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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Despite the chilly weather, Topeka Common Ground and Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners gave away 182 broccoli plants; 210 cabbage seedlings; 142 kale and 142 Swiss Chard plants to 17 community gardens in Shawnee County. A huge thank you to Master Gardener Ed Dillingham for growing, hauling, setting up and helping distribute the seedlings. Also, a thank you goes to Judi Salyer and Diana Hershberger for their help in distributing the seedlings to the gardens. We are hoping to increase the amount of food donated to food pantries this year by increasing the number of seedlings we distribute.
It’s a beautiful spring day today, and despite the predicted “Winter Weather” we have 18 community gardens signed up for our cole crop seedling distribution this weekend. We are so thankful to our partner, K-State Research and Extension for providing us a warm place to work. We are also very grateful to Shawnee County Extension Master Gardener, Ed Dillingham, for growing our seedlings: 180 broccoli plants; 204 cabbage plants; 144 kale plants and 132 Swiss chard plants — that’s 660 healthy plants. Just imagine how many hungry people will be eating these fresh vegetables in the near future.
This year we doubled the amount of seed potatoes we procured to distribute to our affiliate gardens on March 10. Fifteen community gardens around Shawnee County participated in our giveaway. This was on the heels of our largest Free Seed Fair to date. We are extremely grateful to Lowe’s Home Improvement Store for the donation of seeds for our fair. We have great hopes that all who benefited from the Free Seed Fair and seed potato distribution will have bountiful crops this year to share with the community and donate to the numerous deserving food pantries in Shawnee County.
Want to know more about what Heidi, one of our board members, has planned for this summer? Check out this article about Straw Bale gardening. With Straw Bale gardens, the seeds are planted directly into straw bales after fertilization. According to the article, this technique was originally common in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Heidi is leading her church congregation here in Topeka in construction of a straw bale garden this summer. We are looking forward to seeing the outcome!