The next meeting for members of the Ewing Community Garden Association will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. at the Ewing Community and Senior Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road. The agenda for this meeting will include welcoming new gardeners, planning for the spring garden clean up and creation of a children’s garden.
Spring is not far off and it’s time to start making plans for the 2017 garden year. The Ewing Community Garden Association will meet Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 p.m. at the Ewing Township Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road.
Our agenda will be:
- Review of the Good Garden Neighbor guidelines
- Update or re-approve garden bylaws
- Elect Garden Council members
- Review of the plot sign-up process for existing gardeners
The agenda for the meeting is:
- Planning informational sessions on composting, irrigation, companion crops, soil improvement, and types of gardening (perennial, vegetable, flower, square foot, intensive, etc.)
- How to handle excess produce (community table, compost or giveaway)
- Garden issues/questions needing community attention. We will start a list of gardeners interested in taking over abandoned plots. If you cannot make the meeting and want to be on the list, please email email@example.com
Weather permitting, we plan to meet in the garden in the community area behind the kiosk. There is limited seating, so please bring your own lawn chair to be comfortable. If the weather is inclement the meeting will be held at the Ewing Senior and Community Center.
See you in the garden.
Welcome to the unofficial start of the 2015 gardening season! We’ll begin with a garden clean-up this Saturday, March 28th and gardening can begin in the non-organic plots as soon as the soil is tilled the week after, and in organic, non-tilled plots, gardening can begin any time!
Announcements and updates
- Ewing Community Gardening Association (ECGA)
The ECGA is a township-recognized organization formed two years ago to serve as a liaison between gardeners and the township, plan and implement improvements to the garden site, develop guidelines for successful community gardening, and to create a community of gardeners. We meet monthly to make plans and socialize; you’ll receive occasional emails with announcements and reminders, and they’ll be posted on the garden site kiosk as well. Michael Nordquist is chair of the association and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the ECGA and gardening at the Ewing Community Gardens, including guidelines, can be found at this website: https://ewingcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/
- March 28, 10am-4pm: Garden Site Clean-Up
This Saturday, March 28th, we’ll have a community garden clean up and workday, with assistance from TCNJ students. All gardeners are requested to come and help prepare the site for tilling, maintain the paths, and make some general improvements to the site as a whole. The community garden only exists because of the work that gardeners do for it; please do your part to make this important resource available to you and others now and in the future.
We will be cleaning up any trash, debris, or materials left from last year and working on extending the paths for the coming season. If you still have materials in your (non-organic) plots from last year, please use this as an opportunity to remove them. The township will be tilling the site shortly after this date, and we need to have the ground clear of anything that could damage or get caught in the tiller. If you have a site on the organic/east side of the plot, since your site will not be tilled, you can leave your materials there, if you desire.Any reusable materials that are removed from the non-organic plots will be set either along the fence or in the common plots near the back center of the site. If unclaimed by April 15th, the materials will be made available to anyone who would like them.Please bring gloves, tools (pitchforks, shovels, rakes), your wheelbarrows, cardboard for path maintenance, wear warm clothes, and work with some of your fellow gardeners to put the gardens in a good order for the beginning of the season.
- Registration Update
As of March 18, only 17 of 102 plots remain unclaimed. If you know of folks who are interested in getting plots, tell them to act soon! As of April 15, unclaimed plots will be made available to gardeners who would like more than two plots.
- New Gardeners Mentoring Program
This year, we would like to match new gardeners with returning gardeners so the new gardeners have someone to go to with their basic and more complicated questions. Of course, everyone should always feel free to ask anyone around the garden; we’re generally helpful people.
If you’re willing to be someone’s mentor, please email this account to let me know. You don’t need to be an expert, just have a few years of gardening at the site and be willing to be available occasionally to new gardeners.
If you’re interested in having a mentor, please email this account and we’ll try to match you up with someone. Also, if you’re interested in being part of a new gardeners’ email group for sharing information and experience with one another, please email this account to let me know and I’ll set that up.
- Isles Garden Support Network
For any interested gardeners, we will be purchasing a membership to Isles Garden Support Network. Isles, Inc., a Trenton-based community development organization, offers a series of workshops to new community gardeners to provide basic introductions to principles and practices of gardening. As members, any Ewing Community gardeners will be able to participate in their workshops. You can find more information about Isles Urban Agriculture program here and a schedule of the garden workshops here.
