For all the gardeners out there, the second issue of the urban gardening
network newsletter put out by Grow Gainesville is hot off the press. If you
would like to join their mailing list, scroll through to the bottom of the
newsletter and click "Join our Mailing List". Note the FREE upcoming
workshops next week.
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
[image: June GG Banner]
*Grow Gainesville Newsletter*
It's been a busy couple of months for Grow Gainesville. Since our initial
meetings at which over 100 people contributed their thoughts and expressed
interest, we've been growing. A few really key folks need to be recognized
for their diligence in keeping this network fueled. In no particular order:
*Julie Garrett*, *Julia Showalter*, *Travis Mitchell*, *Gary Hankins*, *Maura
Brady*, *Melissa DeSa*, *Jenny Seitz*, *Sean McLendon* and *Donna Wainwright
[image: Zinnias]We've got *two workshops* coming up in June to keep you in
the "growing food mood" over the hot Florida summer. We're also planning
(hopefully) a *summer perennial garden tour.*
This is the second of three newsletters that will be distributed for free.
We request that you become a member of Grow Gainesville to show your
Please contribute your feedback, comments, suggestions, tips, etc. for any
Grow Gainesville initiatives. We want to hear from you! Write to
See you soon!
*~ the Steering Committee at Grow Gainesville*
*Grow Gainesville Progress
[image: Grow Gainesville Logo]
We now have a Google
lists various gardening events. To submit items to the calendar, please
email to *Julia Showalter* at
[image: Pineapple]In addition, Grow Gainesville has a lively Facebook
Membership is open, so add yourself and your gardening friends! We'll try to
pull some of the discussion highlights for those who don't Facebook. We'll
start with this
the discussions about dealing with
*squirrels*, *fire ants* and *armadillos*.
The Education, Events and Steering committees have merged for now. Our *next
meeting* is 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7 at Volta Coffee downtown. We welcome
For general Grow Gainesville inquiries, email *Travis Mitchell* or *Melissa
DeSa* at growgainesvi...@gmail.com. <growgainesvi...@gmail.com> If you're
interested in school gardens, contact *Jasmine Angelini-Knoll* at
jasminesa...@gmail.com or subscribe to the school gardens' Google
*Grow Gainesville's Mission is to increase our community's ability to
produce and share food grown in urban gardens by facilitating the networking
of gardeners, resources and information in a way that is easily affordable
and accessible to all.*
*[image: Chickens Enjoying a Watermelon] *
*Gardening Events *
[image: May GG Potluck]
Grow Gainesville Potluck at the Downtown Farmers Garden in May
*Re: listing events in Grow Gainesville's new Google
If you are going to be posting regularly, we can give you access to
calendar so you can make changes. If, however, you just want to post one
event, Julia will be happy to post it. *
- *It's Not Too Hot to Garden GG Workshop* - Join us as we discuss summer
crops, cover cropping, seed saving, solarization and much much more for your
summer garden. Bring a plant or bug sample if you have questions and want us
to help you ID it. We'll meet at *7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15* at the
Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st St. Refreshments provided but please
bring your own water bottle, as well as a notebook to scribble notes. Please
RSVP to growgainesvi...@gmail.com. <growgainesvi...@gmail.com>
- *Compost the Most GG Workshop and Demo* - Join us at the UF Organic
learn about composting and view a successful community garden compost
system in action. Next stop on the compost tour will be the UF Ethnoecology
Garden for another look at a compost system. Find us at the UF Garden at
*9 a.m. Saturday, June 18.* (Directions at their website.
garden is on SW 23rd Terrace; *it is not the garden next to the UF Bat
House.* It's on the northern end of 23rd Terrace between Archer and
Williston Roads.) Bring a chair if you like and your own notebook to
scribble notes. Please RSVP to
- *High Springs Seed Savers Club* - This local gardening group meets on
the last Tuesday of every month with a different topic each time. Upcoming
meetings: *June 28, July 6, and Aug. 6 at 7 p.m*. at the High Springs
Public Library, 135 NW 1st Ave., High Springs, FL 32643. Contact *Nancy
Montgomery*, 386-462-1828 or monty.na...@gmail.com.<monty.na...@gmail.com>
- *Canning Demonstration *- Melissa Mazurkewicz will demonstrate the art
of canning and how to preserve locally grown ingredients. Find us at the EBT
green tent at the center of the Union Street Farmers Market from* 5 to
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29*.
