Friday, December 23, 2011

Ohio EPA and Community Garden Compost Bins

[Editor's Note: I have learned that the proposed rules (discussed below) were approved and were filed by the OEPA on February 17, 2012 with an effective date of April 2, 2012 -- just in time for gardening season.  You can read more about them on his blog here.]

It came to my attention this afternoon (and pleasant surprise) that the Ohio EPA has proposed to relax composting standards for community gardens and individuals. Many community gardens want to establish relationships with area restaurants, groceries, food wholesalers and individuals to turn their food waste into compost (i.e., black gold) to support the garden's soil and possibly sell as a way of financially sustaining their gardening program (without having to beg for government subsidies). Food waste is a particularly good source of nitrogen because there is generally not enough grass clippings and other "green" items to supplement "brown" fall leaves.

Composting is an EPA-regulated activity because of the potential to create a nuisance and contaminate, among other things, ground water and other waterways. Rumor has it that some private sector entities want to maintain a monopoly and high entrance costs to decrease competition. I did not write the following information, have not yet reviewed the old rule, the proposed rule or considered its impact on the SACG or other community gardens, if any, and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the following discussion, but I know there are a lot of people interested in this issue and thought that I would pass it along as I received it. (It looked on its face to be a reliable source, but you'll have to take my word for it:)

Conspicuous Legal Disclaimer: I am not advocating one way or another for action here. I am just passing it along because I know our faithful readers are interested in such topics and may form their own opinion. I should also note that these are just state rules and do not necessarily have an affect on local ordinances.







During the last year, Ohio EPA released draft revisions to the composting rules and received comments from a diverse group of stakeholders. Ohio EPA believes the comments received helped improve the rules in a manner that is protective of the environment while making easier for all citizens to compost and for new composting businesses to get started. Other changes should provide existing facilities with increased flexibility for achieving compliance and innovate with alternative materials.



A very significant improvement resulting from input from citizens and organizations involved in community gardening is the proposal for a size-based exemption that would allow community gardens, schools, and any organization or person to compost yard wastes, food scraps, animal wastes and bulking agents, regardless of where the waste materials were generated, in an area no larger than 300 square feet. An exempted facility will not be required to have a registration, license, financial assurance, or follow the requirements of that registration including, but not limited to: daily logs, annual reports, inspections, and testing of the finished compost. The compost may be used in any location, allowing community gardens and urban farms to share their compost.



Another significant improvement proposed is for facilities that are larger than 300 square feet and need to register as a Class II composting facility (taking food scraps) to not be required to set a financial assurance fund as long as the closure cost estimate is $3500 or less. This exemption should be beneficial for commercial facilities that are starting at a smaller scale by reducing their startup costs (the amount of the fund plus the cost of setting the fund).



Updated definitions, better explanation of composting methods, updated testing standards are other examples of improvements that should benefit the industry in general.



These changes were officially proposed to the Joint Agency on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) on September 2011 and a public hearing was held on October 25, 2011. Given that the Agency did not receive any objections to the changes, it was expected that JCARR will give consent for final approval at their November 4, 2011 hearing. However, due to some misinformation provided to some JCARR members that could have jeopardized the rules (and sent them into a one year waiting period), Ohio EPA decided to withdraw the rules and file again on November 11, 2011. Ohio EPA believes it has answered the questions and clarified the confusion. The current comment period ends on January 4, 2012 and the next JCARR hearing is on January 23rd.



For those that want to ensure that these changes to the rules are accepted and enforceable as soon as possible, it is encouraged that they take advantage of the stakeholder comment period and send comments supporting these changes to Ohio EPA. It is important that stakeholders explain the impact they will face if these rules are further delayed or not approved.



Written comments should be sent to the attention of Michelle Braun at the Division of Materials and Waste Management P.O. Box 1049, Columbus Ohio 43216-1049 or to michelle.braun@epa.state.oh.us. Also written comments and/or oral testimony may also be submitted to the Hearing Officer at the public hearing to be held on January 4, 2012. Written comments and or testimony may be also be
submitted at the JCARR hearing on January 23, 2012.



