El Oasis Gardeners Get Two More Weeks But Land Sale Seems Inevitable

The gardeners at El Oasis Community Garden enjoyed a small victory earlier this month. Their move-out date was extended to October 18, giving them two more weeks to enjoy their garden’s bounty. It was a small reprieve from the bad news they’d learned from Denver Urban Gardens, which owns the land, less than a month earlier: two-thirds of El Oasis was under contract to be sold.

The sale, brought about to cover the nonprofit’s outstanding debt, is meant to sustain the organization’s ability to provide for more than 180 other gardens it maintains around the city. Without the sale’s revenue, DUG could cease to exist. But once the land — sold in good faith to the nonprofit for $1 in 1988 — is developed, it cannot be replaced.

“I find myself in a pickle,” says Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, who’s been contacted by many of her constituents about the sale. “I understand. I’m empathetic to their concerns. … I wish we weren’t in this particular situation for all involved. I think it’s pitting neighbors against a nonprofit that does a lot of really good community work.”

While the El Oasis community celebrated the additional two weeks to garden, they still question the chain of events that led to the sale.EXPAND

While the El Oasis community celebrated the additional two weeks to garden, they still question the chain of events that led to the sale.

Claire Duncombe

She’s not the only one to feel that there’s no good option. Rachel Bygrave, the garden leader of DUG’s Whittier Garden, expressed frustration that the DUG board hadn’t been transparent about its financial situation. “The gardeners all across the city weren’t able to rally,” she says. “I hope they looked at every possibility… It’s disappointing that people didn’t have an advance [notice], because we can’t lose DUG either. That’s not a good solution.”

El Oasis gardeners hoped that media attention and public pressure could cause Caliber Construction, the anticipated buyers, to back out of the deal. But Caliber has maintained a low profile, ignoring all gardeners’ requests for conversation and declining to comment for this story or the original coverage on September 24. The deal is set to close on December 1.

In 2006, Bygrave experienced the sale of another DUG property, located in Capitol Hill. The nonprofit didn’t own the land, and when the owner died, his children sold the property. DUG’s executive director at the time, Michael Buchenau, did everything he could to save the garden, Bygrave says. “He really cared passionately about saving that garden, and he helped us every step of the way trying to save that land.”

Many brought food made with garden ingredients, including a cake made with edible flowers.EXPAND

Many brought food made with garden ingredients, including a cake made with edible flowers.

Claire Duncombe

After the sale of El Oasis became public, Dr. Violeta Garcia stepped down as executive director of Denver Urban Gardens the week of September 28. Garcia did not respond to a request for her comment on the matter.

On October 1, Lara Fahnestock, Director of Garden Support, sent El Oasis gardeners an apology for not bringing them into the conversation earlier. “We understand that you’re still hurting

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Gardeners’ World: Kate Garraway opens up on how her garden has become a refuge | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Derek Draper, 53, was put in an induced coma in March after being admitted to hospital where he still remains. She has been warned six times that he is not “going to make it” and does not know how much he “can see, feel or hear”. The Good Morning Britain host told Gardeners’ World that planting bulbs has given her, and the couple’s two children Darcey, 14, and Billy, 11, a sense of hope.

“It was rather sad because the radishes came, they’re one of Derek’s favourite vegetables, and we ate them and he still wasn’t better,” Kate, 53, told the BBC Two programme.

“So I then thought, we’ve got to go more long-term, planting things that were going to take longer to bear fruit. And I’d say, ‘Dad will be better by then’…

“And of course now that it’s been so long, we’ve got a huge basket of bulbs, so that when Dad comes home, the place will be full of colour. When you’re living day-to-day on a knife edge, doing something that gives you a future helps with a sense of progress, where there is none from the direct situation.

“It’s been the most important space for us. It’s been a place to find joy, hope, go a bit crazy and feel a bit unleashed in a stifling physical and emotional time that we’ve all lived through.

“It just gives you that sense of positive moving forward. You can’t think short-term in a garden, you have to plan. You have to have hope. You have to invest in a future.”

He has been battling coronavirus for longer than any other UK patient.

Kate added: “You don’t plant something unless you believe it’s going to come up, so by planting something and believing Derek will see it when it comes up, that gives us a sense of future.”

