Monday, February 28, 2011

Super Saturday Work Party

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to join our first work party of the year this past Saturday February 26th. Over 20 volunteers including community gardeners, community members, and Vestal parents helped to spread compost and mulch, weed all of the garden beds, and build a 3-bin compost system. Now the garden is ready for spring planting and Vestal students are eager to start growing their own vegetables.
We built our 3-bin compost system using recycled wood pallets and these great instructions from the South Whidbey Good Cheer Garden blog. This type of compost system is extremely inexpensive, easy to build, and can be taken apart and moved if needed.
Thanks again to all of our wonderful volunteers!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Plant Starts Thanks to Annie's

In preparation for our 2011 planting, several classes at Vestal have started seeds indoors. Seeds are planted in plastic flats and placed under grow lights. In March the plant starts can be moved out to the garden. Students researched a certain type of vegetable plant, including lettuce, cabbage, and arugula, learning how the plants grows best and how it can be used. Once the plant starts are ready to be planted outside, classes will exchange plant starts along with the research they have put together. Vestal students are sharing their gardening knowledge with one another and also helping to ensure that there is a variety of plant starts for the garden.

A special thanks to Annie's Homegrown for their generous contribution to our plant starts through their Grants for Gardens program.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Garden Party- Saturday February 26th

Join us on Saturday February 26th from 10am to Noon in the Vestal Community Garden to finish readying the garden for spring planting.

We will be spreading compost and woodchips, building a 3-bin compost system, and painting picnic tables. This is a great way to visit our site and learn about our plans for a bountiful year. No gardening experience needed. We will supply tools and snacks.

The Vestal Community Garden is located at 161 NE 82nd Avenue. Questions? Contact Laura Benjamin, Garden Coordinator at 503-916-6437 or

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let it rain!

Thanks to a generous grant from Vision into Action, the Vestal Community Garden now has a rainwater catchment system. In the Northwest we are blessed with a lot of annual rainfall, but unfortunately most of it ends up going down the drain. By creating a rain water catchment system, we can use our stored water during the summer and drier months. Gutters and downspouts were installed on the tool shed roof. Rain will fall on the roof and into the gutters and collect in two 120 gallon barrels. We will use the collected water on the native plant hedgerow that separates the school and community garden plots. Our new rain water catchment system also provides Vestal School with great opportunities to measure rainfall and learn about watershed health.

If you would like to learn more about rain water catchment systems, take a look at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's website.