To see the rules, response to comments and information on the public hearing, please follow this link. http://www.epa.state.oh.us/Default.aspx?tabid=5005



I then pulled information from that site:





Composting Rules Filed with JCARRThe Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), has withdrawn the previous rule filing and has filed new proposed composting regulations OAC Chapter 3745-560, and associated multi-program chapters 3745-500 (General Administration), 3745-501 (Licensing), and 3745-503 (Financial Assurance), with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).
To view a copy of the rules, click here.
To view a copy of the public notice, click here.
To view the response to comments document, click here.
To view the compost rules page, click here.
Please submit your comments by January 4, 2012.
Please send your comments to:
Michelle Braun; Ohio EPA, DSIWM; PO Box 1049; Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Phone: (614) 728-5372; Fax: (614) 728-5315; Email: michelle.braun@epa.ohio.gov

To view the Interested Party Notification from December 2010, click here.



This is a lot to digest. Happy Reading

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Block Watch and Morrison Hill Community Garden



Continuing to describe the community gardening activities from the first week of this month . . . . . .



The Franklin Park Area Neighborhood Block Watch and next-door Morrison Hill Block Watch met on December 3 at the East Main Street Policing Center. In addition to Susan, Barb and Officer Kalous, we were joined by Officer John Marshall, Doug from U/C and members of the Morrison Hill Block Watch.


There was a consensus that loitering had decreased over the past few weeks and that Urban Connections volunteers and AEP had done a lot to improve the appearance of the alleys near Stoddart Avenue. A nearby garage had been cleaned up and there was some discussion about keeping it that way. There was some speculation that loitering had decreased due to the cold temperature and rain, but maybe not . . . Terry asked for input as to the next focus area and there was consensus about focusing on a couple of suspected drug houses and boot joints.


In addition, City Council Member Michelle Mills had scheduled a public hearing to discuss the Loitering in Aid of Drug Offenses Ordinance for Wednesday, December 14 at 5:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers. City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer will be speaking, too. There was some concern that this was merely an effort to sneak the issue by the public. Members were encouraged to attend to show support the issue, which is of particular concern to Near East Side residents. The more people that show up, the more likely that something will be done to address this issue. The Council notice provides that Ms Mills:


will hold a public hearing to discuss and clarify important points regarding Columbus’ existing loitering law and explore additional ways to protect neighborhoods. The meeting will be broadcast live on CTV, Columbus’ channel 3 on local cable outlets. Speaker slips will be accepted until 5 pm per the general rules of Council.

It was announced that the Trolley Barn area Block Watch had been organized (in the area northwest of our area – to Broad Street). Good luck!


In discussing the upcoming grant deadline to support the purchase of additional security cameras, Barb pointed out that we should consider the ease of downloading the video on a disk or other format to provide the police. It can be difficult, depending on the program. Some of the Morrison Hill participants were interested in joining the grant application and the application has been amended accordingly. Officer Kalous also explained that it should be not be much trouble to pull crime statistics from the prior year to measure and compare the success of the new cameras.


The officers explained that their computer system has been highly unreliable. The entire system was changed in June, which makes some data searches virtually impossible. As it is, they have lost all of their saved email addresses and contact information. So, if you haven’t heard from Terry, you need to contact her and give her again your email and phone number so that she can get back in touch with you.


I passed out daffodil and tulip bulbs to the attendees which I had picked up from GCGC two days earlier. In doing so, I learned that the Morrison Hill Block Watch started their own community garden. I had heard about this garden from some neighbors in passing, but had never seen it. It is on an alley called Tiffin Street, near the intersection of Bryden Road and Berkeley Road.


I recently got a tour. It was started in the summer of 2010 and is well designed. They have two very well constructed compost bins and lots and lots of wood chips. They also have a seating/social area underneath a walnut tree and a very professional-looking sign that was constructed from an old pool table. Officer Kalous donated a split-rail fence from her own yard and this keeps people from parking in this formerly abandoned lot (while visiting a nearby boot joint). What they lack is good soil and reliable water. They only have two rain barrels. They had hoped to apply for a Scotts grant, but just missed the new deadline. I told them there would be another local grant opportunity in the Spring and encouraged them to sign up as an Earth Day work site for the chance to pick up some free (and desperately needed) compost. I also encouraged them to stop by the SACG in April to get some free seeds and to start attending the monthly GCGC meetings.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

GCGC Ends 2011 with Hope for Greater County Support in 2012





While the Hub Garden meeting closed out November, GCGC opened December with its monthly meeting at Planks Pizza (on Parson’s) on December 1.


