Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Serve the City at 5th Street Garden!

The Serve the City campaign had a project at the 5th Street Garden to build some more planter beds and finally get some plants in the ground! There were also teams around the area inviting all the neighbors to a BBQ for the volunteers and the neighbors.

During the day we used the tree stumps, acquired for free from an apartment complex who was re-landscaping, and recycled lumber to build the benches for the stage area. We now have seating for over 70 people! We plan to use this space for teaching, hosting speakers on various issues, and a place where we can empower neighbors to host classes of there own for everyone to be part of.

We also built the remainder of the planter beds with the lumber from Acres of Books and planted a variety of fruits and vegetables in them. We had many neighborhood parents and kids that were so excited to get there hands dirty, plant and be part of a community! We heard many kids say, "This is so much fun!" The neighborhood is embracing this place as a refuge and place to experience community, our goal from the very beginning. It was great to see it happen the way it did.

Here's a list of what we were able to put in the ground:

Chives, Red Onions, Yellow Onions, Tomatoes, Beans (Bush and pole Varieties), Soybeans, Green Basil, Italian Oregano, Marjoram, Epazote, Cilantro, Thyme, Parsley, Thai Basil, Red Basil, Licorice Basil, Artichoke, Eggplants, Sugar Snap Peas, Sunburst Squash, Peter pan Squash, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Assorted Cucumbers, Assorted Peppers, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Swiss Chard, Beets, White and Yellow Corn, Sorrel, Sage, Sprouted Sunflower, Assorted Mint

Deb Ringler picked up the plants from several sources. We had many donated, thanks to Deb's connections, and we purchased the rest from United Growers in Long Beach (3698 Caspian Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90810). We also picked up some rare and unique varities from Sasha at the Wrigley Garden in Long Beach. We also had some expert help from Master Gardener, Kristi Brooks, who donated her time and wealth of knowledge to help us get off the ground!

All in all, It was a great day, and I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. We are all so excited to see what will happen next here!

FB Picture Album: CLICK HERE!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Build Day - Saturday April 24th

We are finally ready to start planting at the 5th Street Garden! We are going to be moving soil, building planter beds, and planting a wide variety of produce so we can start sharing it with the neighborhood!

We will be having two shifts for the build days, so please RSVP for the times you want to help out as soon as possible. Feel free to help out any amount of time you can if the times don't work for you, just let me know so we know how many people to expect! You can sign up for both shifts too. Lunch and drinks will be provided.


April 24th - Saturday

Morning Shift: 9am - 1pm
Afternoon Shift: 1pm - 5pm

Please RSVP when you can come by emailing communitygarden@thegardenlb.org


5th Street Garden
1051 E. 5th Street
Long Beach, CA 90802

What to bring:

Garden gloves (if you have them)
Closed toed shoes (No sandals please)

Email me at communitygarden@thegardenlb.org if you have any questions, or to RSVP.

Can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking our lot back from the weeds.

This last weekend we continued our fight with the weeds. For future ventures, or anyone considering doing this yourself, remember to get as much free ground cover (from the city) as you can BEFORE you put the fence up. We thought we had enough ground cover, but you really never can have too much.

But thanks to some dedicated volunteers we were able to knock down all the weeds and we now have our space back! We had over 25 volunteers this last weekend who cleared the weeds, finished the back fence, and we even built some of the planter beds!

Sadly, Acres of Books on Long Beach Blvd. went out of business, but the city bought the property and needs to get rid of all the lumber! So, we were able to get free lumber from Larry and April from the LB Sustainability Office. Our beds will all be made from these recycled bookshelves. How great is that?

We are continuing to grow this space and hope to plant in mid April! Check out some more pictures of the build day at our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Beach/5th-Street-Garden/282761278290

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weeds weeds everywhere!

With all the rains we've had, the weeds at the garden have grown through the mulch we initially laid down. Needless to say, they began to overrun the entrance. I learned a weeding trick from some fellow gardeners and put it to the test yesterday with the help of some volunteers.

First you water the weeds - Yes this seems counter intuitive, but trust me.

With the weeds damp, lay 8-10 layers of newspaper or pieces of cardboard (remember to remove the tape) over them. You can cut down the bigger weeds, but anything lower than 12" can just be pressed down. Place some mulch over the top to weigh it down. (We got this mulch free from Larry Rich of the Long Beach Sustainability Office)

After you have all the area with weeds covered, completely cover the newspaper with mulch. The newspaper will prevent the weeds from growing further, and will last for several months. The newspaper and the weeds will eventually decompose and become part of the mulch layer.

There you have it! A simple, easy, and organic way of weeding.

Thanks to Kim and Michael Stephens, fellow neighbor Glenna, and my wife for knocking this out!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Buy A Board - Help Us Build Planter Beds, One Board At A Time

We have started a fundraising campaign for the 5th Street Garden. Specifically, we are raising funds to start building the 14 raised planter beds so we can start growing produce for the neighborhood. The fundraising will be limited to February for now, and we hope to raise enough to sustain and grow the garden for the year ahead. We are so excited at how God is already moving there and are looking forward to really getting this going!

The "Buy A Board" campaign breaks up the cost of the planter beds to a single board cost. It takes 7 boards to build the planter beds at a total of $140.00. So, one board is $20.00. You can buy one board, 1/2 a board, a whole planter bed, or any amount you want to give. There will be cards and envelopes on the tables at each service. Simply fill out the card and place your donation in the envelope with the card and drop it in the collection box. If you are writing a check, make checks payable to "The Garden" and be sure you put "Community Garden" in the memo line.

If you don't go to the Garden Church you can mail in a check to ROCKHARBOR Church at 3080 Airway Ste 100, Costa Mesa,CA 92626. Just be sure to make checks payable to "The Garden" and put "Community Garden" in the memo line.

All donations are tax deductible.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Plans for the 5th Street Garden

This is the design we are using for the 5th Street Garden. With an original concept we had, the talented Ande Siler came up with the final design.

You can see the locations for the raised beds, the pathways, picnic area, gathering and teaching area, a natural habitat area, composting section, and some other ideas we have for the garden.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things are picking up!

A lot has happened since our last update!

We have had over 70 volunteers from The Garden church and surrounding neighbors come out to 5 build days. During those build days we have installed over 80 ft. of fencing, landscaped the entire front entrance, and built a 3-bin compost system for the garden. Needless to say, it is already becoming a beacon of light for the neighborhood.

The next step is to build the raised garden beds so we can start growing produce! Here are some pictures of what we have been able to accomplish.


Groundbreaking Ceremony

Trenching for the Irrigation

The Compost Bins


And we've only just begun!