It’s our third season, and it’s another great one for the Community Gardens at Kilbourn Park. We’ve had our issues and adventures, and we’ve all learned some new things about city farming.
The 2011 Internship Program captured much of my focus in the garden this summer. This is the second year of the program, and we offered another 11-week paying internship to high school kids from the area.
We worked hard, adding additional beds, topping off existing beds, and adding wood chips to paths. Some of our most daunting challenges came from plants that we’ve come to think of as invasive garden species. The worst culprits were mint, strawberries and tomatillos. They were either perennials that spread and took over beds or very hardy re-seeders.
Our interns wanted to ask the gardeners, please, if you plant mint put it in a separate pot. Please enjoy the strawberries in the center bed. And don’t bother to plant tomatillos. There is one bed that – no matter what we do – has been taken over by them and will grow nothing else.
In addition to working in the garden this summer, our interns helped out in some other area gardens. We helped start a new garden at Pathfinders Drop In Center and learned about permaculture gardening at Concordia Gardens. We also learned what had to happen if gardeners made a mistake and put gardens where the city decides they don’t want gardens. Our interns moved three big raised strawberry beds from Snail’s Crossing to the Clarke Foods garden with wheelbarrows and hand tools. Go Team Kilbourn!
We expanded our beds to 133 this year, and were able to provide beds to everyone who wanted one. Plans are currently under discussion about next year, but perhaps… PERHAPS… we are now at capacity for our garden beds.
Signs of the Times
We have had more complaints this year about people harvesting food without permission. This has been very hard for many of our gardeners, and there has been a lot of discussion about what we can do about it.
One of the proposals that I am working on is a series of signs for the garden. We have had an offer from a high school shop class to help us construct some good, sturdy, long-lasting signs. We will use them to explain what the garden is, and to invite people to come and garden with us instead of just harvesting the food that others have grown.
Another idea is to construct some garden beds along the sidewalks and have our interns tend them. The food grown there would be for anyone in the community who wants it. We could also have signs inviting people to take those crops, and asking them to leave the rest of the gardens for the people who tend them.
Big Fall Fundraiser
Watch this space, and your email inboxes, for the next post that will give details about the Feast of the Good Samaritan, the fall fundraiser we have planned.
And mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct 1. Plan to come to the garden and enjoy the fruits of our labors. More details coming soon…