We’re two weeks in, after faring an especially chilly Opening Day. Missoulian gardeners are tough cookies, they took the cold winds in stride, showing up smiling and ready to dig into the season (no pun intended ;). Take a gander at your hardy selves below, and pat your backs on a such a successful start!
Whether you’re a new or returning gardener, it can be challenging to get back in the swing of things, especially after the distressingly long winter we’ve endured. But fear not, we’re here to help. Attend the Gardening 101 & Planning Workshop tomorrow, from 6:00 – 7:30, led by gardening-extraordinaire Patrick (our Community Garden Operations Coordinator)! Patrick will cover the basics, leaving you feeling ready and confident to dig in. The workshop will be held at the Providence St. Patrick Hospital healing garden, located at 902 N Orange St behind the Providence Surgery Center (Here’s a map).
P.S. – it’s free! We hope to see you all there!
Also, check out these other gardening opportunities throughout the season. Keep checking the blog, our Facebook page and website, as well as your email and garden blackboards for additional events.
And remember, April showers bring May flowers… and besides, what’s better than a nice shower followed by a bask in the sun, all in the same hour?
Get those calendars out everyone! Garden City Harvest is hosting some noteworthy events in the upcoming months…
1. This Friday, 8/5, Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Garden City Harvest are hosting a First Friday event at the Providence Hospital Garden! There will be live music by Ali Solomon, displays by local artist Candice Haster, refreshments and garden grown treats. It’s sure to be a good time.
When: This Friday, 8/5, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Where: The Providence Hospital Garden behind the Providence Center, 902 N. Orange St. (Map)
What: First Friday Party!
2. It’s our 20th anniversary and we’re celebrating at the FarmParty! The freshest party of the summer is going all out this year. That means Bernice’s Bakery cupcakes, for one.
And our usual farm fresh meal, made with love in the Garden City by the PEAS Farm summer school with help from UM Catering. Also includes burgers from Lifeline Dairy!
We will have wine, beer, and root beer for sale. Thanks to Draught Works Brewery supplying us with beer and root beer! Live music includes Shakewell and the Local Yokels.
What: Farm Party! The freshest party of the summer! Tickets: Adults, $18/advance or $25/door, Kids, $8/advance or $10/door. Buy tickets in advance HERE.
3.Seasonal cooking classes from around the world! Tired of stir-fries and garden salads? Diversify your seasonal cooking repertoire in this around the world cooking series. Learn just how easy it is to use seasonal produce in different types of cuisines.
Learn one cuisine or travel the world in the whole series: Wednesday, August 10th – Spring Rolls Wednesday, August 17th – Tikki Masala Wednesday, August 24th – Homemade Tortillas Wednesday, August 31st – Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
When: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM Where: Orchard Gardens Community Barn, 210 N. Grove St. (Map) Cost: $20 per class /$70 all four classes
Space is limited! Register in advance by calling Emy at 406.233.9396 or email email@example.com. *Please let us know if you have any food allergies.
About your instructor: Rachele is a certified chef with the American Culinary Federation and a graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the University of Montana. When she isn’t cooking, she’s busy tending her garden at the Orchard Gardens Community Garden, where she serves as a leadership committee member.
The Providence Hospital Garden is a special aspect of the community garden program at Garden City Harvest. Patrick and I, as Community Garden Coordinators, have the unique opportunity of planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting fruits, veggies and herbs for this therapeutic space. The garden is intended for the use of patients in recovery; and we get to witness patients practicing rehabilitation in this space almost daily. The garden is also intended for the use of Missoula community members, and I find that few know this special resource exists. Although I spend many working hours at the hospital garden, on weekends I’ve found myself bringing lunch or coffee and a book, picking bouquets of flowers, and meeting friends there to catch up. It is perhaps my favorite shared place in Missoula.
