description of your garden/program to share with other participants:, or call toll-free (877) 275-2242. Those who register will receive a reply email from ACGA with the telephone number and access code you will need to use to enter the call. Conference calls typically last 60-90 minutes and involve a portion of time for questions and answers from the guest speaker and the audience. All Teleconferences are recorded and are available for download from the ACGA website. Click Here to access previous workshops.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seed Swapping

Need seeds? Have some you've saved and would like to share?

Check out information on getting involved with this seed swap or possibly being inspired to start one!

It's a free forum and the website explains all of the details.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Every year a sad thing happens. What you ask? Thousands of Poinsettia's are thrown to the trash as soon as they stop blooming. Many people do not know that they can save the plant and enjoy it again next year! So I cry, "Save the Poinsettia!"
Poinsettias bloom in response to shortening daylight hours. If you wish to coax your poinsettia to bloom in time for the holidays, you will need to put the plant in total darkness for at least twelve hours (fourteen is better) each night for approximately ten weeks (this also applies to forcing Christmas Cacti to bloom). Late September or early October is a good time to begin this regimen. You can place your plant inside a box, a cupboard, or a closet to achieve complete darkness. Read more at:

Amy Youngs and Kin Rinaldo create art and food

See some of the amazing work going on here in Columbus, Ohio bringing art and food together. They even have a "How To" section on their website to design your own aquaponics system, keeping your food growing close to home!...

Farm Fountain is a system for growing edible and ornamental fish and plants in a constructed, indoor ecosystem. Based on the concept of aquaponics, this hanging garden fountain uses a simple pond pump, along with gravity to flow the nutrients from fish waste through the plant roots. The plants and bacteria in the system serve to cleanse and purify the water for the fish.

This project is an experiment in local, sustainable agriculture and recycling. It utilizes 2-liter plastic soda bottles as planters and continuously recycles the water in the system to create a symbiotic relationship between edible plants, fish and humans. The work creates an indoor healthy environment that also provides oxygen and light to the humans working and moving through the space. The sound of water trickling through the plant containers creates a peaceful, relaxing waterfall. The Koi and Tilapia fish that are part of this project also provide a focus for relaxed viewing.

The plants we are currently growing include lettuces, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, chives, parsley, mizuna, watercress and tatsoi. The Tilapia fish in this work are also edible and are a variety that have been farmed for thousands of years in the Nile delta.

Farm Fountain is a collaborative project by artists Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs. We hope you will be inspired to create one yourself. Please visit our illustrated "How-To" pages to see how we made our home version and join our free online forum to share your ideas.

Check out the live webcam! (6am to midnight EST)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weinland Park Meeting

Hello Weinland Park Community Members, Gardeners, Godman Guild Volunteers & Partners,

This message is to serve as a reminder to everyone that the Weinland Park Community Garden will be meeting on Monday, January 12th from 6PM-7PM. This meeting will allow Godman Guild staff to introduce ourselves to returning and new volunteers as well as plan Spring preparations and begin scheduling for the year. The meeting will take place at the Godman Guild with a specific room to be determined once we receive your RSVP:) Please let me know if you are able to attend by January 5th. Thanks so much and we hope to see you there!

Katie Andrews
Administrative Program Assistant T.E.E.N. Program Godman Guild Association 614-294-5476 ext 138

Monday, December 15, 2008

ACGA Annual Conference Volunteer Information

I highly suggest that you consider being a part of the ACGA National Annual Conference. Here is the official volunteer information:

Thank you for considering volunteering for the American Community Gardening Association’s 30th Anniversary Conference!

