Downtown Interim Project

Hey Gardeners,

I received an email from one of our resident gardeners, John, who  – along with a few other resident gardeners – is part of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA). While we were turning compost on the last workday, John told me about how  the area where the 95 overpass bridge used to be (over Point St. at the bottom of Wickenden) is going through a determined use process and suggestions are being made as to what to do with the space in the interim period.

One suggestion that I thought was particularly interesting was the use of sunflowers as a “cleaning” plant for the land that is currently in poor condition due to many decades of heavy pollutant exposure. Not only did this soften my heart for sunflowers, it made me want to become a part of making this idea a reality and I thought that some of you may also be interested in it, so I’m passing it along. Read more

Garlic timeline

It is early-mid November. Have you put your garlic in the ground yet?

If not, it is really important that you get it in the ground as soon as possible.  If you get too busy to plant before the ground freezes, you can do it in the spring as soon as the ground is workable, but for hardneck it’s better to go in the fall so it develops a strong root system for the spring. Here is a more detailed explanation if you should need it.

There are two general types of garlic to choose from: hardneck and softneck. Each has its own strengths, and each is more suited to certain situations than others.

Hardneck Garlic Varieties (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon)

Hardneck garlic varieties are generally hardier than softneck varieties. They are the best option for northern gardeners. They are also the best option if you want to enjoy garlic scapes in early summer, since hardnecks are the only type that send up a strong central stalk in spring (this is the scape.) Hardneck varieties tend to form fewer cloves per bulb than softneck varieties, but they also are usually a bit larger. Read more

Documentary Features Seven Urban Community Gardens

Thought you guys might like to know about this:

A Community of Gardeners explores the vital role of seven community gardens in Washington, D.C. as sources of fresh, nutritious food, outdoor classrooms, links to immigrants’ homelands, places of healing, centers of social interaction and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods. The documentary also traces the history of community gardens in the United States, from the potato patch farms of the late 19th century, to the victory gardens of World War II, to community gardening’s current renaissance.

PBS Broadcasts in November and December

LizFalk7thStreetGarden72Several PBS stations will be airing A Community of Gardeners in November and December, beginning with

  • WHUT inWashington, D.C. on Thursday, November 8 at 10 p.m.
  • WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio will broadcast the filmon November 19 at 8 p.m.
  • KCTS in Seattle, Washington will air the program on November 22 at 12 p.m. and
  • UEN-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah will air the documentary on November 24 at 9 p.m.
  • A Community of Gardeners will be shown in December on WLAE in New Orleans and on
  • Rhode Island PBS.

For exact dates and times, please visit the film’s Broadcasts page. To receive notifications of future television air dates, please subscribe to the RSS feed on the Broadcasts page.


Lettuce Rejoice!

I haven’t been down to look at the garden since Sunday, but I thought you’d be interested to know that as a community we logged about 94 hours of work time which was mostly dedicated to the garden itself and not to our plots.

This is a marked improvement from earlier this year, and I think it’s a good way to indicate community involvement.  Though I would like to see that number closer to 150, I want to emphasize how grateful we should all be for all our efforts this weekend. I know I am. So thank you.

More soon.



Overwintering Stuff

fox point community garden, fpcg, providence, rhode island, riDay one of the last official workweekend of the season was very successful. I am sure we thanked those of you that came and worked so fervently, personally, but I want to reiterate how great it is to see, work  and chat with you about what you’re growing and how you’re doing it. It’s so helpful to me (and certainly for other gardeners) to get another person’s perspective about these things.

Steve (left) is a reasonably new gardener to the garden and he was taking home these beautiful flowers to overwinter and I realized while talking with him and a couple other people  that some of you may not know about some things that can be overwintered indoors.

Steve and I moved our overwintering discussion to pepper plants and found that we both are experimenting with different varieties (and I hope to trade with him in the spring!); meanwhile, Edie had some peppers that were putting out new greens and we agreed she should try to overwinter them.

Peppers, in our region, are considered an annual, but they are a perennial in warmer climates. Ty will “die back” indoors, but as long as the stems are still green, they will survive so long as they don’t experience hard freezes.

Edie has a warm basement, so she is going to overwinter hers there. Steve and I are following a windowsill route, which is what I did last year with a pepper called a “peter pepper” for which I can no longer find seeds.

Because peppers take a long time to start from seed and are also reasonably slow growers, a good way to get sturdy plants is to overwinter them. Here are my little peppers that I started from seed this year and am overwintering on the sills. In discussion with Steve, I think his are about the same size.

overwinter hot peppers

And here are some of the peppers I pulled up from the garden a few weeks ago.

I am by no means an expert on these kinds of things and this is why I love our community gatherings so much: I learn more every time I talk with you guys! But what I really want to know is your experiments: What have you overwintered? Was it successful and how did you do it?

You may leave comments below, or if you want to write a blog about it, I’ll set you up.