We have rebuilt and improved upon our garden's hoophouse, making it more stable, larger, more organized and with easier watering options. We have also improved other irrigation & watering materials. We have planted 25+ trees in 2019 in our community food forest. We have added needed shade structures and a better covered harvest area for our garden, necessary for garden safety in our climate. We have also recently added a Little Free Library to our garden where cooking, gardening, soil health and similar books are available along with other literature. In 2019 we expanded our youth garden camps adding an additional day camp in February and an additional summer camp in June, and we have greatly expanded our school connections, having multiple garden field trips from school children so far this year.
What challenges did or does your project face?
We are currently facing a challenge in the form of extreme heat. We have had many days in a row over the past few weeks with heat advisories, and heat indexes well over 110 degrees F. This makes it both hard to keep the plants healthy and well watered and dangerous to work outside for prolonged periods for our staff/volunteers/guests. We also need a better system for keeping our materials area well organized and pleasing to look at for the neighborhood.
How are you working to overcome them?
We are watering at the base of plants and keeping areas well mulched to retain water in this heat. We are also trying to move our garden work to early mornings or evenings when the heat is less dangerous. We are currently looking for funding to improve our materials area.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
We designed a new hoophouse structure that is more stable and has more room than our previous structure while also being able to be constructed on site with volunteers and no electricity on site. Many people came to learn about the design and how it was put together with a goal to build similar structures at their own locations.