Gardeners’ World is broadcast tonight on BBC Two at 9pm.

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11 kitchen garden ideas for gardeners with tiny spaces

Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga during the launch of Kilimo kitchen garden project in Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

In capitalism one eats food they pay for. You pay for the food from your pocket or by farming it yourself.

On Tuesday this week, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative, launched the model kitchen garden developed in collaboration with Scaling up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA Kenya).

“Kitchen gardens are the easiest ways households can ensure inexpensive supply of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and other plants,” Anne Nyaga, the Chief Administrative Secretary, said at the event.

The model kitchen garden, located at Kilimo House in Upper Hill, Nairobi, is the centrepiece of the call by the Government for families to cultivate home-based gardens, “at least one million kitchen gardens across the country,” Nyaga said.

Affordable food at home

“The focus is not only to make food available but also improve the nutritional quality of that food: nutrition is the difference,” said Martha Nyagaya, the chair of SUN CSA Kenya board during the third national nutrition symposium which was running concurrently with the launch of the kitchen garden.

Evidence shows most vegetables consumed by households in Nairobi are grown along polluted rivers and streams using wastewater – which contains heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.

“Developing your own kitchen garden assures your family of a high nutrient diet that is not toxic to your body and cannot cause cancer,” said Nyagaya.

The Nairobi County Assembly adopted the Water and Sanitation Services Policy last year which outlaws use of sewage water and wastewater to irrigate crops.

For those interested in setting up a kitchen garden, here are some of the easy-to-implement technologies one could use to develop the system.

1.     The wick irrigation garden

This is a simple garden that employs use of jerry cans and a wick measuring 30cm long and 2cm in width. The wick – much like with a kerosene lamp – draws water up to the soil where the crop is growing. The can is sliced in such a way the lower half holds water in which the wick is dipped and the upper half holds the soil, the plant and the wick. Most medium-sized vegetables like spinach and cabbages would do well in a wick garden. Mounted on a wooden frame, the wick garden would easily fit in any amount of space.

2.     Tyre garden

Do you have used car tyres of any size? If you do, do not worry how to dispose of them. Cut the tyre to remove the inner rims on both sides. Place it on the ground to form a circle and fill it with soil and manure. The tyre garden can be used to grow herbs like rosemary, fruits like strawberry and vegetables like kales.

3.     Simple drip irrigation garden

With used plastic containers and a wall (or a pole) one can establish a simple drip irrigation garden. The best containers would be 5-litre jerry cans. The cans are

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Gardeners should plan now for Washington’s hotter, drier climate

Until rain began falling Friday, the only thing coming from the skies across western Washington lately has been ash. Anxious homeowners have been glancing at their landscaping the last couple of weeks and filling online garden forums with questions about drought, fires and ash.

But garden experts say there’s little to worry about — if you’ve been caring for your plants. And there are steps to take to make a drought resistant garden.

Western Washington is experiencing “abnormally dry” weather, according to the Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System, a collaborative government effort that monitors weather conditions for the Columbia River basin and surrounding region, including all of Washington state.

Central Washington is experiencing a moderate to severe drought, according to DEWS. Many parts of Oregon are in extreme drought.

Get used to it, experts say. It’s climate change.

“It’s definitely gotten hotter,” said Linda Chalker-Scott, a Washington State University professor, urban horticulturist and author. “Maybe not every summer. But when you look at long term trends, we know that the average temperature is going up in summer, and we’re getting less rainfall.”

There’s nothing from stopping homeowners from watering their thirsty landscapes, except maybe the water bill. But, Chalker-Scott suggests planning and planting landscapes that are less dependent on supplemental water.

The weather has changed to the point where spring planting season is something to be avoided unless gardeners are installing a vegetable garden or putting in annuals, she said.

“Spring is a really bad time to plant. Summer is the only worst time,” Chalker-Scott said. “The tree is not able to put out a lot of root growth because there’s just not enough water to support that.”

Instead, fall and winter are the seasons that are best for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. She suggests mid-October as the start of the planting season. Even deciduous plants, those that lose their leaves, will grow roots during fall and winter.

Fall colors might be arriving sooner than usual, said garden designer and author Sue Goetz.

“Some trees kick out fall color early if they are super stressed,” Goetz said. “If trees are stressed, it is usually because they are newly planted in the last few years and just need to get their roots deep in the ground.”

