A Message from Vidya Tikku, General Manager
As our staff and volunteers are eagerly gearing up for the coming spring, I wish us all to embrace and celebrate our role as leaders in the neighborhoods of Boston. Together, we will look to provide nearly twelve thousand people with access to fresh food across our fifty-six gardens and supplement many family food budgets. We will welcome approximately a quarter million people into our gardens, providing refuge and much needed open space, opportunities to connect people with each other and building and strengthening friendships and families. We will bring color and beauty into our neighborhoods. We will volunteer thousands of hours to ensure Boston has a thriving network of community gardens, engaging nearly fifteen thousand people with skill building workshops and family fun events. Thirteen gardens will receive significant and much needed infrastructure upgrades, in addition to our weekly maintenance efforts across each garden. We'll welcome diverse cultures into our gardens and swap tomato secrets, plants, and recipes.
We are successful because we are not a group of individual leaders, but a community of committed individuals who are building and managing innumerable relationships, building consensus one day at a time. Our mission grows stronger, thanks to your leadership.
Want to share your gardening and/or program planning and outreach skills? We’re looking for aGarden Coordinator for our Blue Cross Blue Shield workplace gardens as well as a Program Coordinator for our summer programs in the gardens. We’d love for you to apply or spread the word!
The Making of a Community Garden Film
Wednesday, February 27 | 6:30-8:30PM
More Than Words Bookstore | 242 East Berkeley Street, South End
Meet the gardeners and filmmaker who are working together on a documentary about Boston’s community gardens, and see the work in progress. You can help us make the movie by dreaming up a title and maybe even recording your own community garden story! Enjoy locally sourced appetizers, beer, and wine. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets include food and one drink, and all proceeds support Trustees Boston Community Gardens.
Start Your Own Seeds
Wednesday, March 6 | 6-7:30PM
Trustees Boston Office | 200 High Street, 4th Floor
We'll cover best practices and equipment, discuss common problems, and get our hands dirty starting a few seeds to take home.
Fruit and Nut Tree Pruning
Saturday, March 16 | 10AM-12:30PM
Southwest Corridor Community Farm | 57 Lamartine Street, JP
Come learn the theory behind fruit and nut tree pruning and practice making cuts. This workshop, the first in our season-long Urban Orchard Stewardship series, will give you the confidence to return to your trees and prune them properly.
Saturday, March 23 | 10AM-5PM
Shillman Hall & the Egan Center, Northeastern University
The 44th Annual Gardeners' Gathering brings Boston-area gardeners together for a free day full of informative workshops, exhibitors & more. Details below.
What’s New at the Gardeners’ Gathering
– Michelle de Lima, Engagement Manager
The Gardener’s Gathering will be as chock full of garden skill-building and networking opportunities as ever, but this year’s conference will also include a focus on the role that individual gardeners and community green spaces can play in making Boston more resilient in the face of climate change. We’re excited to welcome Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, to kick off this year’s opening plenary at 10:45 in Northeastern University’s Egan Center. Aziz is an activist, community organizer, former organic farmer, and a tireless member of #Resist. He has worked for many social and environmental organizations including Mother Jones, The Coalition for the Homeless, The Fortune Society, and Peace Action Network of NY. Aziz’s address will look at community gardens in NYC through the lens of social justice and climate change protection. He describes NYC’s community gardens as “living symbols of unity built by neighbors who joined together to turn abandoned, trash-strewn lots into vibrant community oases” and as “resilient, cost-effective neighborhood-based sources of sustainable food production.”
Exciting new workshops include Co-Exist: Gardening with Wildlife in Mind and Garden based Lesson Planning for Children. Those looking to learn to start a community garden, access funding for open space projects, or just make their own sauerkraut will all be in luck!
Sign up to volunteer at the Gathering.
Praying Mantids in the Gardens
– Jordan Takvorian, Steward
In the depths of winter with the leaves all fallen to the ground, one can finally better see the branching structure of trees and shrubs. An astute eye is bound to also find other alluring curiosities tucked away, including egg cases left by a mother praying mantids in the fall. Attached to bark, vines, or other plant material left to overwinter, the cases are hardened, grey, approximately 1-inch spheres. As the stronger light of Spring warms the egg case, a voracious army of up to 200 babies emerge all at once. They are both carnivorous and, if no other food is present, cannibalistic. Immediately they set forth in search of living prey. Although they are useful in killing some of the more detrimental insects in the garden such as aphids, they do not discriminate and will eat beneficial insects as well. Just this week we found 5 egg cases on an arbor at the Joe Ciampa Garden in East Boston and will be keeping an eye for the adults out on the hunt this summer, like the one we photographed in Roxbury’s Northampton Community Garden.
Winter in Our Gardens & Parks
– Jeremy Dick, Stewardship Manager
In addition to snow clearing, Jordan and I have focused on routine maintenance of parks, shrub pruning, and tree work. We removed a number of larger weed trees from Monadnock, Minton Stable, and Lenox & Kendall community gardens, and processed the trunk sections into firewood. Two overgrown hedges were removed from the Joe Ciampa Community Garden, as well as a duplicitous chain link fence that was harboring weed tree and vines. We also stooled a long row of yellow twig dogwoods at the Berkeley Community Garden, with the goal of rejuvenating them for the spring. The brush generated from tree and shrub pruning projects in the gardens is chipped at City Natives, with the resulting chips used as mulch in various gardens. Leaves like those from Erie Green, pictured here, are stockpiled for fueling the City Natives compost heater this spring.
Please report your garden’s volunteer hours so we can record your hard work.
Email jdick@... or mdelima@....