SHUFG hosted two educational gardening workshops this season in our new shelter and two pop-up farmer's markets. We were able to provide two teens with part time summer employment. We also had our first restaurant customer. A local Bistro sponsored two beds and received an entire summer of Swiss Chard, peppers, brussel sprouts , kale, and misc. veggies. The Chard was particularly prolific and resulted in 10 or more pounds of greens to the restaurant per week. from June to August.
What challenges did or does your project face?
We continue to be challenged to make the transition from community garden to urban farm. We have land we have not yet been unable to get under cultivation due to the volunteer nature of most of the participants and supporters.
In addition, the season got off to a slow start due to poor weather in the spring.
How are you working to overcome them?
We continue to pursue grant dollars to invest in infrastructure. Now that our educational shelter is completed, next projects including leveling and plowing half an acre of open ground that has tested as clean soil. We would also like to construct a hoop house on an additional vacant lot currently not being used. This would enable volunteers to extend our season, especially this would reduce our vulnerability to late springs.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
We learned that the neighbors really appreciated the pop-up markets and would like a more consistent schedule.