Recent conferences have involved 50 – 75 volunteers. These people may want to be totally involved or to take on a discrete task. You may need to provide training for these volunteers and a written backup for their reference. Possible tasks for volunteers can include:

  • Registration packet assembly people (solicit tourist information, conference premiums, folders, name tags, tickets, etc and stuff into packets just before conference)
  • Signmakers for all signage needed
  • Name tag assembly
  • Greeters and direction providers
  • Staff registration table
  • T-shirt coordinator (design, select, promote, print, sell)
  • Meal ticket collectors
  • Audio visual coordinator to oversee equipment and its distribution to presentation rooms
  • Gophers to run errands during the conference
  • Slide show or film festival coordinator
  • Room monitors to introduce speakers, distribute and collect evaluation forms, thank speakers; trade fair setup assistants
  • Silent auction (solicit items, organize items, set-up, close-out)
  • Photographers and group photo
  • Help with tours

In past years Community Garden volunteers have offered to house conference participants for free or for small fees ($10-$15 per night) and have donated that money to their organizations. Depending on the quantity, this may be publicized in the Conference Registration Brochure or just offered word-of-mouth to students and those requesting scholarships.

Being a volunteer is one way host organizations have enabled local community gardeners a way to get a conference discount. Most recent conferences have provided a $10 discount per each hour of volunteer service, up to $100 or allowed volunteers to attend the workshop at which they monitor.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Grant Opportunity Invites Sustainable Living Ideas, an online community for sustainable living, has issued a global call for personal green solutions. The Just Do One organization invites ideas for more sustainable living, summarized in short YouTube-style videos. The organization will share the entries online, and the best video entry, as judged by an expert panel, will win $5,000.

Video entries may be up to three minutes in length. Entries will be accepted from January 1 to March 1, 2009. Winners will be announced April 1, 2009 in time for media coverage leading up to Earth Day.

Visit the Web site for complete program information.

Link to Complete RFP

Primary Subject: Environment
Geographic Funding Area: Nationa

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Georgia Elementary School bans junk food....

The school day starts with an hour of jumping jacks, exercising and dancing -- one morning to the beat of "Whoomp! (There It Is)" as the children bounce and sing along. Students also eat a breakfast of omelets, soy milk, organic cereal and turkey sausages.

"When students are healthy, they do their best work..." Sanders-Butler said. "We want to make sure we're providing foods that will not only nourish the body, but also brain foods."

It turns out the kids don't hate the healthy stuff.

"One of the most requested vegetables now is broccoli..." Sanders-Butler said. "Can you believe that? The kids love broccoli."

In the first six months of the sugar ban, disciplinary incidents went down 23 percent, counseling referrals decreased 30 percent, and in the first years of standardized test scores, reading scores improved 15 percent, she said. Browns Mill was named a national blue ribbon school and a Georgia school of excellence in 2005.
Read more by clicking on the title....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

North Market Farmer's Market portraits

This photo makes me remember summer! I did a portrait shoot with several of the farmers who sell at the North Market. The photos are on display at The Greener Grocer, within the North Market. There is also a portrait of Amber Rollie, "Youth Gardener of the Year, 2008", from Franklin Park's Growing to Green program. Beautiful faces!

The 30th Anniversary ACGA Community Gardening Conference

Mark Your Calendars ACGA's 30th Annual Conference:

"Putting Down Roots"
August 6th - 9th, 2009
Franklin Park Conservatory
Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio's capital city, has a thriving community gardening scene, which has been facilitated since 2000 by Franklin Park Conservatory's Growing to Green program. In 2006, ACGA relocated its national headquarters to Franklin Park Conservatory.

At summer's end in 2009, Franklin Park Conservatory will be opening its new 4-acre Community Garden Campus. This facility will provide the public with a showcase of home gardening, as well as community garden plots for rent.

This summer, ACGA will be moving into new office space, shared with FPC staff, in the newly restored 1915 craftsman caretaker's cottage in the heart of Franklin Park Conservatory's Community Garden Campus. Come to the 30th annual ACGA conference and help ACGA "Put Down Roots" in its new home in Franklin Park Conservatory's new Community Garden Campus!

Columbus, Ohio was recently ranked as the US' 30th most sustainable city. It is a bike-friendly, arts proud, local & "slow"-food loving, midwestern college town.

