Happy New Year!
As we embark on our sixth season with Grow Appalachia in 2019, we can’t help but reflect upon all the positive experiences and knowledge we have gained over the past year. First of all, gardeners Chris and Jill took over growing most of the vegetables in the garden and they were able to add months to the growing season by utilizing season extension! A big shout out goes to them, as well as to our team of volunteer gardeners. They rocked! There wasn’t a single plot in the garden that didn’t have something growing in it. As a result, we not only had flowers galore this season, but we also produced tons of vegetables. Any food that was not eaten by our participants was donated weekly to the local food pantry.
In addition, as a result of producing a rainbow of blooms from early summer until the first frost, the garden not only attracted a variety of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds—but also the attention of people passing by, encouraging more impromptu garden tours. This has led to increased interest and increased opportunity. This year the garden coordinator, Christina secured weekly bouquet subscriptions from four local businesses and other clients and events have already been targeted for 2019.
Most importantly, expounding on our vision to inspire families in Over-the-Rhine to have fun while learning and developing skills to grow food, reconnect with nature, and become more self-sufficient became paramount. The creation of the cooperative opportunity entitled “Grow Your Business”—which tied into the market/garden program was a huge success and will definitely be implemented again next year. Students who attended these free classes learned the basics of flower and vegetable growing, along with how to preserve the harvest. They were also introduced to healthy meal preparation, and marketing skills. Below are photos from the final class of 2018, foraging and building holiday garland. The group created 20-ft of fresh garland and hung it up on the garden railing in hopes of creating a holiday joy for the garden passerbys.
The fall was spent putting the garden to bed and planting hundred of spring bulbs for the Market Garden section of the garden. Late winter has been spent with resting, restoring and succession planning. Taking seed inventory and ordering are other tedious winter tasks that keep gardeners busy in January and February.
Finally, in 2019 we are pleased to announce that that Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden Coordinator, Christina, will now be selling seasonal flowers via the Market Garden section of the garden. In an effort to fulfill her dream of ultimately becoming a flower farmer-florist full-time, Christina has since resigned from Paul Mitchell and started her own business using a similar business model inspired by what Grow Appalachia teaches its participants: The Flower Lady LLC. To purchase flowers and/or to learn about opportunities for you to become involved in the OTR People’s Garden, please visit her website at https://www.theflowerladyotr.com.
Peace, Love, Happiness & Flowers,
Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden
CHECK THIS OUT: Greg, a Civic Garden employee, recently shared that the Civic Garden Center’s Community Garden Program trails behind the New York’s GrownNYC by a few years in implementation– 1975 versus 1980. However, we believe the OTR People’s Garden is the longest continuously active community garden in the country!