Hey everybody, we’re having a potluck celebration Wednesday, September 23 from 12:00-2:00 PM. Come out and enjoy some food, games, and hat decorating! Hope to see you there!
What can you do to prepare your garden for fall and winter? Come to the food bank tomorrow at 5pm to learn how best to prepare your garden for the upcoming seasons. There will be a few quick fall starts and a simple garden guide to take home with you! See the flyer below for more information.
Hope to see you there!
My name is Nicole Bergman. I am the new intern at Good Cheer Garden and am also an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I am currently conducting my Senior Capstone thesis project through the Program on the Environment. As part of my project, I have created a survey to assess the Good Cheer community’s (e.g. food bank participants, volunteers, and persons who donate) knowledge, opinions, and experience with vegetable gardens. The information gained from this survey will be used to update outreach, educational and marketing materials for Good Cheer Garden and I will incorporate it into my senior research project. This survey is completely anonymous and voluntary, but your participation is greatly appreciated. Additionally, I will not use direct quotations from your responses. The survey will take approximately five minutes or less. If you would like to participate, please click the link below. Thank you!
“Long before I knew the multiplication table, I was a wild child. I was the unruly kid in school that always got in trouble. My first memory of this was in kindergarten. Everyday after lunch, I used to sneak out of class to the school garden to help Ms. Kay, the garden caretaker. I quickly realized that being outside eating tomatoes, playing with snapdragons, and chasing Swallowtail butterflies was far more exciting than using number tablets in the classroom. Besides taking pleasure in the fact that all my teachers loathed having to come find me each afternoon, I was utterly mystified by what I learned in that garden: to care for life that wasn’t human.
As I grew older, surfing the waves of Northern California and breaking into abandoned buildings became my primary concern. I was privileged enough, at the time, to not have to worry about where my food was coming from or to whom I should be thanking for growing and nurturing that food. It wasn’t until I moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the University of Washington that I was introduced to problematic food system our country had adopted and let spoil our planet– the nitrogen farm runoff that kills entire marine ecosystems overnight, the unjust distribution of fresh produce that cripples the less fortunate, or the farm subsidies that promote corn production for cattle rather than the cultivation of vegetables for people.
Being a part of Good Cheer and working at the community garden brings me back to the days when I was a kindergartener, realizing that there is more to care for in this world than myself. This internship is a way for me to become a more heedful person and to acquire the skills I need in order to look after the earth, to help people overlooked by our food system, and to be a part of a solution to relieving the plight of reckless agriculture. I am grateful to be a part of this community and to have the opportunity to learn from such grounded, experienced people.”
July? Definitely another scorcher–temperatures were in the high 80s during Independence day weekend. Speaking of which, we were at the Maxwelton Parade handing out sugar snap peas and flowers from the garden!
Due to the dry and hot weather, we spent a good amount of July watering and harvesting. We made out quite nicely: 368 pounds of carrots, 278 pounds of tomatoes, 210 pounds of plums, and 153 pounds of summer squash from Good Cheer Garden and Bayview Garden! In fact, we more than doubled our harvest from last month, coming in at nearly 1,300 pounds at Good Cheer and over 350 pounds at Bayview, and thanks to in kind donations and gleaning, we raked in 4,870 pounds of produce just in the month of July.
And even though our spinach has been bolting like there’s no tomorrow, our tomatoes are loving this weather and have been putting on their second growth.
Also, on July 21, students from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Students came to visit and lend a hand with weeding projects and blackberry removal. Especially since it’s been so hot, we’re so grateful to folks who are still coming by to help out during our Wednesday work parties. Thanks to our volunteers, we’ve been able to harvest and bag an enormous amount of produce, pick, braid, and hang our garlic for curing, and enjoy delicious salads during lunch. Thanks and stay cool out there!
If you’ve been as busy as us, you’re probably a little behind on planning your fall and winter garden! But it’s not too late! Come by on Tuesday, July 28th between 4:30 and 6:00 to pick up some free fall and winter crops and ask us whatever burning garden questions you have. We’ll be out front of the food bank with plenty of hardy starts and some educational documents to take home. See you there!