- *Grow Gainesville Steering Committee Meeting* - Share your input at *7
p.m. Thursday, July 7* at Volta
*[image: Membership Photo]Grow Gainesville* is open to all as a
member-driven organization supported by affordable annual membership dues.
These dues help cover the costs of operating the network and ensure active
participation from members. Members receive resources, including seeds and
access to tools, and will be part of a growing network of gardeners and
advocates working to promote and encourage urban agriculture in Gainesville
and a thriving local food system. For more information, visit
download the membership
[image: Kanapaha School Garden]
*School Garden Report Card:**
Kanapaha Middle School*
*by teachers Meg Boyagian and Sarah Byrd*
Our organic garden has blossomed into a sanctuary for students and teachers
alike as we've watched the garden grow from nothing but hard-packed sand two
We now have a productive 25-by-30 foot vegetable bed that sees multiple
seasons in a school year, and an orchard complete with fruit trees,
blackberries, blueberries and grapes. Remarkably, the majority of the work
has been done by a small group of preteens, with tremendous help from our
resident master gardener* Susan Nugent*. Susan is there every Wednesday to
help us teach students, weed, and nurture our plot. And, we couldn't have
done it without the help of our wonderful families and friends, and our
It has become clear to us that *garden-based learning/ recreation/therapy is
particularly relevant for teens today*. We have seen first-hand that once
they have an opportunity to take ownership of a garden, and to see their
seeds grow into vibrant plants, they're hooked, and are willing to forgo the
DS system or smart phone for a little while. No video game can compete with
the excitement and joy of growing and then eating vegetables.
In the words of *Jenny Miranda*, sixth grade student and Garden Club member,
*"My favorite part is when the plants are big, they look gloriously awesome
and you want to eat them."*
[image: Cuke]Eating and cooking the food we've grown is a major component of
what our club is all about. The kids truly enjoy cooking their produce,
using real knives and a camp stove to get the job done. We are a family when
we sit and eat together. It's truly fulfilling for all involved.
It is enormously rewarding to see students willingly abandon the screen for
the exploration of the outdoors. The garden is an ideal platform for
teaching an array of concepts that allow for synthesis in the minds of
learners. A large part of what we do together is to observe the intricate
natural processes at work, and marvel at it all. We also focus on teaching
science concepts, promoting local food systems, emphasizing environmental
stewardship, and teaching about nutrition.
*Angie Deleon*, seventh grader, says,*"I like to see plants not dying. And
I like harvesting. My Loquat tree, Iggy Bacon, is awesome!" *
This is the students' garden, where the plants all have names!
Our garden story should be an inspiration for all who want to be gardeners! We
were both novices when we started, and were really flying by the seat of our
pants and made it happen. If we can do it, so can you!
*Cool Veggies to Grow
in the Heat of Summer*
*by Julia Showalter*
With days reaching the high 90s, a lot of the veggies in our spring gardens
aren't looking as hot as they did a few months ago. Understandable. Some
afternoons I feel a little wilted, too. But the good news is there are some
plants that seem to do alright in the heat. There are the good old standbys
such as okra and eggplant, but also others that are lesser known and can
make great green additions to the dog days of summer. Here are a few of my
*[image: Yardlong Bean]Yardlong beans* *(Vigna unguiculata subsp.
sesquipedalis)* - These beans are totally magic in my book. They grow at
amazing speeds up any sort of trellis they're given. They then flower and
before you know it (about 60 days after sowing), thin, shoelace-like beans
appear. It only takes them a few days for the beans to grow several feet
long and you have to pick them daily to keep up! It's okay to leave a couple
to keep growing -- they get about 2 ½ feet long and then dry up and you have
beans to plant for the next round!
