Archive for the ‘Dunleith Update’ Category

Calling all gardeners without a garden

As many of you know, our main project thus far has been at the Dunleith Community Garden in the Aycock neighborhood. The garden was installed in June of 2009, and since then we’ve had 2 successful seasons of CSAs (community supported agriculture) and 7 neighbors renting plots.

Well, when it comes to the garden, the time to think about spring is in the fall! We’ve got some winter “cash crops” (edibles) in the ground, as well as some winter “cover crops” (to help improve the soil). This fall, we are opening the garden up for more folks to rent a plot in the spring.

In the past we have offered the option of participating in the garden through a CSA or by renting a plot. This year, we hope to fill up more of the garden with plot renters, and from there determine whether or not we will run a CSA. After all, it is a community garden, and we want our community to have ownership.

A community plot rental is a small financial investment but a large time commitment. Plot rentals give you 10 months to tend your own community plot. Spring plots will be available Feb 1, 2011 for you to prep and plant those super early spring crops (like snow peas)! If you are interested in renting a plot at the Dunleith Community Garden, please send an email to urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com and we well send you a sign-up form.

Here’s to spring veggies!

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Summer/Fall CSA

Now that fall is finally here, I think I can rest a little! As far as I can tell we had a very successful Summer/Fall CSA with 7 subscribers. I can tell you, they are probably also relieved to not have to deal with several pounds of eggplants every single week! We also were successful with many kinds of sweet and hot peppers, okra, cucumbers, watermelons and winter squashes (pumpkins, spaghetti and butternut squash) in the hotter months. Despite the fact that hot weather lasted well into September, we were also able to provide broccoli raab and hakuri turnips, a gourmet salad mix with lettuces, arugula and early mustard greens.

This was our second CSA season, lasting 12 weeks (the spring CSA was 10 weeks) and we sure are learning a lot about growing, harvesting and sell food! In between our CSA seasons, we sold produce at a small farmer’s market. And as most farmer’s already know, the CSA brought in more money. I won’t necessarily say that it was more profitable, because we have a lot to learn in terms of efficiency (harvesting, washing and packing a gourmet salad mix is WAY more involved than harvesting eggplants and tossing them in the CSA crate). Continue reading

Gardens Become Educational in Greensboro

If you happened to drive by the Dunleith Community Garden last week, you may have been surprised with the upsurge of youth filtering through out the garden like ants busy at work.

the ant march commences

In fact, from Tuesday to Friday of last week tenth graders at Greensboro Day School graciously volunteered their time and labor with Urban Harvest in a weeklong educational experience off the limitations of school grounds. As a local private school, Greensboro Day School has developed an impressively humble tradition that allows students to participate in a week-long service partnership to help their local community and relieve local non-profits before embarking on summer vacations.

GDS volunteers stop for a break and picture in front of the garden

This year, Urban Harvest was one Greensboro’s non-profits selected to receive a group of student volunteers. Ranging in levels of gardening expertise (some with an extensive permaculture background since the 7th grade) the students assisted Urban Harvest in planting peppers, trellising tomatoes, building compost bins, and sheet mulching pollinator beds for the expanding community project.

Carrots, Carrots, and more Carrots

oh, more carrots you say

This service venture is a testament to the power of working in groups. Two hands shoveling mulch is obviously easier, more efficient, less sweaty, and generally more enjoyablethan one person attempting to complete the same task. (Unless you are a recluse like J.D. Salinger, for which you would find this post to be a complete waste of time).  But that’s besides the point. Truth is, volunteer partnerships demonstrate the value of having accessible gardens in local areas. In a society increasingly expanding in  eco-conscious  civilians, community gardens have the potential to evolve into outdoor classrooms.

Harvesting Turnips on Tuesday

Now i admit, the idea of gardening or gardens as educational spaces is nothing groundbreaking. In fact, we can look to Alice Walker’s Edible Schoolyard epidemic for proof that gardens  are perhaps the most versatile spaces for teaching individual lessons and cultivating personal values; Determination, growth, patience and organic integrity are a worthy handful that immediately come to mind.

But on a larger scale, gardening as education is one of those great ideas that is rarely pursued. Instead we find gardening workshops in the elite niches of America or as large scale farming in those roadside rural towns that seem both unfamiliar and familiar at the same time.

Ideas of widespread and educational garden spaces, especially in urban areas, are often abandoned when visioners reach obstacles such as installation, resources, or simply the risk involved in pursuing external support.

lets harvest arugula!

However, i reiterate in one week a small community garden demonstrated the capacity to educate a group of high school students. No chairs or laptops required. So fellow visioners, whether gardeners or not, don’t surrender ideas you believe in to the first or second obstacle that presents itself. Any substantial idea worth pursuing was previously confronted with a great obstacle. To harp upon the words of an old friend, “if it was easy everyone would do it (except breathing, and a couple of other exceptions if you want to get technical)”.

That’s all for now.

Spring CSA harvest overflowing at Dunleith Garden!

