Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Stretch

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We know the end of the semester stretch can be a huge push with papers, finals, projects, and holiday shopping.  When you need to get your mind off these items, please be sure to join us at the Public Health Garden (we'll be out there every Thurs. afternoon). 

Some great ways to relieve stress:
  • hauling soil,
  • cleaning up leaves,
  • winterizing the garden,
  • discussing sustainable agriculture,
  • sharing recipes with friends,
  • applying for leadership position in the garden :)
That last one didn't quite fit, but please stay tuned for leadership applications for the garden team!  We are going to be looking for folks who want to get more involved.

See you out there!  Good luck recovering from your Thanksgiving food coma.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Good Times at The View Cooking Demo

The Public Health Garden Gang, led by Ilona Holland and Eric Ruesch, had a fantastic time cooking at The View with Ziyad, Brian, Shane and all the residents who attended the demonstration on Thursday night. Check out pics from the event and of the following deliciousness on our Facebook page:
  • Asparagus wrapped in bacon with a balsamic/honey glaze
  • Italian style Bruschetta
  • Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Veggie Pasta with roasted Red Peppers
  • Pepper Flake, Sesame Seed and Parmesan Pasta
  • Honey and Basil drink

Monday, November 14, 2011

Compost This Week

Thanks for the Institute of Applied Agriculture's Ellen Polishuk (and a little help from Crystal at the campus farm), we will have a big pile of compost ready to move and mix into the raised beds during work hours this Thursday November 17, 2011.

As always, we will provide gloves and shovels and suggest you wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty. See you guys soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall/Winter Schedule Update: No Monday Hours

As we enjoy the fall and prepare for winter in the Public Health Garden, we are scaling back our regular work hours so that our student volunteers have time to prepare for their exams, papers, and projects that come with this time of year.

So, starting today, there will be no more Monday work hours in the garden this semester.

Please join us on Thursdays for work hours and regular planning meetings 5-7 pm.

Our SustainAPPLE Campus Community

Like the glorious moment of crawling into bed after a mid-summer, 14-hour day outside in the heat, this time of year is a welcome break for those of us in the business of growing (in this region, that is). With the peace of mind that garlic and cover crops will take over for the winter, our volunteers will help us with our last harvests in the coming weeks, and that our next grant proposal has been submitted, we are able to kick back and reflect on the wonder of our first growing season.

Sure, project progress is visible to passersby in the clean lines of the patio and carefully built cedar beds, but for those of us deeply invested in the mission of the garden, the real measure of progress takes a different form. That form recently came to our attention in the shape of an apple.

Symbolically, apples carry a long line of lure about health, knowledge, tradition and cultivation. Certain things are deemed "as American as apple pie." Some believe that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" while others associate the fruit with temptation, places in space and time, and a simple, healthy addition to school lunch.

For us, apples seemed like the perfect seasonal offering for our First Annual Harvest Festival. The day before the event, the whole garden gang was invited along on my family's annual October trip to Larriland Farms - which in and of itself was a magical realization that my family life and career path had officially merged to become a lifestyle rich in relationships, rooted in the same soil. Despite the pressure of midterms, deadlines and milestones still looming, project president Allison Lily (pictured) picked enough apples to fill baskets for the raffle and fill the bellies of festival attendees while I watched my little niece enjoy her first handfuls of apple fritters.

On the day of the festival, students and staff hung around eating apples. Delicious, raw, whole, freshly-picked apples. Sure, they weren't from our young apple trees on site - but someday they will be. And someday - perhaps even next year - the land in front of Eppley Recreation Center will transition from turf to the orchard of our dreams/blueprints. Our hillside apple trees will be the first of dozens in this particular corner of an edible campus and our garden gang will hand the land over to the next group of pioneering of Public Health Gardeners and sleep easy knowing we left this land far more productive than we found it.

What I'm trying to say is that the true fruits of are labor are only just beginning to reveal themselves. As proud as we are of the construction progress and yields of this first year, we are far more proud of the future and potential that this little patch of land will go on to provide. We truly believe that every student who participates in this living classroom will garner an appreciation for that which this university was originally founded: agriculture and the exchange of knowledge about it.

And who knows, maybe future University of Maryland students will even be able to bring home enough campus-fresh apples for Thanksgiving pies.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This is just the kind of deliciousness you can expect when you stop by and chat with the Public Health Garden gang! David McHale stopped by on October 31st, we sent him home with tons of tomatoes (some ripe, some still green) to encourage his love of cooking, and he sent us the following sweet email:

Oh my gosh these tomatoes are delicious. Mixed them in with a few from my yard, I can't wait until the rest ripen.


Maryland Outstanding Blog Awards

As the growing season comes to a close, Allison and Deb are headed back to the blogosphere to share everything they learned this growing season, try out recipes, examine kinks in our food system, and keep the agricultural conversations going. The Public Health Garden is happy to announce that both of their personal blogs as well as the blog you are reading right now are up for the Maryland Outstanding Blog Awards with The Baltimore Sun.

If you love this stuff as much as we do, please feel free to cast your votes for the blogs. Every page view, comment, 'like' and vote encourages us to continue posting. And speaking of posting, guest posts are still and always welcome on our blogs - especially this one!

Here are the links to vote:

Public Health Garden (Best New Blog)
Just Saying (Best Lifestyle Blog) (also up for Best Food Blog)

You can vote once per category per day through November 10th. 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Join us for garden hours tonight from 5-7!  Come by for a quick clean up in the garden, and perhaps even spreading a very, very late cover crop (who knows, perhaps some of the seeds will sprout?!). We will then go inside and hang out with cake to plan and catch up after all the craziness of Oct.

See you there.