Announcements


Kelly Lindsey is taking over for Noreen as GCGC's new Contacts Manager and will send out email reminders of the meetings if she has your email address.


Thanks to Michael Doody (Kossuth Street CG) for arranging for the place for GCGC's December meeting and the keynote speaker, Franklin County Commissioner, John O’Grady.


The GCGC received its first – or one of its first – contributions tonight. Pictured is Heidi Ballard presenting a check for $100 to Andrew Proud and Peggy Murphy to support GCGC's efforts to unite Central Ohio’s community gardens.


During Mr. O’Grady’s remarks, the owner of Planks came by to circulate a copy of Better Homes & Gardens which featured his residential garden. He also said he would pay GCGC for a GCGC medalian/logo to post on his walls.


Leslie Strader (from the City) mentioned that community gardeners could find information about community gardens at www.getgreencolumbus.org/ Select Key Initiatives on the left. Then select Resource Protection and Conservation. Then scroll down to Community Gardens and select “Garden policy explained.”


Keynote


Franklin County Commissioner John O'Grady shares the Mayor’s passion for community gardening. He introduced Kate Metheny, who is coordinating community gardens for the County and is the counterpart to Leslie Strader (who was also in attendance) for the City. Kate reported that 40 grants had been awarded in 2011 by a coalition of the County, City and Columbus Foundation. The County has identified additional CBDG funds which could support even more community garden grants and intends to apply for those funds.


Mr. O’Grady gardened as a child. Like most of us, he was forced to do so even when he did not appreciate it.


The local Somali community approached him in 2009 for land to start a community garden and he found some. As reported earlier in the Columbus Dispatch, they are in the process of forming a county land bank in the unincorporated areas of the county similar to the City’s land bank of condemned properties. (He gave a shout out to BREAD for advocating this approach, but wanted to emphasize that the County’s interest in taking over properties is to improve the overall tax base and economic develop, not to promote urban farming). The County found property on Gantz Road – where Franklin County Children’s Services used to be near Frank Road – and had it rezoned as a park to get a conservation easement. In 2011, the local Burmese community similarly approached him about setting aside land for their community to be used for community gardening. Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Life Care Alliance may also start raising food there as well to support their programs (if they can find volunteers to assist them). All of the non-profit organizations need grant money to get started. The County plowed 3-4 acres for these groups and this year bought a tractor. The County is also helping with a community garden in Whitehall.


Commissioner O’Grady visited his cousin recently in Cleveland to see its community gardening program. Next week, he planned to visit Detroit and would work in similar fact-finding visits to community gardens and urban farms to see what works up there.


He mentioned other gardens which the County operates, including the raised bed community garden at the former Juvenile Justice facility on West Mound. They are installing a rain catchement system off a nearby parking garage (which generates a lot of water). My heroes, Rain Brothers, also helped them install underground rain cisterns at the Gantz Road gardens. Apparently, the Somali gardening technique involves not only digging deep trenches, but also flooding their gardens. So, they run through a lot of water very quickly.


