Thank goodness Jen showed up to help this morning and cleared out the three new strawberry beds!! She will transplant some of the seedlings wandering outside the frames back into the beds this fall. The pile of ground up tree stump and soil that Jen and I helped Jon unload will make great compost by next spring or great top-dressing when you clear your plot for winter. There is too much wood in it to use in an actively growing plot right now. As the wood decays it would steal nitrogen from your crop plants. Thanks, Jen and John!
We are now using an app called Track It Forward to track community hours volunteered. Tracking community hours helps us when applying for grant funding and also helps to manage maintenance of the common areas of the garden with very minimal garden fees.
Where to find it? You can access the app at http://www.trackitforward.com and find a mobile version of the app available for download in the App Store and Google Play. If you don’t already have an account or aren’t sure whether you do, feel free to reach out to me.
How to use it? Once you have an account, you can log into the app, where you’ll see a very simple form to log hours that you have volunteered. To the right is a screenshot of what you should see. You should log any hours volunteered in the garden to maintain the common areas (i.e., everything except for your plot and the paths around your plot). From the menu (three bars at the upper-right hand of the screen), you can also go to a Timesheet page, where you will be able to see a record of all of your hours submitted and a Milestones page, where you will be able to see how many of your 24 hours total commitment for the year has been met so far.
What do I do next? Please take a moment to download and log into the app. Then, add any community hours volunteered so far this year (as best you can remember). Going forward, please make sure to submit any community hours volunteered. The mobile version of the app makes it very easy to do this even while in the garden!
If you have any questions at all, feel free to message me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask me in the garden. I am the one with the three-legged dog who barks a lot (sorry for that:) )!
We are so grateful for support we receive from the neighborhood and broader community!
Building Stronger Neighborhoods has awarded a grant to Dunleath Community Garden for $500. Building Stronger Neighborhoods is a community grant making program that connects with neighborhoods through grants and activities that mobilize neighborhood assets to enhance the quality of life. The BSN coalition includes the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Cemala Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Greensboro Public Library, Cone Health Foundation, and the Weaver Foundation.
Esther Maltby had started applying for grants to support the garden several years ago, and much of the grant funding supported mowing to keep the garden looking neat for the neighborhood. This year, the grantors were not able to provide funding for ongoing maintenance like mowing, so the grant funds will be used for tools, educational signs, and some plant materials like herbs and strawberries that the whole community uses.
When I let gardeners know that we were not going to have funding for mowing and mentioned we might need to raise fees, a couple people–Walt Bilous and a new neighbor Michael (whose last name I don’t know) who has postponed joining–offered to help with mowing and weed whacking, and Nadja Czech offered to pay for the mowing so that we do not have to raise fees. We understand that when the garden first got going, the mowing was done by volunteers but not regularly, so there was some concern in the neighborhood that it looked messy. Hence the decision to hire someone to mow regularly.
Jane Devane Brown has offered to mow at a lower rate than we had been paying (and has mowed pro bono in past) and Ben Berryhill who has mowed and weedwhacked a good bit pro bono for the garden has offered to help with weed whacking, along with Walt, and maybe me (Nancy) sometimes with an electric weedwhacker Vickie Ebright got with grant funds last year. Thanks BSN for that, too!
We had a little money left from the grant last year because Vickie Ebright did so much of the mowing before hurting her foot. With only two days left in the grant period, Jon Enos agreed to help pick up edging that will help reduce weed management time and let us focus more on gardening. The wood ended up coming to within $1 of the grant funds left, so the combo of Jon being able to help on extremely short notice, the coincidence of the cost being so close to the grant funds left, and the relief of not causing major injury on the way home (see photo of Jon, wood, and his truck below) felt like one giant miracle! Thank you so much, Jon!! And thanks, Vickie for all your help mowing the last couple years! And Walt for mowing and weed whacking (and pruning the rest of the trees), too!!
Yes! We made it back to the garden without hitting a bump! Phew!!!
I also want to thank Mindy Zachary for all her support as treasurer of the Dunleath Neighorhood Board. She is simply wonderful to work with and we are soo grateful for all she does, along with the rest of the board, and all of you.
Thank you all for the time, tools, skills, ideas, kindness, and enthusiasm you share as garden members and neighbors.
We are so grateful that the community supports the garden. One way we give back is to share some of the flowers along the sidewalk, strawberries, and also figs. Our newest gardeners have been helping care for these parts of the garden. If you have photos, we’d love to share them. I couldn’t be there when Ali and Nancy G pruned the fig, but did get a shot of Shash working on the strawberry and blackberry patch and a long time gardener, Walt, pruning the plum. Even though we don’t get much edible fruit, the plum and peach blossoms are wonderful sources of nectar and pollen for bees in early spring.