Wednesday, March 1, 2017

No Fooling: SACG To Open for NINTH Growing Season on April 1

In like a lion and out like a lamb?  Let's hope that this morning's thunder storms mean that March will end like a lamb because the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden will be kicking off its NINTH growing season on April Fool's Day.    Remember how blustery it was on April 2 last year?  (I was glad that I had a new gardening hat which stayed firmly on my head).  The year before that it snowed!  But our Board wanted to start as soon as possible this year and who am I to disagree?

Gardeners who are interested in reserving their own plot to grow their own vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers should complete, sign and return an Application/Agreement along with $10/plot (preferably by check made payable to the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden). Families in the Stoddart Avenue neighborhood are eligible for a full scholarship if the fee presents a financial hardship.   You can mail the check and Agreement to SACG at P.O. Box 91106, Columbus, Ohio 43209.

Gardeners’ participation is subject to the SACG Garden Rules as well as some rules by the City of Columbus (prohibiting, for instance, being in the Garden at night, and bringing alcohol onto Garden property, etc.). Gardeners are also encouraged to donate a portion of their produce to area food pantries and shelters, like Faith Mission, Lutheran Social Services and the Salvation Army.  To date, we have donated over 3,600 pounds.
Joining the SACG is not terribly time consuming, but Gardeners are required to help set out the Garden on Saturday, April 1, 2016 (with a rain/make-up date on Saturday, April 8, 2017) and to close the Garden (on Saturday, November 11, 2017). Gardeners must also volunteer for three chores to perform for one month over the summer (like watering flowers, tending the food pantry plot, pulling weeds in the paths, mowing our lawn, picking up litter, etc.)  Between the chores and keeping your plot planted, weeded and watered, you should plan on spending on average an hour each week at the Garden during the growing season.
We will start working at 9:30 a.m. on April 1, 2016 to spread wood chips on the garden paths and around the fence rows, plant grape vines up our new trellis, turn compost and rebuild a compost bin, mow grass (weather permitting), transplant raspberry bushes, repaint a rain barrel, pick up litter on our lot and in the neighborhood, and hang our sign. The more the merrier because many hands make light work. You need not reserve a plot if you would just like to volunteer to help.   Refreshments will be served (and you should feel free to bring some yourself to share).

Gardeners may begin planting as soon as the plots are staked out.   I have already started pepper, eggplant, cabbage and kale seedlings, but will not be starting sweet potatoes this year.  I’ll be starting tomato, herb and flower seeds next weekend and will share any extra seedlings with gardeners come May.  
So, if you or someone you know likes to get your hands dirty and grow your own food, you are welcome to join us at the SACG.  Plots will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis, with preference being given to gardeners from last year who volunteered at the opening and closing work days.    So, snooze and you lose.  When the Garden is full, we will put names on a wait-list (and we ALWAYS have people drop out by June).

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