Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our Neighborhood Garden: We Can Start Planning for Spring Planting!

It looks like the School District is going to let us build a community garden at Hector Campbell School! There are still details to work out, but we can start moving forward. I will be at our neighborhood meeting on Monday evening (Nov. 14th) and at our Homewood Park Work Party on Saturday (Nov. 19th), stop by if you have questions or want to learn more about the project.
This location was chosen for us by the School District because it won't interfere with the play fields or play ground. It is nice and sunny too!

I'll post more information soon.

~Sarah Smith

Monday, October 3, 2011

Garden Planning Survey

We would like to hear from other experienced Community Gardeners about their experience working in a community garden, If you are a Community Gardner, please take our short 10 question survey. Please share this survey with others involved in community gardening, we want to gather as much information as possible! Here is a link you can share via email (cut and paste it):

As we get farther into the planning process we will post a survey for gardeners who want a plot in our neighborhood garden, so if you don't have experience in a  community gardening situation yet, please wait for that survey.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Gardening

A revised proposal has been submitted to the school district for the use of the Hector Campbell School grounds for a neighborhood community garden, we are waiting for their response. Ideally we would start working on the new garden this fall before the soil is too wet from winter rains; but if not, we will just have to wait until spring. Anyway, fall is a great time to learn new gardening techniques, plan for spring planing and next summers harvest, AND plant a winter garden!


Lettuce growing under plastic in January
Clackamas County Master Gardeners Fall Garden Fair: Saturday October 8th at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive, from 9:30am to Noon. Attend "10 minute university" seminars, have your soil PH tested, and have questions answered by Master Gardeners. Click HERE for a complete schedule of the days events. And while you are there take a walk around the building and check out the Centers Community Garden beds.

Take time to think about what vegetables your family likes to eat, how much they eat, how you would prepare home grown veggies, and how you would store your harvest. Think about which plants you should grow from seed and which you should plan to buy as starts from the market. Take time to look through seed catalogs and study online resources like the OSU Extension Services results of their vegetable variety trials. 

Kale grows well through the winter.
Don't stop growing food just because summer is over! Our climate allows us to grow some things year round with just a little protection from the cold. Some edibles must be planted in the fall: October is the time to plant garlic to be harvested early next summer. See the OSU Extension publication "Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest" for a good overview of winter gardening. Most of the crops will need time to establish themselves before the real cold weather sets in, so it may be a little late to start seeds, but veggie starts can be purchased at the farmers market or at the nursery.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Growing Vegetables in Containers

If you don't have a big yard for a vegetable garden, or just want to get a little vegetable gardening in before we get a community garden plot in the neighborhood, try growing in containers.

This 10-Minute University (really almost 30 minutes) video, by Clackamas County, was filmed at the Oregon City Farmers Market. It has good tips to get you started. And here is a link to an article on growing veggies in containers from Around Town Magazine.

Master Gardener 10 Minute University-Growing Edibles in Containers from Clackamas County on Vimeo.

Here is a highlight Master Gardener, Darlene Reimer's tips from the video:
  • Bigger is better than small when it comes to containers, roots need room to grow.
  • Good drainage is important; containers must have drainage holes.
  • Don't use garden soil in containers, use a good quality soil less mix that will drain well.
  • Mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil as you fill the pots.
  • Water the plants well before planing them in the container and then water them in.
  • Keep the plants watered and fertilized as the season progresses.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where to build a Community Garden in the Hector Campbell Neighborhood?

The closure of Hector Campbell Elementary School will leave a big hole in our neighborhood. We have high hopes for a new school or other community use to fill the void quickly. Originally the School District planed to lease the building ASAP; our neighborhood submitted a proposal to use part of the school grounds for a community garden.

However, at the July 7th school board meeting, the district decided not lease Campbell Elementary in the coming year as it considers possible uses for the building in light of recent decisions by the state Legislature to create "open enrollment" between school districts and the creation of all-day kindergarten. Staff will continue to consider discussions with community gardens, North Clackamas Parks and potentially move a district department or function to the complex to have a daily presence. In addition, staff would implement a security plan as discussed in previous meetings and reports.

Our neighborhood will negotiate with the school district to use part of the grounds for a garden. At the July 7th meeting the district did say that they didn't want to enter into any commitments for "long term use." Depending on how long "long term" is, that could be a deal breaker. We need to put our volunteer resources and money into a garden location that we can use for at least several years.

If the school grounds location doesn't pencil out, we will need to find another location. If you have any ideas, let us know!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Web Page Under Construction!

The Hector Campbell NDA has submitted a proposal to build a community garden on the grounds of Hector Campbell School. This website will be used to share information about the building of the garden with the community, and those interested in volunteering and donating, goods, services, and cash.

Please pardon our mud while we get this website up and growing!