Friday, April 2, 2010

SACG is Making Preparations for Spring Planting and Earth Day

With only a little more than a week to go before we break ground for the 2010 planting seasons, the SACG is making preparations for our anticipated ground-breaking next Saturday, April 10, 2010. However, we still have open plots available for gardeners and will need lots of volunteers to get the work done. We plan to start at 10 a.m. Refreshments and lunch will be served.

This is what we have accomplished so far:

  • I have reserved 2 wheelbarrows, 2 garden rakes and 2 shovels for the weekend of April 10 from Rebuilding Together's Tool Library (at the corner of East Fourth and Morris) just north of Bexley. Frank and Barb have agreed to pick up the items. Like last year, I will have gloves available for volunteers (and I even washed them over the winter). Gardeners should still bring their own rakes and shovles, etc.
  • I have reserved a rear-tined rototiller for Wednesday April 8 and Ms. Anthony from BTBO has arranged for Elder Theodore Picken to till the garden for us. Mr. Picken and I will pick up the rototiller from the Tool Library around 10 a.m. and return it by 3 p.m. the same day. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate (because it is currently forecasted to rain). I'll rake away some of the mulch from the island part of the garden in order to widen the growing space and decrease the width of the path by approximately 1 foot on each side. [Editor's Note: Because of the forecasted rain, we've postponed the tilling until Monday, Apri 12.]
  • Bryan Wright from Wright's Tree Service has again agreed to donate two truckloads of wood chips (which we can spread on the paths and around the perimeter of the fence). They will be delivered before April 10.
  • Seeds of Change (from New Mexico) sent us 100 free organic seed packets, including Peppers (Purira Chile, Corno de Toro sweet pepper, Paprika alma pepper, Habanero chile heirloom, Fresno Chile, Relleno Chile), Tomatoes (Santiam, Brandywine heirloom, Roma, Wisconsin 55, Garden Peach heirloom, Peron Sprayless, Double rich, Silvery Fir Tree heirloom, and Matina), Lettuce/Greens (Little Gem Lettuce, Barcarole lettuce, Red Giant Mustard Greens, True Siberian Kale, China Choy Chinese Cabbage, Early Palla Rossa Radicchio, Wild Garden Chicory, Gourmet Salad Mix, Large Leaf Purslane, Sucrine Lettuce, Cosmo Savoy Lettuce, Red Ursa Kale Rare, Nutri-Bud Broccoli, Green Deer tongue Lettuce, Ruben's Red Romaine lettuce, Persian Garden cress), Cucumbers (Armenian heirloom, sweet marketmore), Carrots, Imperial Black Beauty Eggplant heirloom, Detroit Dark Red Beet heirloom, Red Stalk Celery, Watermelon (malali, Crimson sweet, golden honey), Small sugar pumpkin heirloom, gold nugget squash, Herbs (Bronze fennel, genovese sweet basil, perfection fennel, pacific beauty calendula medicinal, sweet majoram heirloom, valerian rare heirloom/medicinal, american skullcap medicinal, hyssop heirloom/medicinal, lemon catnip medicinal, Borage medicinal, lime basil), Hooker's Sweet Corn heirloom, and Flowers (Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Sky Pink campion, Nigella (Love in a Mist), Galilee Blue Double Larkspur, Orange Zinger Calendula, Moonlight Marigold, Shungiku edible chrysanthemum, African Marigold, Purple Queen Cleome, Deep Orange Safflower, Maximillan Sunflower, Discovery Mix Sunflowers, Feverfew heirloom/medicinal, Butterfly weed). We still paid the $15 shipping cost. We also still have some seed packets leftover from last year.
  • Oakland Nursery is giving us a few blueberry bushes (to plant along the north fence so the kids can scavenge them along with the strawberries and the raspberries along the south fence) as well as seedlings.
  • Trudeau's Fence is giving us more cedar lumber to cut down for tomato stakes.
  • I painted the back of our front sign so that it would better withstand the elements.

We do not have as much work to do this year as we did last year (since there will not be as much construction debris to remove and we already spread our compost last Fall). The primary goals for Saturday, April 10, 2010 is to accomplish the following:

  • Transport our supplies back to the SACG from Mitch's basement and my garage;
  • Spread mulch on the path and around the fence;
  • Pick up the significant amount of litter which has accumulated since November;
  • Put the gates back up;
  • Plant four rose bushes and blueberry bushes;
  • Hook up the rain barrels;
  • Stabilize and support the fence;
  • Secure the benches;
  • Weed the flower bed;
  • Mark the plots;
  • Plant spring crops in the Neighborhood Plot;
  • Start the raised beds along Cherry Street as well as building two raised beds from cedar boards behind BTBO; and
  • Move the compost bins to the south side of the Garden.

    We'll stop when we get tired or 4 p.m., whichever comes first. A few of us got pretty sun-burned last year, so remember to wear and bring extra sun-block and a hat.

The City of Columbus is also organizing Earth Day festivities for the weekend of April 17 and the SACG will be participating. Kurtz Brothers has donated a truckload of top soil and a truckload of compost to be shared by the community gardens which participate. (We can use both to build the new raised beds along Cherry Street and for the raised beds we're building for BTBO's Moms on the Move Program and its group homes). Anyone interested in helping Rayna and me celebrate Earth Day at the SACG on Saturday, April 17, 2010 can come and help us to do the following between 10 a.m. and 2: p.m.:

  • Plant flowers;
  • Build raised garden beds along Cherry Street;
  • Transplant strawberries to one of the new raised garden beds; and
  • Finish whatever was left undone from April 10.

Refreshments will be provided. More details about the City's celebration of Earth Day and how you can volunteer are available at The Franklin Park Neighbors Association is also participating and has organized a group litter pick-up to begin at 8 a.m. on April 17 only one block from the SACG -- at the corner of East Main Street and Fairwood Avenue.

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