Posts Tagged ‘community garden’

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!

Advertisements

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

Elon Students Volunteer at Community Garden

This summer, the Dunleith Community Garden has undergone some great advancements and renovations thanks to an upsurge of eager and interested volunteer groups! Most recently, a group of twenty incoming Elon Freshmen were chosen to experience a week of service learning to better their local community.

they were a group of ecstatic volunteers!

Urban Harvest’s  first major project, The Dunleith Community Garden was one of the sites chosen for the students to spend a proportion of their week-long commitment  to service. The students were informed about the ins-and-outs of urban food production and sustainable farming practices. The tasks spanned from learning the techniques of composting, the importance of pollinators, and the simplicity of lasagna gardening. Thanks to Elon for your enthusiasm and genuine work ethic in the garden, we look forward to hosting you again in the future!

LASAGNA GARDENING

the beginning layer of Dunleith's new pollinator bed

step 2 : add straw

step 3: add compost

almost done! step 4: add the pollinator plants

Pollinator bed completed, ready for enjoyment

Note: Making your own lasagna garden or bed is simple and very efficient in urban areas. For more information, I recommend reading this link http://garden2table.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-sheet-mulch.html about a woman who transformed her small backyard into a flourishing lasagna garden!

Urban Farm Plan Amasses Media Attention

This month we have made notable headway in our plans to bring an urban farm to the people of Greensboro. This progress garnered the attention of Michelle Ferrier of Locally Grown News to submit a cover story about Urban Harvest’s work at the Dunleith Community Garden and our long-term vision for a progressive and educational micro farm in downtown Greensboro.

Check out the story here :

http://locallygrown.live.communityq.com/detail/26388.html

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

Lets go to Terra Madre

Check out this 10 minute video that we created. Urban Harvest and the Greensboro Children’s Museum teamed up to apply for a scholarship for the Terra Madre conference in Italy this fall.