Sunday, March 11, 2012

Special Thanks to The Anacostia Watershed Society

As farmers and gardeners, we enter into spring not only with an elevated sense of joy for longer days, warmer temperatures and new growth but also with a heightened awareness that the same rain showers that will awaken our perennials have the capacity to wash precious nutrients and sediments away from our plots and into the waterways.

Last year, the Public Health Garden gang was so eager to start growing on the hillside that the majority of our rainwater management tactics were reactionary and admittedly haphazard. This year, we are starting off the season with a better understanding of the slope and landscape of our site and with the realization that until the formal rain garden construction is implemented, we are the stewards of this hillside farm and therefore equally as responsible for potential watershed pollution as we are for growing beautiful, edible plants.

Thanks to a pro-bono consultation with the Anacostia Watershed Society's Conservation Biologist, Jorge Bogantes Montero, we were able to determine what to plant where, where not to plant, and how to best manage our weed populations and rain water. We will be extending the capture of our silt fences, hand-pulling and solarizing the persistent Japanese honeysuckle, and transplanting cover-crops and beneficial flowers into carefully selected locations on our steepest hillsides.

Special thanks to:

Doug Lipton, Associate Professor and Program Leader, Sea Grant Programs, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Jim Foster, President of the Anacostia Watershed Society
Jorge Bogantes Montero, Conservation Biologist, Anacostia Watershed Society
Carin Celebuski, University of Maryland Arboretum Outreach Coordinator

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