Random gardening post

Over on the main In Shaw site there is an announcement for an urban gardening class offered by Shaw Eco-village. Thought I’d just mention that.
There is probably a lot one can learn about urban gardening, but currently I’m okay with my general gardening knowledge. Besides, with the upcoming construction and being out of the house* my gardening will be next to nada this Spring. I’m just letting the mint go wild, and seeing what ever I planted do its thing. Maybe some container gardening. I’m not going to be very aggressive about it, not like last year.
There are some things I’d like to know about my urban garden that I wouldn’t learn in the class. Like is there really lead in my soil? When I talk to others and mention my gardening theme of ‘if I can’t eat it, I ain’t growing it,’ someone eventually brings up the worry about stuff in the soil. Considering the soil was a big patch of clay when I got it, and I added a lot to it in the following years. What is on the top should be all the Home Depot purchased top-soil, peat moss, sand, fertilizer and my own compost. I guess the possible lead should have washed out of the soil by now or absorbed by the plants that I pulled out when moving in. But I would like to take the guess to a knowing and have the soil tested, so I know that I’m right.
How’s the garden now? Well a few days ago I wandered out to the back yard and grabbed some Spring onions growing in an Earthbox that I planted in fall. They are looking well and I used three of them to make a nice onion wine sauce for a bit of fried trout. In other pots the alpine strawberry has some green leaves, as does the oregano, and the mint. I’ll probably need to divide the roots and repot them. The laurel bay is dead. From what I can tell it was killed by too many freezing days. I’ll leave it alone, maybe it will spring back. There are some chives that have popped out in the window box that I think I seeded in Fall. Last year’s thyme and sage are chugging along in the window boxes as well. I’ve used the thyme all year, and it’s been okay. However, I look forward to more mint for the mojitos.

*Got housing in a undisclosed TC location. I’ll stay there until one of the owners’ pets decides that I gotsta go. Then it may be followed by crashing in Hyattsville or CH.

BAA meeting TODAY

| Blagden Alley Association |
| Monthly Meeting |
| |
| THURSDAY, March 22, 2007 |
| 7:30-9:00 pm |
| Steve and Kristi’s |
| 915 M Street, NW |

The newsletter is at


1. Local house price talk.
With Elizabeth Blakeslee and Connie Maffin.
Industry numbers, and what’s selling and what’s not.
2. A bit Ninth Street history and upcoming banners:
Main Streets’ Design Committee Chair Brent Kruse.
3. Police.
4. More. A lot more.

Edible Urban Garden Class

Course Description

Introduction to Urban Edible Gardens — Gardening as if your meals depend on it.

April 6- April 8, 2007. Washington D.C.

Learn to garden organically in an urban environment. This hands-on and intensive two and a half day workshop will teach you how to grow a variety of food in your urban yard (or patio). Taking into account all the obstacles an urban setting presents to a gardener, this course covers how to work with “urban nature” rather than against it and to take advantage of valuable urban resources. Topics of the course will include, but are not limited to: low-maintenance gardening & design, soil amendments & preparation, water catchment, composting — all through a permaculture* approach.
*Permaculture is a method of working with nature to design systems to provide basic human needs such as food, shelter and health. This workshop serves as an introduction to the wisdom of permaculture and its possibilities for application in Washington D.C. (The material covered in this course can be applied to a full 72-hour permaculture certification course).

Instructor: Marisha Auerbach. Joining us from Olympia, Washington, Marisha is a long-time permaculture educator and practitioner. She specializes in sustainable urban food production, flower essences and herbal tinctures and has taught courses across the US, Canada and Central America. For more information on Marisha, visit her website www.herbnwisdom.com/Permaculture.php.

* Intro: Friday, April 6th. 7-10pm. Location: To be announced.
* Part I: Saturday, April 7th. 10am- 5pm. Location: The 7th Street Garden.
* Part II: Sunday, April 8th. 12pm- 6pm. Location: The 7th Street Garden.
* Cost: $150, due March 16th. *Work/trade or scholarships available for qualifying residents. (Intro & Part I only: $100) Deposit: $75, due March 15th.

For more information and to register contact: Liz Falk at 7thStreetGarden [at] gmail.com or (202) 722 2962. www.shawecovillage.org, www.the7thstreetgarden.squarespace.com

Course Schedule (Topics may change slightly)

Friday, April 6: 7-10pm. Location: To be announced.
Growing your own Food! Introduction to course. Talk, slide show and video summarizes topics of the course. Hands-on: make seed balls

Saturday, April 7: 10 am – 5 pm. Location: The 7th Street Garden

10 – 10:30am: Introductions, Introduction to The 7th Street Garden
10:30 – 11am: Food Security: Where does our food come from? The future of our food.
11 – 11:30am: What is permaculture? Why is it a response to the changing state of food? To climate change? To overall sustainability?
11:30am – 12 pm: Permaculture ethics: The ethics that we live by.
12 – 1 pm: Waste, compost, waste=food.
Hands-on: Build compost bin/pile appropriate for urban environment (if outside, to keep the rats out & inside composting for apartment residents)
1 – 2pm: lunch (provided)
2 – 2:30 pm: Permaculture principles
3 pm – 5 pm: Introduction to soils, the power of mushrooms, mulching, manure, sheet mulching, ‘Food Not Lawns’
Hands-on: Sheet mulching, inoculate mushrooms

Sunday, April 8: 12 pm – 6 pm. Location: The 7th Street Garden

12 – 12:30pm: Best of yesterday, recap of ethics and principles
12:30 – 2 pm: Design methodologies; design for your urban garden space
2 – 3pm: Using your backyard or patio: Herbs, Building raised beds, containers gardens
Hands-on: Build an herb spiral, plant containers
3 – 3:15pm: break (snack provided)
3:15 – 4:15 pm: Capturing water, conserving water, and watering your garden
Hands-on: Set up rain barrels
4:15 – 5 pm: Perennial Forage Systems (How to create low-maintenance food gardens), Envisioning and planning for the future
Hands-on: Sowing, transplanting, broadcast
5:15 – 6 pm: Urban food security, envisioning possibilities, finishing hands-on, closing

About the 7th Street Garden— The 7th Street Garden is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. The Garden is a highly productive community food
garden wherein low income residents learn to grow, utilize and market local, seasonal and affordable produce. The Garden will greatly contribute to food security, economic opportunity and enhance the environmental in this community. As well, we are committed to creating a site that demonstrates urban environmental sustainability. The 7th Street Garden will educate and engage youth and adults, instill a sense of neighborhood pride where ideas can flourish, senses will be engaged, defenses will be disarmed and
multidisciplinary educational opportunities will abound.