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Gardening/ Environmental Club

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Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  christine.concepcion on 11/7/2010, 1:43 am

Hey guys,

I am going to a college here in the IE and am wanting to start a gardening/environmental club. I already have asked one of the professors on campus to be the club sponsor ( he said yes ) and have gotten several girls interested in the possibilities. I was wondering if anyone may help give me some advice about starting up a club. One thing I would like to know would be the cost of starting a SFG (soil, drip system, cost of the raised beds). I am thinking of having 5 4x4 beds to start off with. what are the cost of supplies here in the IE and where can the club get the most for its money?!?!?!

Thanks

-Christine

christine.concepcion

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  Megan on 11/7/2010, 8:56 am

Hi Christine, and welcome!

I think your project sounds fantastic and I wish you the best!

This was my first year at SFG. I'm not sure I'm up to estimating cost for you (after a while I just closed my eyes and paid the bills), but here are a few thoughts:

One-time startup costs are far more than the yearly. Freecycle/recycle as many building materials as you can, and build as much as you can from scratch rather than buying pre-made boxes and trellises, etc. As for trellises....With a bunch of people involved, you might be able to buy several cattle panels and cut them up. I made mine with conduit. Conduit is cheap but the corner connectors add up pretty quickly. I bought netting at a box store for about $3.50 each (one per trellis) and while I've seen some fantastic hand-tied netting here on the forum, it was worth it to me not to have to spend the time on that.

You may need to ask around to find someone who can loan you power tools, but if you strike out, they can be rented fairly cheaply from big box stores. Our biggest tool issue was locating a grinder to cut the rebar, but fortunately hubby had access to one from work. You may want to calculate cost re: NOT cutting the rebar (using 4 foot lengths and buying more of them) vs. renting equipment. I was a little surprised how expensive the rebar was and ended up cutting it down to 2 foot lengths to try to save a little... though I have to say my tomato trellis was leaning towards the end of the season and I was wondering to myself if I should have left it be. (Oh, and by the way... bring an old blanket and gloves when you go to buy the rebar because it is covered in nasty oil and will make a mess on your back seat if you don't have a truck handy.)

You are better off in a lot of ways with a group, both with buying power and woman-power. When I put in my irrigation system, I went in with a friend and it saved me a lot of money, as the bigger reels of tubing are much less costly.

Don't forget the cost of seed. Try to find local gardeners' clubs which might be able to help you with that.

Phew, well, that was a rather disorganized list, but I hope it may be of some help. Best wishes and please let us know how it goes! I am sure others will chime in with cost and other ideas.

Megan

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  LaFee on 11/7/2010, 10:14 am

Since you're on a university campus, get the university involved!

Talk to the receiving department about saving you some pallets, with which you can build compost bins.

Is there any construction going on on campus, or big renovations? Perfect - talk to the maintenance department about saving you any wood/conduit/etc for wood for building boxes. Even if there aren't any renovations, they might have something left over from another project that they could give you.

Talk to the coffee shop and/or snack bar about giving you the coffee grounds and kitchen scraps (no meat - just veggie stuff) -- more compost.

Talk to a local garden center about supporting your club..even if they just gave you ripped bags of soil that they can't sell, you're that far ahead.

Is there an ag/horticulture department on campus? Get them on board...

it takes a village to raise a child...and to grow a garden.




LaFee

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  Megan on 11/7/2010, 10:18 am

Those are fantastic ideas, LaFee!

it takes a village to raise a child...and to grow a garden.

Unless your village is an HOA .... get that pesky wabbi

Megan

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  camprn on 11/7/2010, 10:29 am

@Megan wrote:Those are fantastic ideas, LaFee!

it takes a village to raise a child...and to grow a garden.

Unless your village is an HOA .... get that pesky wabbi
might be time for a wee bit of guerilla gardening in the neighborhood

camprn

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  LaFee on 11/7/2010, 1:39 pm

I think a rampicante squash growing up the sign at the entrance to the neighborhood would be really striking. Twisted Evil

Pity you have a hole in your pocket the day you walk past that sign.

LaFee

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Great Ideas !!

Post  bettyd_z7_va on 11/7/2010, 3:04 pm

These are all great ideas!

Also, go to the wintersowing forum on the gardenweb site. Explain to them the same way you did to us and you will have more seed than you can use as well as lots more great tips that will help you be successful.

Check out the four season gardening and the organic gardening forums while you are on the gardenweb site. LOTS of good info there and the folks are really helpful.

Also, I'm sure the maintenance dept of the university will have all of the tools you will need to get things built and kept in good repair.

If you run into a problem, come back here and ask. I've learned so much here.

My niece told me that yesterday morning one pound of mixed greens were selling for $1.59 EACH at the local Farmers Market. That's expensive for this area.
I have a garden full of FREE organic greens because of the help I've gotten from the good folks here, on the gardenweb and Mel Bartholomew's books about Square Foot Gardening.

Good Luck. Please keep us posted on your progress.
Betty


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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

Post  Chopper on 11/7/2010, 6:07 pm

What college?

Chopper

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Re: Gardening/ Environmental Club

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