- Next meeting and Garden Orientation: April 15th, 6:30pm, at the garden
Our next meeting will be held at the garden. We’ll do a brief overview and orientation of the garden for new gardeners, going over the general guidelines and answering any questions gardeners may have. The earlier 6:30pm start time will allow us about an hour before official sundown. If there’s bad weather, I’ll send out an email that afternoon and we’ll meet at the ESCC instead.
Please plan on coming if you can so you can meet fellow gardeners and learn about the general practices at the garden.
Please plan on coming so you can meet fellow gardeners and offer up your guidance and mentoring skills to new and other returning gardeners.
March 20th marked the official start of spring, even as it snowed on us. Order your seeds, plant your seedlings, and start planning out your garden plot!
Thanks to everyone who was able to come out to Saturday’s clean-up to prepare the garden site for the upcoming season. With the assistance of about 20 TCNJ students, we made great progress. We now have extended the wood chip paths around most of the perimeter so you will be able to navigate to your plots more safely and comfortably. We constructed a few compost bins for your green vegetative waste. The Township has also promised us some garbage cans and regular garbage pickup so things should be much neater and hopefully we won’t see piles of weeds in pathways or out on the grass near the street.
We also removed all leftover materials from the plots so the township can till. If you left materials–stakes, trellises, fencing, etc.–on your plot, you may find them along the walkway along the fence near your plot. Please claim them by April 15th. After that point, they will be assumed to be available to anyone who wants them, or they will be thrown away. This is a reminder that anything planted before the township tills will likely be tilled under, so please wait until after to start your gardening season. After tilling, they’ll plot out the sites so you’ll know the exact borders of your plot(s).
Township staff hope to till next week (weather permitting) so stay turned for the update. We know that you are quite anxious to get out there and get started. Despite the weather of the past week we really do believe that spring will be coming soon.
Our clean up was immeasurably assisted by the TCNJ students. We owe them a huge debt of thanks. In addition, we were very lucky to garner a few donations of supplies. Extension Patio Shop donated the pallets that we used to construct the compost bins and Bauer Tree Service donated the chips. We used all that were on site on Saturday and they have already donated more for anyone to use for path creation or on their plots.
Resources for Gardeners
At the request of a new gardener, and as a useful resource for returning gardeners, we’d like to compile a list of local gardening resources for our members. These could include seed providers, local garden and lawn stores, greenhouses, farm stores, etc., that would be useful for gardeners to know about. When you have a chance, please email your favorite local, regional, or mail order sources for garden supplies to the email@example.com email address. If you can find them, please include the name, address, phone number, website, and any particular strengths the place has (“great seed selection;” ” wide variety of soil amendments;” etc.). We’ll make your suggestions available to all.
We have a few photos from the clean up to share. Go to the Photos page to view.
We’ll see you out at the gardens soon.
Spring is in the air (well, not quite with Friday’s snow) but nevertheless, Ewing gardeners’ thoughts have been turning to their gardens. Registration for plots has begun and turn out has been good. There is still a lot to do to prepare for the gardening season and we are now into the final push to get things ready. Things to do this month include signups for plots, the March 20th monthly meeting, the March 23rd Site Cleanup, and starting your seeds. Read on for the details.
We have been working with the Township on the expanded gardens on Whitehead Road Extension. As many of you know already know, theTownship promised to expand the garden space this year and the number of plots will be almost doubled. Mayor Bert Steinmann also promised to supply another water source that will be needed by the newly enlarged gardens at the January 2013 Green Team meeting.
Signups for plots for the 2013 gardening season began on March 1st.
■Gardeners who had plots in 2012 and before could register beginning March 1st.
■New registrants can register beginning March 15th.
Please note that the new expanded section is designated organic.
Garden Site Cleanup Date – March 23rd
There will be a site cleanup day on Saturday, March 23rd from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Approximately 24 student volunteers from TCNJ will be on site to assist with clean up of last year’s materials and to begin to lay out the paths for this season. The township will have tree chippings delivered to the site for the paths. All participating gardeners are encouraged to attend and bring cardboard and newspaper to put beneath the tree chips to suppress the weeds.
The Township will plow the plots as soon as the weather permits. The official opening day of the gardening season is set for April 15th. Gardeners will be notified if the date is earlier.
There are still quite a few organizational details to work out for the gardens this season. From contests to food donations, from garden guidelines to organic guidelines. Come to the March 20th meeting to help flesh out the details. We are also looking for volunteers to organize the garden contests and more.