Please come to the Spring Kickoff
March 22, 2014
Please come to the Spring Kickoff
March 22, 2014
Kid Power DC is starting the VeggieTime program at our neighborhood schools this year–Amidon-Bowen Elementary and Jefferson Middle School. They organize school gardens, healthy eating education, after school and summer programs.
Here’s the current volunteer opportunities:
Get down and dirty with students in the garden. Whether you are an expert gardener or want to learn how alongside the kids we would love to have you assist our students with garden tasks like planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. (weekly or monthly commitment)
Sometimes our gardens just need a little TLC. If you have a few extra weekend hours a month and know your way around a garden we would appreciate your help keeping our school gardens healthy. (This opportunity does not involve working with students and can be done on your own schedule.) !
Summer Garden Watering
Assist our program with maintaining all of our garden beds during the hot summer months. When school is out and our staff are on vacation the plants still need someone to tend them. Our gardens are located at 8 different sites in various neighborhoods throughout the city. We are looking for people to help between one and three times a week mornings or evenings. All ages and gardening levels welcome! (1-3 days a week, one week – whole summer)
Are you an expert? Have you had an interesting life experience? Do you have an innovative job? Come out and talk to our students about it in a 3 lesson series. You can introduce yourself and your idea/experience and work with students to build a service learning project around that idea. (once 3-5 visit commitment)
Working at Farmer’s Markets
Help students run their own Farmers’ Market produce stands at various locations around the city. This is a weekend opportunity for you to see the business side of our gardens. Assist groups of 2-5 students in bettering their public speaking abilities as they engage customers and increasing their math skills by getting the opportunity to handle real money in a real world situation. Our markets are run from 10am to 12:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. We provide all the materials and a brief training. (once a month) !
Do you like to cook? Come help Kid Power share nutritious recipes with student families and community members at our Family Cooking Nights and Farmers’ Market cooking demos. We need everything from sous chefs to head chefs to waiters. (once a month) !
We’re less than a month away from the March equinox (March 21st), the unofficial start of spring, and the SW Community Garden is getting ready!
With the input of voters, who either stopped by the garden and dropped off their suggestions, or voted in our online survey, we came up with a planting plan that we hope will cater to SW stomaches. For the spring, we’ll be planting: kale, lettuce, carrots, spinach, peas, broccoli, beets, cabbage, radishes, strawberries, peanuts, and a variety of onions. Once these crops have had their fun in the sun, we’ll replace them with others with the goal of growing something all year.
To preserve the health and balance of the soil, and to deter pests and diseases from getting too comfortable in the garden, we will be rotating the crops on a semi-seasonal basis. We chose to do this because plants have a variety of appetites, some feed on nutrients in the soil more than others, and others (legumes) add nutrients (nitrogen) to the soil, so it is important to cycle through the different crop varieties for sustainability purposes.
An example cycle to follow is: fruits->roots->legumes->leaves. (Fruit examples: cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, crops with seeds inside them; Root examples: beets, radishes, turnips, carrots; Legume examples: peanuts, beans, peas; Leaves examples: lettuce, mustards, arugula.) An important note to consider within this cycle is that fruits do best when grown during the summer months.
We hope to make the garden as sustainable as possible, and are working with the urban composting company, Compost Cab, on being a local drop-point for food scraps so we can start producing our own compost. To stay in the loop with this project, and other activities we have planned, check out our Facebook page, Twitter, or website.
And don’t forget about the spring kick-off in the garden on March 22nd, from 1-5pm! (address: 1098 Delaware Ave)
This is a great District-wide gardening forum. There will be workshop, networking, seed sharing, and lots of information. SW Gardens members will be there.
We at SW Gardens are exciting to be hosting a Spring Kickoff Day on Saturday, March 22, from 2:00pm until 5:00pm. Even though several of our gardeners kept their plots active throughout much of the colder months, we still can’t wait to get started with our plots once again in 2014!
We’ll have updates coming soon on the fun activities we plan to have, but suffice it to say, we hope you’ll join us for some leisurely merriment and fun gardening. We are so happy to serve as a place where Southwesters can come to relax, connect with friends and neighbors, and maybe learn a thing or two at the same time. That’s what we were created for, first and foremost – and we hope that’s what we are becoming, more and more each day!