Homeowners concerned about fire should concentrate on where they plant more than what they plant. Chalker-Scott debunks lists of “flammable plants” put out by governments and other agencies.

“It’s just not really based on science,” she said. “It’s based on anecdote, just conjecture, nothing else.”

Fire defense experts suggest creating a defensible space around homes that might be subject to wildfires.

Homeowners concerned about air quality should plant more trees, Goetz said.

“It is well studied how dramatically trees can help reduce air pollution,” she said. “So, I imagine our large trees are working hard.”

Keeping plants healthy means avoiding bare earth, Chalker-Scott said. The best way to do that is with ground cover or mulch. She recommends wood chips, not bark. Chips

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In the Garden: New veggie gardeners share triumphs and tribulations

Did you grow your first vegetable garden this year? Well done! Even if you experienced some problems or frustrations, I hope there were enough positive aspects to make you want to do it again next year.

I recently asked new gardeners on Facebook how they fared and received a lot of interesting replies. Before I proceed with those, I want to emphasize that no gardener has ever had a “perfect” garden on their first try. Come to think of it, I’ve been growing veggies for ages, and I don’t think I’ve ever had everything go according to plan. Do I still love it? You bet.

Vegetable gardening is a learning experience: You build on that experience by repeating your successes, talking to others about the challenges you’ve encountered and making adjustments each year. It should feel satisfying to grow vegetables. If you ate a homegrown tomato for the first time, you know it was worth the effort right there.

Here are some of the comments I’ve heard:

One new gardener realized he hadn’t spaced his plants properly, which impacted their growth. It’s always a good idea to follow the spacing recommendations on seed packets or plant tags. When plants are crowded, they have to fight for sunlight, moisture and nutrients. Stressed plants are often targeted by bugs.

A lot of folks were frustrated that our cold, wet spring affected their plants’ production. That’s one of those things we can’t control, but you might feel better knowing you weren’t alone. I should have waited a bit longer to plant my warm-season crops; others mentioned they probably planted theirs a bit too soon, as well. We should all wait until the danger of frost has passed and remember to harden off the seedlings before planting day by slowly acclimating them to outdoor temperatures and the intensity of the sunlight.

New and experienced gardeners alike commented on how difficult it was to find basic gardening supplies such as seeds and tools. While I know that was frustrating, it’s fantastic to have so many new gardeners. I’ve long maintained everyone should know how to grow their own food, and a lot of folks began that journey this year. Most garden centers and online sources are back on track now.

I heard positive comments, too. One couple said their crops produced so well, they’re already sketching out next year’s garden and looking through seed catalogs. Now that is organized, and I’m very impressed. Another person has appreciated the distraction that gardening has provided: “It has kept me centered and sane during these difficult times.”

Many people dealt with insect problems on their plants, which is always discouraging. The first step is to get them identified, then learn about organic solutions for controlling them. Experienced gardeners are great resources, as are our local Master Gardener programs; refer to the information box for ways to contact them.

A frequent frustration of new gardeners was that their gardens got out of control, making it difficult for them to

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“Grow what you want to eat” local gardeners focus on organization, practical planting wins new Spokane Interstate Fair garden category

For Gabriele Tilley, successful gardening is about beauty and smart use of space.

Tilley’s garden, which is located in front of her Long Lake home, is a mix of flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants all neatly organized in raised beds. Tilley has been cultivating her small garden patch for over a decade and normally would have submitted much of what she grows to the Spokane County Interstate Fair for judging.

After this year’s fair was moved online, the organizers developed a new category to allow gardeners to participate, by allowing them to submit photos and designs of their entire garden for judging. Tilley was the inaugural winner, garnering praise from the judges for her neat, organized plan and productive use of a small space.

She said the secret to her gardening success is likely her focus on plants she enjoys.

“Grow what you want to eat, and then go from there,” she said.

Her garden includes kale, eggplant, tomatoes and basil, often sharing raised beds with flowers. She said mixing the plants attracts bees and other pollinating insects, and it allows her to maximize space.

Everything in her garden is planted in a raised bed and much of it is held up by home made frames. Her pumpkins are draped over A-frames she made from zip ties and hog wire and her tomato crates are built from rebar. The A frame has allowed her to keep her gourds and pumpkins neat and organized, and provide support for sunflowers, which grow through several A-frames.

