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Showing posts from March, 2011

Just Finished

Amy (to whom this garden belongs) took the crew and I to dinner at Red Elephant after we'd finished.  (A first for sure!) What a kind lady!  Amy's been gardening since she was a child and this year sought to out-do the potato vine that has (for years) over-taken her in-ground food garden.  With a preliminary tilling, a double layer of cardboard in the bottom of the beds, plus landscape fabric and mulch all around, we've certainly given the potato vine a run for its money.  PS-- Did you notice that the beds are constructed out of recycled plastic material?  (Amy said she wanted them to last "forever.")

Around the edges of building beds, shoveling compost, and planting seeds, I've been in conversation about, I've been exploring the idea of a Tallahassee Center for Urban Agriculture with my local community co-workers. Here's the concept idea that I drafted this afternoon:

The Tallahassee Center for Urban Agriculture will serve as a hub of Tallahassee’s…

Jacksonville Community Garden Expo

Saturday, I attended the Jacksonville Community Garden Expo with my girlfriend, Mary Elizabeth (a native and resident of Jacksonville) and my niece.  (Mary Elizabeth coordinates the garden at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, an after school program in Jacksonville's Springfield neighborhood.)  The event was hosted by the Garden at Jackson Square Community Garden, coordinated by the Sulzbacher Center.

From fellow food gardeners to community gardeners to nurseries to the UF extension all manner of garden projects, resources, and initiatives were exhibiting.  I connected most with Pam Kleinsasser who works at Nemours Clinic and coordinates their community garden.  Having just read this article in Organic Gardening  about corporate gardens, I was enthralled by Pam's story.

"If you want to know how it really started...," she started.  "It really started with assembling a team."  Pam, it turns out, is quite the "troop-rallyer"or community organizer.  A few …

A feast from a church garden's leftovers

Guest post by Lindsay, who's still in Tallahassee, still growing food

About 5 months ago, I took a bus down to Tallahassee just in time to plant a fall garden with the kids from Nathan's church. I learned how to plant collards, mustards, turnips, lettuce, and shallots, and then turned right around and taught kids--from preschoolers who were barely speaking right up to sweet, awkward 5th graders--how to do the same. We planted five 4'x10' raised beds; a year before, the beds had been built and the students decided that they wanted the food they grew in "God's Giving Garden" to get donated to the food pantry that their church (Faith Presbyterian) ran along with other Meridian Rd. churches.

Since then, any month when there's produce ready to be harvested, some students and other volunteers pick the vegetables, wash them, and walk the across the parking lot where they get added to the bags of food. In addition to the canned and boxed staples, folks get to…

Will Allen Workshop

What a workshop!

Will Allen, pre-eminent urban agriculture leader, MacArthur Genius presented, Sunday, Mar. 6th, on the work of his Milwaukee-based non-profit, Growing Power.  Additionally, he led a workshop on how to develop a compost-producing/food-raising initiative to address the ills of urban decay-- including a hands-on composting and worm composting segment that involved over 75 participants.

Here are a few notes:
-Every year Growing Power diverts 22 million pounds of food (waste) residue from landfills and uses it to grow compost for their Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago sites.
-Vegetables today are 50% less nutritious than those of the 1950's due to agricultural soil degradation and depletion.  Thus, the need to grow healthy soil (i.e. compost).
-Growing Power started as a youth empowerment organization: when they found that the kids in their Youth Corps struggled in school, they implemented a reading/writing program wherein participants began reading and writing about the …

A Few Recent Jobs

It's been a busy spring already, and we're just running into March.  Below you'll find a sampling of work that my team and I have been up to.  First off, take a look at the slide show of Tina and Claudia's raised-beds constructed of concrete block, thee blocks high.  Their wish was for their beds to last "forever."  Though you may not be able to see it, these beds are equipped with micro-irrigation complete with an automatic timer.

Next, view Suzee's 4.5'x35' raised beds-- also out of concrete block.  The "fence" is a permanent tomato/cucumber/pole bean trellis.  Suzee's beds are also complete with micro irrigation.

Lastly, size-up Paula's 4x10 raised beds.  If you'd like an economy garden raised bed (or beds) just like this, follow the link to my Economy Garden page. Under step #2, select "4x10." Voila.  Simple as pie.

Man in Overalls Quick Update: Launching $105 Economy Gardens

Happy March (Pinch and a punch for the first of the month:)

Three things:
1)Want to be on my email update list? Please send me an email with subject line: "Count me in." At most, I'll "update" once a month. As I dislike excess emails myself, I'm making my list an opt-in affair.

2)Will Allen, Founder of Milwaukee's Growing Power, Pre-eminent Urban Ag Leader, MacArthur Genius, who was amongst Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2010will be in town on Sun., Mar. 6th at the FAMU Viticulture Center to present on his 3-acre urban farm in Milwaukee that raises sufficient food for 10,000 people and conduct a workshop on soil building via composting and vermi(worm)composting.  Will Allen is one of my heroes.  Here's the MacArthur Genius video:

Click here for more info on Will and his visit. Email Jennifer Taylor with FAMU's Small Farms Program to register (pay at the door).  If you're willing to sponsor a student or low-income individual, please…