Composting: An Underutilized yet Rich Resource for Home and Community Gardening
Come ’round for a workshop to learn HOW TO BUILD A PEST RESISTANT COMPOST BIN for your home or community garden. (for about $65)
Patsy Parker and her merry crew of compost bin builders, AKA COMPOSTIDORES, will arrive at the Greenhouse Urban Farming Community Garden @ GFCDC, Saturday, June 4 around 1:00 pm. for a 2-1/2 hour hands-on workshop on How to Build your Own Compost bin from wooden shipping pallets and hardware cloth.
There will also be a perennial plant exchange in celebration of FROGTOWN FARM, & [maybe] a chance to pick up some FrogTown Farm “Magic” Beans to take home & grow to show your support for grassroots efforts to create a beautiful, artful, community supported and community enhancing 13 acre public space at the old Wilder Foundation site in Frogtown.
Plan to join us for a practical and fun workshop and an opportunity to bring some of your seeds and/or plants to share with others, and pick up some new ones for your own yard & garden.
See you at the Greenhouse Urban Farming Community Garden at the Greater Frogtown CDC, Saturday, June 4 at 1:00 pm.
GREENHOUSE COMMUNITY GARDEN @ GFCDC in St. Paul.
533 Dale Street is about 2 1/2 short blocks north of University on west side of Dale.
Some parking is available in the alley on the south side of the CDC, also on the west side of Dale Street.
It is way too cold for the crocuses to be gone already
This weekend, as I’ve mentioned, is the Friends School Plant Sale. I’ve compiled my most-wanted list and narrowed it down to my 74 top choices…and that was challenging enough. Luckily there were a few crop failures this year, forcing me to remove the bush cherries, purple sugarcane, prickly pear, citrus fruit, and miracle berry from my list. Much to my dismay, however, they found substitutions to the failed citrus fruits. And late plant additions to the sale. I’m not sure why they are interested in making my life so difficult, but clearly there is some sort of conspiracy here.
A lovely commenter brought up the Living Green Expo, which is the weekend of the plant sale…also at the MN State Fairgrounds. I have to say, I’m pretty excited to attend that, too, and I won’t have to exert much effort to get there. They have an amazing array of workshops and presentations, many of which are about gardening, sustainability, and other hippie-stuff. Local chefs will be presenting and cooking for audiences. And, I know that the link for their “Creative Activities” page includes the term “children’s activities,” but I think I might go try to build a green robot anyways.
May 14: Kick off gardening season at “Blooms Day 2011″ – Minnesota Master Naturalist. This looks great:
Blooms Day 2011 offers nearly everything a gardener needs to prepare for spring: free workshops, speakers, exhibits, one-on-one yard and gardening advice and a huge plant sale. Join Metro Blooms:
Saturday, May 14, 2011
8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Kenny Community School
5720 Emerson Avenue South, Minneapolis
This year, the event will focus on unconventional gardening — what gardeners can do differently to hone their skills. “We’ll look at Feng Shui garden design, composting with worms, drip irrigation, container gardening and more,” said Blooms Day chair Doris Phillips.
Keynote speaker Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener, will share advice for embracing our cool climate with plants that are great for Minnesota. His talk–”Really Cool Plants for Northern Gardens”–starts at 9 AM. He’ll stay for an hour afterwards to answer questions.
Other highlights include:
Minneapolis Garden Awards at 9:30 AM Celebrate the 2010 winners for best boulevard, residential, business, apartment/condo, congregation, raingarden, container garden and butterfly garden.
30-minute workshops from 10 AM- 1 PM
The Feng Shui Garden: Planting by Design
Stop Garden Hose Fatigue with Drip Irrigation
Vermiculture: Coming to Terms with Worms
Follow the Permeable Path to Beautiful Landscapes
Metro Blooms’ Favorite Raingarden Plants
Neighborhood of Raingardens
• Plant sale Favorite natives, donated plants, fruits/vegetables, and more! (Donated thinnings from your garden are welcome.)
