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Community Crops May 2012 Newsletter

Gardening is in full swing in the community gardens and across Lincoln. Flowers are blooming everywhere, vegetables are in the ground growing, and everyone is looking forward to a delicious harvest. Some people are already harvesting abundant crops of spinach, lettuce, radishes and kale. Many of the farmers' markets in Lincoln are opening, and there's plenty to buy -- asparagus, spring greens, bread, cheese, eggs...the local food season is back in full swing!

The 15 community gardens are filled up for this year--we had an overwhelming response and have matched up all the plots with gardeners for this year. We're quite excited about all the new partners we are working with for gardens this year, including First Presbyterian Church. Go to our Gardens Page for a map of all the locations.

Events

  • Film Screening: Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution, Saturday, May 5, 7pm, Meadowlark Coffee, 17th and South
  • Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Sale: Saturday, May 12, 9am-12pm, UNL East Campus
  • CSA 101: Thursday, May 10, 9 am to noon, Antelope Church of the Brethren
  • Drip Irrigation: Thursday, May 17 (date changed!), 9am - 12pm with Warren Kittler at Sunset Community Farm (SW 40th and F Street)
  • Give to Lincoln Day Donate to Community Crops on May 17 during this city wide philanthropy event organized by Lincoln Community Foundation
  • Cover Crops: Tuesday, May 22, 9am - 12pm with Justin Jones at Sunset Community Farm (SW 40th and F Street)
  • Garden Gala, Saturday, June 30, 10am-2pm, Antelope Church
  • Farm Walk, Friday, September 14(NOTE DATE CHANGE)

Crops Updates

Here's just a few things that have happened in the last month:
  • We want to THANK all of the Community Crops supporters for participating in the Earth Day Groupon for water in the community gardens. Through your support we raised $630 for the garden water bills. Groupon donated an additional $1,000 to the cause!
  • We want to THANK the Lincoln community for great support of the community gardens. We have two and a half gardens of 15 fully sponsored for the 2012 year. Our current community garden sponsors include the Near South Neighborhood Association in memory of Denise Kjar, Union Bank and Trust, INSPRO Insurance, and Harding and Shultz Law Firm.
  • Jessica, Matt, and Lacey have trained the garden site coordinators and hosted 9 garden orientations last month. There is a waiting list of over 100 people interested in gardening next year.
  • Warren just finished the last of 9 classes for the 2012 Farm Training Program. Be sure to look for us and our beginning farmers at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market.
  • Jennie has been working with the Mickle Youth Urban Gardeners. This past month they already had more orders than what the hoop house could provide. Thanks to the Lincoln Elks Lodge No. 80 for assisting with the purchase of a tool shed for the youth!

Community Crops Plant Sale

Saturday, May 12, 9:00am-12:00pm, Bodhi Organic Garden Supply, 1st and A

Don't miss your chance to select from an amazing array of vegetable varieties at the Community Crops Plant Sale, including many types of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cabbage, chard, kale and other vegetables! Perennials galore--including pitcher sage, everbearing strawberries, raspberries, various sedums and globe thistle. Herbs, house plants and some beautiful containers. Enter the raffle to win a variety of prizes, including some beautiful large potted plants.

Plant donations are still being accepted. Bring them Friday, May 11th to the Community Crops office, or contact us to arrange a drop off earlier at info@communitycrops.org or 474-9802.

Tools Accepted

Cleaning out your garage? See a great deal at a garage sale? Crops will take any useful garden tool. If you have any hoes, shovels, hoses, trowels or spades in good condition, let us know! With all our new gardens we need plenty of tools for everyone. To arrange a donation, please contact us at info@communitycrops.org or 474-9802.

GIVE TO LINCOLN DAY

On Thursday May 17th, Lincoln will come together for Give To Lincoln Day. sponsored by the Lincoln Community Foundation. We need YOU to join us. It’s 24 hours of unprecedented giving to nonprofits and your chance to help make a real difference, right here in our community.

If you care about local food access, building community, healthy living, greening urban spaces, sharing diverse cultures, revitalizing habitat and reducing food costs, then you can help sustain Community Crops which works so diligently to improve our community. Show your support through Give To Lincoln Day, and your gift will be increased by a challenge matching fund.

Please show your support on May 17th by donating online at Give to Lincoln Day. Thank you for your generosity. Please help us spread the word!

Old Cheney Road Farmers' Market

Sundays, 10am-2pm, 55th and Old Cheney

The Old Cheney Market just opened and has a great array of produce and local products. Every week there are more producers, and more delicious food to enjoy. Stop down to visit the Community Crops booth--we've got delicious greens and radishes for you, along with some healthy vegetable transplants this month.

Community Crops CSA -- Last chance!

Maybe you've thought about the Crops CSA--Community Supported Agriculture. It sounds like such a great idea to get a box of fresh produce every week, and all you have to do is pick it up once a week. All the food is grown using organic methods, and is picked the day you receive it, so you know it is good for you. The food is being grown by Crops beginning farmers and staff, so you know your money is going to support entrepreneurs and expanding local food in Lincoln. 2012 CSA sign-up forms are available. The deadline has been extended to May 7 or until it fills up, which could be sooner. Sign up now.

