Thursday, June 16, 2011

Survey Says .........Whatever You Say It Says

Please fill out a brief survey to improve Bountiful Brookline's efforts
to increase opportunities for edible gardening in our community.

Bountiful Brookline, a volunteer-based local food initiative, was founded in 2009 in response to unmet needs for locally grown food. Our vision is for Brookline to create and sustain a local food system that is accessible to all.

Land costs and availability in Brookline, an urban edge community, make it unfeasible to create a single site community farm. With almost 60,000 residents and one 80 plot community garden, access to garden space is further limited as more than 70 percent of Brookline residents live in densely developed multifamily housing.

The purpose of this very brief survey is to gain feedback from the community about locally grown foods and gardens, and to find ways to make these more available to the public and to serve our community better.
follow this link to go to the survey:

Saturday June 18 - Garden Workday & Brookline Food Waste Collection Day

Bountiful Brookline Demo Gardens
next workday Saturday June 18, 2011
10:30 am Goodwin Garden 11 Goodwin Place
1 pm GreenSide Out Garden 40 Webster Place
join our volunteer crew
for information contact   [email protected]   Attn: JD or Jenny

Garden Update from JD
We had a big turn-out at the workday on June 5. It was great to see lots of faces new and old, and with all of the hands we got a lot of great work done.

After weeding we planted 6 beds at the Goodwin Garden with a wide assortment of large-seeded vegetables, including zucchini, pumpkin, 3 types of bush beans, and 6 varieties of squash!  Plus some nasturtiums scattered in with the beans to repel bugs like beetles and aphids . We also continued developing the garden, whose shape and design continue to evolve. It feels great to finally plant in these sheet mulched 'lasagna' beds, which are the product of many weeks of many peoples' hard work.
[Update: the seeds we planted on the 5th are coming up as you can see in the photo on the right!]

Waiting for more lasagna bed layers
Seedlings emerge from finished lasagna beds
We're happy to take donations of compost & mulch.
See what a difference it makes to our lasagna beds!

During the afternoon we tended the GreenSide Out Garden, weeding, watering, and transplanting some young broccoli from the cold frame. They are a bit leggy, but they should do fine with more room to grow in a freshly amended bed. We also mulched and fed the many tomato, pepper, eggplant, and other seedlings there, which are all doing well. The garden looks great, and we have begun harvesting and delivering peas, leafy greens and herbs to the the St. Paul's Church food pantry.

Annabel helping with harvest at GreenSide Out
We harvest and deliver when the food pantry is open: Tuesday and Thursday 10am and Sat 2pm. We always record our crops either by weight or by the unit (like bunches of herbs), and document them in a book in the shed. The daily schedule for tending the garden and harvesting is starting to fill out, but we are looking for more volunteers who who can come during the week to help with regular maintenance and harvesting. Two people a day is best - more fun to work together and also to provide back-up for each other.
J.D. Hutchison-Maxwell, Bountiful Brookline Garden Intern

High Street Veterans Community Garden
HSVCG yard sale

Michael Gould, HSVCG Coordinator, Reports
All is fine at High St.- our seedlings are digging in and starting to look happy! Our community site looks amazing. The yard sale was a total success. We're rich. The entire community pitched in. So many people from the surrounding Neighborhood joined the excitement. Folks are still talking about it.

Brookline Food Waste Drop Off Day
Saturday June 18, 2011
Town Hall Parking Lot
9 am - noon

The Brookline Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) is sponsoring a “food waste drop-off” on Saturday morning June 18, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Town Hall parking lot. SWAC wants to assess community interest in removing kitchen waste from the trash stream.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, rice, beans and pasta, eggs, egg shells, and coffee grounds, for this event SWAC will take meat, poultry, seafood, fat, bones, and dairy products. They'll also collect food-soiled paper such as coffee filters, (SWAC member John Dempsey, via email notice from the Aspinwall Hill Neighborhood Association.)

SWAC member Cynthia Snow provided more informatoin:
The collected food waste will be taken by Save That Stuff to a commercial composting site that they use for compostables collected from various places (universities, schools, Whole Foods, etc.)

SWAC is trying to raise awareness and gauge interest at present.  This may lead to more collection days and hopefully eventually to curbside pick-up. [BB Editor's note: When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Quincy, MA, we kept food waste in a closed bucket by the garage for weekly pick-up by a pig farmer.]

Food waste makes up approximately 20-25% of residential waste, and since it is often “wet” and therefore heavy, it accounts for a substantial cost for disposal (assessed by the ton), as well as rotting and producing methane (a powerful greenhouse gas).  Therefore, composting—which turns food waste into very valuable fertilizer to replenish the soil—saves money in waste disposal costs and helps cut the emission of greenhouse gases.