Some background on how this space came to be:
In 2014, Garden City Harvest and Providence St. Patrick Hospital/Foundation agreed to partner in building a therapeutic community garden intended for Providence Center patients, staff and the greater Missoula community. Garden City Harvest staff worked with Green Path Herb School to choose native perennial plants, such as lamb’s ear, lavender, mint and thyme, among others, that entice the senses and offer a place for healing and recovery. Nine raised beds line the inner portion of the garden, planted with a variety of fruit and veggie crops. The veggie beds yield around 1,500 pounds of produce per season, which is donated to the Missoula Food Bank and others in need.
A typical day at the Providence Garden ~ Harvesting Garlic Tutorial Part I:
It’s that time of year for harvesting your long-awaited garlic. Today, Patrick and I harvested the garlic at the Providence Garden. Here’s a step by step guide for harvesting your own garlic –
When the top of your garlic looks like this, i.e. dried and yellow, you know it’s time to harvest.
Harvesting is pretty simple, gently pull your garlic bulbs out of the ground and shake off the dirt. Try not to disrupt the roots too much, there’s no need to clean your garlic prior to drying.3. Bundle your garlic in groups of five or six and hang-dry them in a semi-aerated place such as a shed or back porch. An ideal temperature for drying garlic is around 80 degrees.4. Let your garlic hang for at least two weeks. In a few weeks I’ll post Part II which will continue instructions for harvesting garlic.
Emy & Patrick, just a couple o’ garlic-heads.
Make sure to come visit this hidden garden-gem located behind the Providence Center, on the corner of N. 3rd and Ryman Streets.
Don’t miss these upcoming events at the Providence Garden!
– Learn how to grow, harvest and use herbs. Join Northside Community Garden leader, Sarah Johnson, for an Herb workshop next Thursday, 7/21, 5:30 – 6:30 at the Providence Garden.
– Don’t miss our First Friday Event (7/5) at the Providence Garden. Refreshments, garden-grown foods, live music by Ali Solomon, local art by Candice Haster and more, will all be waiting for you. August 5th, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
Welp, this is the last official week of the 2015 community garden season – Closing Day is Saturday, October 24. Despite an early start to the growing season this year, it still seemed to fly by (although I’m still playing a game of chicken with our first hard frost. I think I can still get one more week out of my tomatoes…).
2015 was a great season that really put the “community” in community gardening:
We built a brand new garden, with lots of help from Nature’s Best landscaping company, in the Rose Park/Slant Street neighborhood that was so popular it still has a waiting list! Read more about it here.
The Providence Garden now has a whole year under its belt. More and more St. Pat’s patients and staff were able to use the garden as a therapeutic space, and we donated over 1,200 pounds of produce harvested from the garden to the Food Bank. We even had a garden party to celebrate!
Leadership committee members mingled and learned about other gardens during two community garden tours.
Lots of corn, potatoes, squash, raspberries and strawberries were communally maintained and harvested from community plots. (There are also rumors of gardeners growing 500 pounds of produce between two garden plots.)
Perhaps most importantly, over 350 Missoulians were able to grow their own food in community garden plots around Missoula, and hopefully they learned something new, had fun, and made friends while doing it!
Amidst these great happenings, we still had the usual unpleasant smattering of vegetable theft, vandalism, and unrelenting weeds. It’s always hard to see the fruits of your labor smashed, disappear, or be smothered by the infamous bindweed and purslane. Sometimes fences, timely harvests, gardener presence and garden signs just aren’t enough. If you have any tips on ways to further prevent these unpleasant occurrences, please do share! After all, overcoming these struggles together is part of what makes communities of gardeners stronger.
This was my first season working as the community gardens volunteer coordinator, and it will also be my last. I’m quite sad to be leaving such a great organization and program, but at the same time I’m excited to start a new position as the Food Access Program Coordinator with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition. I’ll be working on ways to improve the accessibility and affordability of local foods for community members with low incomes. I had a great summer getting to know and work with leadership committee members and gardeners, and look forward to seeing you all around town!
Before we officially close down the season, all of our leadership committee members, garden mentors, and community gardeners deserve a huge THANK YOU for all your hard work in making this another successful year. (That doesn’t quite do it, but hopefully you feel the love and appreciation!)
Here’s to a great season in 2015 and even more bountiful gardens in 2016!