The Stoddert Garden

Welcome to the Stoddert Garden blog!

Success! March 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — stoddertgarden @ 10:28 PM

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

Trinh Doan form the DDOE will be here Monday to advise on attaching a rain barrel donated by Whole Foods to the shed.