Nothing says good morning like turnips, radicchio, and red torpedo onions! These are just a few of the items that stocked the Urban Harvest CSA crates this week. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a weekly initiative that Urban Harvest provides to individuals or groups that have purchased a seasonal CSA membership. Every Tuesday afternoon, Spring members receive a hearty array of fresh herbs, greens, and colorful veggies that have been harvested, packaged, and distributed directly from the Dunleith Community Garden.

harvested produce waiting to be cleaned 🙂

CSA’s are a growing phenomenon (even in fisheries by the coast!) to increase the proximity of the food produced to the food consumed.  Swing by the Dunleith site on a Tuesday morning, and you will find the founder of Urban Harvest, Dawn Leonard and other Urban Harvest volunteers harvesting and cleaning vegetables straight from the Earth.

Dawn harvesting delicious veggies!

fresh raddichio

The harvest is then distributed based on share into hand-made wooden crates with a  personalized news-letter taped to the side.  Around five-o’clock an onlooker will find Leonard sitting with her crates awaiting pick-up, talking with neighbors, or pilfering around the garden making improvements. One thing for sure, when a CSA member arrives to pick up their crate that afternoon, they can rest assured that their produce was given the care and attention we should expect of all our food sources.

recyclable CSA crates, packed and ready to be delivered to their owners

To learn more about CSA, contact Urban Harvest at urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com . In the mean time check out this really neat video made by other urban farmers in New York City:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcR2J63_44c&feature=related

Listen up, Greensboro Gardeners!

Hello all,

May showers have brought in a stunning growth of fresh herbs and vegetables to keep us gardeners’ busy at  Urban Harvest’s Dunleith Community Garden. If you haven’t visited the garden yet, or are just hearing about Urban Harvest, you simply have to use some of your summer free time to experience this local movement.The garden is located  close to Summit Avenue in the Aycock Historic District (681 Chestnut Street) and offers a beautiful location for youth, families, and school groups to come participate in a true “urban harvest”.

it's thyme to get outdoors and garden

In fact, groups such as Greensboro Day School and UNCG will be hosted by Urban Harvest at the garden in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out for updates and renovations!

As we all know, summer is one of the best times of year to experience something new (perhaps because the kids are out of school, the weather is beautiful, the pollen is gone, your boss is on vacation, …. and the list goes on).  So why not seize this opportunity to become involved in a fresh local food movement expanding right here in the Triad! What’s stopping you? It’s simply too easy and enjoyable to pass up.

Currently, there are an array of promising projects, from tomato trellising to sprout production, that you could become involved in. Bring a few  friends, maybe a pal from work, or simply do something for yourself in June! Come learn techniques to expand your own garden, start a neighborhood garden, or simply feel more knowledgeable when you’re picking out groceries.

If you have never planted a seed in your life, or if you have been green thumbin’ it since diapers, it’s all the same. Come join us  for an unforgettable experience at the Dunleith Community Garden!

In one day you truly can make a difference.

To schedule a day of adventure at the garden or if you simply want to make a donation to Urban Harvest,  please contact urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com.

Spring CSA Subscriptions and 2010 Plot Rentals at Dunleith

Plot Rentals
Urban Harvest is happy to announce that we have space available for Aycock and non-Aycock residents to rent garden plots at the Dunleith Community Garden. A community plot rental is a small financial investment but a larger time commitment. If you want to be out in the garden growing your own stuff, we respect that! Plot rentals give you 7 months to tend your own community spot.  Download a Plot Rental Agreement form here.

CSA Subscriptions
Residents will be accepted to the CSA on a first-come-first-serve basis, so please submit your applications as soon as possible. What is CSA, you ask? Community Supported Agriculture is a benefit to farmers and consumers alike: a fee, or subscription, is paid at the start of the season to the farmers, who now have the capital necessary to start growing. In return, the consumer recieves a bag of fresh produce every week for the length of the CSA season. You don’t have to get your hands dirty if you don’t care to or have the time to do so. However, we won’t prohibit you from helping if you want to! We hosted a basic planning meeting for the Spring CSA, and have spaces (or shares) available for the 10-week spring season. Download the info sheet and registration form to learn more and to sign up for your Spring CSA. And remember, residents will be accepted to the CSA on a first-come-first-serve basis, so please submit your applications as soon as possible.

A Letter to Aycock

Urban Harvest?

Most of you in Aycock are probably familiar with the name Urban Harvest, or at least know something about the community garden that was installed at Dunleith back in June of 2009. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you said, “so what’s going on with that?” or “who are they again?”

Though you may have seen many other faces at the ground-breaking event in June, Urban Harvest is composed of Dawn and Justin Leonard and Lou Gamble. We began as an LLC in the fall of 2007 by installing residential vegetable gardens or as we like to call it “edible landscaping.” We soon realized that what we really wanted was to educate citizens and teach people about the benefits of local food in addition to providing sustainably produced food within the city of Greensboro. Over time, we’ve changed our mission to reflect these new ideas:

Our mission is to provide and promote local urban food production, distribution and education, made accessible to all citizens, using the principles of sustainability. The vision of Urban Harvest is to create a community where all citizens have access to healthy, fresh food grown right in Greensboro.

Community Garden at Dunleith

The installation of the garden at Dunleith was an important first step to achieving some of our goals, Continue reading