Monday, 28 July 2014

JULY GROWINGS at JPCI

So Far So Great

This is our third growing season here at The David Wilson Garden in Lawrence heights. These last three years so many people have worked to create this space that we all love; its not just a community garden or an urban farm, its a safe space, a green space, a place of gathering, a place to eat, a classroom, a kitchen, a pharmacy, an outdoor market, and a starting point for so many amazing friendships. Over three years we have more then doubled our growing space and have provided over 16,000 pounds of fresh produce to local markets, food-banks, and community volunteers. More importantly though; each year we have been able to engage more and more of the community. Volunteers commute in from all over the city, more and more schools are utilizing the space as an outdoor classroom, there are people enjoying the garden almost every second of every day, whether they are working in it, walking by it to the bus, or seeing it from their window. 

Detroit Red and Chjiogga Guardsmark beets with hakueri turnips
and amethyst radishs at our farm stand!
All throughout the summer we have been consistently getting 20 to 25 volunteers a day to the garden! We have implemented a no plastic water bottle policy in the garden; everyone packs a lunch or makes one from whats growing! Conversations range from the present state of bees, to cherry pies, patriarchy, and what would happen to a green-bean going through a black hole. A lot of student volunteers have started to incorporate what they have learned about being "green" into their own lives! People will bring there bikes into the garden were we teach each other basic repairs. We have made field trips to local bike collectives to work on building our own bikes to get us to the garden! Volunteers have been helping all season at our local farm stand, helping move the produce and getting everyone excited about eating locally.

beds of beets and kale
Did you know that we move hundreds of pounds of produce by bike to the market?
Joshua and Jonathan have really taken on the job as "compost masters" They monitor turn, mix and water our piles regularly really helping us produce the thousands of pounds of finished compost that we will use throughout the garden!  

bush bean beds coming in real nicely and getting ready to flower
Collards growing between two beds of lettuce!

We have been saving as much seed as possible. These mustard plants are swollen with thousands of seeds that we will harvest and dry. They will be used for plantings in the fall and next year. We will also be making mustard by grinding the seed and mixing it with homemade vinegar's that we have been fermenting in the garden!

Sayara finishing an early morning carrot thinning 
A beautiful Carflex cabbage shaped like a teardrop is ready for harvest. 

wheelbarrows of caabage
volunteers holding there favorite cabbages after our big harevst.



MAKING KRAUT

The volunteers really wanted to make sauerkraut this year; after our big harvest we all made a trip to Aga's garden at Lakeshore and kipling. They have a commercial kitchen there were we sliced, diced and grated our way to a half dozen varieties of kraut.What is kraut you say? Well many store varieties are just wine, preservatives and diced cabbage. Real kraut takes advantage of Lactic Acid producing bacteria that feed on the carbohydrates of the cabbage. These very beneficial bacteria can only survive in an oxygen free environment. When adding salt to the sauerkraut we are pulling moisture out of the cabbage to create a brine that will completely submerge the cabbage and keep out any oxygen. We used plastic bags with water, because they completely covered and formed to the shape of the container we were using. The weight of them keeps all the cabbage submerged. We also mixed in different herbs to give a little pizzazz to our creations. Different combination of thyme, dill, onions, garlic, jalapenos, beets, celery seed, mustard and caraway were used to create some beautiful and yummy sauerkraut. 
looking a the cabbage through our plastic bag weight; it looks like a slice of an impressionist painting
putting clean cotton clothes over the cabbage to keep away bugs and dust
Everyone is enjoying our pollinating beds!
What a full stand
Volunteers harvesting food bags and flowers for there teachers as a thank you


1 comment:

  1. This looks so awesome!!! I am reminded of all the amazing things we did in the garden this summer - Sayara

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