30 June 2012

Urban Gardening

Here is a little day-in-the-life post about being a gardening intern at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati. Today I will be highlighting two gardens that I've spent a good deal in this last week: the West End Garden and The People's Garden in Over-the-Rhine. These are two of the oldest community gardens in Cincinnati. People's is the oldest, coming in at a whopping 30 years. It's followed closely, by only five years, by the West End Garden at 25 years. We start our day at the Civic Garden itself where we load up the truck.
Then we head to the gardens, this is the West End Garden. It is largely tended by retired people from the neighborhood, though there are three young men who have plots in the garden. Gerri, the garden manager, was giving me a little history about the garden and spoke about how the garden has had a harder time recently with it's gardeners getting so old (she was 70 herself, though she didn't look a day over 50!). It's harder for these folks to make it down to the garden on a regular basis and then to garden in heat on top of it. Gerri said that most of the folks walk here, not many people have cars in the area which makes it harder for the older crowd. She was rather dismayed at the young people's lack of interest in the garden, however she was very encouraged by the three young men who were tending plots in the garden.
This is the compost pile, followed by the wind row compost. Earlier today you couldn't see that there was a compost bin around the pile and the wind row was non-existent. The difference between the two methods is that the compost pile is (technically) a hot bed of micro-organism activity. It is supposed to be turned often and will in turn kill any organic matter (even weeds) that is put into it. A wind row is a slower, colder method that promotes larger organisms like worms, ants and beetles. It's benefits are that because it is completely exposed rats can't/won't/are less likely to make nests in it. It's also very low-maintenance.
This is the People's Garden in Over-the-Rhine. It is currently going through a tougher time as the garden manager's health is declining. It is made up of individual plots, youth plots and community plots. I'm not sure who tends the youth plots but it is likely a neighborhood-based program. The community plots are available for all the gardeners to take produce from. The Civic Garden Center (me and Peter) generally tends these plots.
This is one of the other interns, Ellie, who primarily works in garden youth education.
And this is Peter, my boss, whom I work with most of the time (I work under 3 others as well!).
I am hoping to document the other community gardens that I work in this summer, as there are many, and are exceptionally diverse and wonderful!

25 June 2012

A New Start

(I apologize for the weird formatting...) Joel and I moved to Cincinnati three weeks ago and things are finally settling down. We have pretty much everything out of boxes and organized. We've had to be a little creative with where to put things and how to organize them considering it's a pretty small place.
 This is the second time that Joel and I have lived alone since we've gotten married. We lived alone for the first six months in Portland and have had roommates or lived with relatives until now. It's pretty novel. Last week we went to a big antique show in Kentucky with several Cincinnati friends.
  Joel found a saw that he used to make a handle template from. Which he's mostly completed -- I think it still needs some sanding and the blade needs to be attached but, as I said, it's pretty much done! I've started a basil box (as it were) outside in a hanging aluminum planter that I got from Ikea -- basil pesto, here we come! My job is going well and I haven't managed to take photos yet but I will. I spend a lot of my time at the People's Garden in Over-the-Rhine. Photo courtesy of Ryan Mooney-Bullock and Garden Cincinnati I'm the gardening intern at the Civic Garden Center and spend most of my time in the neighborhood gardens in Cincinnati. There are over 40 community gardens but I spend most of my time in about 5 (give or take) and one day I spend strictly on the CGC grounds. I'm really blessed to be working with so many amazing people, genuine in their kindness and help. The amazing thing about this job is that I get paid to do what I love. I haven't seen a city with as much community garden infrastructure as Cincinnati has and it is wonderful to be part of that.

02 June 2012

Becca & Will's Wedding

Yesterday our friends Will and Becca got married in Covington, KY. It was a beautiful wedding and the reception was meticulously thought out and yet very genuine and enjoyable. We all had a lot of fun, thanks Becca and Will, and congratulations!
Tomorrow I move down to Cincinnati, Joel will be following in about a week as he needs to finish up his job in Bucyrus. I will be starting my new job at the Civic Garden Center of Cincinnati on tuesday and will be taking loads of photos (wishful thinking?) of all the newness. We're both looking forward to this new step in our lives.