Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Support Capital District Community Gardens

Any Klein of the Capital District Community Gardens wants all of you to support her Veggie Mobile:

Capital District Community Gardens’ Veggie Mobile has been selected as one of ten finalists in a worldwide competition called “Designing for Better Health” sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ashoka’s Changemakers.

Internet ballots will decide the three highest vote-getters by May 28th and winners will receive a $5,000 cash award and international recognition for their project. This is a tremendous opportunity for our organization, our mobile market – The Veggie Mobile, and for New York’s Capital Region!

Now we need your help. Please use this link to vote for our program and share this link with your personal networks (email, facebook, myspace, blogs, etc.). If everyone we know gets in touch with everyone they know we will win this award.

Every vote will make a difference - thanks for helping to spread the word! Please vote by May 28th.


More info on Capital District Community Gardens and The Veggie Mobile www.cdcg.org

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Community Garden Awards

Two Coves Community Garden in Queens, NY wins NATURE HILLS NURSERY GREEN AMERICA AWARD

Three community gardening projects from across the United States have been honored with 2009 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards. Honored with the Grand Prize Award of $2,500 in plants was Bridging The Gap, a nonprofit environmental organization in the Kansas City area that is beautifying a vacant lot in the Ivanhoe Neighborhood. The lot has already been cleared of litter and debris, and volunteers are ready to begin creating the garden which will serve as a green space for the neighborhood complete with play areas for children and rest areas for adults.

Chosen for the First Place Award of $1,500 in plants was Two Coves Community Garden in Astoria (Queens), New York. Two Coves Community Garden is a newly established oasis in western Queens that provides fresh produce to residents of a neighborhood that has been described as “a food desert.” Honored with the Second Place Award of $1,000 in plants was Homewood Heights Community Garden in Austin, Texas. Homewood Heights is a one-year-old community garden that has sprouted from a reclaimed urban lot that was used for many years as a dump for construction debris.

Winners of the 2009 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards were chosen from over 200 applications submitted by community groups, nonprofit organizations, and gardening programs from across the USA. Nature Hills Nursery, an Omaha-based website-only retailer that sells trees, shrubs, perennials and other plants, created the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards as a way to give back to the communities and people who have contributed to the success of the company. For more information, visit www.naturehills.com.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Tree Planting Tips

Planting your tree too deeply is the number one reason why your tree will die in anywhere from two to five years. Often times the label on the tree will tell you to plant the tree at the same depth as it was in the container. Well, there are a lot of trees that don't come in a container. They come wrapped in a burlap bag. My radio partner Fred Breglia, the arborist at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY made this point so many times on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, that I think I can say it in my sleep. Here is how to successfully plant that expensive tree you just bought at the nursery:
1. Dig a hole that is approximately the same size as the root ball of your tree. Maybe just a little bit wider, but no deeper.
2. Remove all the wire mesh and burlap surrounding the tree.
3. Look for the spot on your tree where the roots begin to flair out from the trunk. Remove any dirt that gets in your way. You must see that flair.
4. Place the tree in the whole so that the spot where the roots flair out is an inch or two above soil level. The tree is likely to settle deeper into the hole over time, so plant it an inch or two above soil level to compensate for settling.
5. Fill the hole with dirt making sure you can still see the place where the roots flair out from the trunk.
6. Water the tree at soil level at least once or twice a month for the first year or two.
Fred says he has seen many, many trees die because they were planted too deeply, but he has never seen a tree die because it was planted too shallowly. I used this technique on all my trees and shrubs that I planted last year and they all survived a fairly severe winter. Thanks, Fred.