Knock on wood, Spring has finally arrived!

Happy Earth Day! 

April 22, 2018 

Hello friends! Since the March blog it feels like we’ve finally warmed up and the cold, cold Ohio nights are a thing of the past.  Gardeners in Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden have been taking advantage of the sunny April days and getting excited to begin a new garden season. Did you know that Over-the- Rhine People’s Garden is entering year 5 with Grow Appalachia?

Most garden work days have been spent spreading compost and wood chips, weeding and preparing our soil,  planting seeds like beets, carrots, dill, onion and cilantro.  Thanks to gardeners Jill and Chris 3/4 of the cabbage patch is completed,  and seed potatoes are in the ground.  Jill estimates we’ll harvest and enjoy 180lbs of potatoes this season!

 

April blooms are here! Check out our colorful tulips, peach trees and apple blossoms.

     

Did you know that rhubarb blooms too?

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to spend time with David Cooke, Director and Founder of Grow Appalachia, Glades Community Garden, GreenHouse17, Magoffin County Extension, and St. Vincent Mission.  The folks at GreenHouse17 were wonderful hosts and their spring flowers were breathtaking! To find out more information about all of the awesome Grow Appalachia partner sites be sure to check out the “partners” section of the Grow Appalachia website: https://growappalachia.berea.edu/partners/

 

I would like to take a moment to thank one of our most outstanding gardeners, Jill. She grows food here in our city community garden and also manages a beautiful food garden on the property of the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati. She is very organized, knowledgable, hard working, helpful and inspiring. I am growing flowers and herbs along side her vegetable beds and I very much look forward to seeing what she all accomplishes this season.
                      
   
March Pic vs April Pic
                                      
It’s Earth Day, and we started it by joining up with new friends from First Lutheran Church, located a few blocks away from the garden in OTR. Our garden was awarded a generous donation from the church members.  I was asked to come to today’s mass to accept the $500 check, and to deliver a short speech about the Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden.  The garden is blessed to receive this generous gift, thank you again!
                                               
I have been busy starting many flower seeds under grow lights in my living room:) Today I took over my first round of plant babies to begin to harden them off and get them in the ground in the coming weeks.
                                            
Thanks again for stopping by to see what Grow Appalachia’s only urban site has been up to as we head into year 5 🙂
Peace, Love, Happiness and Flowers
Volunteer Garden Coordinator, Christina

 

About the Author:

For over thirty years Civic Garden Center (CGC) has been working with neighborhood residents and community-based organizations to create community gardens as well as providing technical support and advanced training in growing fruits and vegetables using organic practices. Our goal is to not only to start community gardens but to provide ongoing support so they will be sustainable and thrive into the future. The first community garden was the Over-The-Rhine People's Garden, built in 1980. Since then community gardening has blossomed all across greater Cincinnati. There are dozens of these magnificent green and growing areas throughout the city. Cleaning up and converting blighted, vacant lots improve the image of the neighborhood, how people feel about it and about themselves. These thriving green spaces create a nurturing refuge, often in places where there are no other parks or green space available. Community gardening brings people living in these neighborhoods together, helping to rebuild the bonds of community. Neighborhood residents who participate have direct access to the fresh, nutritious produce these gardens provide. Our award-winning Community Gardens Program is one of the Civic Garden Center's longest-standing community outreach efforts. Starting with a pilot garden in 1980, the program was formally established in 1981(as the Neighborhood Gardens Program) to assist community groups, primarily in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, converting blighted vacant lots into beautiful and productive community food gardens and parks. The current Community Gardens Program continues to provide individuals and groups technical assistance, leadership training, horticulture education and start-up support to help them successfully organize, plan, build and sustain their gardens. A core component of the Community Gardens Program is the Community Garden Development Training (CGDT) program. CGDT offers a unique and successful set of tools to help neighbors of all ages come together to create community gardens. The heart of CGDT twelve class series is the peer-centered curriculum that allows participants to share their talents and utilize community resources to develop and implement neighborhood gardening projects. The CGDT curriculum is three-fold covering community development, garden administration and sustainable gardening practices. Twenty-eight years of experience has demonstrated the practical value of these projects: • Community garden programs teach participants self-reliance and a variety of skills useful in running the gardens and in other aspects of community work and family life. • Community Gardens offer participants direct access to fresh, nutritious produce. • Numerous health studies show that gardening positively impacts body, mind and soul, benefiting participants from both active and passive involvement. • Gardening provides unique recreational outlets and a healthy source of exercise for people of all ages. • Community gardens bring people together, helping to build the bonds of community. • Cleaning up and converting blighted vacant lots improves the image of the neighborhood, how people feel about it and about themselves. • Reports show that this kind of community involvement can actually help reduce vandalism and bring down crime rates.

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