Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting Down to Business

I’m still floating on a high after all of the great work we accomplished last Saturday at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden and have attached more pictures from the end of the day.  However, a gardener’s work is never done.   I was back on Sunday to plant my potatoes, snow and snap peas, onions and cabbage.  While I was there, KaeKae and Giovanni came to claim a raised bed and weed it clean.  Then, I was back again on Tuesday to plant kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, and bok choy.  While I was there, two more groups of girls came by to claim their raised garden beds and to weed them.  Burt even stopped by to claim the relocated raised  bed for Urban Connections’ Youth program (and then returned to a very energetic kick ball game over at Urban Connections).

We’re still waiting on our grant check and donated materials.  The kids’ beds are low on soil and we’ve received funding and donations to refill them.  They really wanted to plant their carrots right away, but I’ve convinced them to hold off until we can add a few more bags of soil to their beds.    They’ll also plant kale and lettuce.  And then, next month, we’ll add cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers, etc.

We’ve got four plots open for gardeners who are willing to put in their 3 hours of work equity this Saturday or next Saturday (weather permitting).   This is what we have planned for this Saturday, April 18:

·        Clean up the northeast plot where there was once a platform raised bed so that we can add soil next week and start planting.

·        Edge and weed the flower beds from invasive weeds and grass.

·        Pull the spent sunflower stalks out of the flower beds.

·        Empty the large rain tank and raise the platform another six inches to make it easier to fill our watering cans.

·        Cut down the wire fence next to Rayna’s plot (to save it from invasive vining weeds) now that there is a lovely chain link fence running along it.  We can use the fencing for trellises.

·        Free a trellis from the kids’ area and weave the raspberry brambles into the fence to make it safer for the kids.

·        Maybe clean out the neighbor plot along the alley

On April 22, Amy will be helping me to pick up a lot of supplies.  Scotts Miracle-Gro has generously donated to the SACG 60 bags of garden soil, hummus and mulch.  We have to pick these up from Franklin Park Conservatory (where City Council candidate, John Rush, and his business, Clean Turn, will be helping us and other community gardens load our trucks).  Then, Amy and I will unload the truck at the SACG.  By then, we will hopefully have received our grant funds from the City of Columbus so that we can rent a truck to pick up these supplies and to pick up three fruit trees (i.e., bing cherry, peach and sour cherry) to plant.  Green Columbus also wants us to pick up our litter pick-up supplies from Keep Columbus Beautiful that day, too.  On Friday, I hope to be able to pick up our new picnic table and supplies from the Grove City Home Depot which are being donated by Rebuilding Together and the City of Columbus.

On April 25, we’ll be “celebrating” Earth Day.  Green Columbus has arranged for us to give “goodies” to our volunteers, including free Chipotle burritos/tacos, a scoop of Jeni’s ice cream, a Gateway movie pass, etc.   We hope to have a few attorneys from the Ohio State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section Council help us.   We have an ambitious agenda:
·        Pick up litter along Stoddart Avenue and in the alleys.

·        Turn the materials in our compost bins and spread any compost we collect.

·        Weed and tidy the food pantry plot and neighbor bed.

·        Plant kale, cabbage and collard greens in our food pantry plot and neighbor bed.

·        Dig three holes and plant our fruit trees.

·        Relocate our four blueberry bushes to the south side of the Garden (because the raspberry bushes have crowded them and blocked the sun).

·        Spread our remaining wood chips around the picnic table.

·        Spread mulch in our flower beds and herb garden.

·        Transplant any remaining raspberry seedlings that pop up in unexpected places.

·        Thin our strawberry patch and pot the extra seedlings to sell or give away.

After this, we have only two other major projects:

               1) The City has donated two cubic yards of premium top soil from Kurtz Brothers which we need to pick up and then empty from our rented pick-up truck and distribute among our plots.

               2) The City/Columbus Foundation grant is enabling us to finally replace the make-shift “curb” along the alley on the north side of the Garden.  This 70-foot “curb” consists of all of the concrete debris which we have dug out of the Garden by hand.   There are also a number of heavy concrete chunks in the Garden.  It is virtually impossible to weed this “curb” because of the irregular shape of the pieces.  We will be loading all of this debris into the back of a rented pick-up truck and taking it to a local dump (which agreed to accept it for a mere $25 fee).  Then, GreenScapes has generously agreed to donate remnant landscaping stones which we can use to make a pretty curb that will keep the Garden from washing away in a deluge, and prevent cars from driving or parking on our lot.   We will need lots of strong volunteers for this project.  (Hopefully, we will be assigned a WEP volunteer by this time.  A girl can dream).

After this, we will just be tending our plots, weeding, watering, mowing, planting and harvesting for the rest of the season . . . . . .

Sadly, -- as you can see from the picture --  I should report that our Free Little Library was damaged before Easter -- just in time for Spring Break.  Someone or something ripped off the front door.  Fortunately, all of the pieces were left relatively intact at the foot of the Library.  So, I emptied the Library, put the books in the trunk of my car and carried the door pieces (including the plexiglass) down to Frank -- our handy, certified carpenter -- to fix.  Hopefully, he'll have the door back on by the end the of the week.    Ironically, people keep putting books in the empty library (which is very nice of them) and I keep taking the books out to keep them from getting ruined by rain.   That being said, at the end of our Opening Day, I let the kids go through the box in the trunk of my car -- just like the old days -- to get their reading grove on.

Well, one week at a time. . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment