First, a BIG SHOUTOUT to all who gave of their time and effort at the Garden this past Sunday morning. We had a great turnout! We recognize that you could've chosen to be anywhere else; so, THANK YOU for showing up and getting your hands dirty with us. The Garden is coming alive, thanks to your efforts! Virtual hugs to all.
I'm so hopeful, seeing everyone pitching in, receiving your suggestions and trying my best to soak it all in and to focus on a few things at a time. My hope is that we're all learning from each other and finding our time together an enriching experience. I know I'm learning so much from Om, Anicka, and from all of you, new friends.
At the Garden
That upon arriving at the Garden, y’all will know what’s planned for the day; you’ll be free to work on something you’re already good at or take on a task where you might learn something new; that we will have the proper tools for the job; and, we’ll have guidance as needed.
In that same vein, we can all learn from each other, so please, share your expertise – we’ll be looking to plan a slot, maybe every so many weeks, where we can gather at some point during our gardening sessions, to learn a garden-related or ancillary topic. To start us off... Is there anyone who can speak to garden tools maybe? On the importance of keeping them clean and well-sharpened, avoiding cross-contamination, etc.
After the Garden
To hear you and welcome your contributions of time, talents and treasure.
We seek your questions, suggestions, and advice. We also invite you to step right up, if there’s anything you can take on to grow our Garden. Many hands lighten the load.
Below is the feedback/needs that Sunday’s gardeners shared with us. PLEASE, let me know if I've missed anything or if you have any additional concerns or ideas for moving forward.
(Future editions will contain accomplishments as well.)
* HUGE!! Sabina discovered one area was being waay overwatered and another wasn’t being irrigated. Yikes! She’ll be working on establishing a proper schedule for each area, for this time of year, and will work with Maria on the best time for irrigation, following the master gardeners’ best practices.
* Hoses. Shopping for two heavy-duty hoses. For safety and good housekeeping, hoses need to be rolled up at the end of the day.
* Pruning shears, long-handled pruners and a few other gardening tools. Shopping for these as well.
* First aid kit. We have one, but probably needs restocking and a refresh, if items are outdated. Unfortunately, it may be more cost-effective to simply buy a new one.
* Also identified... Attach a sheet to said first aid kit, with simple instructions on what to do In Case Of Emergency: Who to contact, how to handle, above all, what to do for anyone who might get hurt while on the premises.
* Fruit-picking tools. Someone please tell me specifically what we need because I have no clue.
* Stepladder. Are we talking about a 4-ft ladder?
* Grants for garden. WHO suggested this? Any experience with this... let's talk!!
* Tulle. We need a lot of this to protect all beds other than the caged one. Will be picking up 3 bolts, for a total of $50.
* Signage. We're not easy to find and our sign is hidden. Contemplating on better placement (more visible) and creating a more open entry, making the main entrance at the south gate, instead, where we could have a 'welcome' table for the signups and poster with the plans for the day.
One major shortcoming that has been looming for a long time is the lack of a visual of our layout, as well as a formal planting calendar specific to our Garden, for each bed, etc. I recently came across an online garden planning tool that offers a ton of easy-to-use features. In fact, I want to get a subscription for my garden at home! The annual autorenewal rate is $29 per year. That’s a reasonable price, isn’t it? You can take a look here. I think it’s pretty amazing. Comments? Thoughts? Do you happen to have any experience with this or a similar tool, that you could assist in setting it up for the Garden if we were to get it, or provide some guidance.
HOW we do things will likely evolve as we learn what works for our little community.
Apologies if you think this email is too long. We want to keep you all informed – where we’re at, what we’re up to, and what comes next.
See you at the Garden!
Hello from Betina!
Warmest greetings, friends of the Garden!
Just wanted to give you a quick update after all the commotion of these past few weeks.
First, let me start by saying how grateful we all are to Linda for her past leadership and keeping the Garden going throughout all these years. It takes a lot of commitment and we’re grateful to Linda and to ALL who’ve dedicated time and effort over the years. Thanks, too, for her trust in those of us who will take over here on out, doing our best to move the Garden forward so that it is the oasis and inspiring community and learning space we envision.
To date we’ve had a Zoom meeting and an in-person meeting at the Garden. There’s been much excitement and energy flowing and we hope to keep this momentum going, because it will certainly take some effort to put all our plans in motion. Our first aim is to have all roles defined and filled, with redundancies wherever possible, to lighten the load for everyone involved and assure continuity.
Our ultimate goal is for everyone to experience the satisfaction of meaningful contribution, to learn and be inspired to incorporate what we learn at the Garden into our daily lives. All who come to the Garden will know what’s planned for each week, can grab the proper tools they need, can get any guidance they might need, and would eventually see the fruits of their labor. We hope everyone will bring their family and friends to become part of our Garden community.