Registration link will be posted 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teleconference: Land Preservation Strategies for Community Gardens

To Join ACGA Click Here

Join us for Land Preservation Strategies for Community Gardens with Betsy Johnson
December 18, 2008 4:00 pm Eastern, 3:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Pacific

Speaker: Betsy Johnson, President, South End/Lower Roxbury Open Space LandTrust (SELROSLT), a 17-year old all-volunteer neighborhood-based land trust that owns and manages 16 community gardens in Boston. Ms. Johnson will discuss the pros and cons of land protection options and the advocacy associated with getting community garden permanency. Register today by emailing your name, organization, city, and short description of your garden/program to share with other particpants:, or call toll-free (877) 275-2242. Those who register will receive a reply email from ACGA with the telephone number and access code you will need to use to enter the call. Conference calls typically last 60-90 minutes and involve a portion of time for questions and answers from the guest speaker and the audience. All Teleconferences are recorded and are available for download from the ACGA website. Click Here to access previous workshops.

Starting a Garden from Scratch

I have created and posted like crazy to the Sycamore Hills Community Garden Blog. It is worth checking out.

I am trying to make the creating-a-garden-process as transparent as possible. It is sort of a living history of our garden, even before it has been coaxed out of the earth.

Alarming: SWAT Team Raids Ohio Co-op

This was posted by a local Columbus community gardener/farmer on the ACGA listserv. Pretty powerful reading. If you would like an update, click here.

Fri Dec 5, 2008 6:51 am (PST)

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM.
The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the "bad cop" SWAT team was relieved by another team, a "good cop" team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.

There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of them identified as
Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly suspicious-looking. Agents began rifling through all of the family's possessions, a task that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family's personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down. There was no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.

Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type interrogation for a 3rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation and enforcement over the nation's private food supply.

This same type of abusive search and seizure was reported by those innocents who fell victim to oppressive federal drug laws passed in the 1990s.

The present circumstance raises the obvious question: is there some rabid new interpretation of an existing drug law that considers food a controlled substance worthy of a nasty SWAT operation? Or worse, is there a previously unrecognized provision(s) pertaining to food in the Homeland Security measures? Some have suggested that it was merely an out-of-control, hot-to-trot ODA agent, and, if so, this would be a best-case scenario. Anything else might spell the beginning of the end for the freedom to eat
unregulated and unmonitored food.

One blogger familiar with the Ohio situation has reported that:

"Interestingly, I believe they [Manna Storehouse] said a month or so ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and claimed to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op.

Both the owner and her daughter-in-law had a horrible feeling about the man, and decided not to allow him into the co-op and notified him by certified mail. He came back to the co-op demanding to be part of it. They refused and gave him names of other businesses and health food stores closer to his home. Not coincidentally, this man was there yesterday as part of the raid."

The same blog also noted that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been chastised by the courts in several previous instances for its aggression, including trying to entrap an Amish man in a raw milk "sale," which backfired when it became known that the Amish believe in a literal interpretation of "give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" (Matthew 5:42)

The issue appears to be the discovery of a bit of non-institutional beef in an Oberlin College food service freezer a year ago that was tracked down by a county sanitation official to Manna Storehouse. Oberlin College's student food coop is widely known for its strident ideological stance about eating organic foods. It seems that the Oberlin student food cooperative had joined the Manna Storehouse food cooperative in order to buy organic foods in bulk from the national organic food distributor United, which services buying clubs across the nation. The sanitation official, James Boddy, evidently contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture. After the first contact by state ODA officials, Manna Storehouse reportedly wrote them a letter requesting assistance and guidelines for complying with the law. This letter was never answered. Rather, the ODA agent tried several times to infiltrate the coop, as described above. When his attempts failed, the SWAT team showed up!