*[image: Cassaba]Cassava* *(Manihot esculenta)* - Otherwise known as yuca,
or manioc, this awesome tuber is the major starch in much of Central and
South America and parts of Africa. The tuber is peeled and can be cooked
similar to potatoes. You may have had yuca chips at Mi Apa -- delicious!
This plant is easy to grow and care for even in the heat of summer. All you
need is a cassava stake to put in the ground. Soon it will have leaves and
be forming tubers! You can cut more stakes from this plant and soon you'll
have a cassava forest! Other pluses of this awesome plant are its gorgeous
leaves and elegant form. Before the first frost, cut the stakes and keep
them in a warm, dry place for planting next year. Most of the time the
plants will also over winter, especially if you mound them with mulch.
*[image: chayote]Chayote* *(Sechium edule)* - This is an interesting, little
green squash that curls in on one side. The plant grows like a monster (it's
good to have a trellis) and is perennial if you mound it. One plant can
produce hundreds of squashes! It hasn't been planted much in this area
because usually the flowering and fruiting of the plant is dependent on the
length of the day. This is a problem because it will start fruiting in the
late fall when a freeze is likely. Luckily, there is now a day length,
neutral variety in Gainesville. This means that it will start fruiting in
the summer and will continue through the fall!
These are just a few of the awesome, heat-loving plants you can grow in the
summer. It's true that they are not your average veggies and you may be
wondering where to find them. Try asking the folks at Abundant Edible
may have the plants or seeds, and, if not, they will have information
on where to find them. Good luck with planting something new and interesting
for the summer!
*Favorite Web Resources
Golden Harvest Organics<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=gm6upyeab&et=1105872133068&s=67&e=001Iy...>
* has loads of great information on companion planting, critter and disease
trouble, and more.
* has a great archived A-Z index of many gardening topics from ants to weeds
and everything in between.
*The Summer Vegetable
* has gardening topics (among other things). Careful, you'll get lost in all
The *University of
* provides a good oversight of summer considerations for the garden.
*FOG, AEL and the City of Gainesville Team Up to Add
More Edible Landscaping *
* **Florida Organic Growers* (FOG) continued its work toward the goal of
increasing food security in Gainesville during a Memorial Day GIFT Garden
installation at* Gainesville's City Hall* in cooperation with *Abundant
"On behalf of the City Commission, I welcome this opportunity to add a GIFT
Garden to the public space at City Hall. It reaffirms our city's commitment
[image: City Hall Food
to right: Marty Mesh, Craig Lowe, Steve Phillips, Ryan Brouillard
food security for everyone in our community," said Gainesville Mayor *Craig
Gainesville will join the likes of cities such as San Francisco and Portland
that have made their City Halls visible examples of their local government's
commitment to urban food production.
The garden will contain a host of edible landscaping including avocados,
persimmons, pears, figs, blueberries and other perennial herbs and
Read more about the project,
*Reflections on Gardening: *
*The Garden Path and the Middle Way*
*by** Mary Zukowski*
[image: Bee to a Flower]Many of us garden because we love fresh food or
flowers as well as being in contact with Earth in an expression of creation.
Others may pursue gardening as right and simple livelihood, providing
nourishment for the community and enjoyment of the fresh air, Earth and
sentient beings. It seems so simple and even romantic or idyllic. But once
fully engaged and committed to gardening, we find ourselves in a very
challenging and sometimes spiritual process requiring a great deal of
mindfulness, presence and letting go.
