The Bower March 28, 2011
Success! March 20, 2011
Where to begin?
Last week the empty lot was tilled. Then the shed arrived and was assembled on site. Next the compost was delivered from College Park (beautiful stuff) and the woodchips donated from the city. were dropped off. Local, and organic, I was assured by Paul , who had just trimmed oaks in the immediate vicinity to produce them. Then James, in his bobcat, moved it all up the hill into the lot. The only wrench in the plan was the mess made in front of the school by the compost that a few men with a power washer worked until 10 pm to clean up.
Yesterday, the crowds arrived and worked their tails off for 7 hours to turn this empty lot into a beautiful inspiring space ready to be filled with growing life!
To sum up: beds were dug up , turned over and and mixed with compost. Raised beds were constructed, carefully placed, and filled with a mixture of native clayey soil and nutrient rich compost. Rocks were gathered to outline beds and the area reserved for blueberries was dug up and cleared of rocks. In the process, some beautiful soil was found beneath the layer of rocks and clay. A teepee for growing pole beans was constructed and then, after watching that one little girl made her own smaller teepee. I then roped her into making 6 more with her friends that can be used to trellis peas, tomatoes or cucumbers. Wood chips were spread over the whole garden. Bob arrived with a sign from the old garden which we promptly strung up on the tree by the entrance. We had to force people to take a break for the lunch that Whole Foods was grilling. The leadership and teamwork displayed by the volunteers was what made this happen. And the intensity with which everyone worked was awesome. Everything was done so meticulously and thoughtfully. Ani so skillfully drew the shape for the butterfly garden (a butterfly, complete with antennae that are also little beds that will be planted) and led her helpers in artfully laying rocks along the outlines. Rebecca and her team did and unbelievable job of digging the three sisters bed, turning over at least two feet of dirt, and working the compost in. I literally had to cut Bob off about 4:45 or I’m sure he would have stayed until dusk. Thanks to his leadership the beds are filled with the perfect soil mixture. Our cedar raised beds will last a lifetime thanks to the precision with which Jeff made sure each was constructed. The two men whose names escape me who put together the recycled beds really went above and beyond, as did every single person out there!
I know I keep going by to admire the work you all did and I hope you do too. I can’t wait to see it filled with kids and plants! Congratulations on a constructing one of the biggest school gardens in the city! To see more pictures from the day :
The greenhouse made by first graders last year will be constructed, beginning Monday.
Artist Andy Lynch will be here all week, beginning Monday, working on a magical entrance sculpture. He’s looking for a volunteer to work with him each day. For more info or if interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trinh Doan form the DDOE will be here Monday to advise on attaching a rain barrel donated by Whole Foods to the shed.
The Big Day is Here! March 19, 2011
It’s been a busy week at Stoddert getting ready for the build day today. And great news! The Glover Park Ace Hardware Store has also pledged to adopt the garden with in kind donations and has already provided lots of materials for the workday today. Thank you ACE!
Here are the details for the day:
Help us build a garden!
Saturday, March 19th
10 am – 4 pm
All are welcome!
This is a good old-fashioned ‘garden raising’ – a community event where our collective effort will build a 4,000 square foot teaching garden for our neighborhood school. Please come and help! (Rain date set for Sunday, March 20th)
Here are the tasks we will be doing: Assembling and installing raised beds; Outlining, digging and filling the butterfly garden with compost; Depositing compost into the raised beds; Spreading woodchips in pathways; Double digging the blueberry beds; prepping mounded bed areas, and reseeding grass areas.
Provided: Lunchtime cook-out (provided by Whole Foods); wheelbarrows; construction materials; a sense of community
Bring Your Own: Garden gloves, rakes, trowels, shovels, other handy garden tools (please label!)
Note: we will not be providing childcare, but hope to have some tasks/activities designed for younger children as well (like starting corn seeds in cups to be transplanted later in the season)
To receive direct emails about volunteer opportunities with the garden, contact: email@example.com
The Stoddert Garden is being spearheaded by non-profit DC Greens, in collaboration with the PTA, teachers and administration of the school. Funds to build the garden were generated from the 2010 Glover Park-Burleith Farmers’ Market, a Whole Foods 5% Day, and a Building Healthy Communities Home Depot grant. Whole Foods has signed on to ‘adopt’ the garden and will be providing support along with DC Greens into the future.
Thank You Whole Foods! March 12, 2011
We want to take a minute to thank Fadia Jawdat and Whole Foods Market for their incredibly generous contributions to this garden project.
To name a few things they have ALREADY done for us: donated seeds, potting soil, seed starting kits and containers, worm composting bins, rain barrels and compost.
They are purchasing kids’ gardening tools, gloves and watering cans.
They are also providing lunch on the March 19th Community Build Day and even some folks to lend a hand building!
This project absolutely could not be happening without their support and enthusiasm and we are so grateful for the strong relationship they have forged with this community. Thank you Fadia!!!
P.S. The Whole Planet Foundation fundraiser is going on until the end of March and each area store is competing to see who raises the most money. Our store definitely deserves to win, so by all means donate even just a dollar the next time you’re shopping.