Category Archives: Events

Fall Dig-ns

Our fall dig-ins are off to a great start. Volunteer teams refurbished 5 gardens on Saturday, and in spite of the welcome rain, installed 1 new garden on Sunday. One of Saturday’s refurbs was Imagine Art, a wonderful organization that provides a studio for artists with disabilities. If you happened to see the summer issue of Edible Austin, I had an article on IA and working with them to install their garden last spring. Imagine Art has a large garden area that they want to increasingly use to provide veggies for the lunches they prepare daily and several dinners each week for their artists, volunteers, and friends. The GCP team enjoyed a meal on Saturday during the dig-in as Lydia, a volunteer and artist, prepared delicious migas tacos and Debbie, the founder of IA, made pancakes. We double dug 2 beds and discussed how they can build and maintain compost bins.

On Sunday, I worked with a dedicated team that didn’t let a little (OK, a lot) of rain slow us down. We installed a new garden in a location that involved digging up a few deep-rooted volunteer trees and relocating a rose-bush and several canna lilies. We usually try to find an open area, but this was the spot in the yard with the most sun. By the time we finished, it was raining pretty hard, but we managed to relocate the previous occupants of the area, double dig the bed, plant fall veggies and seeds, and have a philosophic discussion about the meaning of life.

I’ve included a few pictures from the weekend dig-ins below, but first I want to mention that we still have 2 dig-in weekends left for the fall – if you’re interested in sharing your gardening knowledge or learning to garden yourself, please sign up on our website. Also, our amazing Fall Festival is coming up on October 28th. It will be held as usual at Boggy Creek Farm and will have plenty of good food and drink, great music, and chef demonstrations. You can purchase tickets in advance on our website.

I hope to see you and one of the upcoming events!

David —

Spring dig-ins and fall seeds to start

It’s been a while since I posted but GCP hasn’t been sitting still. We installed 6 new gardens last spring and refurbished quite a few others. We’ve held dig-in leader trainings, Seeds to Start workshops, and had our first of hopefully many garden maintenance workshop.

Fall is always busy for us with workshops, dig-ins, and getting ready for our annual festival in October. You can sign-up for dig-ins and workshops on our website as well as purchase tickets for the festival. If you haven’t been before, it’s a great family event held at Boggy Creek Farm with delicious food from Austin’s best restaurants, chef demonstrations, and live music. Here are a few pictures from the spring dig-ins and our recent fall STS workshop – I hope to see you soon!

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David —

Seeds to Start Part 2

We continued the 2010 Fall season with round 2 of our Seeds to Start workshop. We originally thought we would hold it on July 24th, but the plants weren’t quite big enough. After a bit of a growth spurt, they were ready on the 31st – 3 weeks after we planted the seeds. About 15 volunteers joined us to move the plants from the flats where we started them to individual 4 inch pots.

We started the workshop with Mitch explaining the process and telling his favorite (and apparently only) gardening joke – I won’t give away everything here, you’ll have to attend a workshop to hear it.
We then divided into groups of 3 and filled our 4 inch pots with Lady Bug Vortex potting soil from The Natural Gardener.  We’re trying pots made from compost this time – this will allow us to plant them directly in the ground and possibly start some varieties that are more sensitive to having their roots disturbed. The pots are loosely filled with soil to just below the top edge.

One of the tricks to handling transplants is to disturb the roots as little as possible. We use spoons to “tease” the plants out of the flats and then separate them very carefully if any roots have grown together. We also suggest holding the plants by the leaves and not the stem – the leaves are stronger and damaging a leaf is less of a strain on the plant than damaging the stem.

We also use the spoons to create a hole in the 4 inch pot by inserting it into the soil and gently pulling back. It’s possible to do this step with one person, but it’s much easier (and more fun) with 2.

Finally, we loaded up the trays and took them to the beautiful greenhouse space St. Edward’s has provided to us.

It’s important to maintain the 3 key elements during the next phase – water, light, and temperature. The plants need consistent moisture, good light, and temperatures below 90 (preferably closer to 80). Keeping them outside can work as long as they get sunlight in the morning, but are protected from the scorching afternoon sun. A fan can help control the temperature as well.

Stay tuned for a progress report and get ready for our fall dig-ins.

David–

Thanks for the support, and come to the art tour party!

Many, many thanks to all who made Green Corn Project’s fundraiser a joyful day! Sunny skies at beautiful Boggy Creek Farm created a lovely palette for all to imbibe oodles of delicious food and drink, bid on enticing silent auction treats, enjoy chef demos and live music, and generally live large while enlarging Green Corn’s garden-giving mission.

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Have more fun with us by stopping by Green Corn’s space amid artists of the East Austin Studio Tour! We’re at 1220 Rosewood in the lovely backyard of photographer Peter Staats (thanks, Peter!)—make us part of your EAST art tour adventure. GCP volunteers will be there on Nov. 14, 15, 21, and 22. Sample a garden-made goodie, get gardening with a veggie start or seeds, color at the kids’ garden art table, and chat about gardening and how to help bring organic food gardens to more Austinites who lack good access to healthy produce. Our gardeners are enjoying the fruits of our fall volunteer dig-ins, with the fall-season plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, chard, carrots, spinach, onions, lettuce, and more growing quickly in the balmy weather and rains. Some young veggies are ripe for the picking, and there’ll likely be plenty for the Thanksgiving table!

