Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

April community garden work day a success!

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 at 2:10 am

Thanks to a forgiving forecast, a generous supply of compost, woodchips and supplies from KIB, and a lot of very hard work on the part of our Broadway Community Gardeners, we laid over 2000 square feet of garden beds and paths on Saturday. Surprisingly, the holiday weekend (Easter) and threat of thunderstorms did not keep our neighbors away. (Although there were no KIB volunteers, they may be helping out at a future work party.) We had 14 or more very capable adults and too-many-to-count kids helping out. Before the event even begun, John had set up a tent and helped mark out the beds and Tyson made the quickly-becoming-tradition of Long’s donuts a reality by getting up bright and early to stand in line.

getting started on the herb garden excavation

Rachel and Josh joined in and brought their friend from Ft Wayne who was a total trouper – spending her vacation digging up sod and hauling dirt. Ms. Harris then joined in with her extended family – first with 2 of her sons and then several grandchildren!

Ms. Harris kept us going!

She not only was a hard worker but could be heard chuckling and, at one point, singing the tune to ‘Green Acres.’ Her grandkids helped Tyson install the sign.

installing the sign

Xavier was completely unstoppable! I am not sure he even stopped for donuts or water. He not only hauled compost and woodchips but several kids in the wheelbarrow.

getting a wheelbarrow ride

When they weren’t in the wheelbarrow, heading back to the pile to help with another load, they were in John’s tractor heading over hill and dale – around the garden or the block.

moving woodchips

Shane, a neighbor and master gardener who tends a community plot on N Park, helped out with his daughter Mona.

In addition to the tools, compost and woodchips, Ginny Roberts came through with a couple flats of herbs – some perennial and some annual.

garden preparation

Herb and Todd helped plant them after excavating the area by the sidewalk along with several other gardeners. Ginny also brought a paw paw and 2 persimmon trees. I am not sure the persimmon trees will end up on this lot but we will find them a good home in the neighborhood. These trees need full sun and 30-70 vertical feet to grow! This space is already spoken for by our other fruit trees and so we will stick to the paw paw (and hopefully a companion paw paw to pollinate it). We also have several other understory trees to plant in the shady area of the lot for the May 14th NeighborWoods planting. Hopefully we can work on the cistern stands at that time and lay the remaining garden beds.

It seemed like the time flew by and we made a lot of progress. We laid 7 beds and paths and a 30 foot diameter woodchipped common area which will ultimately have a firepit for socializing and food preparation. This is where we ultimately took a break for some pizza.

stopping for a quick lunch

Many had to take off but several die-hard gardeners carried on. John helped Bearly get some starts going in his plot.

Bearly protecting his newly-planted seedlings

Several others marked their plots for a soon-to-be return visit.

I really look forward to seeing people spending time at the Broadway Community Garden. It is really shaping up to be a very nice place thanks to the help of so many last Saturday! Stay tuned for our next community garden work party. In the meantime, let me know if you are interested in a plot or have some news to share on your own plot. Happy gardening!


cardboard from Office Furniture Mart

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 12:02 am

In preparation for our big work day on April 23, I have been calling around for cardboard. Why cardboard? Well, at the brilliant suggestion of Ginny at KIB, we will not be tilling our beds. Rather, we will be placing 12″ of compost on top of cardboard. The cardboard nicely suppresses the underlying grass (and in our case grass and weeds) and decomposes over the next 6-12 months into great nutrients for our garden beds. So, we will be covering almost our entire 50’x120′ lot with cardboard. That is a lot of cardboard!

cardboard at BCG!

It turns out that most appliance stores no longer get their appliances delivered in cardboard boxes. This came as a shock to me but I am happy that there is some effort to reduce waste. We recented were ‘gifted’ some cardboard boxes from MFCDC when they got new office chairs. Yes, office chairs still come in cardboard boxes! So, I called Office Furniture Mart. Office Furniture Mart was great! All of the staff I met were so friendly. Mark Outcalt showed me the box truck FULL of cardboard and said, ‘will this be enough?’ Apparently, they had been collecting cardboard since about November. They were going to be taking it to be recycled (yes, they have recycled since the 70s!) when I came along. They thankfully were willing to bypass taking the cardboard to the recycler so that we could use it.

Tyrone was a HUGE help!

Saturday Tyrone (from Office Furniture Mart) loaded (and I tried to help – though he did ALL the heavy lifting) and I unloaded 3 van-fulls of cardboard. What an accomplishment! Now all we have to do is lay it all over the lot, tack it down with landscape staples, and spread about 30 cubic yards of compost and 30 cubic yards of wood chips on it!

cardboard loaded in the van

A BIG thank you to Office Furniture Mart and especially Mark & Tyrone for their help and generosity!

garden design

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm

After a few iterations with our crew, we sought professional input from Michelle Ray who is a design intern at KIB. Michelle has done wonders with our ‘sketches’, and we are very excited to put it into action on April 23rd. Thanks Michelle and KIB!!

Broadway Community Garden design