Monday, September 19, 2011
GHHCG Art in the Garden Festival Was Well Attended and Organized
On Saturday afternoon, I attended the Growing Hearts and Hands Community Garden Art in the Garden Festival. It ran from noon until five, was very well organized and extremely well attended. We posted a sign about the event on our front gate and two families showed up around noon at the SACG to attend, so I re-directed them to the GHHCG on Oak Street between Miller and Kelton after encouraging them to take some broccoli.
Ms. Joyce was there to check everyone in. Wisely, they collected everyone’s contact information (in order to contact them in the future about volunteering, gardening and fundraising) in exchange for two tickets for a free sandwich (i.e., grilled chicken or hamburger) and ice cream (sundae or float).
GHH uses exclusively raised beds to grow their food. They have 8-10 rain barrels, 4-6 are attached to a nearby garage and four are attached to a next-door house.
The Franklin Park Area Association had a table next to Ms. Joyce and four young volunteers to recruit new members. They passed out a number of fliers, including a listing of upcoming meetings (at 6:30 p.m.) on the last Tuesday of the month at the lower level of Franklin Park Conservatory. They are having a pumpkin patch sale on October 22 and 23, 2011. They invited the SACG and GHH to make a presentation at the February meeting in order to recruit volunteers and gardeners. They also passed out information about neighborhood block watches. The Morrison Hill Block Watch (which is the area due east from the Franklin Park Area Block Watch) meets immediately before us at noon on the first Saturday of the month at the East Main Street Police Station. The Fair Avenue Block Watch meets on the second Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Word Church on Wilson Avenue. The FPAA also handed out fliers about what to do about graffiti, carjacking, preparing your home for vacation, vacation security, gun safety, being a witness and ATM safety tips. All very useful and interesting information. One of the FPAA volunteers lives next to the SACG’s Jeff, so I droned on and on about his fabulous tomatoes and unique gardening style.
Ms. Pepper was there to organize the artistic events. She showed me the potato barrels (where they grow potatoes). The children painted them earlier in the event. There was a percussion jam session. Ms. Pepper also arranged for donated t-shirts (which she monogrammed with GHH) and the kids painted them with paint funded by GCAC. So many children attended, that they ran out of paint. The tshirts were left to dry on the compost bins. There was another lady there to help the children make beaded necklaces and bracelets.
Ms. Pepper also tried to talk me into growing more broomstalks to make brooms from. She showed me a raised bed at GHH where she was growing some and a field nearby where she was growing a lot.
Richard, the head honcho, told me about their future plans and how they were expanding onto a second lot nearby. They had lots of fall seedlings ready to be planted for their Fall crops. He assured me that they had more than enough water for their needs and was not interested in pursuing a tank. I told Richard that the crowd was pretty amazing and we didn’t have that level of community support at the SACG. He attributed it all to extensive advertising and free food. I doubt that:)
I had arrived to attend the publicized dehydration demonstration, but that apparently was cancelled. I missed the scheduled poetry slam.
As for crime, they had experienced very little until recently. The City had left a large no-trespassing sign on the property, which seemed to deter most thefts. However, it was unsightly and they recently covered it up. They are reconsidering that move after experiencing some produce thefts, and more distressing, the theft of the brass hardware off of their rain barrels. Luckily, the nearby fire department refilled the barrels for them after they were repaired.
It was a very nice event and reflected the dedication of a large number of volunteers to run each of the stations.
Earlier in the day, I continued my seasonal chore of pulling out cherry tomato plants (which are outgrowing my ability to keep up with them). I also attempted to stain our benches. We don't have the ability to strip them. However, I brushed and very lightly sanded them before staining the north bench. However, it clearly required more sanding to make an impression. Later, one of the new neighborhood girls came by to help me harvest tomatoes and beans for the weekly pantry donation. She insisted on wearing gardening gloves like me. However, I had to send her home (with some produce) when she kept tasting what we were harvesting:) Rayna came by to pick up some more tomatoes while she had some processing on her stove. Finally, some contractors came by to pick up the remaining brush from the eyesore next door.
at 2:59 PM