Cincinnati, OH — Winter is a time for celebrating!  So far this winter Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden has had many cold nights and a few bouts of light snow. The garden beds, with season extension, are doing great.  The snow didn’t seem to bother the covered beds of broccoli, greens and cabbages at all either. We hope this trend continues and we are able to enjoy these fresh greens all winter long. Tulip bulbs have been put under the ground and beginning in January, many more raised beds will have season extension added to them. Plans have already been made to begin starting seeds indoors in January and by February moving the cool loving vegetables and flowers to the garden.  Stay tuned!
Thanksgiving was a great time to share some of the seasons’ harvest with friends and family and it also afforded us an opportunity to take a quick break! This year I used the pumpkins we grew to make pumpkin pies. The desserts were quite the conversation piece at both Thanksgiving dinners I attended.  It was fun sharing with everyone how I grew the pumpkins. I also roasted the pumpkin seeds and we added them to the salad we served for dinner too. Yum! Healthful hint, try substituting your salad croutons (made with bread) with nuts or seeds. They are delicious and packed with amazing vitamins and minerals.
This winter I was invited to visit an enterprise garden located at Latonia Elementary in Covington, Kentucky.  An “enterprise garden” is one in which produce is grown for specific businesses who have contracted to purchase from them. For example, this year they grew a variety of hot peppers for a local hot sauce company. Genius! While there, I taught a handful of students how to create a beautiful flower arrangement. As an added benefit, the floral arrangements they created will be sold and the proceeds will go towards their garden expenses for the next season. It was a great inspiring visit.  I invited Latonia Elementary to come to see our Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden this spring and I hope they will do so.
Just for fun, my husband and I took a few days to get away and recharge after an exhausting, busy season. We decided to drive through Berea and stay the night in the historic Boone Tavern. Thanks to the generosity of Grow Appalachia, I was fortunate enough to have spent the night there once before, but my husband had not, nor my pup Yogi. So, it was super fun to walk them around the hotel as well as the Berea College campus. It is such a beautiful area.  What’s exciting is Berea is where our Partner Site Gathering is scheduled to be held in January of 2020. So we will be returning again shortly! I hope those of you who will be joining us are excited too!  This will be my third Gathering ( the photos below are from my first Gathering in 2014 right, and then again in 2016 left). I wish you all safe travels.
As far as other news, Grow Your Business Garden Club had its last meeting of the year this week. We celebrated the season drinking hot coco and decorating the garden fence for the holidays. The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati graciously donated the fresh greens that we used to create handmade garland—adorned with roasted citrus and other items found in the garden. It was a fun afternoon!
My fellow flower friend Megan, the owner of Daisy Janes Flower Truck, asked me to be a part of her Dreams & Journeys vlog. One of her passions is to share the stories of entrepreneurs and visionaries in the Cincinnati area. Be sure to check it out as the interview takes place in Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden. Link to  Dreams & Journeys- The Flower Lady OTR
Finally, we are delighted to share the news that we will be continuing our relationship with Grow Appalachia again next year! It will be our 7th year in the program! On behalf of all of us here in Cincinnati, Ohio, we would like to especially thank those in the Grow Appalachia headquarters.  We don’t know what we would do without you. We would also like to acknowledge the program’s funder, John Paul Dejoria, for continuing to provide financial assistance to a program that helps combat food insecurity and malnutrition in our community and beyond.
Thanks also to all of you for following our gardening adventures all season long via our monthly blog. You can find more updates and photos each season via my instagram account @theflowerladyotr.  Wishing  everyone a warm holiday and Happy new Year!
Peace, Love, Flowers & Happiness,
Partner Site Coordinator – Over-the Rhine People’s Garden