Watering by hand, I establish a rhythm of breathing and mindfulness. It
helps me to collect myself with calmness and equanimity for what I might
discover in each of the beds: deer destruction, armadillo damage, harmful
insect presence, and diseased plants, which when found, are immediately
unsatisfactory and disheartening. I react severely, worried that my efforts
have gone for naught, so why not just give up gardening. Looking more
deeply, I discover I'm afraid that I have been wasting my time and I won't
Looking carefully at what is true in the present, I see I have more than
enough beans, cucumbers, and yellow squash to eat, freeze and give away,
even amongst the devastating destruction. I relax and smile to myself. I see
that I was getting attached to some idea of perfection. Now seeing it, I can
let go. The thought of having wasted my time dissipates.
Somewhat free of false ideas, I continue this love of gardening more
joyfully, making room for and including the sentient beings also drawn to
enjoy the co-creation. In addition to requesting that they leave some for
me, I will continue to hang bath soap, spread human hair and dried blood to
deter deer. I will spray Neem for virus, bacteria and insects, Bt for
caterpillars, and seaweed extract to strengthen resistance. And, I will set
up barriers to minimize armadillo destruction. This for me, is The Middle
[image: Will and Planet Tomato]
*Recipes from the Garden:*
*Chilled Cuke Soup *
*by** Cynthia Barnett*
I adapted this from *Cooking Light* years ago and make it throughout the
summer. Best cucumber soup ever, and beautiful topped with halved cherry
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cucumbers peeled and course-chopped
- 1/2 or 1 jalapeño pepper, depending on its spiciness, seeded and
chopped (start with HALF and taste, and if it's not quite spicy enough, add
the other half)
I use a hand-immersion blender in a bowl, but if you have a food processor,
even easier. Just blend until smooth. Chill until it's time to serve. Top
each serving with a little mound of halved cherry tomatoes.
Even my 9-year-old son, Will (pictured above with one of his "planetary
cherry" tomatoes) eats the cuke soup. His favorite things to cook and to eat
are all veggie- or fruit-based, I like to think from his gardening
experiences at home, at his dad's garden on campus, and at his all-time
favorite garden -- Morningside Nature Center's. Then again, his sister loves
to garden too but doesn't share Will's love for eating all that's green!
*[image: Cynthia Barnett]Cynthia Barnett is a senior writer for Florida
Trend magazine and the author of "Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water
Crisis" and "Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S." *
*How to Cook It? *
[image: Hogtown HomeGrown
For more local and seasonal recipes, menus and more, check out our
Samara Hamblen's* Hogtown Homegrown newsletter and
*[image: Purple Beans] *
*In This Issue:* *Grow Gainesville
* *Join Grow Gainesville! <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK7>
* *Kanapaha School Garden <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK9>
* *Cool Veggies for Summer<#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK10>
* *Web Resources <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK11>* *What
to Plant Now <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK18>* *Gardening
Tip <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK19>* *Compost the
* *Gardening Resources <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK21>*
*Squash Vine Borers <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK22>* *Get
Dirty! <#1307a7d50010e38e_13071330619feb9e_LETTER.BLOCK24>* *Contact
*COMMUNITY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT * [image: Melissa and
21st Century American Gothic:
Melissa and her husband Mike
*(click photo for a larger view)*
My parents had a garden when I was growing up, although admittedly I didn't
help out much. I remember them both proudly posing for photos next to 6-foot
tomato plants (I lived in Canada, where you can grow giant tomatoes), and
our dog running around the yard with old corn husks.
I've always loved nature and plants, so when I finally had my own little
piece of ground to play with in Gainesville I gave it a shot, just throwing
stuff in the ground and learning by trial and error and lots of reading
(which I still do!). Six years later, my garden has grown from a small
experimental square to taking up a significant portion of both my front and
I don't think I could be happy without a garden to tend; it keeps me fit,
gets me outdoors, stimulates learning, hides my white Canadian skin under a
tan, keeps me in tune with the rhythms of the Earth, and in the end I am
rewarded with nourishing food.
