Peace from Cincinnati,
March is full of gardening madness! Madness meaning, turning the soil, spreading seeds, hardening-off plants, and getting vegetable and flower plugs into the ground. Mother Nature provided a bit of weather madness too. Like tornado sirens, highs in the 70’s and lows in the 20’s. But the madness has been a good thing so far so let’s CHEERS to the beginning of Spring! We welcome your arrival with the first succession of planting in Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden. Check out what we’ve been up to!
Many of our gardeners have started their seeds indoors under lights. The seeds that were started in February have been hardened off and are going into the soil. All of the plants that are planted now prefer cooler weather and can even tolerate light frost. If the weather gets super chilly we just need to lightly cover the tender plants with cloth.
A few youth gardeners came by to lend a helping hand by planting a few trays of flower plugs and vegetable seeds on a balmy weekend in March. Thank you for coming out to help! 🙂
This month represenatives of the Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden were invited to speak at the We Dig Ohio! Urban Agriculture & Community Garden Summit in Columbus, Ohio. The Civic Garden Center of Cincinnati’s, Greg Potter, created a wonderful presentation: Can You Inject Resiliency? Creating HUB Gardens in Greater Cincinnati. The HUB program focuses on strengthening existing community gardens so that they become environmental education centers for their neighborhood. The OTR People’s Garden is one of the three gardens featured in the first phase of The HUB program. Our discussion covered the history of the three Cincinnati gardens, the steps and partners involved in getting the effort off the ground, and the ten year vision.
OTR Gardener Jill pulled back the covers on one of her beds and discovered some cabbage that survived the winter. Before the cabbage began to bolt, she harvested it and made some yummy and healthy kimchi! Her husband Chris was busy in the kitchen too. He was brewing beer made with the hops he grew this past season. We can’t wait to taste his batch!
Share seeds, food and stories at the Civic Garden Seed Sharing event. Community Garden Coordinators are welcomed to shop for seeds free of charge once a year. It is an event many of the gardeners count on each year. OTR Gardener Kendra shared her excitement from the event with a pretty picture of the seeds she picked out.
Jeff and I are busy getting our sweet peas and other cooler weather cut flowers into the ground. We currently have a few hundred bulbs beginning to bloom, anemones growing strong buds, poppy seeds in the ground, and many more varieties like larkspur and stock growing strong. March was extra special because we harvested our first flowers of the season and created our first spring arrangement for popular local eatery, Taft’s Ale House. It feels good to have flowers blooming in the garden again.
Garden Club with St. Francis Seraph’s Destination Imagination students wrapped up their indoor food garden project with me this month. Team members decided to solve nutrition issues by attempting to grow fresh greens indoors. Their success and taste buds inspired them to commit to fundraising throughout the rest of the school year in hopes of putting a more permanent school garden in the cafeteria by next year. Their future goals include growing enough fresh lettuces and herbs for school lunch. Coming up this spring these students will visit OTR People’s Garden and sample lettuces grown outdoors with season extension. They are curious to see if there is a difference in taste.
There is much more in store for OTR People’s Garden in April. The start of Garden Club, HUB Garden cooking classes and lots of planting. Stay tuned and garden onward friends!
Peace, love, flowers & happiness,
Coordinator for OTR People’s Garden