Planting Seeds to Harvest for a Lifetime

Ten-year-old Lucas White anxiously awaits the Free Seed Fair each year so he can carefully “shop” for the precious seeds he plants, waters, cultivates, harvests and shares the fruits of his labor of love.  A young, but avid gardener, he “spreads the veggie love” around his community and sells excess produce at the local Farmers Market to earn money to support his favorite hobby, gardening.

Topeka Common Ground is so proud of him and are proud to contribute a small portion to his success by hosting the Free Seed Fair each winter.

Thank You Topeka!

Topeka Common Ground, Inc. had a great day at Topeka Gives 2018. It is so obvious Community Gardens are catching on throughout Shawnee County.  We have doubled our affiliated gardens in the last two years, thanks to the hard work of Shawnee County residents concerned about food insecurity and hunger.  Thank you to all who donate time and talent to the 30 gardens around Shawnee County and a big thank you to those of you who donated your hard earned dollars through Topeka Gives.

Thank you for making our day at Topeka Gives 2018!

It Was a Beautiful Day for Garden Training

May 12 — Garden Training 101 at the Shawnee County Extension Master Gardener Vegetable Garden turned out to be a beautiful day! Our presenters were: Diana Hershberger, Topeka Common Ground, Inc. Board Member and Master Gardener-in-Training — Garden Safety and Tool Care; Bruce Lane & Dick Dickinson, Master Gardeners — Compost and Soil Amendment; Linda Croucher, President of Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners — Planting and Transplanting; Gary Sims, Master Gardener — Fertilizing; Amy Mitts, Master Gardener-in-Training — Watering;  Stan Voth, Topeka Common Ground, Inc. Board Member, Mulching; Wayne Stander, Master Gardener — Weeding; Peggy Kaspar, Master Gardener — Pests: Good Bugs, Bad Bugs; Lisa Martin, Shawnee County Extension Food and Nutrition Agent — Garden to Plate: Food Safety in the Garden.

Our audience was very attentive and asked good questions.  There was discussion of joining a community garden near there.  Thank you, all, for your participation.

Salsa Gardens Are Sprouting Up All Around Town

On Saturday, May 5 we had a very successful tomato and pepper seedling giveaway to community gardens.  Just days before the event I heard from two new school gardens: Avondale Academy and St. Matthews Catholic School were both putting in salsa gardens.  Between Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners and Shawnee County Master Gardeners Topeka Common Ground and Master Gardeners were able to give away close to 1000 seedlings to to nearly 25 community gardens.

These plants will not only help provide much needed produce for area food pantries, but will help feed church members, school children, neighbors in many low income areas as well as residents at KNI and VA.

And just in time for this growing season, the Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners just tilled and amended two new bed for a community garden along the Shunga Trail near the locomotive at the Expocentre.  Come watch us grow!

Be Part of the Solution

Did you know there are more than 25 Community Gardens in Shawnee County that are helping fight food insecurity?  But they need your help!  Anyone interested in volunteering with a Community Garden should contact me at brendajarboe@ksu.edu or 785-232-0062 ext. 113, and I will be glad to put you in touch with the garden nearest you needing your help. You will also be able to add some homegrown vegetables to your table from your volunteer efforts.