Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Arboretum Walk: Edibles in the Landscape

Who: The University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden in collaboration with UM Landscape Architect Bobby Tjaden (who also happens to be the Public Health Garden Construction Manager)

What: A guided, educational and awe-inspiring tour of our student teaching and community garden ripe with ideas for experiential education on public health issues. The garden, which has become a central meeting point and community building tool, demonstrates sustainable agriculture and environmental best practices, exemplifies the value of environmental stewardship, encourages physical activity and a balanced diet, and serves as a living classroom for faculty, staff and students. .

When: Wednesday September 28, 2011 12:00pm-12:45pm

Where: On site at the Public Health Garden, of course! Meet on the upper terrace - between Eppley Recreation Center and the School of Public Health

Why: Because edible landscapes and living classrooms are an integral part of our future!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Monday Volunteer Hours @ 3:30pm

In order to maximize attendance, our Monday volunteer hours will now begin at 3:30pm (instead of 1:00pm). We've got lots of brainstorming to do about cover crops, erosion control and what to plant in our ADA accessible community beds so come on down and share your thoughts!

Beds Built

Woo hooooo!! After five hours on site with tons of hard-working volunteers, five of six beds are built and roughly sanded. The last bed will be built once the rain garden portion of the site is constructed. There aren't enough bagels and cream cheese in the world to thank everyone who came out and helped us this morning. Thanks again, folks.

See all our fun pictures from today and many other days on our Facebook and Flickr pages.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Everybody Eats Food

Check out the article today in the Diamondback by Ben Simon, a UMD senior government and politics major. In it he writes: "I am urging you to give growing your own food a shot." We couldn't agree more! 

Come on out to the Public Health Garden and take some food home with you.

Thanks to the Diamondback for your continued support.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Come Help Us With Constructi​on

UMD: If you have skills with power tools and have some of your own (or a friend that meets either of these criteria), please come help us in the Public Health Garden this Sunday. We are hoping to finish building three of the beds in our upper terrace. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Here are the details:
  • What: Construction Sunday in the garden to build three of the raised garden beds
  • When: Sunday Sep. 25 8 am - 12:30 pm
  • Where: Public Health Garden at UMD (between Eppley Rec Center and School of Public Health)
  • Bonus: Breakfast and lunch provided, as well as any veggies from the garden we can harvest! Plus the satisfaction of a wonderful job done to help us get closer to our goals in the garden!
You must RSVP (email: publichealthgarden@gmail.com) to let us know if you will be coming and if you have tools to bring along so that our construction manager can plan our activities and we can plan for how much food we need to have available.

"Terps Leave Small Footprints"

The new PHG sign! In the lower right-hand corner of the photo, you can see the back of the sign: evidence of it's re-purpose from a Maryland highway. Pretty cool, huh?

Office of Sustainability Info Fair

While an incredible group of PHG volunteers prepared garden beds for fall planting, a few of our executive team members got to attend the Office of Sustainability Info Fair and swap stories and experiences with fellow and future Sustainability Fund grant recipients.

In 2010, 30 proposals were submitted for funding and the Public Health Garden grant, written by Rachel Tennant and supported by Glori Hyman of the Institute of Applied Agriculture, was one of nine to receive funding. Today, the students, faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly on their respective projects got together to celebrate their steps towards a sustainable campus and offer advice on the grant-writing process. After remarks from the Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Council, recipients were awarded certificates (printed on re-purposed manila folders) and new project signage (mounted on re-purposed aluminum road signs from Maryland highways).

Visit the Office of Sustainability website to learn about the green fund projects currently underway as well as how to get involved with the 2011-12 grant process.

Fun at the First Look Fair

Special thanks to each and every one of the volunteers, team members and supporters who helped promote the Public Health Garden at the University's First Look Fair last week. Our group is growing fast and we can't wait to meet all our new recruits!

Friday, September 16, 2011

When life gives you water, make watermelons!

Happy Friday! If only we had this glorious weather yesterday during volunteer hours, huh?

Lucky for us, a few volunteers braved the chilly rain last night and helped us get some herbs in the ground, solidify some plans for the next cultivated areas, and find good homes for our harvest.

Special thanks to Brendan and Russell for their extraordinary interest, enthusiasm and hard work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carpenters, come on down!