There is MUCH to do to get back on track – in the dirt and at the keyboard, on the phone, with ideas and, most importantly, our follow-through. With some effort, resourcefulness, and a lot of p..a..t..i..e..n..c..e, lessons that we can take directly from nature, we will together create the Garden that our community will be eager to visit and join in.
FUTURE MEETINGS/GARDEN DATES
Scheduling in-person meetings is always a challenge. Our first in-person session took place on a Wednesday morning. We want to have future in-person meetings immediately following our gardening dates -- we would already be gathered and our creative juices would be flowing. We invite you to join up, as a lead or participant, on any of the number of committees we’ve identified.
As of now, here are the ACGP top leads:
administrative/finance Betina Frisone
planning and development Anicka Martin
garden Om Vadhwa
fundraising campaign 2022 Linda Rominger (master gardener)
THANKS to all who’ve already stepped up to take on committees and tasks! We’ll continue to work on defining committees and tasks and set up a program/schedule for all to consider where they’d be most interested in helping out. Please keep in mind, these roles are fluid. We hope to see everyone have an opportunity to share their current skills, but to also have the opportunity to grow as our interests evolve… as the Garden goes… and grows. More to come on this, but if anything below strikes your interest, or if you think of anything, please let us know by replying to this email.
Examples: hospitality, irrigation control, maintenance and repairs, pest control, weeding, educational program, composting program, children’s garden program, ________________, ________________
Thanks for reading this far… and apologies for the length of this message. I’m just SO excited to see everyone on board to see our Garden flourish!! You can expect to hear from Anicka, with all sorts of plans and calls to action.
In addition to featuring Garden matters, we’d also like to get to know each other, so we’ll also feature our people – who we are, what we can share, what we hope to learn, and how we plan to use it. Any journalists or enthusiasts in the house? LOL
Looking forward to getting to know you and working with everyone.
See you at the Garden!
What has Ahwatukee Community Garden done for our community in the last 10 years?
The Ahwatukee Community Garden has given its participants a place to grow as friends and as gardeners. People come and go and come back after long absences. The most important thing that has grown here has been the community connections.
The garden has been in existence for nearly 10 years. In that time several areas have been developed. These include:
*a demonstration garden area with two communal raised beds, each 4' by 30'
*3 keyhole gardens based on a design for drought areas
*a native plant/ pollinator garden designed for children
*an urban orchard for fruit trees that are adapted to our region
*an herb spiral
*a contemplative area for people that is designed for pollinators like hummingbirds, monarchs butterflies and other creatures.
The keyholes are accessible to wheelchair- bound and elderly.
Eight separate Eagle Scout Projects have assisted in building many of these features.
We have also:
Provided supplemental greens to the local food bank.
Provided gardening advice in a column in the free neighborhood paper, at a table at the neighborhood Farmers’ Market and at seasonal presentations at our local branch library. weekly hands-on work sessions for gardeners of all ages, directed by University of Arizona Master Gardeners.
Promoted seed saving and sharing by maintaining The Rio Salado Seed Shed Library and conducting Seed Exchanges at the Ironwood Library.
Assisted the development of garden projects at the Pecos Senior Center, The Garden of ‘Eatin, a local preschool, and Colina Elementary School.
Given support to fellow gardeners resulting in 5 members completing the University of Arizona Extension Master Gardener program.
Held garden tours and workshops for children, aged 2-14, and adults.
Established a Little Free Library in our Children’s Garden. This was recently restocked and moved to a more easily accessed site , while still being housed in the Children’s Garden.
In the spring of 2018, we were able to erect and finish the garden shed. Funds from the 2016 and 2017 Seed Money campaigns,designs by ACGP (Ahwatukee Community Garden Project) gardeners, the building expertise of staff at the Ahwatukee Board of Management along with brawn from Mason Flowers and his Boy Scout troop all went to making this a proud moment for all involved.
In 2019, our designs for a small contemplative, wildflower filled seating area that connected the other gardens became a reality thanks to Seed Money funds and MacKenzie and his scout troop.
It is so satisfying to report each year the successes that Seed Money helped us accomplish. We are in a rebuilding phase for the coming days.
In 2021 we erected a screened hoop house to help control rodents and birds. We put up an owl house to assist in rodent control. In 2021 we began redoing our irrigation and will finish that project this year.
Please join us at the Ahwatukee Community Garden on Sundays from 8:00 - 9:00. Please see the Map page for directions. Newcomers are welcome. Help plant and weed and take home some garden produce! Here is what we're planting this month:
Ahwatukee Community Garden Beauty
I started coming to the Sunday gardening group in the fall of 2013. I've learned a lot and have forged new friendships with other earth lovers. Master Gardeners Linda and Bob have so much knowledge they freely give the rest of us! Bill and I became Master Gardeners as well in 2014 ~ Kelly Athena