Commissioner O’Grady then graciously took a lot of questions and comments for suggestions to help out the local community gardening community:
1) It would be helpful that when the County demolishes buildings on its land bank properties that the foundations be dug out before turning them over to gardens. Otherwise, we spend a few years digging out concrete, bricks and other debris by hand (just like our forefathers dug out tree stumps and stones from our farmland). Mr. O’Grady seemed to be completely unaware of the condition in which these demolished properties are left and how much work the Burmese gardeners have faced in cleaning out the FCCS site on Gantz Road.
2) Although the grant program is very helpful, last year some gardens received too little funds to make any meaningful difference. Thus, it is a good idea to provide more funds to fewer gardens in order to make a greater impact. The sole exception would be that $500 grants would go a huge way to solving the water problem facing most gardens. The SACG received a 550 gallon rain tank/cistern in 2010 and it was a game changer. Every garden should have one. Rain barrels are nice, but can be drained in just a day or two with multiple gardeners. Moreover, Rain Brothers gets their tanks from a local manufacturer in Lancaster – which is a boost to our local economy.
3) Anything the County can do to help us with raising our own compost would be greatly appreciated. The Ohio EPA is against us forming partnerships with local businesses (like coffee shops and restaurants) to obtain coffee grounds and fruit/vegetable waste to add to our compost bins. Being able to grow our own compost (and possibly even selling some like Growing Power does to fund our other activities) would go a very long way to making community gardening sustainable. Another discussion ensued about the potential monopoly being given to Eartha Ltd to grow compost from area restaurant waste and then which is then sold and transported out of the county.
4) Encouragement was given to increasing the amount of funds allocated to community gardening by comparing the current local budget to that of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Compost is expensive, as is fencing (to keep out critters and poachers), etc.
5) The community gardens with large tracts of land could benefit from use of the County’s new tractor. After all, they will only need it once or twice a year. Couldn’t they lend or lease it to GCGC every now and then each Spring and Fall?
6) Commissioner O’Grady suggested that a one-day conference be held to bring together garden leaders and community leaders to share information needs and resources.
7) Commissioner O’Grady also emphasized that all non-profits, including gardens, need to find other sources of income to sustain themselves because the government will not be able to support them as it has in the past. We need to have financial plans with alternative sources of income. (Again, letting us grow and sell compost would be helpful in this regard). Similarly, funding for hoop houses/high tunnels would help us raise funds by selling financially lucrative winter produce, like lettuce, tomatoes and kale, etc.


Goodies


Strader’s Garden Centers has again blessed us with bounty by generously donating thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs to beautify our gardens and neighborhoods. As pictured, Peggy Murphy and Dan Downing brought in all these bulbs for us to help ourselves and distribute to our gardeners and neighborhoods. I took dozens of bulb bags, and passed them out to some SACG gardeners and at the Block Watch meeting on Saturday. (In fact, I think I've recruited another garden for the GCGC: Morrison Hill's new CG]. I still had a SACG neighbor contact me yesterday for more bulbs. Guess what? There are still lots of daffodil bulbs available. You can contact Kelly before Friday or after Monday or Peggy this weekend.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Celebration of 2011 Hub Garden Achievements and Challenges




Although I have been absent from this site for a few weeks as I have tried to recuperate from closing the Garden and catching up with my life and housework, there is still much going on with community gardening – particularly in the last week.


On Wednesday, there was a Hub Garden meeting at the Caretaker’s Cottage at Franklin Park Conservatory (pictured). Bill served us Josie’s Pizza (from West Broad Street which his sister made for us).


Bill asked about which groups had received notice of receiving a Scotts Miracle-Gro Fund grant at the Columbus Foundation. Godman Guild and Franklinton Gardens reported that they had received good news.


Bill also reported that Franklin County was applying for a CDBG grant to support community gardening in 2012. The City thinks that they will have $25,000 again to contribute to community garden grants. Last year, the County, City and Foundation coalition awarded almost 200 small grants to support community gardening. However, in practice, small grants do not do much to help get a garden started and they have decided for 2012 to focus on fewer, but more significant grants in order to increase the effectiveness of the grant program. The City is also developing a program to give or loan large cisterns to gardens on City lots (like ours) to collect rain water because the City cannot give away water.


Bill then asked us to give a report about each of our gardens from 2011. He tried to videotape all of them, but you know that I almost never let my picture be taken:). I just took cryptic notes and hope people will let me know when I make a mistake so that I can quickly correct it.

