Project Update IV

Sorry for this late update, this happened several weeks ago…
We had a pretty good week this week, we were able to get some things done. We looked at the back corner of one of the lots and groaned. We looked at each other, closed our eyes, breathed deeply and set to work.
Removing Debris for Planting

Removing Debris for Planting

There was a lot of garbage to throw away. We decided to keep the bricks, concrete, and sandstone. There was also a very large branch that broke off from our neighbor’s tree.

Found Five Garter Snakes!

Found Five Garter Snakes!

In the midst of the cleanup, we found Garter Snakes and got pretty excited because they are very helpful when it comes to getting rid of certain pests such as slugs, ants, crickets, and rodents. And they are too cute!

Put Mixture of Compost and Manure into the Hole

Mixed Compost and Manure

For the next tree to plant, we did what we learned in a workshop at OSU Extension and mixed compost, manure and soil from the site. We dug a hole deep enough so that the graft will be a little higher than the ground, and wide enough for the roots to fit comfortably.

Honey Crisp Apple Tree

Honey Crisp Apple Tree

The end result is a newly planted, healthy Honey Crisp Apple Tree!

Next, we tackled the planting of the red haven peach tree, the last of the five.

Red Haven Peach Tree

Red Haven Peach Tree

When we finished planting the tree, we breathed a sigh of relief because it took a few weeks before we put the last tree in and we were worried because we were told to put the trees in asap, but it took us a lot longer than we thought it would.

While we were out in the garden, we saw a landscaping company cleaning damage from a recent storm at the school across the street from the garden and asked if they would dump their load, they said yes and we got free leaf delivery along with a lot of garbage.

Free leaves

Free leaves

Because of the surprise leaf delivery, we had to build a compost bin on the fly, so this is what we came up with.

Compost Bin

Some neighborhood kids helped us to build and shovel leaves into the bin. We would have finished moving the pile of leaves into the bin, but we had to sift the garbage out of the pile so it took us a lot longer, and we had to stop early because of rain.

 

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Project Update 3

We weren’t able to do much this week, but we did put three trees in the ground…
photo 1-1

Nectarine (Fantasia)

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 Peach (Cresthaven)

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and a Semi-Dwarf (SweetHeart) Cherry tree.

Jacqueline Kowalski, from the OSU Extension Cuyahoga County, graciously came out and taught us how to prune the trees. She is a very knowledgeable and experienced farmer and we really appreciate her help and guidance. Thank you Jacqueline!

We went to the meet and greet at OSU Extension and met one of our two Master Gardener mentors.  We are excited to learn all our mentors have to teach us!

Project Update 2

We had a good week last week. We went to the Summer Sprout Garden Leader Kickoff at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair Ave. and received our seeds, signed the license with the city, and networked. We got 71 packets of seeds even though we were supposed to get 75. That was our mistake, I guess we lost track of how many we were getting.

Coca Cola Cleveland Bottling Company generously donated five, fifty-five gallon food grade plastic barrels for our project.  We will use them for a rain catchment system. Thank you!

photo 1

We scavenged some pallets, sandstone pieces, and cinderblocks for our garden project.

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We picked up fruit trees: Apple (Honeycrisp), Sweet Cherry, Nectarine (Fantasia) and two Peach (Cresthaven, Redhaven). We also received strawberries (everbearing), blackberries, and raspberries; all from the Summer Sprout Program.

Last but not least, we put up our temporary sign.
photo 4

 

Project Update

We’ve finished the 8 week program Dig In! at OSUE last week, and we really enjoyed the class and our classmates :).

This past weekend, we attended the Cleveland Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative Planning and Implementation Workshop, where we learned that we could apply for a cost-share from the USDA‘s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)  through their Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help us purchase a high tunnel kit for our project.

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC) sponsored the event and offered their services to the residents to help us with the process of obtaining permits, construction time-lines and FAQ.

We’ve applied for financial assistance from the NRCS and we hope to hear from them soon. Wish us luck!

DigIn! Session 1

We are so excited to have started the “DigIn!” program conducted by the Ohio State University Extension of Cuyahoga County. There are about 25-30 people in our class, and it is a very diverse group from around the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

Before we got started, we all introduced ourselves to the class, we spoke about our project and where it is located. After we introduced ourselves, there was an icebreaker to help us learn a little more about our classmates, which was really nice.

After the icebreaker we started the first session which was about learning the initial steps to organizing and selecting a community garden site.  We learned about: different ways to find vacant land and the land owner,  whether to buy, lease or rent property according to the circumstances, and how to navigate the city and county planning websites.

They also touched on assessing the site, to see if it is suitable for gardening. They gave us a site assessment checklist to help guide us, and to help us think about things we may not consider when looking at a potential site.

Up next: Session 2 – Developing a Site Plan

Channel of Peace Garden Project

This spring we will be initiating our Channel of Peace Project. We plan to utilize various gardening techniques such as: raised beds, straw bale, keyhole, and hoop house. Our aim is to engage our fellow St. Clair/Superior neighborhood residents in a community building effort centered in the garden.

We’ve chosen two vacant lots that are right next to each other, so we have around 7,000 square feet which for us is a lot of room to garden.  We have been accepted into the Summer Sprout Program that is run by The Ohio State University Extension in Cuyahoga County, and we are very excited about it. We have also been accepted into the 2014 Dig In! program and will be taking an 8 week course starting January 30.

We applied for and received a grant from Neighborhood Connections and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture who are co-sponsors of our project. This project would have been a lot tougher to get started if it wasn’t for the funding from Neighborhood Connections and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, thank you for believing in and supporting our project.

Any support in the form of a few kind words, donations, a helping hand, and/or prayers… are most welcome and appreciated!

Ethni-City Gardens

Turning A Vacant Cleveland House Into A Fancy Farm

See on Scoop.itGardening in the City

The BioCellar is a farm in a basement in a vacant house in a declining Cleveland neighborhood. Its goal: Using food to pull people out of poverty.

Ethni-City Gardens‘s insight:

We are so happy to see this project moving forward! We hope to build one of our own sometime in the next few years. We can’t wait to visit this one.

See on www.fastcoexist.com

Cleveland beekeepers share their passion for age-old labor of love (slideshow)

See on Scoop.itAquaponics & Permaculture

Barbara Krecic sticks out her tongue, and it is bright yellow.It’s covered in pollen, thanks to the generosity of beekeeper Michael Varga and his industrious honeybees.Varga grips a huge tray holding two pounds of the precious stuff, which is…

Ethni-City Gardens‘s insight:

Glad to know there are beekeepers in our area. We are looking into keeping bees ourselves.

See on www.cleveland.com