–Helen, GCP volunteer

Feel Good on Oct. 25!

Feeling good by doing good…That’s so often what Green Corn volunteers describe—that digging food gardens with folks who’ll soon be growing their own fresh organic vegetables makes a person feel genuinely happy. And it’s a comment heard even when the dig-in days are toasty or chilly soggy, as it tended during the just-completed fall garden dig-ins. 

Now it’s time for anybody looking for some feel-good fun to mark your calendars for October 25—Green Corn’s annual fall fest fundraiser at lovely Boggy Creek Farm. Once again, 32 top Austin restaurants and gustatory purveyors (many thanks!) are serving up their finest fare for a sensory celebration worth well more than the $35 entrance.

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Our generous sponsors (mille grazie!) and silent auction donors (muchas gracias!) are once again providing an enchanting afternoon at Boggy Creek and a chance to score a smorgasbord of creature delights. Picture yourself or a friend or relative delighted by the likes of these: Luxurious weekend staysgala gourmet gatheringsstress-melting pamperingexquisite sustainable dininggarden and backyard makeovers…cool cooking classes…amazing art for body and homelocal taste treats…garden goodiesenticing entertainment extravaganzassweet grocery giveaways…and much more.

 This year, we’ll have something extra—a children’s table (Danke! to Natural Gardener) where kids can create art, play games, and take home their own veggie starter kit!

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Along with inspirational chef demos and live music…well, it’s got to be the most fun going on in Austin on the 25th.

Feeling good; doing good…join us for a win-win afternoon at Boggy Creek, and thanks for your support for Green Corn’s goal of feeding Austin, one garden at a time.

–Helen, Green Corn volunteer

Easy, yummy fall gardening

If you grow any kind of food, you’re likely giddy with glee over how the recent rains turbo-charged our water-starved veggie, nut, and fruit friends. But what’s just as real as rain and well, reality, is the fact that in central Texas, we gardeners often got to deal with less-than-favorable gardening conditions. That’s why we always keep some tough old gals in the garden who’ll produce—or just stay alive—through heat waves and drought.

The fall garden season is ideal for enjoying some easy gardening with a whole slew of hardy, reliable veggies. Kids and grownups groove on faves such as carrots, peas, broccoli, spinach, and greens—and if you get busy right quick, you can still get a fall crop of cherry tomatoes and green beans! If you’re a newbie, learn how to fall garden at Green Corn classes; garden newbies and oldbies can amp up the fun by joining a dig-in that helps others grow their own food.

And whether you’re now chowing on a revivified summer crop or licking your chops over the fall haul to come, the EATING part of gardening has got to be one of the best things ever invented. Lately, I’ve been inspired by my tough-as-nails garden pal chard, who stood by me (and my watering hose) all the way through the heinous heat.
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The key to yummy chard for me is pairing it with whatever savory soup broth, sauce, or filling I’ve got going. So I’ll slice up some ruffley leaves to slide into any soup I’m heating up and add handfuls to just about any sauce from tomatoey pasta toppings to say, a garlicky mushroom-chicken melange. Plus, chard leaves make excellent wraps for any kind of leftover or sandwich filling! Check it out:

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Just dip the leaves briefly into simmering salted water, and the chard becomes a strong, pliant wrap for (above) a Greek-style sauté of leftover rice, garlic, lemon, oregano, feta cheese, and pistachio and (right) oniony baked winter squash sparked with orange juice next to Indian-inspired leftover mashed potatoes zipped up with sauteed mustard seeds, onions, cumin, and peas.

As they say in Paris (Texas), très bon! And on top of all this deliciousness, chard (along with other greens) is a nutritional powerhouse veggie, so you’ll be getting all Popeye, too. Seems like now’s a good time, as they say down on 6th street, to “chardy hearty” and get going with a bounteous fall garden!

–Helen, GCP volunteer

Grow the revolution!

“A plot of dirt can be a great place to start a revolution.” Amen to that, and big thanks to Patagonia (see post below) for their generous grant to Green Corn Project as well as Patagonia’s GCP shout-out. Funding like Patagonia’s helps score us sorely needed supplies and lets us do more of what we do: “…empower people with knowledge and skills to create an immediate benefit in their lives,” as Patagonia puts it.

That immediate benefit is a lovely payoff for our volunteers, but while it’s fulfilling to feel the appreciation from folks as we help them create their backyard food garden, it’s thrilling to consider that each dig-in plants another seed that grows the r/evolution toward healthier living for all of us. Plus, it’s superfun to see the garden and the new gardeners flourish over the season! Just one example with some awesome East Austin second-graders on garden plant day:

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And these great junior gardeners on one of many harvest days:

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Come join the revolution!