New Harvest/Alma Vera Garden in New Linden. Tressa started off the reports and was a hard act to follow:



• This was their first year to participate in Earth Day. Nonetheless, they had the third largest site with 88 volunteers.
• They’re working with St. Stephens Community House and the Stem Academy to increase the number of youth volunteers.
• Engaged in neighborhood beautification projects with donations from Fishers, Oakland and Scotts.
• Helped with backyard gardens, like Ms. Beulah’s garden which recycles about everything and can be seen on youtube.
• They are working with the Dr. Dirt Garden on Westerville Road and an after-school program.
• They produced two plays and showed movies at their garden so that even non-gardeners in the neighborhood would feel comfortable stopping by. (They were having another production this weekend, which she was co-directing).
• They are starting an EEE program next year to focus on health and gardening education.
• They are working with OSU Extension and a dietician to start a 4-H program. (I am soooo jealous).
• They had four performing art productions
• They are exploring selling prepared foods through Urban Chef and to receive snap benefits.
• Their biggest challenge (as it is for all of our gardens) is improving the consistency of volunteer assistance.
• Nathanial – one of their youth gardeners – won the Youth Leadership Award from FPC this August. His is a senior in high school this year and plans to graduate. Kojo mentors a number of young men through the garden and funds it out of his own pocket.
• Next year, the Garden will focus on increasing the consistence of volunteers and funding.

This makes me tired just summarizing all of this. Tressa is a force of nature all by herself. She was recently accepted into OSU’s Master Garden program for 2012. She quit her job to focus on the garden. And I had to follow her.

Stoddart Avenue Community Garden. I gave a much briefer report. I started by reporting that we had done none of these things. We do not have a performing arts program, but we do have awesome volunteers who for the most part contribute significantly all season long and suffer much nagging from me about weeds.


• We had lots of volunteers to pick up neighborhood litter on Earth Day for about thirty minutes before it started raining cats and dogs.
• We had a gardening seminar in early June.
• Our biggest challenge has been the area crime. Our lawn mower had been stolen from our shed in September 2010. Then, more tools were stolen in May 2011. Two more attempts were made on our tool shed over the summer; neither were successful, but lock was broken and had to be replaced. We had two murders within six feet of the Garden in August 2010 and March 2011 and another a half-block away in September/October 2010. Accordingly, we have tried our best to support the re-establishment of the area block watch and are in the process of applying for a grant to purchase additional security cameras for the neighborhood.
• We raised more food than ever despite all of the rain this year. Unfortunately, all of the kids stopped tending their plots when it got hot in mid-June and one of our elderly gardeners got sick and had to drop out. So, I took over four plots in addition to my own and raised produce for area food pantries. Some guy even stopped by and finally identified colored greens for me (since I don’t eat them myself and had foolishly thought it was some sort of fancy cabbage). While we do not donate anywhere near the amount of produce that communal gardens (like Franklinton or Upper Arlington Lutheran), I’m pleased with our small contribution in relation to everything else we do.
• We created enough of our own compost to spread a very thin layer over the entire garden when we closed a few weeks ago.
• As is typical in the Fall, lots of people have expressed interest in joining next year. If they follow through and contact me in March, we may expand to adjoining lots (if agreeable to our neighbors). The Franklin Park Neighborhood Association has asked me to make a presentation about the garden in February.
• Next year, we will just have one communal plot for all of the neighborhood kids to share instead of giving them each a plot of their own.
• We raised $100 from plot fees, $110 from selling strawberry seedlings and $340 from raffling off the uber-chic garden cart we won as part of the Sustainability Award from the American Community Garden Association and Franklin Park Conservatory in August. Marge Telerski from the St. Vincent De Paul garden at the Bishop Griffin Center won it, which as you will later read, was extremely appropriate. Accordingly, we do not anticipate seeking additional grant funding next year. After all, we are a most ridiculously frugal community garden.
• We again shared our seed bounty with other community gardens (like Bexley and Growing Hearts and Hands) and the GCGC.
• Bill also pointed out that we do a great job of publicizing our work through this website. I shared that we get about 200 hits/day during the summer growing season. Less this time of year. Bill claims that he alone counts for 20 of those daily hits;)

Gantz Road. Sarah Kincaid from Franklin County talked about their extensive program and a companion program for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank:


• They have three separate garden areas at the old Franklin County Children Services site.
• They also experienced the normal community garden problem of some gardeners dropping out during the season and the overgrown/weedy plots that follow.
• The Somali garden was a great success, but they pretty much keep to themselves.
• Getting the Burmese Garden started has been slower because of all of the effort involved in digging out all of the construction debris that has been left behind so that they could till. The community had been extremely enthusiastic and the youth have worked extremely hard carrying away bricks and stones.
• The County installed some water spickets between the gardens which are shared by the various communities.
• MOFB wants to start using high tunnels to grow food year round.
• They are exploring adding a 4-H program next year. (Did I mention that I’m really jealous?)

