Thursday, January 28

Metanoia teens excited about new mini-farm

On a crisp but beautiful afternoon, the teenagers of the Metanoia youth development program were able to work on their new mini-farm at the Noisette Foundation. Lowcountry Community Gardens was there, helping them make raised beds and plant seedlings. Built using reused lumber, donated paint and all the energy of a dozen teens, the new raised beds look beautiful and eagerly await the upcoming delivery of soil. Meanwhile, collards were seeded, ready for transplant in a few weeks. While it may have taken longer than expected for all of us to build the beds, it was a truly positive learning experience, as everyone got to measure, saw, drill, and assemble. We took a few photos to give you an idea of how much fun everybody had. To see kids get excited about planting inspires us to do everything else we do.

Tuesday, January 19

Helping out with MLK Day of Service

Yesterday was MLK Day and Lowcountry Community Gardens was out in the community working with College of Charleston students on local community garden projects. In the morning, we helped weed and plant the garden at Chicora Elementary in North Charleston. The afternoon consisted of raised bed-making at the new mini-farm on the old Navy Yard, a project of Metanoia, Americorps/VISTA, and the Noisette Foundation.

Thursday, January 14

Weather warming up for a few days

We've got a bit of rain and warmer weather on the way for the next few days. The peas that have been under cloches will be happy to get some fresh air!
No freezing temps until Sunday. Opportunities abound.

Monday, January 11

Charleston vacant plots could bring $20,000 worth of produce to area communities

A recent article on gardening a 100 square foot bed, raising $700 worth of organic produce:

A quick survey (January 2010) of the potential sites identified reveals the possibility of having over 5,000 square feet of raised beds in the upper reaches of the Charleston peninsula. Look at the map for a better idea of the scale.

Currently, if the 12 vacant lots on the map were to be gardened in raised beds, together they could produce this amount of food for the needy (in just one season!):
Tomatoes 4,000 lbs
Peppers 800 lbs
Lettuce 750 lbs
Zuchini 6,400 lbs

The market value of this produce at conventional (non-organic) prices: $18,500, all-local resources

Sunday, January 3

Growing Community Gardens

7 steps to creating a sustainable community garden:

  1. Engage community in development stages: find out skills, needs, wants of neighborhood (survey)
  2. Design for social gatherings/workshops
  3. Universal design: child, elderly and handicapped-accessible
  4. Model sustainability: rainwater harvesting, renewable energy, composting
  5. Offer compost memberships to people who may not be able to directly work on garden
  6. Display art and showcase the talents of local artists
  7. Create a beautiful space