Trustees March Gardeners' Gazette


Sarah Hutt
 

To all
Below is the Trustees monthly newsletter for community gardens.  


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A Message from Vidya Tikku, Director
Happy March everyone! I am really looking forward to kicking off the spring yet again with all of you at the virtual Gardeners' Gathering with Council President and incoming Mayor Janey (details below)! I imagine, more than any other year, that we are all SO ready to dig in and get started. I won't be surprised if some of us have our garden mapped out for the whole year ahead already! I also want to share updates on our plans this spring for the Trustees' Mobile Market and the waterfront park project in East Boston. Please reach out to me with any ideas or questions you have on these initiatives. 

In anticipation that the Covid vaccine will allow for safer gatherings this year, we plan to resume our Mobile Markets this June and run through winter 2021-22. We'll operate these five days a week, at two Boston sites (to be determined) each day. The vast majority of our customers will continue to pay using the HIP benefit provided to SNAP/EBT users. Most of these HIP customers will be members of our CSA program. Recipe cards and produce choices each week will continue to be translated into the customers’ languages, including Cantonese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Vietnamese and Bengali. We plan to have between 400 and 500 CSA members in the coming season. Details here

Meanwhile, over in Eastie, the Trustees Boston Waterfront Initiative team is working with landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., on a community design process for the future Piers Park III. Meetings with neighborhood groups began this past fall, and two public input sessions were hosted by The Trustees in mid-January. Now, a new community survey and feedback board are online, and open to residents of all neighborhoods. What would you like to see at the future waterfront park? Voice your opinions, ideas, and questions here, or register for our March public input sessions.
Something for Everyone at the Gardeners' Gathering
Michelle de Lima, Engagement Manager

Skill-building workshops are the backbone of the Gardeners’ Gathering. This year’s virtual lineup will feature garden basics for the many new gardeners who started last spring and summer: seed starting; composting; and how to save your own seeds. More advanced workshops will include no-till gardening, building your own self watering containers, pollinator gardens, and how to grow and use medicinal herbs. Young people from The Food Project will show participants how to build and plant raised bed gardens. For those looking to start a community garden, Shani Fletcher from the City of Boston’s Grassroots program will walk them through that process and share what resources the City has available. A Nipmuc farmer will present on Growing My Ancestors' Seedsand veteran community gardeners will share their tips on growing crops that are important to their culture and family history, including okra, callaloo, and sweet potatoes. 

Several sessions will focus on how gardens can be hubs for community organizing, activism, and mutual aid. Eastie Farm will highlight how they mobilize their site for meal distribution, community resources and advocacy efforts. Representatives from different community gardening organizations in New York will speak to how they’ve activated their gardens not just for growing food and building community among gardeners, but also channeling that into broader action on social and environmental justice. An interactive discussion led by two experienced urban growers and educators from Boston will focus on how we can activate our city’s community gardens as hubs for social change. 

Free Registration for the Gathering
City Natives Spring Highlights
Jordan Takvorian, Steward
Spring has nearly sprung and seed sowing is well under way at City Natives Nursery. As usual we’re offering an amazing selection of heirloom and hybrid veggies, gorgeous greens, annual flowers, and of course our top-notch collection of pollinator-friendly native plants. Garden supplies will be available as well including season extension kits, rabbit repellant, organic fertilizer, and more. There are too many interesting options to share, but a few of our favorites that we’re looking forward to this year include an Iraqi heirloom watermelon called Ali Baba notable for its sweet and luscious flavor, and crisp, fresh texture. Our collection of hot peppers is almost too hot to handle with some of the hottest peppers in the world, including Ghost peppers and Carolina Reaper. There’s no shame in sticking to the milder Jalapeño or even a sweet pepper like the beautiful golden Escamillo which is a delicious Italian frying pepper. If your New Years Resolution involved increasing leafy greens into your diet you simply must try Senposai, a delicious fast-growing Asian green that is a cross between komatsuna and cabbage.
 
For native perennials, we’re well-stocked in all your favorites including multiple species of coneflowers, pollinator favorites like mountain mint, milkweeds, and asters, as well as some unusual species like Orbexilum that attracts multiple species of butterflies and bees with its light purple, lupine-like flowers.
Shop Plants Now
Trustees Garden Coordinators: Save the Date for our Spring Meeting! April 15th. Keep an eye on your inbox for the invite.

Join the team! The Trustees Boston Waterfront Initiative is expanding its outreach and looking for a Seasonal Part Time Outreach Coordinator. Click here to view the job description and apply.
Upcoming Virtual Events

45th Annual Gardeners Gathering - March 20-22

The Secret Lives of Bees - March 25

DIY Mason Bee House - March 27

On Belonging in Outdoors Spaces Speaker Series - March 10 - June 2

Backyard Chickens Virtual Workshop  April 3

Intro to Container Gardening Workshop - April 7

No-Till Gardening Workshop - April 17

Drinks Shoots & Leaves Mixology - April 29
 
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