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Introducing the new faces of Miller CC Garden

Yesterday’s meeting was very productive. We talked about the goals for the garden this summer and beyond, and there is a lot coming up to be excited about. We also started the Great Dandelion Weeding and thinned some of the seedlings coming up.

Today, June 1, marks an important transition for the garden. Elizabeth, the volunteer manager since the garden was a twinkle in the Parks Department’s eye last year, is moving to be an intern on a series of farms in northern California. Her departure opens up the opportunity for a new crew to step up and take Miller CC Garden to the next level this growing season.

We’re proud to introduce the new volunteer management team, from left: Sophia, Dana, and Alex:

Sophia has been a master volunteer since the garden’s inception last year, and thanks to her diligence we now have two compost bins on-site. Her continued support will be invaluable to the evolution of the garden, and she has a suprise project up her sleeve that will enhance the space and bring more community members in.

Dana recently relocated to Seattle from North Carolina. She has experience farming in a warm Southern climate and is looking forward to learning about how we grow in the comparatively cool PNW. She is excited to work with youth programs in the garden and will help design some better signage and a flyer to advertise the garden.

Alex studied food security and works for an environmental non-profit dedicated to preserving natural resources. Alex is looking forward to building community through the garden, and hopes to create a more solid plan for the future of the garden, including crop rotation and a more effective communications system to coordinate everyone involved.

Get ready for a summer of homegrown goods, garden art projects, and – fingers crossed – lots of SUNNY work parties.

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June 1, 2012 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

Where composting meets science fiction

Thanks to the diligent efforts of master volunteer Sophia, Miller Community Center Garden has not one but TWO new compost bins on-site. We call this one the Death Star:

And this is the cube: (a Star Trek: The Next Generation reference. You know, the Borg?)

This is excellent news for the garden since we’ll be able to compost all of the green waste we generate right in the garden, rather than having to take it to our respective houses. Thanks, Sophia!

May 30, 2012 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Strawberries and Potatoes

Late spring is translating into some exciting activity around the Miller Community Center Garden. We transplanted strawberries over the winter, choosing to plant them at a bad time rather than leave them in seedling cells for another few months. Luckily they took to their bed like gangbusters and are already producing some fruit!

 Image

The potatoes are coming up as well. We did our first mounding and will get to mound some more during Thursday’s work party.

ImageIt’s going to be a great growing season!

May 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Next Work Party: Thursday May 31, 5:00 to 7:00 pm

It’s time for the next work party! Here’s what’s on the agenda:

1) Meet the new volunteer managers of the garden
2) Discuss current projects as well as short- and long-term goals for the garden
3) Do a major de-dandelioning of the grounds

Snacks and drinks provided, as always. See you there!

May 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Miller CC Garden Seeks Manager

It’s true! Miller Community Center Garden is seeking a Garden Manager to begin 5/31/2012. This is a volunteer position and a great opportunity for someone who is interested in taking the love of growing food to the next level.

The Manager will be responsible for:

  • Organizing work parties to weed, plant, and harvest seasonal food
  • Working with local community gardens, schools, and organizations to plan and promote events and work toward shared goals
  • Engaging with the local community and recruiting volunteers as needed
  • Working with the Seattle Parks Department, official owners of Miller CCG
  • Maintaining contact with the garden’s volunteers via a Google group
  • Managing and posting blogs
  • Maintaining the garden’s Facebook page
  • Taking photos of work parties, events, and the garden to share via blog and Facebook
  • Delegating responsibilities to other volunteers
  • Taking initiative on any projects or ideas, and encouraging volunteers to do the same
  • Fundraising (if a particular project requires financing)

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have experience gardening or farming
  • Have experience managing projects and people
  • Be a clear, concise, and timely communicator
  • Be flexible and roll with the punches; adaptation is key!
  • Be enthusiastic about growing and eating food
  • Have a desire to share and teach good food values
  • Experience working with children and young adults is a plus

Monthly time commitment may range from 10-40 hours, depending on the season and projects underway.

Interested? Send a short letter (500 words or less) to millercommunitygarden@gmail.com explaining who you are and why you’d love to manage Miller CCG. Please also include at least one reference. All applications must be received by Friday, 5/18 for consideration. The Manager must be able to start on or before 5/31.

There is the possibility of splitting this into two Co-Manager positions, so please indicate in your letter if you would be more interested in sharing the responsibilities, and if so what you are most interested in taking charge of.

Note: applicants will be subject to a background search.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

May 3, 2012 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

A very productive week

A lot has happened in a week!
Thursday: Quick and Dirty Work Party

After a week of rain, we met on a blessedly sunny Thursday for the first official work party of the year. In less than 2 hours, we:
  • Weeded all 10 beds
  • Harvested and pulled up the last of the chard, kale, and beet greens (sadly no actual beets) planted last year
  • Built trellises for the peas planted by the Botany Club students
  • Brainstormed what to plant in the remaining beds
Thanks to Nate, Chris, Amber, Sophia, Elizabeth, and the sun for coming out!

Beds before the work party started - that's some over-wintered kale!

Amber builds trellises for the peas while Chris and Nate harvest kale in the background.

Saturday: Central District Free Plant Exchange
Green Plate Special and Alleycat Acres hosted an amazing and FREE plant exchange on Saturday at the Green Plate Special garden on Union and MLK. Even if people didn’t bring anything to exchange, they were encouraged to take as many plants as they had use for. Sophia and Elizabeth definitely cashed in on this excellent opportunity for Miller CCG and had a hard time choosing from the beautiful and extremely healthy plants that were so lovingly raised to be shared with the community. Seriously awesome event.

Sophia picks some plants from the beautiful starts at the Central District Plant Exchange.

We chatted with Ariel from Taste International who is doing great things with young adults. They also gave us some lovely lavender to plant!
Sunday: Howell Collective P-Patch Tours and More Gardening
Sunday was cloudy but not rainy, so Sophia and Elizabeth headed to the garden to plant Saturday’s bounty and welcome the walking tour. Here’s what was planted (all plants came from the CD plant exchange on Saturday unless otherwise noted):
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 “Purple Prince” tomato
  • 5 cauliflower starts
  • 10 tiny popcorn starts (from Elizabeth)
  • a bed of potatoes (from Nate and Howell Collective)
  • 1 artichoke (in a pot all its own)
  • 3 lavender (planted around one of the small trees)
  • 6 Gooseneck loosestrife (how’s that for a name? Planted next to one of the beds)
After the garden tours people convened at Howell for an overcast but dry barbecue. The food was delicious and the conversation inspired. Here’s a shot of the group from afar:

A good crowd gathered at at Howell Collective after the tours for a barbecue.

 And just think, this is only the beginning! Stay tuned for more exciting garden updates and announcements.

April 30, 2012 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

Howell Collective P-Patch garden tours and BBQ: Sunday April 29

Our friend and neighbor the Howell Collective P-Patch is offering both a walking and biking tour of gardens in the area this Sunday, April 29 starting at 10:00 am. Yours truly will be on the tour, so come check us and other area gardens out! It’s supposed to be a beautiful, sunny day. If you’d like to take the tour, meet at the Howell Collective P-Patch in Seven Hills Park on East Howell and 16th Ave at 10:00.

After the tour, there is a barbecue at Howell P-Patch from 12:00-3:00. All are welcome to join and encouraged to bring a dish to pass at the BBQ.

The event will carry on rain or shine. For more information contact howellcollective@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/215649655211097/ for the latest event updates.

April 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

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