Sunday, November 6, 2011

GCGC’s November Meeting

Last Thursday, I attended GCGC’s November meeting at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church on the Near East Side.

Andrew Proud opened the meeting by describing the topics and activities of the past twelve months with GCGC.

Trish Dehnbostal discussed the community gardens which she operates and which Local Matters supports. She explained that Local Matters will again be evaluating which community gardens it will be supporting in 2012 and encouraged interested gardens to contact her if they were interested. She passed around a couple of lists of national grants which support community gardens and are open for local community gardens to apply. She also provides educational opportunities with traveling gardening seminars. For instance, she worked with OSU’s Extension Service to provide GAP training at the Weinland Park/Godman Guild Community Garden on how to market and sell produce. She surveys the gardens she supports and then provides a seminar on extending the season, seed gathering, etc. She can be reached at

Trish asked what our current needs were and the Kossuth Avenue Community Garden asked about heated greenhouse space for things like perennial tropical plants. Four Seasons City Farm has a greenhouse, but it is too cold to grow food in the winter. He thought hoop houses have the same impediment. Peggy explained that she sets up grow lights in her basement. Trish added that lots of plants, like kale, can survive in the winter in a hoop house or cold frame.

Peggy Murphy then discussed at length the upcoming deadline for the UWCO’s Neighborhood Partnership grant. She has been working with that grant program for over 16 years and used it once upon a time to build a $35,000 neighborhood playground. She discussed the areas available for grant funding and how community gardens could benefit. When she first began working with the program, it had lots of money to distribute, but now has to limit grants to no more than $10,000. In fact, last year, the program received applications for $800,000 in funding, but only had $200,000 to distribute. The UWCO has scheduled additional training/orientation sessions for November 9, 10 and 16, 2011. The deadline to apply is November 21, 2011.

Peggy also passed around a list assembled by Ms. Strader with the City. It described different legal issues -- like fences, signs, water and composting -- which is regulated by the City’s zoning and other ordinances.

The next GCGC meeting will be Thursday, December 1, 2011. However, we still need to have a place. We would like to have it at a restaurant, but Barley’s was already book for the month of December. The Kossuth guy suggested Plank’s in German Village, but we have to confirm its availability. If you can suggest someplace close to downtown (preferably on a bus line) that can give us a semi-private room, let me or Peggy know in case Planks does not work out. This will be a networking, story-telling gathering. It was suggested that everyone provide pictures of their garden that we can put on a powerpoint slide show.

There was no sharing of garden needs (as in past meetings), but we ended early at 7:40 p.m.

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