Food cooperatives and buying clubs have been an active part of the American landscape for over a generation. In the 1970s, with the rise of the organic food industry (a direct outgrowth of the hippie back-to-nature movement) food coops started up all over the country. These were groups of people who freely associated for the purpose of combining their buying power so that they could order organic food items in bulk and case lots. Anyone who was part of these coops in the early era will remember the messy breakdown
of 35 pounds of peanut butter and 5 gallon drums of honey!

These buying clubs have persisted and flourished over the years due to their ability to purchase high quality organic foods at reduced prices in bulk quantities. Most cooperatives have participated greatly in the local agrarian economies, supporting neighborhood organic farmers with purchases of produce, eggs, chickens, etc. The groups also purchase food from a number of different local, regional and national distributors, many of them family-based businesses who truck the food themselves. Some of these food cooperatives have become large enough to set up mini-storefront operations where members can drop in and purchase items leftover from case lot sales. Manna Storehouse had established itself in such a manner, using a small enclosed breezeway attached to their home.

It was a folksy place with old wooden floors where coop members stopped by to chat and snack on bags of organic corn chips.

The state of Ohio boasts the second largest Amish population in the country. Many of the Amish live on acreages where they raise their own food, not unlike Manna Storehouse, and sell off the extras to neighbors and church members. There is a sense of foreboding that this state crackdown on a longstanding, reputable food cooperative operation could adversely impact the peaceful agrarian way of life not only for the Amish, but homeschoolers and those families living off the land on rural acreages. It raises the disturbing possibility that it could become a crime to raise your own food, buy eggs from the farmer down the road, or butcher your own chickens for family and friends ? bustling activities that routinely take place in backwater America.

The freedom to purchase food directly form the source is increasingly under attack. For those who have food allergies and chemical intolerances, or who are on special medical
diets, this is becoming a serious health issue. Will Americans retain the right to purchase food that is uncontaminated by pesticides, herbicides, allergens, additives, dyes, preservatives, MSG, GM Os, radiation, etc.? The melamine scare from China underscores the increasingly inferior and suspect quality of modern processed institutional foods. One blog, commenting on the bizarre and troubling Manna Storehouse situation, observed that:

"No one is saying exactly why. At the same time the FDA says it it safe to eat the 40% of tainted beef found in Costco's and Sam's all over the nation. These farm raids are very common now. Every farmer needs to fully eqiped [sic] for the possibility of it happening to them. The Farmer To Consumer Legal Defense Fund was created just for this purpose. The USDA just released their plans to put a law into action that will put all small farmers out of business. Animals for the sale of meat or milk will only be allowed in commercial farms, even the organic ones." December 3, 2008 7:09 PM

OSU Student Run Farm

Jeff Sharp sent the following on behalf of a group of OSU students who areworking to create a student run farm. If you are an OSU student, pleasetake note - and if you know any potentially interested OSU students, pleaseforward this announcement to them, thanks:

Message from Dani Deemer, a project leader:

Greetings ~

OSU Students for Food Sovereignty meets every Tuesday at 7:30pm in HaggertyHall, room 56.

SFS is now a handful of graduate and undergraduate students working toestablish a permanent student-run farm on OSU's Columbus campus. Webelieve the farm will enhance participation in, and education about, localfood systems in both the student population and nearby communities. OSUstudents will be invited to volunteer their time and labor at the farm.SFS is in the process of connecting with central Ohio community partnersworking toward food justice and nutrition, who will benefit from on-farmworkshops and produce sales. SFS will also sell produce to OSU CampusDining Services, which has set aside 36 percent of its budget forpurchasing local foods.

Next quarter, two faculty from Horticulture and Crop Sciences, ElaineGrassbaugh and Mark Bennett, will advise a group studies coursespecifically for SFS to meet and plan the farm operation. After the farmis established, the farm and farm labor will be incorporated into course curriculum.

We value participation from all interested students, staff, and faculty,because we want to consider as many claims/contingencies/perspectives aspossible. Please participate if you want to see OSU successfully establisha permanent student-run farm.

