WESTSIDE ORCHARD GARDEN
The Westside Orchard Garden is our main focus for 8 months of the year. Our annual harvest from this 2.2-acre former city park is dedicated to Meals on Wheels, the Head Start preschoolers, and the Boys & Girls club youth and their families. The first year (2013) we donated 500 lbs. of fresh produce to the Head Start Program; year 2 (2014) we increased our harvest to 4000# donated. 2015 was a tough year, and we didn't meet our goals, but we have a goal this year of supplying the Head Start and the Boys & Girls Club with fresh produce all summer and fall. Report coming later this fall with our final harvest numbers!
We had youth from the Boys & Girls Club in the Garden almost every day this summer for our Summer in the Garden Program. We are currently planning with a variety of groups to continue the youth participation.
Please check out our Step Up! Campaign to provide expanded growing facilities in the Garden, allowing us to deliver fresh produce all year to hungry kids and their families, and to our seniors. With funding from our Step-Up! fund-raising we will be able to install a small greenhouse and increase the youth participation in the Garden as well as grow more food.
Improvements/additions in 2016:
- Completed the installation of our drip irrigation system, reducing water needs once again ... (the 1st year we hand watered from a water truck, year 2 we had some drip irrigation and some hand-watering,same with year 3, and this year, we have worked hard to bring it to the apple orchard and the north orchard).
- Have installed our own 5 beehives, which are buzzing, and include 2 "flow-hives" - a new concept developed in Australia. Much easier on the bees when we harvest - be sure to come and watch this innovative way to harvest honey! We have honey for sale - check out the Captain's Store.
- The Boys & Girls Club garden expanded with a strawberry box, and they were in the Garden Monday through Friday all summer, and some Wednesday afternoons after school began. What a blessing the youth energy is in the Garden.
- Expanded the Homeschool Garden this year. Fun to have a variety of families showing up to garden.
- Continued building our first hugelkulture on the south end of the Garden, and will continue to add wooded debris to it until it's ready to be planted. We plan to plant sunflowers there, as the bees love them, and the hugelkulture is very close to the hives.
- Completed the installation of the Learning Center benches, and the Orchard Benches. All the Learning Center benches have been sponsored, and many Orchard Benches, also. We have 3 benches that are still available to be sponsored, so if you have someone to whom you would like to dedicate a bench, get in touch with us.
- Our Pole Barn is up and serving us well!. The local Carpenter's Union volunteered their good works and built it for us. Thanks to Mario, Bret, Morgan, Kenny, Mark, Joe, Dan, Rande, and John. We just have the final roof to finish, get some doors on and we are ready for winter!
- Our perennial garden is beginning to take shape - donated flowers and bulbs make our apple orchard a place of beauty. If you have flowers to donate, be prepared to bring them out and plant them yourself, however, as Vicki has enough to keep her busy.
- Added another lasagna composting plot for our potatoes and pumpkins and the crop is producing like crazy. Boys and Girls Club youth will be harvesting potatoes soon!
- More to come........
We still have POTS for sale! We have 10 and 15 gallon growing pots for sale at the Garden - perfect for a patio garden. Pots are only $2 each, so come to the garden and load up your car.