Friday, March 28, 2014

The Emporia Community Garden is open for the 2014 season!

The Emporia Community Garden is open for the 2014 season! Located in the back yard of the Flint Hills Technical College, it features 24 plots of approximately 300 square feet each, which are available to community members to purchase during the growing season.  The $35 plot fee includes water and garden resources. Applications are available on our website, The Emporia Community Garden is a project of the Emporia Area Local Food Network, whose purpose is to promote the production, processing, preservation and consumption of local food. Locally raised food promotes sound economic, environmental, social, and nutritional health within our community. 

This year we are shifting to a no-till approach and will be planting a cover crop in the fall to improve soil quality and retain nutrients.  As a result, the planting season will run from March thru mid-September depending on the crop that is chosen.  If you have suggestions please let us know!

The garden is still in need of some supplies to ensure a productive season for our members. The following items would be greatly appreciated (used or new): garden tools, hoses, mulch, and seeds and seedlings. We are also looking for instructors to teach informal classes in the garden to our plot holders. If you have a green thumb and a few tricks up your sleeve, please share your expertise! Garden members have a wide variety of experience and ability levels, so we welcome lessons on the most basic to advanced topics. Please contact Amy Becker at 341-1335 or if you would like to teach, donate materials, volunteer, or become a plot holder this season. 

Link to Guidelines (including application) for printing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Community Garden Restricted List

Restricted List

The community gardens are to be used primarily for seasonal vegetable production for human consumption.  We strive to establish standards of excellence that reflect good stewardship of resources and the environment. 

NO perennials may be planted, since all plots will be tilled in early spring before each growing season, and again in the fall.  Perennials include, but are not limited to the following examples: perennial flowers and bulbs, shrubs, trees, berries, rose bushes, mints, horseradish, asparagus, rhubarb, and other perennial herbs.  Annual flowers used as companion plantings or edible flowers are permissible.  A perennial garden located nearby is a future project.

            NO poisonous plants, such as castor beans, may be planted.

            NO illegal substances, such as marijuana, may be planted.

            NO tobacco or nicotiana plants may be planted.

If you raise tall plants, such as sunflowers, sweet corn, okra, pole beans, or some varieties of tomatoes, please be considerate of the shading factor and the effects of shade on neighboring plots. It is best to avoid placement of tall plantings directly adjacent to plots that adjoin to the north side of your plot.  Consider dwarf varieties, or plant tall varieties near the center of your plot or on the south side.  Also consider how you will remove those plants at the end of the season; mammoth sunflowers are not easy, to say the least. 

Fertilizers, soil amendments, and sprays:

The community gardens will promote organic and natural soil practices.  To that end, we encourage gardeners to use only organic labeled fertilizers, soil amendments, foliar sprays, herbicides, or pesticides.  Examples of organic fertilizers include fish emulsion, kelp, worm castings, and various blended organic brand fertilizers.  NO raw manures may be used.  Composted or dried manures may be used in the fall after the growing season is complete, or in early spring – at least 70 days before planting.  

Organic soil amendments include such things as compost, bone meal, greensand, gypsum, lime, rock phosphate, and trace minerals.  Organic approved (OMRI) pesticides and herbicides should be used sparingly, and should not be applied during windy parts of the day where drift is possible.  Examples of organic pesticides include insecticidal soaps, garlic and red pepper sprays, BT, Dipel, Pyganic, Pyola, rotenone, and other similar products.  Herbicides can be avoided entirely by proper tillage practices, hand weeding, and through the use of cover crops.

You may NOT use non-organic, synthetic, or petroleum based fertilizers, herbicides (weed killers), pesticides, such as, but not limited to the following:  Sevin, Miracle-Gro, diazanon, Round-up, ammonium nitrate, etc.  There are alternatives that are better for the environment and better for the health of consumer that are available locally.  If in doubt about what to use, ask a board member before you apply.  Check your brand – does it say “organic” or OMRI approved on the label?  You risk forfeiture of your current plot and future years’ plots if you use any prohibited products.