My name is Dani and I am a student in the Rural Sociology M.S. program.
For further information, contact me at 575-649-2070.
Thank you! Hope to see you at our next meeting,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rain Brothers Sale

Hello, friends of Rain Brothers!
We don't usually send out emails from our business like this, but we thought you all might like to know about the Rain Brothers' Holiday Sale... Why not celebrate the holidays with locally-made, sustainable-living products from Columbus' own Rain Brothers?!

*Get a 55-gallon Automatic Diverter Rain Barrel now for just $55!
*Get $20 off our new "Tumble On" Compost Tumblers!
*Get $20 off one of our Columbus-made bicycle trailers! Plus, get free color-customization of trailer frame with every trailer purchase!
*Purchase one of our solid oak rain barrels now and get $20 off!

(Sale ends 12/31/08)

GIFT CERTIFICATES NOW AVAILABLE! Boy, are they classy, and we've found they're easier to wrap than a giant plastic barrel! Oh yeah... and if you haven't seen our website in a while, you'll notice that we now carry and install Norwesco rainwater cisterns and above-ground rainwater tanks. Call us for a free site visit/estimate. Come by our shop at 211 Arcadia Ave., or check out our website for more information.

At your service for a better tomorrow,The Rain Brothers-- Rain Brothers -- *Ohio's Own Rain Barrel and Rainwater Catchment Specialists* 614.424.0572

I have talked to Joe Neidhart at Straders Garden Center and they are finally able to give away spring flowering bulbs to community groups. Here are the procedures to get them. They are compiled and only available at the Riverside Drive garden center.You must take your tax ID number with you to show you are a non profit.You just have to get what they are giving away. They have lots! Let them know you are working with the Growing to Green program of the Franklin Park Conservatory and you got the word through Bill Dawson and Joe Neidhart (Straders).Thank them when you pick up (and maybe a follow up letter later or in the spring when they bloom)I know this is a little later than usual, but I do hope you are able to take advantage of the free bulbs. I am sure that we will have an opportunity to get them in the ground before a solid freeze.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Art and Design for Activism!

Joe Wirtheim (former Columbus citizen) uses his Art and Design background to inspire activism with community gardening! Check out his work here.

It is encouraging to see other using their talent for a positive cause.

Collaborative Effort Addresses Diabetes on Near-East Side

Article taken from the Columbus Medical Association Foundation Quarterly Newsletter, Vol 2, Issue 4, Dec. 2008:

Two previously funded programs and a newly created pilot program helped the Columbus Medical Association Foundation foster a collaborative partnership to address the prevalence of diabetes on the near east side. The Urban Diabetes Fitness Program, created by the Ohio State University Foundation, leverages existing resources to increase positive health outcomes for people with diabetes and encourage their family and friends to make healthy lifestyle selections

The near-east side project is a collaboration between OSU East, the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s Healthy Lifestyle Center and the Central Community House. The program itself is a three-pronged approach of medical, nutritional and social support services to reach out to the African-American community.

Leon McDougal, MD, an associate professor at the Ohio State University and family physician at OSU East, leads the medical team’s effort to improve the lives of those that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. “The death rate for diabetes on the near east side is double for that in the city of Columbus and Franklin County,” said Dr. McDougal.

OSU Family Practice at University Hospital East currently serves 468 diabetic patients. 100 African American patients were randomly selected to enroll in the study. The participants receive pre and post tests to assess readiness for change and ultimately to measure the change parameters.

Over a 12-month period, participants and their two support people will undergo nutrition and physical activity education. They will attend four group sessions led by a lifestyle coach to cover 16 lifestyle modification topics as detailed by the Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum. All participants will receive a pedometer and culturally sensitive dietary training centered on “The New Soul Food Cookbook for People with Diabetes”. The program includes a walking program and encourages participants to walk with their social support persons at least 3 times a week for 30 – 60 minutes. Dietary intake is monitored along with the physical activity through the steps taken via pedometer recordings. Other changes monitored include body weight, body mass index and Hemoglobin A1C results.