2014, here we come!
6 months in, and the SW Community Garden in Lansburgh Park has already experienced nearly all the elements of a DC fall and winter (even including a “polar vortex” [!]). And through it all, the plants have continued to grow.
Since the garden’s opening on July 31st, 2013, a variety of herbs and vegetables have been grown, such as basil, swiss chard, and tomatoes. The growing continued throughout the end of 2013, as arugula, collard greens, kale, lettuce, and perennial herbs, like rosemary and thyme, were also able to grow.
Thanks to our gardening efforts, we’ve been able to harvest a little over 10 pounds of produce, which has been distributed to volunteers and members of the community. We hope to continue this trend, and to grow and share even more this year.
In preparation for the upcoming growing season, we want to know what you want to see growing in the garden. For us, being a true community garden means appealing to the taste-buds of the neighborhood. You can let us know your suggestions by filling out a survey, or voting at the collection box we have set up at the garden (located at 1098 Delaware Ave SW). We’ll be taking suggestions until March 1st.
We will then give you the chance to plant some of the chosen vegetables during the garden’s spring kick-off event on, Saturday, March 22nd. There, we will have workshops, gardening activities, some snacks, music, and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the garden.
We hope to see you there!
When: Wednesday, December 4, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Gordon Biersch Brewery, Navy Yard, 100 M Street SE, Washington DC 20003
What: WinterBock Tapping Party and fundraiser for Southwest Community Gardens
Why: Fun, friends, music, food, drinks, and fabulous raffle prizes donated by neighborhood businesses
On Saturday November 9th at 2pm, the Southwest Gardens Community gathered with Southwest community leaders and friends to plant a cherry tree to honor the passing of a “The Mayor of Southwest,” Ron McBee. Ron served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Southwest from 2007 until the time of his death in Autumn 2013.
Ron was instrumental in managing the July 31, 2013 realization of SW Community Gardens. Once Fiskars Co. awarded the Project Orange Thumb grant in early 2013, Ron advanced the process of lining up arduous land-preparation tasks and wrangling permits from relevant city government agencies.
Ron is also fondly remembered as an advocate for our neighboring Amidon-Bowen Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School. Education was a cause close to Ron’s heart and Ron understood the educational and community-building role of public resource like the Southwest Community Gardens.
Photos courtesy of Saadia Athias
Southwest Community Gardeners gathered Saturday afternoon November 2nd for the first Meet & Greet event, an opportunity for plot assignees to introduce themselves to one another. By-Laws were voted upon and updated. A new Secretary was elected: Jessica Henson Cagley. Coy and Sylvia gave us an update on the 10 community plots, which feature brand new steel framed signage.
Following introductions, topics discussed included:
Following the discussion, meet & greet attendees raked leaves inside the garden and local youths joined to rake leaves at the immediate garden periphery.
Please join us for a Community Garden Meet & Greet happening this Saturday, November 2, at 2:00pm at SW Community Gardens in Lansburgh Park! (If it rains, we will meet at Southwest Library meeting room downstairs at the library instead.)
This will be a chance for everyone to come together and meet each other. Since the lottery, we haven’t been able to meet all of our new gardeners, so this will be a good time for everyone to say hello.
We also have some official business to conduct: specifically, we will be conducting an election for our new Treasurer. We are fortunate that Jessica Cagley has expressed interest in serving in the role. If anyone else wishes to nominate themselves or someone else, please let us know by Saturday noon (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also, we will be voting on some changes to the Garden Bylaws. Our bylaws were created at a time when we were very much unsure how our garden would actually manifest, so we need to make updates based on how many plots were allowed in the garden, and similar things. Follow the link to preview, we will go over the changes at the meeting.
We will also go over some basic gardening tips, including composting, what to grow and what not to grow in our plots, how to work with kids in the garden, and other issues.
Finally, we will hold a short gardening session afterwards, to clean up leaves, maybe remove tomato plants that the weather might be getting too cold for, and otherwise clean up the garden and get it ready for the winter. (We’re of course not closing up the garden or anything, but some of us might be stopping our gardening fairly soon.)
We hope to see you on Saturday!