The Capital Area Food Bank’s Urban Demonstration Garden is in bloom, which makes it the perfect time for you to join us for a Garden Open House from 1 – 4 pm on Saturday, June 15th. We will be celebrating our garden leaders and the progress we’ve made with light refreshments and garden games. You can even fly a kite.
The physical work of building the garden began two months ago after many years of planning and visioning. So much has happened in that short time! More than 300 volunteers and 15 trained garden leaders have joined the staff to ensure our success in building the garden.
The results are amazing. We have 16 raised beds growing a wide variety of vegetables including beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, arugula, spinach, lettuce, pole beans, tomatillos, tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, collards, chard and mustard. And, if that’s not enough, we are growing basil, parsley, nasturtium, pineapple sage and borage.
We have begun working organic matter into the large space next to the raised beds where we also plan to grow food in a future season. We turned over the sod to get ready to build future herb beds. Our native perennial habitat, which we planted last fall, is starting to bloom and invite in beneficial pollinators.
The shed for our supplies has been completed. Thanks to a donation from Clagett Farm, we have a three bin composting system that will demonstrate one of the many ways to compost yard waste.
Our Apiary has more than 50,000 happy honeybees! Our rainwater harvesting system, which will gather rainwater from the roof and pump it out to the garden to use for watering crops, is being installed now. And picnic tables were just delivered and will create a wonderful outdoor eating and visiting space, encouraging all of us to share in the garden’s beauty.
On a more nostalgic note, my time here at the Capital Area Food Bank is coming to a close. But, I feel that I’m leaving so much potential for our food growing education program. I thank those of you who’ve worked with me and supported this effort and I’m counting on you to keep our garden blossoming.
Abbie Steiner is the Capital Area Food Bank’s Outgoing Food Growing Expert. You can continue to follow her on Twitter at @redheadgardener.