She said the neat arrangement of raised beds, the grass clippings she layers on the paths between them and the mixed plants also creates a space she wants to spend time in, a place she can create and relax in for hours.

“For me, it’s meditative,” she said.

Tilley said her garden also is a good place to start plants for the Friends of Manito, an non profit that supports Manito Park in Spokane. Tilley volunteers for the organization and has owned a pet sitting business and has worked as an orthodontics technician.

She said she’s been gardening for 30 years and has picked up many tips and tricks to make her own garden successful, but added there’s always more to learn. She recalled a recent issue with hundreds of volunteer pumpkin plans she accidentally grew after she composted pumpkins. She said the seeds must have germinated at some point and in the spring as she was constantly surprised by unexpected pumpkins.

“Gardening is still an adventure,” she said. “You make mistakes, but then you learn from them.”

For runner-up garden category winner Barb Goehner, gardening is about sharing what she grows with others and the joy of being outdoors.

“People have other joys, but I love this,” she said.

Goehner normally enters 30 to 40 vegetables in the fair every year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced number of entries accepted into the fair this year, she only entered a pumpkin and photos

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Monty Don: Gardeners’ World host responds to unlikely jibe about his ‘scruffy’ garden | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

“What a troll,” another follower remarked in the comments section of the post.

“Some people have nothing better to do with their time… he clearly hasn’t taken much of a look at your garden.”

Praising Monty’s response, the fan went on to say: “Your reply drips with superb sarcasm which will be lost on him, but gives the rest of us a good chuckle.”

“Sadly, we all have days when we are less than our best. Sorry you have to hear from us on those days,” a third fan retorted.

A fourth follower added: “In my opinion Monty, your garden is looking amazing.

“Our gardens are individual and ours to make. We will not all like the same thing but that’s the point of gardening. Who cares if one plant has fallen into another? Not me. Keep up the good work.”

Monty Don will appear on The One Show tonight at 7pm on BBC One.

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Gardeners and their gardens: No two alike | Home & Garden

1. Why do you do share your garden with other people?

So many gardeners answered that once they’ve created a garden it must be seen. As Craig Coyne of Snyder put it: “There isn’t any point in creating something beautiful if you are going to hide it.”

A friend motivated Pat Gurney, a skilled Orchard Park gardener, by saying: “Don’t be selfish. Let other people enjoy your efforts!” She did and it’s wonderful.

Beth and Brian Kreutzer's garden

The Kreutzers’ garden.

Kitty and Gary Bannerman of Orchard Park said they open their garden because they love meeting visitors from near and far who have similar interests. This season, their sea of coral-pink poppies, floating among the daylilies and conifers, evoked many visitors’ memories of Monet’s garden at Giverny – leading to great garden travel conversations.

Other gardeners care about sharing values.

Donna and Chet Banach of Hamburg said they wanted to share their pesticide-free landscape and the species diversity.

Laurie Ousley, a teacher and native plants advocate who describes her garden in the video by News staff photographer John Hickey below, said: “My garden shows how home gardeners can re-create a native plants habitat, help essential pollinators and maintain a beautiful space.”

Stephen Bellus said he finds joy in hearing visitors’ surprise at the garden artistry even in a small and shady city yard, and then hearing them say, “I didn’t have any idea that Buffalo was like this!” The gardeners want their gardens to excite, inspire, motivate, give joy and encourage others to make gardens.

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Garden Help Desk: Early winter weather makes gardeners eager for harvest | Home and Garden

We had several questions about what to do for tomato plants during the past week’s cold weather.

To pick, or not to pick? And what about covering the plants; will it get too cold or will the plants be OK? And doesn’t refrigeration ruin tomato flavor? How cold can tomatoes get before the flavor will be ruined?

Answer: This week, let’s look at some information that will help you make good tomato decisions.

This early in the fall, it’s usually better to leave your tomatoes on the vine. The exception to that, of course, would be if the weather forecast predicts the temperature will go below freezing at your location.

Almost every autumn, we get these really short periods of cool-to-cold temperatures and then have better weather again for a while.

