Friday, June 8, 2012

GCGC’s June Potluck Meeting

Last night, the Greater Columbus Growing Coalition met at Epworth United Methodist Church on Karl Road for the June meeting. It was a networking potluck dinner with no educational agenda, although there were a few announcements. Penny and Susanna provided the main meat course and the rest of us brought sides and desserts.

I sat with Peggy (Highland Youth Garden) and Marge from the St. Vincent de Paul’s pantry garden. Marge has over a hundred seedlings ready to plant, but not enough volunteers or hours in the day to get them all in the ground by herself. So, if you live on the East Side in the Bexley area, you should head over to the pantry (south of Livingston Avenue just east of Bexley). It shouldn’t take too long and you will have created good karma for yourself.

There was also a nice lady from the Southside Community Garden at our table.  I explained how worried I am about the drought and how our rain stores are almost dry.  She has no such problem.  They have a giant underground cistern with a seemingly endless supply of water and a pump.   She also explained that they have had virtually no problems with produce theft.  They have trouble even giving their produce away to the neighbors:0  Lucky girl.

Penny and Susanna trained the kids in their gardening program to check us in, act as the official hosts and to provide tours of their various gardens (for pre-schoolers, for kids and for their food pantry). Honor student Dakota showed Patrick and me around and tried to poach other tourists from other tour leaders.

Straders Nursery again donated numerous flats of vegetables. Patrick filled the back of his new pick-up truck with flats of cabbage, bell peppers and tomatoes for us all to help ourselves for our gardens. Then, Penny and Susanna provided us with rhizomes of day lilies and irises for us to take home after dividing flowers from their gardens and let us go through their seed packets.

Bill Dawson was there from Franklin Park Conservatory. He made a few announcements:

  1. He reminded everyone that the community garden grant applications for the Scotts Miracle-Gro grant would be due next month (July).
  2. A tour of the “dirty dozen” hub gardens would be held on Sunday, July 8, 2012 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  3. The Women’s Board of Franklin Park Conservatory would be taking their annual community garden tour on July 18 and would be focusing this year on gardens on the south side of Columbus.
  4. The Growing to Green Awards would again be held at the end of August. There are financial awards for Best Community Garden, Community Gardener of the Year, the new Sustainability Award, Youth Leadership Award, Beautification Project and Educational Garden. There would also be a new award funded by the Osteopathic Society. While next year that award will similarly be open to nominations, this year the award will be given based on the nominations submitted for the other awards.
  5. Bill has plenty of seed packets at FPC for anyone who needs seeds.
  6. FPC also has lots of wood chips for those gardens that want to have lined paths like we have at the SACG. Bill explained that FPC has had to chop down a number of their ash trees. He suggested that FPC could also load the chips into your trucks. (Of course, there was a little snickering because you all know that the SACG also has an abundance of wood chips which we would be delighted to share with you). Bill also said that the City would be providing FPC with hardwood mulch to share with area community gardens.
  7. Finally, Bill passed out fliers about this year’s Franklin County Green Corps program at Franklin Park Conservatory. Last year’s Green Corps program was a great success and all of the graduates had jobs at the completion of the program. (They also made an attempt to stain the SACG benches in September). The details of the program seem the same as last year (i.e., a paid 40-week internship), except that the brochure says that it is only available to Franklin County residents who do NOT live in the City of Columbus. Bill said he would double check that. Questions should be directed to Lawrence Jackson at COWIC: 559-5075 or

Peggy also announced that the Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Grove City would also have flats of herb seedlings for community gardens to take on a first-come-first serve basis first thing Friday morning (i.e. today).  You would have known this in time to act on it if you had come to the GCGC meeting:)

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