Order your Crops apron today!

We’re taking orders until May 14th for Community Crops aprons. 100% cotton natural aprons with the Crops logo printed in green. Use yours while cooking, or gardening!

Keep up to date on Crops

Sign up to get notice of these newsletters and other great events, once a month from Crops. You can also choose to get notice of volunteer opportunities. Sign up at our Newsletter Page. You can also join our ever-growing page on Facebook and invite your friends.

Birding at Sunset Community Farm

Sunday, June 3, 7:30am-9am with John Quinn at Sunset Community Farm (SW 40th and F Street)

Please join us for a morning birding workshop exploring the community of birds at Sunset Farm. We will focus on identifying locally nesting species and discuss why sustainable urban farm habitats are key to preservation of some of our most important, yet common, Nebraska bird species. The workshop is appropriate for beginning or advanced birders.

Dr. John Quinn is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the UNL School of Natural Resources with research emphasizing concerns related to biodiversity conservation and sustainability; in particular avian ecology, agroecology, and the role of birding as a medium for environmental awareness and education. Of special interest is how agricultural landscapes in Nebraska can be structured & managed to maintain food production while conserving biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services.

The bird workshop is free, but pre-registration is appreciated. E-mail barb@communitycrops.org or call Crops at 402-474-9802.

Art in the Garden at Noyes Gallery: May 19

You're invited to see garden themed art for our special event, "Art in the Garden," presented by Community Crops and the Noyes Art Gallery for May 19, 2012, Sat. 11:00am-12:00pm at the Noyes Art Gallery. We will be celebrating local art, local growers, and community.

Presenting artists will be Mike Montag & Tom Sitzman. Community Garden participants will be present to talk about gardening and the garden art projects. This event is featuring the artwork from Mike Montag, Tom Sitzman and Mike Fluent, who will have sculptures displayed at the three Community Crops Community Gardens this year: 14th and Hudson, 46th & Pioneers, and United Lutheran at Fremont & 59th.

Produce from the Gardens/Farm will be available for samples at our event. Please come and enjoy and bring your friends. You can learn more about the local community gardens, art walk’s that in include the gardens, and the connections between Crops and Noyes. Help us spread the word about this fun social event. Ask for details at andrea@communitycrops.org.

Mowing to Growing project featured on BYF

The Hawley neighborhood block where we held the Mowing to Growing class was recently featured on Backyard Farmer. If you missed the class, this is a great way to see this amazing project. Watch now.

Crops profile

Another in a series of profiles written by Andrea Anthony featuring Community Crops partners ~ volunteers, farmers, gardeners and staff.

Eric, a father of three and a student from Nebraska Wesleyan studying Organizational Communication, came to Community Crops through a Senior Research Project on servant leadership. His goal for his class project was to find something that would leave a lasting impact on an organization. After a conversation with Paul from Mo Java, Eric was introduced to Matt Gunther, AmeriCorps Member at Community Crops to explore opportunities for his class project. Eric and Matt discussed how gardening is related to art and the benefits of connecting local artist and the Community Gardens. Eric choose to do his project with Community Crops with two project goals of getting the community gardens into the art walks, and getting art placed into the gardens. He worked with Pepe, the Lux, and Noyes Art Gallery.

Julia at Noyes helped take ownership in finding some artists and in May, there will be three gardens with artwork. The artist made pedestals and Matt helped install the concrete for the art pedestals. The artists with work on display are Mike Fluent, Mike Montag, and Tom Sitzman. Eric wants to see this continue and said he is “so excited everything turned out so well. Everything for the Art in the Garden just clicked together.” Eric plans to stay involved with Community Crops and would like to invite you to meet the artists that have art in the gardens on May 19 at Noyes Art Gallery from 11am-12pm.

Breanne, a UNL textiles and design masters student, recently became involved with Community Crops. Through her friendship with Matt Gunther, AmeriCorps Member at Crops, she learned about some of the growing needs with in Community Crops.

Last year, Breanne had a garden plot at 14th and Hudson. In the interview she explained that she learned to garden from her grandmother. She always wanted a house and garden and this was giving her a chance to grow something while she's in school. During the growing season she enjoyed playing with the kids of the other families with garden plots near hers. She also really enjoys crafts and helped Matt brainstorm new ideas to incorporate art into the Community Garden. They worked together to come up with some new projects for youth art in the gardens around Lincoln. This year Breanne painted a mural to be placed in a community garden.

Breanne thinks that the garden enables people to get together, it is a great way to meet people and a unique form of exercise. Gardening has also helped Breanne financially. She said that she's not financially hurting but it is always nice to have free food and find ways to save money.

“What's not to love about gardening? I believe in supporting healthy lifestyles and hope to grow more food in the future. I am from Omaha and even there we don't have something like Community Crops to help people grow their own food."