If you've got wood-working skills or an interest in acquiring them, we'd love a little extra help building the rest of the raised beds Thursday evening (September 14, 2011) during regular volunteer hours (5:00pm to sunset). The sooner they are structurally sound, the sooner we can fill them with locally produced compost and get a whole new set of fall crops growing.

New volunteers: Please arrive on site ten minutes early to review our safety rules and sign the volunteer waiver.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PHG Took 2nd Place at Colonnade Society Event

Yippee!! We had an incredible time with the Colonnade Society Members and Guests, University President Wallace Loh, Ted Leonsis and all the inspirational folks we had the honor of mingling with last night and throughout the months leading up to this event.

Find photos of the event on our Facebook page and stay tuned for upcoming posts sharing what we learned about the importance of philanthropy, leadership the pursuit of happiness in business and in life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Volunteer Hours Today 1pm - 3pm

Come on over and help us pull all the Yellow Nutsedge that popped up over the weekend!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Seedlings!

We are so thrilled to have cleared two new plots for our fall planting.  We pulled out some of the remaining squash and melons, as well as some sunflowers to make room for greens like mustard and kale.

As our babies grow, we are thinking of making new signs to help remind visitors not to step on the plants as they come up out of the ground.  Here is an example of a great sign from Arcadia, a wonderful farm in Virginia. 

Learn more about our recent visit to Arcadia on sister-blog Adventures in Container Gardening.  

Start thinking about more ideas for fall planting, because we are going to be very busy this Monday during work hours from 1-3 pm.  With all the rain we got last week, there are plenty of weeds that need to be taken out and two more plots that need to be prepared for fall. 

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rainbows Ahead

We here at the Public Health Garden aren't letting the weather slow us down. For every melon bursting from the record-breaking rainfall, we appear to have a new volunteer bursting with enthusiasm and energy for the garden and all that it represents.

Special thanks and welcomes to Al, Brendan, Eric, Joan, Leslie, Russel and everyone else who braved the scattered thunderstorms to attend volunteer hours tonight. Although we were all washed off the hill a little early, we had the wonderful opportunity to get to know our new recruits and understand their goals in and out of the garden. We also got to chat about the past, present and future of farming, the growing local food movement on campus, and the health and well-being that flourishes in a community garden. Good times!

Two Beds Built

Construction Manager Bobby Tjaden and Founding President Rachel Tennant put in a little overtime last week (in between weather catastrophes) to get the second of six raised beds put together.

Within the next few weeks, we look forward to working with our growing student volunteer force to get the remainder of the beds built. Three of the beds will serve as a living classroom for the Institute of Applied Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture course with Ellen Polishuk this fall while the others will provide ADA accessible community bed space.

Can't wait to see what grows!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

No work hours today .  Enjoy the holiday and look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Yes, that is an American Flag made from fruit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday Night on Site

We had such a lovely volunteer turnout this week we were able to complete weekly pest management, scheduled watering AND get new seeds into the soil before the holiday weekend! Not to mention, we had lots of fun in the process. Special thanks to Tyson Barker for helping us turn over soil to prepare the new beds for seeds; to Ali, Caitlin, Cora, Danielle, Kathryn, Russel and Sean for yanking a ton of weeds from the hillsides and working on the layout of the (future) beds of greens; and to everyone for bringing such positive, productive, enthusiastic and nurturing support to the group and garden.

As always, you can see all our pictures and follow the garden's progress on our Facebook and Flickr pages. Feel free to join and post your own too!

Volunteers from The View!

After a great night on site building beds with volunteers, the Public Health Garden Girls spent the latter part of Thursday night serving locally grown veggies, in the form of Israeli Salad and Beet Cake, and recruiting new volunteers (and Facebook 'likes') at "The View," a student-filled apartment complex nearly on campus.

Both delicious dishes were gobbled up by new and returning students. Some returning for salad again and again! Quite a few students had heard about the garden, the goats, or "been wondering what was happening on the hillside by the gym." Just as many stopped in to chat about their interests and majors pertaining to food, the food system, environmental science, conservation, agriculture, health, wellness and community.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone again at our upcoming volunteer hours (Mondays: 1:00-300pm and Thursdays 5:00-7:00pm).

Reminder to visitors who expressed interest in a position on our executive team: Send us your contact information via email to publichealthgarden@gmail.com with the subject line: LEADERSHIP TEAM APPLICANT