Today we planted the garden. Don’t all those green leaves look great? We have an assortment of tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, kale, collards, basil and many other delicious varieties! Each bed was planted strategically to optimize the sunlight and the shade. All the plants came from the Sol Food Mobile Farm greenhouse in the back of the bus!
After planting all the plants in the greenhouse, we filled the containers back up with soil and planted new seeds for the next garden that Sol Food Mobile Farm will build on their cross-country journey.
After a day of planting, we had a pizza party to celebrate a great job!
This sign of all participants will be hung in the garden this weekend. A HUGE thank you to Sol Food Mobile Farm for coming out and making this happen. The four members are Dylan Hammond, Eliza Bordley, Ellen Duda, and Reid Rosemond. They are volunteers and are doing great work, funding their operation with donations. To learn more about Sol Food Mobile Farm and to donate to their cause, go to www.solfoodmobilefarm.org. Help support more community gardens around the USA.
I would also like to thank Little Berlin members Alana Bograd, Alex Walcroft, Samantha Reedy and Eileen Doyle for coming out and doing some amazing work.
Most importantly, I would like to thank all the local residents who came out to volunteer their time to create a beautiful garden! THANK YOU to: Steve Putz, Donna Cohen, Leroy Williams, Maleena Williams, Jalen Williams, Quadir Mills, Daniel Feller, Andrew Diaz, Shawn Paul Richards, Christopher Rivera, Shaylynn Welsh, Kelsey Niziolek, Andy Hood, Omar Santiago, Jeffrey Melo, and CJ Warrington!!!
If I forgot to add your name, please email Angela McQuillan at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on this website and also our garden sign!
If anyone is interested on helping to water the garden regularly, we could definitely use some help so get in touch!
Thank you everyone, we did it!
Today our major issue was to figure out our water supply, since water is essential to any garden! We were able to get three beautiful rain barrels donated from the Philadelphia Water Department. Originally the idea was to connect the rain barrels to downspouts from the Viking Mill building, however this deemed problematic because the roof has tar and other particulates that are not good for plants. Our decision was to build a structure to contain the rain barrels with a small roof structure to collect water. This is a project that will be extended into tomorrow. Another major hurdle is to figure out a good water supply for when there is no rain! For now, we are carting water across the street from the Viking Mill. We will have to examine all our options for a long-term solution since carting many gallons of water across the street is not very convenient. Oh the joys of logistics!
Sam and Josh got to work building a containment system for compost. The plan is to have three seperate divisions for compost of varying stages of decomposition.
Another structure that was added to the garden today is an herb spiral constructed from logs
A fun part of the day was building a park bench out of tree trunks and left over wood. The kids from the neighborhood had a great time painting it and decorating it.
Here they are with their creation:
The herb spiral ready for some live herbs!
Tomorrow is our last day……..
De-stapling and prying apart the wood was the hardest part, and luckily it was all completed yesterday!! :) Today we got to work building the raised beds. We nailed together two planks to give the garden beds some height, since there is absolutely no chance of these plants ever growing into the ground, since the lot is mostly gravel and rock and hardly any real soil.
We constructed 8 beds 8’x4’, and a raised bed around the House sculpture.
We lined up the empty beds and tested out different arrangements to see what looked the best.
Here is a photo of Reid and Dylan examining a load of soil being unloaded from the truck. That’s a lot of dirt! The three piles are: leaf mulch for beautiful nutrient-rich top-soil, mulch to surround the outside of the beds to keep them moist, and regular soil for the bottom of the beds.
Next we painted the outside of the beds and lined the bottom with cardboard, to prevent weeds from growing up from underneath and also to keep the soil moist. Here is Ellen with a gorgeous color of blue!
We had some amazing helpers today, we were super excited to have kids from the neighborhood come out to participate.
After lining the beds with cardboard, the soil was shovelled into the beds first and then the rich leaf-compost on the top. We are ready to plant our garden!
Great job to all our helpers today! Stay tuned til Thursday for a full list of everybody’s names. We will also be placing a sign in our garden with a list of all participants as a thank you :)
After all the hard work, Eliza gave a tour of the bus,
And TOMORROW we PLANT!
Today was a super productive day! First of all I just have to say how impressed I was with Sol Food Mobile Farm. They are a young non-profit located in Durham, North Carolina that focuses on issues of environmental sustainability and community development. Sol Food Mobile Farm was created as an experiential, hands-on teaching program based around planting and harvesting garden vegetables.What is so special about Sol Food Mobile Farm is that they operate out of a retro-fitted school bus! Their non-profit will be making a 6 month tour around the United States this summer, stopping in 10 major cities to hold workshops that focus on gardening, nutrition, composting and alternative fuels.
Here are some photos of their bus, which is amazing! It has a kitchen with running water, 4 bunk beds and a greenhouse full of beautiful healthy plants in the back. On the roof of the bus above the sleeping quarters, there is a live garden which helps keep the inside of the bus cool. We actually did an experiment and the portion of the bus covered by plants was over 10 degrees cooler!
Here is a photo of Reid watering the roof!
This morning we spent most of the day dealing with the lumber. Since the wood came from a theater set, we had to pry apart all of the boards from cubes into individual planks. After doing this we had to remove and/or flatten all of the staples. (We love the fact that we are giving this wood a new life, we got it from the Resource Exchange, 2829 Cedar Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134.267.997.0060)
Ellen and Dylan spent the morning at Fairmount Park, obtaining FREE leaf compost and mulch. (Fairmount Park Recycling Center: 3850 Ford Road, Philadelphia, PA 19131 215-685-0108)
Next we started cutting down the wood from 12’ long pieces into 8’ and 4’ pieces, which will construct 8’x4’ raised garden beds. Here are Rachel, Eliza and Ellen with all the wood
Tomorrow we start constructing the beds! If you are available from the hours of 10am-2pm and are in the Philadelphia area, come out and give us a hand. We could really use your help and I guarantee you will learn something from the experience!