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Organic Gardening recognizes community gardens

  • Subject: [cg] Organic Gardening recognizes community gardens
  • From: Don Boekelheide <dboekelheide@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 12:21:27 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, all,

Here are two short pieces from the April and June
editions of Organic Gardening magazine, about
community gardens in Fairbanks and Houston. It's very
cool, I think. Each ran with a photo or photos of the
garden. Both are on page 56 of their respective issue,
if you want to check it out. The mag is running pieces
on CGs as a regular part of their
'Gardener-to-gardener' section. If you have a
garden...suggest it to them.

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte, NC

- - - 

From Organic Gardening Magazine, April, May 2004, p56

Houston?s Meredith Gardens (Urban Harvest,

?Bird, butterfly, bees
An oasis in the city
All safe in the Green?
- Maggie Klureza

The haiku on the photo above, by seven-year-old
Maggie, truly captures the spirit of Meredith Gardens.
Maggie visits it with her grandmother, Lorelei de la
Reza, a neighborhood volunteer. And you can see right
away why Maggie feels so safe in this green place in
the midst of Houston?s urban sprawl. Follow the
meandering paths and you?ll walk past curved beds lush
with herbs, flowers and vegetables, such as tatsoi,
collards, fennel, parsnips, peas and more. Wooden
benches, birdbaths and garden sculptures add
distinctive accents. Instead of a fence, bamboo and
ginger define the space and leave the garden open to
all who wish to enjoy it.

The garden came into being when the City Houston
purchased a block of houses with plans to build a new
library. After the homes had been demolished, the
library plans were changed, leaving the site a
27,000-square-foot vacant lot. Meredith Burke, who
lives across the street form the lot, proposed to the
local neighborhood association that it be used for a
community garden. The garden was established in 1993
and was named for Burke because of her commitment to
creating it.

Local residents now enjoy the benefits of a green
oasis in their neighborhood and the pleasures of
working together as a community. The garden relies on
volunteers from Rice University, Amigos de las
Americans, and the Harris County Work Probation
program as well as neighborhood residents to keep it
beautiful and productive year round in Houston?s warm
Gulf Coast climate.

Meredith Gardens is part of Houston?s Urban Harvest
program, which includes more than 100 community garden
projects in the area. For more information about
Meredith Gardens or Urban harvest, call 713-880-5540
or go to www. Urbanharvest.org.
- - -
From Organic Gardening Magazine, June, July 2004, p 56

Fairbanks, Alaska Fairbanks Community Garden

Founded in 1979, the Fairbanks Community Garden is
located along the Chena River. Community garden
members, all transplants from the lower 48, don?t
allow cold soil, a short growing season, poor soil
fertility and long daylight hours to diminish their
passion for gardening.

Because Alaska has a three-month growing season, these
gardeners must use raised beds, hoop houses,
coldframes and Infrared Transmitting (IRT) plastic
mulch to warm their soil. And Fairbanks is built on
loess, a fine-grained glacial silt that needs
enriching with compost, manure and fish fertilizers.
Despite the challenges, the gardeners produce a wide
variety of vegetables and flowers, such as potatoes,
carrots, onions lettuce, cabbages, kale, broccoli,
celery, winter and summer squashes, sweet peas,
chrysanthemums, snapdragons, daisies, and sunflowers.
They grow most herbs as annuals. Chives and mint are
perennial even in Alaska.

?We have a system where gardeners can keep their plots
from year to year,? notes Wendy Anderson, who for 14
years has been the site coordinator for the 85 plot
garden. Returning gardeners enjoy the benefits of
their amended 20 x 40 foot plots and a well system
that supplies unlimited water.

The Fairbanks Community Gardeners exchange advice,
seeds, plants, and produce and even share their trucks
for hauling compost. Old-timer gardeners, a.k.a.
sourdoughs, take first-timers under their wings,
passing on successful Alaskan gardening techniques.
Impromptu picnics are common, and a children?s garden
is available for the youngsters. For more information
about the Fairbanks Community Garden, contact Wendy
Anderson, site coordinator, at wintergarden@gci.net or
go to www.home.gci.net/-fairbankscommunitygarden.

- Heather Robertson

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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