After lots of planning, building gardens, seed starting, planting and enthusiastic support, the Neighborhood Resource Center garden has started to produce vegetables, herbs, and flowers for all to enjoy! Children came to the NRC after school and were involved throughout the process of getting the gardening season underway. Some of the children in the after school program were able to attend a field trip to Victory Farms in Hanover to see how vegetables are grown on a larger scale. Now that summer has officially begun and school is out, we are continuing what was started during the spring season.

Every Tuesday afternoon a gardening session is held when we weed, water, discuss various gardening topics, harvest, and share food. A new cafe is being built in the center that will enable children to cook with vegetables that were grown in the garden. We have made mint tea, spinach dip, and feasted on fresh strawberries and snow peas. A recent project has been to construct a support structure for the rapidly growing tomatoes with bamboo stakes and garden twine. This week we hope to plant a new crop of bush beans and pole beans. We’ll be eating pesto made from basil that was grown in the garden! Lots of fun and good food!Victory Farms setting
Victory Farms Field Trip
Supports for tomatoes
Tomatoes with bamboo supports
Harvesting
Harvesting

 

 

Rain Barrel Participants

Young Rain Barrel Makers

Tricycle Garden’s Inaugural Rain Barrel Workshop was held at the Fulton Neighborhood Resource Center on Sunday, March 15th, 2008. 14 participants came out and despite looming rainy weather, built their own rainbarrels to take home with them and capture rainwater from their roofs. They can now save valuable rainwater and use it to water their landscapes, wash their cars, and more!

For information on future rainbarrel workshops, check back soon or send us an email.

 

From Farm to Food Bank
A Shenandoah Valley farm relying on volunteers grows produce for the region’s poor

By CARLOS SANTOS
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
WOODSTOCK
The plentiful rain has been good for the Volunteer Farm, where onions, potatoes, peas and green beans have been planted for the poor.

Acres of vegetables stretch out in erratic rows, planted by volunteers with more heart than skill. Beets, turnips, cucumbers, okra, squash, sweet corn, cantaloupe and watermelon also grow in this rich Shenandoah Valley soil.

The Volunteer Farm is expanding its planting area from 28 acres to 40 acres and growing more food. It’s just in time: The numbers of hungry people seeking food are growing, too. They are losing jobs in a weakening economy just as food prices and the cost of gasoline are skyrocketing. READ MORE

 

The 17th Street Farmers Market has a petition online, concerning the management–or non-management–of the Market. Please read it, and sign and/or comment.

 

IN the shadows of the elevated tracks toward the end of the No. 3 line in East New York, Brooklyn, with an April chill still in the air, Denniston and Marlene Wilks gently pulled clusters of slender green shoots from the earth, revealing a blush of tiny red shallots at the base.

“Dennis used to keep them big, and people didn’t buy them,” Mrs. Wilks said. “They love to buy scallions.”

Growing up in rural Jamaica, the Wilkses helped their families raise crops like sugar cane, coffee and yams, and take them to market. Now, in Brooklyn, they are farmers once again, catering to their neighbors’ tastes: for scallions, for bitter melons like those from the West Indies and East Asia and for cilantro for Latin-American dinner tables. READ MORE

 

Spring Plant Sale
Thursday May 1, 2008 to Saturday May 3, 2008
The Garden’s plant sales are among the largest in the region with more than 40 vendors selling plants ranging from well-known favorites to rare exotics. Presented by Garden volunteers. No admission fee; regular Garden admission to visit the Garden.

Thursday, May 1, 1 – 6 pm
Friday, May 2, 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday, May 3, 9 am – 3 pm

 

Why bother? That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change, and it’s not an easy one to answer. I don’t know about you, but for me the most upsetting moment in “An Inconvenient Truth” came long after Al Gore scared the hell out of me, constructing an utterly convincing case that the very survival of life on earth as we know it is threatened by climate change. No, the really dark moment came during the closing credits, when we are asked to . . . change our light bulbs. That’s when it got really depressing. The immense disproportion between the magnitude of the problem Gore had described and the puniness of what he was asking us to do about it was enough to sink your heart. read more

 

Congress passes its share of boondoggles, but there’s a real doozy on the docket April 18. If the nearly $300 billion Farm Bill passes in its current form, the American public will pay billions of dollars to large-scale farmers and food corporations for the following end results: an oversupply of unhealthful junk food that worsens our national obesity epidemic; severe depletion of soil and air through overuse of pesticides and destructive farming practices; and the hastened removal of small farms from the land, eroding the spirit and finances of rural communities across the U.S. (from Common Dreams, read more)