We built an additional raised wicking bed to demonstrate growing food in the Courtyard Garden Patch. We had many more volunteers join our Mayo Gardens team than we have ever had before!
What challenges did or does your project face?
The initial proposal for this grant was to expand upon an area where 3rd graders planted 4 fruit tree guilds in the fall of 2016. We soon realized that water sourcing in this area is unreliable. The toughest plants survived! Part of the seedmoney went to lightweight hoses that students can carry to the area (it is a bit of a walk from the building) once the water became slightest more reliable. This is still an issue we are working on & adding a rain barrel may be a feasible solution as well as a great demonstration tool. We also faced issues of theft. We dealt with this by putting up signage & communicating with the neighborhood association. Over the summer, a dog waste station was donated to assist with the issue of a shared space & people not cleaning up after their dogs. A teacher donated beautiful sitting stumps from a fallen tree. Also, Margaritte Arthrell-Knezek taught her Outdoors after school class, Under the Canopy, last year & is continuing to teach this class this year. The class helps maintain the Food Forest area.
How are you working to overcome them?
-Dog waste station
-communication with neighbors
-continuing to enhance space & make more inviting
-compromise & place some of project in courtyard location instead
-expanding volunteer team
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Things don’t always go according to plan! Be flexible & work with your team to problem solve. Signage & communication are very important for dedicated garden spaces, especially in a shared (neighborhood/school) environment. Making the work fun & inviting helps recruit more volunteers & interested teachers/students & parents.