*WHAT TO PLANT NOW **Summer vegetables* include bell and hot peppers,
cassava, eggplant, Malabar spinach, basil, black-eyed peas, long beans,
chayote, bitter melon, sweet potatoes, okra, seminole pumpkin, peanuts, and
loofah, among others. For a list of summer greens, see below.
Check out IFAS' summer gardening
*GARDENING TIP * *
[image: Garden Journal]Keep a garden journal*. You might think you'll
remember what you've done to repeat (or not) the following season, but
chances are you *won't* recall with enough precision to make the best
decisions next time around.
Record everything, and when it's time to begin another season or you have to
troubleshoot something, your journal will be invaluable.
A traditional pen and paper journal might serve you well, or you can keep a
Some suggestions of what to jot down: dates you planted, fertilized,
harvested, picked off caterpillars, noticed disease etc. Also record
varieties you planted or what you planted them next to, if the plants ended
up being too crowded, too sparse, if they provided a good yield etc.
*COMPOST THE MOST*
*by Jeff Klugh, Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives*
[image: Composting]Backyard composting is a great way to keep organics out
of landfills while producing organic fertilizer for your garden. Getting
your own compost bin started is quick and easy, but there are some
guidelines to remember if you want the best possible compost.
Be sure to keep a balance of green and brown materials in your compost. For
example: when putting kitchen scraps into the bin, add some dry leaves or
similar material in equal quantities.
Try to avoid putting the following items in your compost: meat and dairy
products, citrus, pine straw, and pet waste. These materials can affect the
quality of the finished compost.
Finally, keep your compost moist (like a well wrung sponge) and stir
occasionally for the best possible results.
For more information on composting, or for a free wire compost bin, please
call *352-374-5245. *
*GARDENING RESOURCES *
*Trace Minerals* ~ Recently on Facebook, someone asked about *glacial rock
dust*. What he was after was a source of trace minerals. Just like the human
body needs trace amounts of vitamins and minerals for optimum health, so do
plants that acquire their nutrition from the soil. Trace minerals can be
found in *glacial rock dust*, *granite dust*, *greensand*, *azomite* and *
lenardite*. Find one or more of these products at the following local
- Abundant Edible
- Earth Pets Organic Feed and
- Garden Gate
- Prairie's Edge
*PEST OF THE MONTH: SQUASH VINE BORER
*by Melissa DeSa
[image: Squash Vine Borer Strikes]
Does this sound familiar? You wake up one morning to a horrifying sight in
your garden: *Your squash plants that were huge and healthy yesterday are
now wilted to the ground, literally overnight.*
Chances are, the *squash vine borer* has struck, a pest that loves summer
squashes and pumpkins. The good news is that it can be prevented by early
detection and treatment, and it rarely bothers butternut squash, cucumbers
[image: Close Up SVB]
The culprit is a wasp-like moth that lays her eggs at the base of young
squash plants. When the eggs hatch the new larvae begin to eat their way
inside the vine, working slowly upward. For about six weeks they feast on
your squash plants, slowly disrupting the tissues that allow it to transport
water and nutrients. A threshold is reached, at which point the plant can no
longer keep itself alive, and the vine suddenly collapses. Here in the
south, there may be two full generations of these pests to expect.
*What to do:* Inspect each vine every day for holes, with frass (bug poop)
oozing out. It looks like yellowish goo (see photo above). You should also
look for reddish brown eggs laid near the base of the plant or on the
undersides of leaves. Remove eggs immediately.
*Plant early.* In Florida timing is everything; the challenge is to get your
harvest before the bugs do. This means having sturdy transplants in the
ground by March, which you may have to protect in the event of a freeze.
Fertilizing well will encourage them to grow faster, which might bring them
to fruiting stage before the pests become a real problem.
Row covers can prevent the moth from laying her eggs, but be sure to remove
once flowering begins because pollination is required.
