Tuesday, May 27, 2008

G is for...

Garden House!! That's Ragnarson, of course, trying to cram as many woodchips in his mouth as he can before I put the camera away and come after him.

Our Governor, the esteemed Jennifer Granholm (she's canadian, eh?) started something called the Cool Cities Initiative. The idea is to make Michigan's cities cooler, so that young people won't relocate out of state, and perhaps some of the people who move here for school will stay once their schooling is done. Sort of a lame name for what is essentially a really cool (heh) program.

So communities write up grant proposals for things that are "cool" and if they meet the cool criteria the government gives them some money. One of those cool things is in a park right by my house.

It's a huge greenhouse full of raised garden beds. Community groups can apply for space, and then they can use the greenhouse to grow veggies. There are even tons of seedlings started so that literally all you have to do is dig a little hole and plunk them into "your" bed.
This is the "moms and toddlers" plot. Currently it's full of collard greens and chinese cabbage, but the cabbage at least is starting to bolt, so I expect it will be pulled out soon. I've been planting a few tomatoes and things every time I get a chance to go. In the upper right corner there is a foot square section of lettuces that's been keeping my family in salads for the last month and a half, and in front of that is some basil that someone else planted. I'm excited to see that coming up.

This is the first year that they've been open, so I'm sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Right now I go in every couple of weeks (I'd be in more often but I'm trying to get in some studio time as well), and I transplant a few things, and I plant a few things, and I harvest bags and bags of greens. There is a staff of interns and volunteers that keep everything watered, and there are hardly any weeds or bugs because it's inside. Maybe I'm the only person in the neighborhood that eats spinach or something, but I'm finding it hard to keep up. Every time I get the chance to visit someone says "That lettuce needs to be harvested." or "The Cilantro is bolting, why don't you take some home with you." It's MADNESS. Here's my haul from today. A pound and a half of Kale and a pound and a half of spinach.
Ragnar...gettin' her green on.


Nancy McRay said...

bring me some spinach!

Jillayne said...

Greens Greens nothing but greens! Rooting through my rutabagas...
Sounds like a cool cool initiative to me. I'm too busy to keep my back yard mowed let alone take care of a garden.