It’s been so scorching lately, we couldn’t resist from making a Nelly reference. In all seriousness, we haven’t the faintest idea what happened to “June-uary”, as it seems like we’ve just jumped straight to August. Aside from the weather, things have been popping here at the garden too: sunflowers, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes, beets, carrots, garlic, and so many different flowers.
The bees aren’t the only ones who have been busy in the garden; in the last month, we’ve had a continued streak of support from various volunteer groups who have come to help out and enjoy the garden with us: naturopathy students from Bastyr Center for Natural Health, UW student, local Girl Scout troops, Windermere Real Estate, and Seattle 9th grade Waldorf students. A HUGE thank you to all who have come out!
In addition, things over at the Bayview Garden are coming along rather swimmingly. All of the beds are planted, and we just harvested the first of the carrots this week! Peppers, eggplant, and melons are under plastic; radishes soon to pop, and beets coming up. Until next time, enjoy the photos, try to keep cool and hydrated as the temperature rises, and hopefully see you at our Wednesday work parties.
Also, we’re having a volunteer appreciation party for all of Good Cheer’s awesome volunteers on Tuesday, July 16 from 5-7 PM in the garden. Hope to see you there!
It’s been quite the whirlwind this spring and there are lots of exciting things happening here at the garden. We kicked off May with our annual May Day party, where the weather was perfect for painting faces, making flower crowns, and wrapping the May Pole.
Just in these two short weeks, we have had a tremendous amount of help from the local and greater community. Students from the University of Washington spent a Sunday morning with us doing some much-needed cleaning up in and around our box beds. A few days later, the Greenbank Organic Farm students joined our Wednesday work party, where they helped harvest 177 pounds of produce, prep and plant numerous beds, and do some picky weeding around lettuce and peas. A big thank you to all who came out and to those who keep coming out!
Other exciting things in the garden: tomatoes and cucumbers are planted in our hoop house! Squash plants will be going into our terraces! And tomatoes are planted out in the garden with more coming! We spied the first of flowering phacelia, bright orange California poppies and vibrant red poppies, and this week and are thrilled for even more colors to be popping up throughout our garden, especially with the addition of two new flower beds to attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Also, we have been ramping things up at our satellite garden at Bayview, which will serve as yet another source of fresh, local, produce for Good Cheer Food Bank. So far, we have carrots, bok choy, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage planted and have already harvested radishes, baby bok choy, and arugula. Combined with the impressive harvests at Good Cheer, donations from local farmers, and gleaning at the Saturday Bayview Farmers Market, we have surpassed 1,500 pounds of produce since the beginning of March. More to come as the season progresses!
It’s that time of the year! Come on down to the Food Bank to wrap the May Pole and celebrate the start of the season. Feel free to bring an instrument to play or a dish to share. We’ll have some salad from the garden, flowers to make festive crowns, and our friend Larry on stilts. Flower crown making starts at 4:30, and we’ll wrap the May Pole at 5:30. Hope to see you all there!
“In July of 2013, I left my job of over 5 years in medical-device marketing and advertising to find work I could feel more connected to. I had always been interested in sustainability and began reading more about food access, social and environmental justice, climate change, and culture, as well as attending conferences on these topics. A major influence, and a big reason why I am here, came from listening to Elizabeth Mpofu, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), champion farmers’ rights for food and land sovereignty and their struggle with industrial agriculture, GMOs, and subsequent loss of indigenous seeds and knowledge. I am here to learn how to grow food, educate others in growing food, and play my part in (re)connecting people with land, food, and water. It is my hope to merge my experience in marketing and advertising with my passion for local food, economy, and community.
In Long Beach, California, where I was previously, I volunteered at the community garden I lived next to, co-created and maintained the garden blog, and worked with Foodscape Long Beach to increase community awareness and education, outreach, and participation. A Southern Californian for the last 15 years, I am used to gardening in short sleeves and a light jacket, but now, I bring with me my rain gear, warm puffy jackets, a big smile, and beginner’s mind to this awe-inspiring program in the Pacific Northwest. I am honored, excited, and so grateful to be a part of the Good Cheer Team and am certain that I will learn much more than I ever dreamed from this majestic island and its wonderful people.”