• Metro Garden Expo Meet with several local garden organizations and learn what new services are being offered
• One-on-one yard, garden and plant advice from Master Gardeners and Metro Bloom Landscape Designers
• Free refreshments donated by Woullet’s Bakery, Bruegger Bagels, French Meadows Bakery, Sodexo and Kowalski’s
This event is planned and run with volunteer support. To volunteer and/or donate plants, contact Metro Blooms at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-699-2426.
I am really excited for the Friends School Plant Sale. Honestly, until today I had no idea who “Friends School” was and why they sell plants, but I’ve definitely known of this sale is The Event for gardeners in the Twin Cities. Over 2,300 different kinds of plants are for sale over 3 days at the state fairgrounds.
Photo from the U.S. Botanic Garden via the Wikimedia Commons
With a little research on Teh Googles, I found out that “Friends School” is an actual place and, notably, one that an Inadvertent-Hippie-Such-as-Myself is happy to support. As such, in public I’ll probably pretend the reason that I’ve signed up to volunteer at the sale is because of my deep, sincere goodness. However, my five blog readers will know the truth: I want to get into the pre-sale and the deeply discounted closing sale. Who knows, maybe the elusive Corpse Flower will be available for $0.50 and bloom before the next century. Maybe 10 fruit trees will strike my fancy for a 15′ x 15′ urban garden orchard for my back yard (sorry, honey, we’re going to have to move the new grill…and the garage…). It’s just too early to say. All I know is that I’ll be there and ready for action.
This year, the plant sale is well aware of people’s interest in perennial edibles and have a lot of them!! Score. This is what they say:
Here’s a list of the perennial edibles in our catalog. Some are in vegetables, but others can be found in herbs, fruit, perennials or native wild flowers.
- Fruit—The entire section, from Apples to Strawberries
- Herbs—Many are perennial, but I’ll mention Chives, Horseradish, Lovage, Mint, Egyptian Walking Onion, Winter Savory, Sorrel, and Spikenard
- Native Wild Flowers—Dwarf Red Blackberry, Ostrich Fern (as fiddleheads), Nodding and Prairie Onions,
- Prickly Pear, Giant Solomon’s Seal
- Perennials—Daylilies, Dwarf Cattails, White-Flowered Arrowhead, Wild Hyacinth
- Trees—Chokecherry, Korean Pine, Basswood
- Vegetables—Asparagus, Rhubarb, Scallions, Black Salsify (Scorzonera), Sunchokes
Before eating any of these plants, we recommend that you do some research to see which parts are tasty and whether cooking is needed.
Some of the plants we would like to get, but did not have a source for this year:
- Good King Henry, Chenopodium bonus-henricus
- Jinenjo Yam, Dioscorea japonica
- Multiplier onion, Allium cepa aggregatum
- Ramps*, Allium triccocum
- Water Celery, Oenanthe javanic
- Water Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
Also, Angela Graney- who, now that I’ve discovered her, is a hero of mine – is leading a workshop at the sale to Build a Cold Frame for $26.00. She converted her lawn in NE Minneapolis to an urban farm!
This is about where my watermelon seedlings are at...
The Twin Cities is really a great place to develop a taste for gardening. There is so much community support, such as these class offerings:
I just discovered Egg Plant Urban Farm Supply, and although I’ve never been, they’ve won my heart. I noticed their class list and I can’t wait to give one a go. Has anyone out there had the pleasure? Details!
Gardening Matters has a Resource Hub that lists a variety of gardening classes and other learning opportunities. Check out their event calendar.
Bachmans is hosting a class tonight by The Minnesota Project on Growing Fruits in the City. Bachmans also has a list of seminars, classes, and other events here.
Sustainable Yards class at REI.
Saint Paul Community Education Program has a rain barrel workshop, a native plants, rain garden, and lawn care class, managing yard waste & composting, and a garden design class (tomorrow!).
Minneapolis Community Education Program has a ridiculous list of gardening classes, these are the ones that still have room: container gardening, gardens for dogs and people, health benefits of gardening, low maintenance landscaping, native prairie wildflowers, two rain
garden, sustainable landscape design and care, and two beginning veggie gardening classes.
Hibiscus and Copia seedlings!