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Archive for March, 2011

Unglazed porcelain garden watering jars.

Garden Ollas by Brad Neu.

Ollas are unglazed pots that are buried in the garden and filled with water. As the soil around them dries, the water seeps through the unglazed surface and keeps the soil at an even moisture – just the way our plants like it. You fill them every few days. It conserves on water and keeps plants healthy.

Brad Neu, a potter with a studio in the “Fortress,” has started to make these pots. He has agreed to take advance orders and will try to fill as many as he can by our “In the Garden” date of April 16.

In addition, Ty Bender, a ceramics professor at UWM, has agreed to help us put on a garden ollas workshop sometime in May, where you could create your own garden ollas. We don’t have a price for the workshop yet, but we would be able to offer it on a sliding scale so it will be affordable for everyone who wants to learn.

If you would like to place an advance order for ollas for your garden, or to indicate that you are interested in learning to make your own garden ollas, please download the form below, fill it out and save it, then attach it to an email and send it to SocialSolutionsMKE@gmail.com

Garden Olla Order Form

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And lots of other interesting stuff…

COMMUNITY GARDEN ANNUAL GATHERING
Saturday, March 19, 10AM
COA Youth & Family Centers
East Garfield Street Entrance at Bremen & Garfield

Coffee and goodies and garden gossip. We’ll go over spring plans, talk about what we can do better, and generally talk about the garden. If you have ideas for agenda items, please send them to us at SocialSolutionsMKE@gmail.com.

March 31
Deadline to re-apply for your garden plot.

We hope to get at plot assignments early this year, so they can be done by our big clean-up day in April. Please take a few minutes to fill out an application for your garden plot – the paperwork really helps us keep the 123 garden plots straight.

We will make every attempt to contact you if we don’t hear from you, to see if you want your plot again this year. If you do want your plot, signing up is easy, I promise.

How To Sign Up For A Garden Plot
All you have to do is download the application from the blog. Click on the “2011″ tab on the top of the page and go from there. Then you can fill out the application, save it, attach it to an email and send it to the email address on the bottom of the form. Or you can download the printable version, fill it out and send it “snail mail” to the address on the bottom of the form. It’s really easy – promise.

Rent for the plot is a sliding scale of $0 to $20 for the season – whatever you can afford. You can send that in if you send snail mail, or just pay it at one of the project days over the summer. Watch the blog for more updates.

IF YOU ARE A NEW GARDENER who hasn’t gardened with us in the past, the procedure is the same. We always have some turnover, so send in your application. I guarantee you we’ll find you a place to garden.

INTO THE GARDEN DAY!
Saturday, April 16, 9AM till we’re too tired to do any more

April 16 is our big Earth Day Clean Up that we’ve been doing in Riverwest and city-wide for years. That’s the day we get lots of college-age volunteers to work with us on various community park and garden projects – last year we had more than 400!

This year we hope to have our soil and wood chips delivered by that day, and we will put all those kids to work helping top off all the garden beds and putting wood chips down on the paths. Ideally, cross your fingers, by the end of that day we should be ready to garden! Woot!

So, those are the big days we have coming up. I’ll get an email with this information out to all our gardeners as well. Please don’t hesitate to email or comment on the blog with questions. I’ll acknowledge your garden applications as quickly as I can, and I’m confident this year is going to be our best season yet!

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Yes! I said SPRING! We’re looking ahead to upcoming events that really mean that spring is on its way at last! Get out your garden calendar, and mark down some important dates coming up in March and April.

SEED DATING
Saturday, March 12, 1-4PM
Falcon Bowl, 801 E Clarke St

What is “Seed Dating?” Here’s how event mastermind and Kilbourn Community Gardener Theresa Kenney explains it:

“Come join us to be part of this historic event, Milwaukee’s first city-wide seed exchange! Experience, firsthand, biodiversity at its finest. Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG) is sponsoring a whole new way to exchange garden seeds, through an event based on the “speed dating” concept; giving attendees a chance to meet and trade the range of fruit and vegetable seeds suitable for Wisconsin growing with other garden, farm and food enthusiasts.

