Hello from Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden!

We are in the thick of summer and the heat and humidity is trying to slow me down but it just isn’t happening! What is keeping me the busiest this time of year hasn’t been watering and weeding, but Garden Summer Camp! We are in the fourth week of the six week program.  The youth attending garden camp are learning how to be good stewards of the land.  So far we have planted lots of tomato and hot pepper plants, made watering a little bit more enjoyable by running through the sprinkler, harvested and enjoyed gooseberries and blackberries,  made herb bundles, and “guerrilla planted” lots of sunflowers in and around the garden. It has been a blast, and I am grateful for time to share the essential skill of gardening with the kids.


In addition to summer camp, the garden is providing the gardeners and community surrounding the garden with so much beautiful, healthy food. Over 20lbs of fresh greens were recently donated to a local food pantry. This was thanks to the hard work of one of our wonderful gardeners, Jill. We also invited staff members from Wesley Chappel Mission Center to help harvest tomatoes and peppers and they shared the fresh food with staff and families surrounding the garden.

The tomatoes are ripening on the vine and I made my very first batch of fresh garden salsa. My mouth began to water as I typed salsa so I thought my healthy recipe would be something fun to share. Enjoy!

OTR Garden Salsa: 

Tomatoes ( Anything ripe will work 2-3 medium tomatoes or a few handful of cherry will work great!)

Pinch of Basil

3-4 peppers (I used a variety of peppers and it was great!)

One medium cucumber

One small  red onion

2 tablespoons of local honey

A squirt of any vinaigrette dressing you have in the refrigerator ( I used a garlic vinaigrette)

Salt to taste and if you have a lemon or lime on hand squeeze that in there too.


Wash, dry and rough cut everything into chunks and add everything into a food processor. Zap the food processor for 5- 7 seconds or so. The longer you  run the food processor the more liquefied it will get. I wanted mine to be finely chopped so I hardly had to run the ingredients in the machine.  Serve with unsalted tortilla chips or on tacos.

Gardener Spotlight: Andrea!

Andrea is a wonderful grower and can weed a bed faster than anyone I have ever met! Andrea began gardening with us a few seasons ago and spends much of her volunteer time maintaining her plot and some of the areas of the garden that get neglected- like the fence line and our perennial garden to name a few.  Andrea helps out wherever the garden needs a little love and always does it with a smile. I am very grateful for the hard work and dedication Andrea provides each week, and thanks to her green thumbs she has really helped to make our garden more beautiful. Thank you Andrea!

As always, thank you  for checking in on our urban oasis.  I look forward to sharing what is happening in the garden next month. Please use this link August HUB calendar to see the classes that will be offered in August in the OTR Garden, as well as classes held in various community gardens around Cincinnati, OH.


Christina- OTR People’s Garden