A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breaking Ground!

This is a picture of the garden site before anything has been done to it. We're looking SW from the garden pavilion.

On Sat. Feb. 21, Chris and I went down to the garden site and staked out the perimeter of the initial 50' x 100' area that we agreed upon with the Garden Committee. We put stakes in the ground and tied string between them. We dug holes with 10 foot spacing for the fence posts. Though at first glance, the garden site seems large, by the time we put in the thornless raspberry whips and the strawberry starts we've been promised, and we figure on the room it will take to grow a surplus of potatoes, squash and tomatoes, we may decide we want to start with a garden almost twice this size!

Steve Rose has offered his services to run a tractor through the ground and break up the sod on top. Chris turned over a few shovel-fulls of ground and says it looks like fairly decent soil. It has worms in it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our First Wish List

Alpine Community Garden – Wish List

 Fencing: T-posts/chicken wire (or better)
 Wooden fence posts
 Gates: small and large
 Lumber: cedar/redwood boards (nails OK)
 Garden shed: pre-fab or materials to build one

 Garden tools/gloves
 Nursery pots and flats
 Hoses: soaker and regular
 Sprinkler heads/hose nozzles
 Storage tank for water
 Drip irrigation lines
 PVC piping
 Wheelbarrows
 Rototiller

 Organic fertilizer
 Manure – rabbit, chicken, cow, horse
 Wood chips
 Hay/straw (spoiled is fine)
 Leaves/lawn clippings

 Seeds: open-pollinated/heirloom varieties
 Sprouting potatoes (under your sink)
 Herb plants that need thinning/division
 Strawberry/raspberry thinnings

 Waxed cardboard milk cartons - rinsed
 Soy or rice-milk containers – rinsed
 Cardboard tubes – paper towels, toilet paper etc.
 Plastic produce bags
 Twist-ties

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We got approval!

Through a partnership between the Alpine Community Center and the Alpine Garden Club, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Alpine Community Garden in the park across from the Elementary School in Alpine.

Due to watering limitations, and the desire for a project that unites us as a community, this will be one large plot (instead of many individual plots). We will grow a variety of heirloom (open-pollinated) vegetables, berries and flowers (so we can save the seeds for next year’s garden). All work is being done by volunteers and materials are being donated. We have applied for some grant money to cover costs of materials that aren’t donated. The harvest will be available to the volunteers who help in the garden. Any surplus will be canned or donated to the senior center in Monroe, or the food-bank.

We intend to create a welcoming atmosphere for children, teens and “young people of all ages”. We will be reaching out to the 4-H, scouting troops, local schools and after-school programs. If you are a leader/teacher in one of these groups, please help us coordinate with your programs. Look for follow-up announcements for a schedule of weekly, regular work-party times and specific dates for classes on topics such as: creating healthy soil, saving seeds, fruit-tree pruning, using recycled materials in the garden, and more.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Seed Is Planted

For many years, when Chris, one of the facilitators of the Alpine Community Garden had his own farm, “Chrysallis”, at the base of Mt. Shasta, in California, and later when he was the head farmer for “The Church of the Golden Rule”, a community near Willits, California, he established and maintained several projects that brought the mystery and satisfaction of organic gardening to the people who lived in his area. When Chris moved to “Golden Rule”, he and his former wife Sally, created a hands-on, 4-H gardening curriculum and program. Many local children participated in the full circle of planting seeds, harvesting food and saving seeds for the next years' cycle. The photos in this section come from that experience.

Currently, Chris and Llyn live in Alpine, OR and there is promising movement in the direction of turning a portion of the town’s city park into a thriving community garden project. It is our hope that this can provide meaningful activity for the rural town’s young people, an outlet for neighbors to donate unused garden supplies and their own services towards this project, and that the surplus produce can be shared with people who are having difficulty getting enough to eat in these challenging economic times. We envision that this project will reinvigorate our town’s sense of community and that this can be a pilot model for other small towns, schools and churches with vacant lots and unused lawn areas to become hubs for vibrant, meaningful community involvement.

This last photo shows one week's harvest of squash, loaded and ready to go to the local food bank in Willits, California. The corn in the background would be harvested in time for next week's delivery.