Very cold temperatures can ruin the flavor of tomatoes. That’s why we don’t put our tomatoes in the refrigerator. But what about tomatoes on the vine during cold weather?

If the overnight temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees, tomatoes will develop poor flavor. But if temperatures warm up 55 degrees or more during day, the tomatoes can do some normal ripening and improve the flavor.

If you garden in the cooler parts of Utah County, and you think your garden is at risk of frost this early in the fall, you can cover the vines at night to protect them and remove the covering during the day to let the tomatoes soak up the sun and mild daytime temperatures for a few days until better weather returns.

In warmer parts of the county, where the overnight lows will stay in the 40s, covering isn’t usually necessary.

So, for short-term chilly, but not frosty, weather in the early fall, it’s best to leave your tomatoes on the vine so they develop their best flavor profiles instead of picking them green.

Green tomatoes picked now and taken in to ripen and color up will taste more like the tomatoes you buy at the grocery store in the winter.

Near the end of September, when we start to have consistently cold nights and days that stay cool, tomatoes will feel the effects — growth and ripening will nearly come to a stop and the fruits will develop off flavors.

At that point, there isn’t any benefit to leaving tomatoes on the vine or covering the vines overnight. Keep your eye on the weather forecast, watching for those cold nights and days that don’t really warm up and pick all your mature tomatoes, even if they are only partially colored up or still green.

Question: What kind of fertilizer should I use now for my trees to help them get ready for winter?

Answer: Autumn isn’t a good time to fertilize trees.

Right now, trees, shrubs and perennials should begin getting ready for winter and fertilizing them would stimulate new growth instead. New growth that your trees put on now will be less winter hardy and less likely to survive our winter

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This Indoor Garden System Is the Perfect Solution for All Gardeners

During these strange times, we’re all doing what we can to curb the spread of COVID-19. And, unfortunately, that means sheltering in place while limiting our time in public spaces. This less-than-ideal new social norm has led to many new hobbies and interests. For my family at least, this means testing our green thumb to grow some tasty and healthy additions to our diet.

When it comes to gardening, the tedious upkeep and meticulous care that goes into growing fresh produce can be intimidating. And if you’re a complete newbie in the garden (hand raised) or simply without outdoor yard space to plant anything, Rise Gardens hydroponic indoor gardening system might be the perfect solution for your lifestyle.

rise gardens
Photo: Courtesy of Rise Gardens

These gardens are fully customizable to your living space and garden needs. They can be as basic as a single level, or up to three levels to accommodate your gardening aspirations, and the nutrient system is as simple as it gets. After assembly of your garden, just add water, unpack the pre-packaged seed pods of choice, place them in the tray, and watch them grow day after day. It’s a sophisticated system that’s not only easy to build, but requires minimal upkeep once you start. The directions are laid out step-by-step, and the simple system does most all the work.

Pair this system with your smartphone via the Rise Gardens app to remotely control the lights (and pre-programmed lighting schedule) as the plants’ nutrient regimen—it’ll even tell when it’s time to add more water.

rise gardens
Photo: Courtesy of Rise Gardens

It’s an elegant system that not only makes an attractive home addition, but it’ll also be an intriguing conversation piece the next time you entertain guests. The benefits stack up as well: growing your own healthy food, with a system that adds fun and reduces stress (an even more attractive quality in appliances these days). In fact, I’ll vouch for the delight this system brings the household as a legitimate stress reliever. It’s a new hobby that the whole family enjoys on a daily basis.

Below, we asked CEO and Founder of Rise Gardens Hank Adams a few questions about this intuitive gardening system.

MJ: What makes Rise Gardens stand apart from other indoor gardening systems?
HANK ADAMS: Rise Gardens is unique in the marketplace in a number of important ways. It’s the only modular, consumer hydroponic system allowing consumers to choose between one, two or three levels of growing. The ability to grow multiple plant types simultaneously is also unique to Rise Gardens. Nobody else enables gardeners to grow greens, herbs, tomatoes, microgreens, vining crops, and rooted veggies at the same time in the same system. This is part of Rise Gardens’ patent-pending set of innovations.

Rise Gardens is also an IoT system, allowing consumers to manage their system and get guidance and alerts from our mobile app. Water levels, light settings, and nutrient levels all have sensors on the system and can be controlled.


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