Saturday, March 28, 2009

Food and Farming Updates

Bob Ogden sent me the following e-mails:

March 28:
Hi Jennifer, Just wanted to update you on the progress of the community garden. I met with Don Jones, City Mayor a few days ago and he is glad to help us get started. He agreed to have the city install a water meter, a water line running the length of the site, and several faucets for our use, at no cost to the group. We will however, be responsible for the water bill. We need to think about fund raising in the very near future to cover expenses.

The first meeting of the people interested in the community garden was held last night at the Senior Center. On very short notice, we had a small, but motivated group of people who had a lot of great ideas. We decided to call the group Sonnenschein Community Garden. We are looking for someone to plow up part of the site (after the water lines are put in) for the start up beds, and the rest to sow in a cover crop for green manure for use as we expand. We talked about open pollinated seeds, heirloom varieties and the dangers of genetically modified seed. We will meet again on the night of April 2nd at 6pm at the Senior Center. I will meet with the mayor Monday afternoon to talk with him and the water supervisor, Bobby McCann about putting in the water system.

PS: We ordered a copy of the film, "The Future Of Food" today. We are anxious to share it with the group. We will let you know when it comes in, so you can check it out.

Anyway, we are on our way to really having a community garden in Hohenwald!
Talk to you later, Bob & Sara Ogden and Leila Oertel

March 14:
Just wanted to bring you up to date on what's going on with the Community Garden project. Terry Bunch, the Director for the Housing Authority, has offered us the use of a two acre lot. It is located next to the Highland Retreat Academy, across from the Ambulatory Care Center. The Academy has a greenhouse right next door and the Principal, June Defoe, seemed excited to help us and said we may be able to start seedlings in their greenhouse. It is likely that we'll get the kids involved with the garden. The land is level, has roads on two sides, water is available by setting a meter. Bob will contact the city about that Monday. Terry also took us out to see another piece of land behind the housing project on the other end of town, back east of High Forest Hardware that is available. Jerry Risner of Buffalo Valley also donated some land that we could use for another garden site. We personally thought the property next to the Highland Retreat Academy is perfect for our project, but it is always nice to have more options. Check it out and let us know what you think.

We are meeting with John Mast, an organic farmer and some of his friends, along with David Mitzel and Leila Oertel Tuesday night at 6pm at the school house by the Yoder Market to discuss a Farmers Market for Hohenwald. If anyone from the group wants to join us, we would be happy to have their input. Things seem to be starting to click for the project, so we are hopeful.

Next week, we will be making phone calls to scout out a place for the Community Garden group to meet and brainstorm ideas. We were thinking about the Senior Citizen Center because the Garden Club meets there already, and they also have a nice big kitchen area that would work well for the Community Kitchen projects. Bob just got off the phone with Mike Sheth, who is very enthusiastic about the Community Garden. He said that he wouldn't be able to physically participate in the garden, but that he would like to help out financially to get it started.

We will be at the County Commissioners meeting Monday night to show support for the proclamation put before the commissioners.

Talk to you soon, Bob & Sara Ogden and Leila Oertel.