Keller Street Community Garden, Burrowes Street Youth Haven Garden

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Keller Street Community Garden Update

The garden is looking wonderful! Thank you to all the gardeners all for their hard work getting the plots cleared and planted. And thank you to everyone who helped at the May 18 workday – Beth and Adam filled the raised beds with more compost, Nina, Jimmy and Robbie weeded, Dave and Jeff installed rabbit-proof fencing and Dave and I trimmed the corner posts. Katy and Yetkin worked on moving weed piles out to the roadside, and then Dave and Nina took the weeds home for their chickens!

Upcoming Events

  • JUNE 15 – POLLINATOR GARDEN PLANTING – Master Gardener Justin Wheeler has planned the pollinator garden – flowers and herbs to be planted along the lower side fence and in the empty raised beds, creating a new satellite garden for the Snetsinger Pollinator Garden at Tudek Park. The planting will take place at our next workday, Saturday, June 15 at 1 p.m.
  • JUNE 22 – WEED IDENTIFICATION & MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP – Elina Snyder (Plot #4 and a Friends member cultivating a couple of raised beds) will be teaching a gardening workshop on weed identification and organic weed management on Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the garden. Eli’s hoping that working together in a coordinated way will make it easier for all community gardeners to stay on top of weeds; even if you can’t make it to her workshop, she’ll be putting a handout with the key information in the binder in the toolbox.
  • PSU COMMUNITY GARDEN – Scott Salesky, Mark Dempsey and other managers at the Penn State Community Garden (off Pollock Road) are also planning several gardening workshops for this summer. I’ll send announcements about those as soon as the details, dates, times etc. are confirmed.

General Projects Update

  • IRRIGATION SYSTEM – Irrigation system is operational – thank you Gary! We’ve had a few hiccups, but Gary and Larry have repaired some of the leaks and are working on others. FOOTPATHS – I will be weed-whacking the wide perimeter paths and covering them with the leftover switchgrass this week. Most plot gardeners have already done this with the narrow footpaths between your beds, and it seems to be working well to keep down the weeds. I also put some grass seed on the patch of bare soil where the compost pile was, and then an unknown artist put a tire sculpture on that spot. FENCING – Two sides are rabbit fenced now. I bought another 50′ roll of chicken wire, and there’s a long roll of low metal fencing with narrower gaps by the lower gate. Anyone who wants to help out can continue installing the rabbit fence, using the zip ties in the tool box. MAINTENANCE LOG, TOOLS, ETC. – Toolbox is partially painted and the lid is there, but the hinges aren’t installed. I recently added a maintenance log, including a copy of the garden policies, and a set of small hand-tools for weeding and planting seedlings.

Burrowes Street Youth Haven Garden Update

This spring, Spring Creek Homesteading gave a $500 mini-grant to Woody Wilson of Wilson Home Farms to build and plant a raised-bed garden at the Burrowes Street Youth Haven, a project Woody organized with Marilyn Lavelle of the Youth Services Bureau.

From their January proposal:

“The Burrowes Street Youth Haven is a shelter for runaway and homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 17. The shelter serves all of Centre County as well as surrounding areas such as Clearfield County. There are approximately 10 staff members who rotate throughout the week. Residents and staff are provided with three meals a day that are either purchased within a $50 budget per week or donated from various organizations. The Burrowes Street Youth Haven has planted vegetable gardens before and seen some success, but there has not been much stability with the projects in the past.

We would like to provide a more accessible garden that can provide the residents with fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. The following plan is meant to establish a garden that can be tended and maintained easily by staff members and teenaged residents on a limited budget now and throughout future years.

We would like to install three 4×8 foot raised beds in an open lot in the Burrowes Street Youth Haven backyard. We chose to install raised beds because of the garden’s close proximity to an established Walnut tree. Raised beds are also the easiest type of garden to maintain, a factor important to the staff and residents.

We also plan to remediate the current growing space along the house to increase the amount of food that can be grown on-site. In total this project will create roughly 150-200 ft.sq. of growing space. The entire growing area will be fenced in and irrigated using drip irrigation.

In order to appeal to the wide variety of people who utilize the shelter, and reduce waste, we will be growing popular, well-known produce such as: Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, Peas, Carrots, Salad Mix, Spinach and Potatoes. We want the shelter to have as wide a variety of food as possible every week throughout the season.”

The Burrowes Street Youth Haven Garden opened with a celebratory planting on May 15.

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