Archive for April, 2009

We have received funding for our kick-off round of raised beds gardens!

Thank you so much to our generous donors. COA is also planning to begin a project of nutrition education for children in their programs with part of the funding.

However, please keep those donations coming in. Remember, our goal is to provide garden space for everyone who applies this spring!

Don’t forget our work day and potluck picnic this Saturday. We’ll give you all more updates then.

Garden Work Day
Saturday, May 2
10AM to 5PM
Meeting and potluck picnic lunch at 2PM


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We have many people who are interested in applying for plots!

Because we are brand new, and really do not know how many plots will be available when, and have to figure out a system for assigning the plots, we hope you will bear with us.

We have an application form that we want to “roll out” at the workday and meeting on Saturday, May 2. At that time, we will get input and approval on the form and on an application process from the people who come to work that day. We think it’s important for a group to look at this and give feedback and input before we implement it.

At that point, the people who come to the May 2 gathering can fill out the form. After that, we will send the form out to all the people who are in our data base who have requested plots, and we will put the form up on the blog for others who want to request garden plots.

We have a lot of space in the garden area, and there is a lot of interest in this garden. OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE ENOUGH PLOTS FOR EVERYONE WHO APPLIES.

That may not be realistic, but so far we have had about 55 inquiries, and we really think we can create that many plots (plus some) this first year.

There will be about 24 garden plots created on May 2, and plans for more soon after that (one step at a time…). Not everyone will be able to start on May 2, but we will be building and expanding throughout May, so our goal is for everyone to get food in the ground this spring.


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Let’s get those gardens started!

Garden Work Day
Saturday, May 2
10AM to 5PM
Meeting and potluck picnic lunch at 2PM

We plan to place the first of our garden frames, surround them with wood chips and (if all goes as planned) fill them with compost.

We will also have a meeting and potluck picnic lunch in the garden at 2PM where we will discuss proposed garden rules and begin the process of applying for garden spaces. We hope to have garden spaces for everyone who applies this year. However, since we are putting in beds in several stages, some may have to wait for a couple of weeks. Come to the meeting and learn more!

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With lots of help from the Marquette volunteers, we removed nails from about a third of the lumber on April 18. It was hard work, and we were a little short on tools. So, we only worked to about noon. Because of rain forecasts, I later came back, stacked the wood more carefully and put a tarp over it.

On Thursday afternoon, Gary and I got together again, along with my friend and long-time English student, Alejo (who will be gardening with me). I brought along more tools, and we figure we passed the half-way mark in about an hour and a half. I had also found another tarp in my locker, so the wood with nails is now fully protected (hopefully!).

Because Sunday is too wet to pull nails, I will probably only get back on Thursday. Maybe Gary will find some time meanwhile. Also, Alejo and I will periodically check to make sure the tarps are secure.

Once we’ve removed all the nails, we’ll sort the wood by length, measure it and mark necessary saw cuts. In order not to waste time, energy and wood, some of the resulting frames will not measure exactly 4′ by 8′. As ground sheets have already been placed, it will be interesting to learn how covered and uncovered surfaces differ in the re-emergence of weeds. Luckily, we have plenty of room for both standard and eccentric frames! (I also plan to build, from old wooden ladders, a trellis for climbing vines, which approach 16′ in length.)

Once we’ve removed nails, sorted by length and marked saw cuts, the wood will be ready to move up to the garden area. I hope to borrow Alejo’s little pick-up for this, but maybe someone else can help with the many needed loads. (There is probably little reason to suspect that cleaned wood will be more likely stolen up above than near Commerce Street.)

For the garden area, I have an extension cord of 25 or 50′, but a portable generator would be nice! Also, the guy who designs and builds stage sets surely has the the power tools needed to prepare the lumber. A couple saw horses would be handy, too! In addition to sawing, it might be a good idea to drill holes through cross-grain pieces (for 2-1/2 to 3″ spikes), to avoid splitting. Galvanized nails would be OK organically.

Reporting and planning so far, Walt Saveland.

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Welcome to a lovely rainy Monday morning. We’re looking ahead to working on raised beds this week, and planning upcoming work times. We will post plans tomorrow, but meanwhile, there’s something we can all help with – fundraising! We need to raise $3,500 for this first phase of our project. We have some donors we have asked, but meanwhile if folks would be willing to pledge and send in small donations of $10 to $20 it would be a great help. Here’s what we need, and for what, and how to get tax-deductible contributions to us:

Wood and hardware……….$ 900
Soil (delivered)…………………1,850
Water (estimated)……………..750


Make check payable to Riverwest Neighborhood Association with “Victory Garden” on the memo line. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Mail to Victory Garden, c/o Riverwest Currents, PO Box 716, Milwaukee 53201-0716

If you would like to view and download a fact sheet with contribution information, click on this link:
Fundraising Fact Sheet

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Did you hear about the letter that the Mid America CropLife Association sent to Michelle Obama? MACA is made up of former executives of Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and DuPont Crop Protection. They said the thought of an organic garden made them “shudder.” You can read the whole letter here.

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Good evening! I just put up a new page with proposed rules for the garden. They are loosely based on the Troy Garden rules (much simplified). Please could you all take a look at them and leave comments after them? Let me know if you have trouble accessing them…

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