[image: How to Treat for SVB]
If you see evidence of the borers, inject with *Bt* *(Bacillus
thuringiensis)*, a bacteria specific to caterpillars. You can buy a small
con tainer at any one of our feed or garden stores which will last you and
your neighbors awhile. Get a syringe (some garden stores carry them, or
sneak one home if you work in the medical field) and carefully inject the
base of the stems with Bt. The nice thing about this localized method, is
there is no way any other non-target caterpillars can be affected.
If it's too late and the damage is done, cut open the vine and feed the
juicy buggers to your chickens if you have them. If there are no chickens to
take them off your hands, be sure to kill the caterpillars so they can't
pupate, turn into moths and repeat the cycle.
For pest and disease trouble shooting, I highly recommend this book: *"Rodales'
Vegetable Garden Problem Solver,"* by Fern Marshall Bradley. Get it!
*by Michael Adler
*In my work with the *Edible Plant Project*, I have been introduced to a
number of nutritious leaf vegetables that grow well in Gainesville's hot
summers. They are all as easy to grow as a collard green, so we have no
excuse for avoiding greens during the summer. The list below provides only a
brief snapshot of annual and perennial greens. For the full description, click
the Edible Plant Project at
*Abundant Edible Landscapes* at
get your hands on some of these plants.
[image: India Lettuce] India lettuce is examined by some pullets
These grow from seeds, flower, and then die, which is what most of our
vegetable gardens do. Some return reliably from dropped seeds, but
collecting is a good idea so you can select superior plants for the next
generation, control spacing, and mulch to control competing weeds.
The leaves and growing tips can be eaten raw or cooked. Needs fertile garden
soil, plenty of water, and full sun.
Leaves and stems are very spinach-like when cooked, generally not eaten raw.
Prefers enriched soil, but will grow okay in last year's soil with no
additional amendments. Will tolerate mild droughts; needs full sun.
A soft spinach-like plant that must be cooked. Needs plenty of water and
A lettuce relatively similar tasting but a little tougher than the winter
varieties we're used to. It can be eaten raw or cooked -- stems too. Needs
plenty of water and filtered sun.
Basella alba *and* rubra*
A fast-growing vine unrelated to spinach with thick and mucilaginous leaves
high in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.The leaves and soft shoots are
eaten raw or cooked.It likes heat, full sun, rich garden soil, and plenty of
*Downtown Farmers Garden* - Come lend a hand at the living classroom gardens
located in the heart of downtown Gainesville at the Alachua County
Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., every *Thursday at 4 p.m.*
Mitchell <tra...@foginfo.org>; tra...@foginfo.org
or Sean Mclendon <smclen...@alachuacounty.us>;
*UF Ethnoecology Garden *- Learn about a variety of perennial and annual
plants while experimenting with the application of different sustainable
farming practices every *Friday at 5 p.m*. Garden is located at the UF
campus on Museum Road, on the east side of Lake Alice. Contact
Julia Showalter at 304-276-7615. Also check out the Facebook page
or join the list-serv:
*Highlands Community Gardens *- Good company and garden work fun, every *Sunday
from noon-2 p.m.*, 1001 NE 16th Ave. Future plans include an edible food
forest as well as a composting site, both of which will be used to educate
on the basics of gardening and permaculture practices. Contact *Bryan Konrad
* at ibk...@gmail.com. <ibk...@gmail.com>
*GAINESVILLE FARM FRESH *
Check out Gainesville Farm
Grow Gainesville has an onllne presence and you'll also find
information about local farmer's markets and gardener's resources. GFF is
your online resource for local, sustainable food. Our appreciation to *James
Steele*, who has generously volunteered to share his site and to maintain
our information. Thanks!
*We Want to Hear from YOU! *
Send us your gardening tips, favorite varieties, techniques, must-have
books, websites and photos for upcoming issues. Email
growgainesvi...@gmail.com. <growgainesvi...@gmail.com> *Join Our Mailing
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