St. Vincent De Paul/Bishop Griffin. Marge Telerski and Connie Ford reported:


• They were robbed at the beginning of the growing season and lost their lawn mower and garden cart. Good thing they won ours in the raffle!
• They raised a massive amount of melons (courtesy of the massive donation from Strader’s Garden Center).
• They had lots of volunteers from every Catholic High School in Franklin County.
• Watterson students started seedlings, some of which they gave to the food pantry clients so that they could grow food at their own homes and apartments. Dozens of Catholic Churches collected gallon planting containers which they then planted the seedlings to give to food pantry clients. They plan to expand this ministry next year.
• They have a new greenhouse which will let them grow food through three seasons (i.e., Spring, Summer and Fall). They are unhappy with its heat in the winter.
• They have established a program with the Women’s Group at the Cathedral. Although the Cathedral Chef will not let them grow food there, they supply the women’s group with lettuce for their lunches.
• A Girl Scout group came and planted rose bushes and hostas.
• A pre-school group planted Spring crops, but were hardly expert about it She plans to only let the children help adult gardeners next year.
• MOFB sent volunteers from other area food pantries to see how each pantry could also have its own gardening program to supplement the canned food donations.
• Their pantry fed 25,000 clients in 2011.
• Next year, they will focus on growing greater amounts of a fewer variety of crops so that they can consistently have certain produce available.
• They had trouble with consistent volunteer assistance because two of her core volunteers became very ill over the summer. I told her that I would send her Louise from the SACG (who live closer to them and attends church with them):)
• They were successful growing their own compost this year.


Evergreen Gardening Ministry. I hope that you’re sitting for this because the report of Suzanna Evans and Penny Upp exhausted me just hearing about it:


These two women – who each have a regular full-time job that does not involve running a community garden -- manage SIX different community gardens in THREE different counties:

1) Epworth Methodist Church
2) Nursery Garden (for toddlers)
3) Christian Assembly – the largest
4) A City lot on Cleveland Avenue
5) Buckeye Lake – in Licking County
6) A Delaware County potato farm.


• They are exploring getting a 4-H program (jealous again)
• They visit each of their gardens once a week. They visit two gardens every Saturday.
• They could use more volunteer help. NO KIDDING!!!!!
• They stopped blogging in July and now are only on Facebook:(
• A widow in Delaware County offered them several acres, but would only agree to growing potatoes. She supplies all of the seed potatoes for them. They grew 600 pounds of potatoes.

Franklinton. No surprises here; Patrick Kaufman always has lots of interesting things to report:


• They started their fifth and six gardening site. Altogether, they have a full acre now.
• This was their most productive season. They raised 2500 pounds last year and 7,000 pounds this year.
• Most of their produce goes to Gladden House’s pantry and Holy Family’s Soup Kitchin. They also began contributing to the Homeless Family Foundations day care center’s lunch program.
• This was the second year for their produce market. Last year, they had to set up a tent and equipment every day. This year, the Neighborhood Design Center designed a permanent structure (a percola and storage shed with a power and phone line to operate EBT equipment for food stamps) that is located in the parking lot of St. John’s Episcopal Church. This market grew out of the Local Matters Vegee Van program.
• They have branched out and are selling food to restaurants, like tomatoes, squash, greens and herbs. They are also supplying food to the Green Grocer at the North Market (which pays better than wholesale prices paid by restaurants). They made $2,000 from selling produce.
• They have established a relationship with CaJohn’s Fiery Foods (of which my father and hometown are big fans). They sold it 600 pounds of hot peppers and it is making a specialty sauce to highlight local produce. CaJohns will then donate a portion of the proceeds back to the Franklinton Gardens. A Watterson High School student designed the label for the new sauce. CaJohns has already placed an order of specialty peppers for 2012. (I related that none of my jolokia pepper plants produced anything this year)
• They have benefitted from regular work groups.
• They learned from visiting Will Allen’s Growing Power operation in Wisconsin last September 2010. They started their own unpaid internship program. They had four full-time volunteers (one of whom came from Boston) and two part-time interns. However, this meant that Patrick spent more time managing interns and less time growing/gardening.
• They have continued to expand on their relationship with ODJFS. The Work Experience Program pays unemployed clients to learn gardening and other works skills by working at Franklinton Garden. While a few didn’t work out, most were very hard-working and already knew a lot about growing food.
• Their compost program dwarfs the rest of us. I am not going to go into much detail, but they have built a six-foot fence around it. They turn it every three months, and it takes a bobcat or their volunteers from OSU’s Athletes in Action ministry. Jonathan Meier from Rain Brothers recently helped them out by turning it with his bobcat. Yea Jonathan!
• They are coordinating a Fresh Food marketing campaign with OSU, UWCO, and Local Matters. It is funded by Franklin County and the Department of Agriculture. They are focusing on putting fresh produce in three area corner markets. They will design the produce displays and signage for each market. He passed around some of materials, which were very impressive.
• Go Patrick!



Godman Guild. Yolanda was the unofficial photographer for our meeting. Now it was her turn:





• This was her first year as a full-time employee as the Wellness and Garden
Coordinator. She had worked previously at Local Matters.
• She is working with a large grant from HUD (through MORPC) to do an agrarian overlay in the Weinland Park neighborhood. They want to put a community garden within ¼ mile of each home. They are getting a logo for the Garden.
• She is still working with Local Matters to support the Garden. LM sends its Vegee Van, but now they are operating more as a CSA by giving each client a bag of pre-selected available vegetables instead of letting them select produce.
• They produce a Grub N Groove with PB& Jazz and Local Matters


• An industrial fire next door as the gardening season was beginning delayed opening the garden as they had to determine whether their soil had become contaminated. K.B. Jones arranged for freesoil testing by OSU students to allay those concerns.
• They are working on a Roofs and Root program with Campus Partners.
• They donate most of their produce to the Fruit of the Vine Pantry operated by the
Vineyard Church. She has no idea how much because she doesn’t have time to weigh it.
• TANF funds pay teens to work in the garden over the summer for six weeks and then get help developing their work resumes.
• She participated in the Will Allen visit in July (which was freakishly hot) and helped build a hoop house.
• After the GCGC program on the same topic, she worked with OSU Extension to provide GAP training to other area gardens. Thirty people attended. Go Yolanda!
• They had 60 volunteers show up for the UWCO’s Community Care Day. They couldn’t use all of these volunteers so she sent some to other neighborhood gardens. However, all this help enabled her to move their stage to make more room for raised beds (including some for disabled and elderly gardeners).
• The Make a Difference Day sponsored by the Columbus Foundation enabled them to put their garden to bed (with the help of Trish from Local Matters).
• She is also working at West High School developing an after –school gardening program.

Bill and FPC are getting ready to announce and promote the Hub Gardens for the 12 x 2012 program. He wanted help creating a brand/sign/logo for signs to be placed at each of our gardens. They want to hold an event at each of our gardens in 2012, probably starting with Earth Day. We are to consider an Open Garden tour where everyone in Columbus can visit our gardens (which will have to be staffed for the entire time of the tour) at their own pace on that day. Unlike past tours, there will not be a bus bringing tourists en masse. Mayb this could be a joint fundraiser?

He encouraged all of us to apply for the City’s Green Spot program so that we could have that logo on our signs as well.

He hopes to expand the number of Hub Gardens.

We finally left at 8:44 p.m. A long night. There will probably be another Hub Garden meeting scheduled in December so that we can receive reports from the rest of gardens and discuss more about launching the program.