This practice site is located in Near East Columbus about 4 blocks from the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s new Healthy Lifestyle Center (funded by the CMAF in 2005) and within a 10-minute drive to the Central Community House (funded by the CMAF in 2006).

The Columbus Medical Association Foundation is always searching for innovation in tools that support healthcare issues. If you have a grant proposal or are interested in supporting one of our existing programs, please contact the Columbus Medical Association Foundation at 614-240-7420.

Photography by Jason Moore

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

National Garden Tour #2

Two more wonderful gardens featured on Garden Smart:

Rutgers Gardens New Brunswick, NJ (I like the chair and gazebo idea!)
The Hermitage Hermitage, TN (such nice crisp lines)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Or Is It This One by Sunset Magazine?

• One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 ($15)
• Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s ($75)
• One 10-foot-long 1-inch PVC pipe ($3)
• Two 10-foot-long ½-inch PVC pipes ($6)
• ½ gallon semitransparent exterior oil stain ($15)
• 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws ($29)
• One 4- by 10-foot roll of ¼-inch-mesh hardware cloth ($15)
• Eight 1-inch galvanized tube straps (semicircular brackets; $3.60)
• 32 cubic feet (1 1/5 cu. yd.) planting mix ($25 in bulk or $100 in bags)

Prep first, then build the bed in five simple steps:
With a table or power saw, cut the 4-by-4 into four 16-inch-tall corner posts. Cut two of the 2-by-6s in half. Cut the 1-inch PVC pipe into four 12-inch-long pieces and the ½-inch PVC pipes into 6-foot-long pieces. Stain lumber; let dry overnight. Assemble pieces on a hard, flat surface. Now you're ready to put it all together.
Build bed upside down. Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 16-inch post at one end. Secure post with two 3½-inch screws. Repeat at other end of board. Repeat with other short board. Join short sides with an 8-foot board; and secure with two screws. Add other long side. Add second layer of 2-by-6s.

With help from a buddy, flip the bed right side up. Move it into position in the yard, marking with a trowel each corner post’s location. Move the bed aside; dig a 5- to 6-inch-deep hole for each post. Put the bed back into place, with posts in holes; fill around posts with soil.
Rake the existing soil at the bottom of the bed to level it, then tamp it smooth. Line the bed with hardware cloth to keep out gophers and moles; trim the cloth with shears to fit around corner posts.
To hold hoops for bird netting or row covers, attach four 12-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe inside the bed: On the long sides, space pipes 4 feet apart, 2 feet from each end; screw on two tube straps to secure each pipe. Fill the bed with planting mix; rake it smooth, and moisten it with a gentle spray from the hose.
To cover newly planted seedlings with bird netting or season-extending row covers, simply bend two 6-foot pieces of ½-inch PVC pipe to form semi-circles, and slip their ends into the 1-inch pipes inside the bed. Then drape the bird netting or row covers over them.

Perfect Raised Bed Recipe?!

What do you think? This is what I saw this week on Gardening By the Yard.

1. edge between grass and garden area with straight shovel
2. hammer edging in
3. lay down weed barrier (overlapping)
4. tuck weed barrier behind edging with a piece of wood and hammer and secure barrier under paths with lawn staples
5. use cedar (he says lasts 10 years) L- 8, 10, or 12 feet, and then cut in half for width of bed
6. nail edges (AND I would add in PVC pipe for later use as row cover supports)
7. place over weed barrier-make sure it is level and shim it up or down with rocks
8. cut weed barrier away from inside edges, leaving a few inches inside the boards
9. law down newspaper to smother grass
10. lay down straw (without seeds)
11. add blood meal (1-2 cups)
12. add burlap if you think there are seeds
13. add 5 bags of compost
14. add lots of leaves (shredded by putting in round trashcan and dipping in weed wacker)
15. potting soil
16. manure/alfafa mix
17. and mulch around the beds to suppress weeds