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Community garden, SFG style

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Community garden, SFG style

Post  cherriesjubilee on 7/17/2012, 3:53 pm

In addition to my back yard SFG's, I joined a community garden about seven months ago.

This is a cooperative effort from the city, and a church, who donated the plot. The only thing the church asked was that, when gardeners had excess produce, to please donate it once per week, and the church will take it to a food bank. Well, my "excess" has been modest, but I've managed to give back. What some gardeners have produced and donated has been better than I would have expected.

They are doing organic gardening, with raised beds 20' long, and 4' wide. I rented a plot for a year, and the cost was $40. This includes the water and supplied compost, organic fertilizer, and all the gardening tools you need.

No Mel's Mix. They supplied dirt, and most people just amended theirs. They have a composting team, and when compost is ready, (which isn't too often), everybody gets some. Yeah, the homemade compost made a positive difference, I have to say. However, even they have to be careful, and are picky, picky, picky about what they allow to be dumped into the compost pile. Mainly they don't want to attract critters -- a justifiable concern. I'd try a compost pile in my back yard, but I've got rodents that hang out back there.

As far as the comparison to SFG's with Mel's Mix, I'd say their amended dirt came off quite favorably. At least my success was every bit as good as using Mel's Mix. I'd say their raised bed method is more like Mel Bartholemew's original SFG concept.

Their efforts are only two years old, but quite impressive. I really like this concept, and I have been inspired to take the Master Gardener classes at my county agent's extension office.

I will try to post pictures sometime real soon. The cleverness and ingenuity with which people approach growing in their raised beds surpasses anything I have tried personally.

The only thing that's annoying is when I have to compare my meager efforts with my neighbor's three plots down. Oh well!
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/17/2012, 11:08 pm

Oh that is so nice to have a community garden! I know what you mean by comparing but you have been able to donate from your extra already! That's a great thing! Maybe those people snuck in extra compost, lol! Sometimes my garden looks so perfect and then in a week everything can change and I see peoples gardens here looking so amazing! Thank you for sharing with us CherriesJubilee!
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  LittleGardener on 7/18/2012, 1:32 am

I love reading about others successful Community gardens. Too because it takes me back to the time we did one for teenagers on drugs with behavioral problems. - They tended their p-patches with care and had fun... Smile
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  camprn on 7/18/2012, 10:05 am

not really, but post a photo or two, I would love to see the garden. Very Happy

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  cherriesjubilee on 7/18/2012, 11:06 am

When I get over there again tomorrow, I'll definitely have some photos ready.

Also, important to note that this community garden gave a local Boy Scout troop a project! The scouts built an addition to our garden shed, so we would have more room to store wheelbarrows.
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  quiltbea on 7/18/2012, 1:41 pm

We started an organic comm garden in our town on the town library land 3 years ago and I've been a member since inception. Love it. We've made changes every year and this year we are hilling some beds so they are about 4' square. Its not Mel's Mix, but lots of cow manure is plowed in twice a year (spring and fall) and we also have a large compost pile to amend the soil.


Summer Rye has been planted in between the raised beds so it can be turned under later and added to the soil. We have both raised plots and long straight rows. We give lots of food to the local Food Pantry but we all share in the bounty of our Sharecropper Rows (We have assigned rows to sow, transplant, water, and weed, but we all share in the harvests). I tend carrots, sugar snap peas, and the cucumbers this year. I and the director also start tomatoes and peppers in the spring to share with members and to plant in the Sharecropper Rows.


As you can see above, we also have long straight rows. These are some of the green beans.


The corn field was sown on different dates so we can stretch our harvest.
We also lease personal garden rows for our family, if we like, besides harvesting from the Sharecropper Garden. But everything has to be organic from start to finish.

It will be nice to see pics of yours. Sometimes tips come from other community plots that are helpful.
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  cherriesjubilee on 7/20/2012, 9:10 am

Bea, this is very interesting that you are doing a sharecropper arrangement. It also looks like your gardens are on a much bigger plot of land than ours are.

Best wishes for continued success.
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  AvaDGardner on 7/20/2012, 1:25 pm

CJ, I can't wait to see your pics!

I'm in a community garden too. It's organic, like yours. Our plots are 10x10. Of 60 plots, about 1/3rd have installed raised beds. although those using SF method is fewer. Some of them are moving to Mel's Mix, and any compost used is brought in!

Yes, seeing how some get more out of their footage is amazing!

Ava
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  quiltbea on 7/23/2012, 12:23 pm

Our organic community garden is getting a little more help. Our generous farmer neighbor built a mobile coop that he hitched to his tractor. He can bring it to different parts of the garden and let loose the flock of 8 chickens to patrol for bugs.


Here's a view of the coop attached to the tractor.

Here's the flock outside the entrance.


They lay down outside beneath the coop for shade and if it showers, safe from the elements.


There is no ramp so critters can't easily attack them, but the chickens can easily flutter up into and out of their coop. Its closed up for the night and they are let out again in the morning. This means they are patrolling all day long picking bugs for meals along with some chicken feed and fresh water. They love it and it means we don't have as many bugs to kill by hand.
Being organic, we won't use herbicides and insecticides and try to do all things natural, including this new chicken patrol.
All our crops are large enough they can't pick out new seedlings.
I think its a win-win situation for us.
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  gregrenee88 on 7/24/2012, 7:14 pm

Cool! Cool
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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  LittleGardener on 7/24/2012, 7:39 pm

AvaDGardner wrote:CJ, I can't wait to see your pics!

I'm in a community garden too. It's organic, like yours. Our plots are 10x10.
Of 60 plots, about 1/3rd have installed raised beds. although those using SF method is fewer. Some of them are moving to Mel's Mix, and any compost used is brought in!

Yes, seeing how some get more out of their footage is amazing!

Ava
Hi Ava,
in Germany where I grew up, each family (in the 5-7 family houses) had their own plot, just like you described. - Those who wanted, could have additional space, in a field-area set up for it. - Two of our extended families were like this. My grandpa's garden was like an EDEN flower ; and truthfully Chronic diseases were an unknown. Everyone lived & shared happy & healthy. -
It's sad that many now think I make that up, or embelish it somehow, but honestly it is the Truth. - And did you know that until the 1950's much of the USA lived like this.
How great!! more people are once again returning cheers to Nature's wise ways.




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Re: Community garden, SFG style

Post  AvaDGardner on 7/24/2012, 8:08 pm

OFT: yes, after WWII we dumped the residue of war making on the fields and destroyed some of the nutrition in the ground. We also saw a sharp rise in cancers of all types. Prostate cancer is an example of a modern cancer.

If a substance, a nutrient, for living is used up, it has to be replaced. There are various ways to do this. Growing crops uses up certain nutrients (more than NPK). Some crops put some nutrients back in. However, farmers did not. In 1936s Senate was informed that the ground was very much dead and had that would effect our food. And it has. (Sen Doc 264.) This information was repeated in the 1992 Earth Summit.

When organic food started to become mainstream (mid-1990s?) there was much debate if it was more nutritious or not. They were certainly healthier without chemicals on them. Only recently have studies come forth (they do take a while) that show organic food is both healthier and more nutritious. Organic farmers have to help their dirt be built up with nutrients to protect their crops. Healthy dirt, healthy plants.

Ground is a lot like us. Or are we like it? From the dust of the earth God made man...Gen 2:7

Ava
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