The cooling weather and falling leaves haven’t given us a fall break that we expected. While we aren’t as busy building gardens, we have filled up the past few weeks with great workshops and community events and are continuing to find that more and more people want to do more to build our local food system here in Virginia.
- Our compost workshop on October 17th at the Humphrey Calder Community Garden was attended by 25 brave folks, who cared more about compost than 45 degree rain. We talked about how to manage and build compost piles while Jocelyn Tice from Green Duck talked about large scale composting and Jim Ashley from Worm Crusaders talked about the magic of vermicompost. Our worm bin has been serving us well, getting rid of both food scraps and newspaper! Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for making this happen. We will be having a winter workshop in January to get people prepared for their spring gardens!
- The next week, we started sprouts with the members at Senior Connections in Innsbrook. Senior Connections is a community program for senior citizens who live in the Innsbrook Area, and we had lunch with several folks and talked about salad flats, mason jar sprouting and WORMS!
- Backyard Farmer was a $2500 sponsor at the Partnership for Smarter Growth’s River City Saunter, held on October 26th. PSG serves the Greater Richmond Area by organizing citizens to address issues of farm land development and suburban sprawl. We were glad to donate our time and services to support this great organization. We worked with Edible Landscaping in Afton Virginia to supply 12 fruit trees for silent auction, which we then planted for the generous supporters. We also helped organize the local-food heavy appetizers for 100 attendants, foraging food from Manakintowne Specialty Growers, Nadolskis Butcher, Lucilles Bakery, AgriBerry, Sullivan Pond Farms,Farm To Family and Fall Line Farms.
- On October 29th, Backyard Farmer took to the Forum at the University of Richmond with a full spread of tasty compost ingredients and talked to students as they went from classes about the importance of composting. Many people took part in a compost layering demonstration and played games made of recylcled materials offered by Save the Trash.
- Just one week later we were on-site with the Urban Garden Collective and other volunteers starting the new community garden at Sacred Heart Community Center in Manchester. Together with enthusiastic students at the center, we built 2 garden beds and planted garlic and cover crops. It was a beautiful day and we put a whole lot of leaves to good use! We will continue to work with the Urban Garden Collective and the Sacred Heart Community Center to plan and expand a community garden at this site in the spring.
It certainly has been busy, but we dont expect to slow down. Keep checking back for more updates or if you know of any event or opportunity for us to teach something about gardening, let us know!