Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Gardening Season Starts on March 28

[Editor's Note:  Because March is not going out like a lamb as we hoped and it is going to be too cold to garden, we are postponing our Opening Day until Saturday, April 11.  Be there or be square.]

Rejoice that March is entering like a lion because we need it to end like a lamb for the Opening Day for our seventh gardening season on March 28 [now April 11].  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.

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 2380 pounds.

Before SACG Broke Ground in 2009
Joining the SACG is not terribly time consuming, but Gardeners should plan to help set out the Garden on Saturday, March 28, 2015 (with a rain/make-up date on Saturday, April 11, 2015) and to close the Garden (probably on Saturday, November 14, 2015). Gardeners should 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, supervising a WEP volunteer, etc.)

We will start working at 9:30 a.m. on March 28, 2015 to spread wood chips on the garden paths and around the fence rows, flip the compost bins, move a raised bed,  till the ground (weather permitting), mow grass, transplant raspberry bushes, and hang gates. 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.

SACG with a coat of March snow

Gardeners may begin planting as soon as the ground is tilled and staked out.  (However, this early in the year, I only recommend planting potatoes, onions, leeks, peas, lettuce, kale, spinach and greens). I have already started sweet potato slips.  I’ll be starting pepper 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.

The weather forecast so far is for March to be colder than usual, but to be sunny and pleasant at the end of the month.  Keep your fingers crossed.

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