Attendees can also meet gardening experts, sign up for a plot in a community garden, or – through the efforts of the Victory Garden Initiative “Garden Blitz” – you can get help putting in your own garden. In addition to all that, you can also learn how to work with MUG and start a community garden in your own neighborhood. No matter what your circumstance we can help you grow good healthy food.

The event includes music, dancing, a raffle, free hot chocolate from 7Sisters & 7Suns catering, “seed dating,” prizes and presentations by experts from UWM, Beepods.com, a 275 gallon water Tote from Transition Milwaukee and more.

A suggested donation of $3 for adults will help pay for the rental of the hall. Children under 14 are free. And don’t worry, if you need seeds, MUG has plenty available.”

COMMUNITY GARDEN ANNUAL GATHERING
Saturday, March 19, 10AM
COA Youth & Family Centers
East Garfield Street Entrance at Bremen & Garfield

Coffee and goodies and garden gossip. We’ll go over spring plans, talk about what we can do better, and generally talk about the garden. If you have ideas for agenda items, please send them to us at SocialSolutionsMKE@gmail.com.

March 31
Deadline to re-apply for your garden plot.

We hope to get at plot assignments early this year, so they can be done by our big clean-up day in April. Please take a few minutes to fill out an application for your garden plot – the paperwork really helps us keep the 123 garden plots straight.

We will make every attempt to contact you if we don’t hear from you, to see if you want your plot again this year. If you do want your plot, signing up is easy, I promise.

How To Sign Up For A Garden Plot
All you have to do is download the application from the blog. Click on the “2011” tab on the top of the page and go from there. Then you can fill out the application, save it, attach it to an email and send it to the email address on the bottom of the form. Or you can download the printable version, fill it out and send it “snail mail” to the address on the bottom of the form. It’s really easy – promise.

Rent for the plot is a sliding scale of $0 to $20 for the season – whatever you can afford. You can send that in if you send snail mail, or just pay it at one of the project days over the summer. Watch the blog for more updates.

IF YOU ARE A NEW GARDENER who hasn’t gardened with us in the past, the procedure is the same. We always have some turnover, so send in your application. I guarantee you we’ll find you a place to garden.

INTO THE GARDEN DAY!
Saturday, April 16, 9AM till we’re too tired to do any more

April 16 is our big Earth Day Clean Up that we’ve been doing in Riverwest and city-wide for years. That’s the day we get lots of college-age volunteers to work with us on various community park and garden projects – last year we had more than 400!

This year we hope to have our soil and wood chips delivered by that day, and we will put all those kids to work helping top off all the garden beds and putting wood chips down on the paths. Ideally, cross your fingers, by the end of that day we should be ready to garden! Woot!

So, those are the big days we have coming up. I’ll get an email with this information out to all our gardeners as well. Please don’t hesitate to email or comment on the blog with questions. I’ll acknowledge your garden applications as quickly as I can, and I’m confident this year is going to be our best season yet!

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Riverwest Follies
Saturday, March 5
Doors open at 6PM
Falcon Bowl, 801 E Clarke Street
Across from the Riverwest Co-op

Ready for a little laughter to clear away the winter blahs? Come to the Riverwest Follies tomorrow (Saturday, Mar 5) and enjoy an evening of home-made fun with your goofy and talented friends and neighbors!

And while you’re there, you can find the Community Garden at Kilbourn Park table and sign up for a garden plot. Remember, you have to re-apply for your garden plot every year, even if you want the same one again. Otherwise we don’t know you want it, and might reassign it to someone else (OH NO!)

Deadline, March 31
We have decided to set a deadline of March 31 this year to re-apply for your garden plots. We want to get an early start on assigning plots so we can all get an earlier start on our gardens this year.

Don’t worry – we’ll be emailing, calling and contacting people before March 31 to do our best to MAKE SURE who wants their garden plots back again this season.

We’re working on a comprehensive timeline of what the next two months will look like, so look for more emails and blog posts in the next few days.

In the meantime, get those garden applications in.

And come to the Follies and enjoy some neighborhood fun!

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