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Grow Food, Grow Hope Garden Initiative Newsletter | June / July 2010 | Issue 3

* Inside this issue *

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Backyards Sprouting

Backyard Gardens built, planted around community

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n early April, we broke ground on one of our most exciting new projects, one that took us into the backyards of families and households around our community – our 2010 backyard garden project. After a lengthy application process, we chose 12 families scattered around Clinton County to be participants in the first year of this new project, which provides small-plot gardens completely free of cost to the families. We planned, built and planted these 12 beds over the course of three weeks, and we’ll continue to provide assistance to the families as they learn the basics of weeding, watering, harvesting and maintaining their vegetable gardens.

Eric Guindon, our Community Outreach Coordinator who oversees this new initiative, said he is excited so far with the response from the families, especially the children. “Families have been active in all parts of the project,” Guindon said, “from soil preparation, to garden builds, and planting. The children have been exceptionally enthusiastic and eager to learn. They ask tons of questions and talk excitedly about their garden.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

The Garden Issue Backyard Gardens Sprouting Community Garden Opens New Mulberry St. Comm. Garden School Gardens Planted 2010 C.C. Farmers’ Market Culinary Class Teaches Job Skills CC Fresh Network Site Online

Community Garden Open, Bigger in 2010

The Grow Food, Grow Hope Community Garden, located on a tract of land across from Pyle Center on the Wilmington College campus, has expanded from 20 to 40 plots in 2010, now accommodating upwards of 100 people in the raised bed garden.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


BACKYARDS, FROM PAGE 1

In addition to the garden beds built in backyards of families around the county, we’ve also built raised beds at the Clinton County Youth Council and the Wilmington Homeless Shelter, where fresh produce can be harvested and prepared to help feed the residents and participants in those programs. As the growing season progresses, we’ll continue to help monitor and assist the families and host sites with their garden’s maintenance, and answer any questions COMMUNITY, FROM PAGE 1

The 40 plots are maintained by a range of community members and garden mentors who assist in any technical questions the families might have about gardening. The children who come each week are paired together and our Youth Outreach Coordinator, Mariah Fulton, leads youth garden activities at two of our kids garden beds. This year, we have continued the practice of presenting a cooking demonstration using whatever harvested produce we have on that given day. A radish dip, for example, will be the practical recipe on a night when radishes are ready to be harvested. As the growing season continues, we’ll shift the cooking demonstrations to align with whatever is fresh on that given week. As always, the public is invited to attend any of our community garden events, which take place every Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m, and Saturdays from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kerschner at jennifer_kerschner@wilmington.edu.

they might have. “We really hope this project helps make our garden families sustainable in the future when they want to plant the gardens themselves,” Guindon said. “That’s the end goal.” So far, 12 gardens have been planted, and by 2012 we hope to have upward of 35 backyard gardens built around the county. By that time, we will be nearing 100 gardens built and planted around our community.

Kids Get Their Hands Dirty, Learn About Food in School Gardens

Building off of the success of our community garden and backyard garden projects, we’ve begun the process of taking gardening into the schools and childcare facilities of Clinton County. Summer might be here, but our garden curriculum is just getting started at Wilmington Childcare & Learning and Patri-Tots Learning Center, and school garden plans are underway at Wilmington Middle School, Hillsboro Elementary School and others around the county once the students return.

We are also in the preliminary stages of receiving a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture which would fund a mobile garden unit that could be transported to schools for demonstrations with the students. This grant, while not finalized, would greatly improve our youth outreach, and would build on our future sustainability as an organization. For more updates on our school garden builds, visit www. growfoodgrowhope.com, or contact Mariah Fulton at 382-6661 ext. 488.


Clinton County Farmers Market Opens in Downtown Lot

Above, vendor Debbie Linebaugh sells produce and pastured meats. Right, vendor Nancy Pickard sells onions and baked goods to a market shopper.

Market Hours Wednesday 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Saturday 8:30 - 12:00 p.m

The Clinton County Farmers Market opened its Summer season on Saturday, June 5, in the mural parking lot adjacent to the General Denver Hotel in downtown Wilmington. This year, the farmers market expanded to include 15 local vendors, and our Farmers Market Coordinator Dessie Buchanan has helped implement some exciting new features. “This year we’ve coordinated with the Wilmington Transit System which will stop every half-hour at the market to give people rides to and from the market,” she said. “We’ve also instituted a Market Board of Directors which will help navigate the future of the market moving forward.” Another added market feature, Buchanan said, is the

option for shoppers to pre-order products online using localdirt.com. Shoppers can log on and order at www.localdirt. com/ccfarmersmarket. On the opening market day, a steady stream of customers shopped amid the booths of produce, baked goods, herbs, health and body products and pastured meats and eggs, among other things, even while a thunderstorm threatened to wash out the day. While the rain did eventually come, it didn’t deter the vendors or the intrepid market shoppers who filled the market throughout the day. The market will be open every Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. More information can be found at www.clintoncountyfarmersmarket.com, or by calling 382-6661 ext. 488.

Culinary Training Class Teaches Practical Career Skills As Food Distribution Coordinator for Grow Food, Grow Hope, Jessica Braun has implemented some unique and innovative programs for Clinton County food pantries. First was the transition of Sugartree Ministries from a normal food pantry to a choice pantry, which allows guests to “shop” along the shelves and choose their own groceries. Now, with the help of Wilmington College and Sodexo, Braun has introduced a successful culinary job training class for local residents who are eager to restart their careers as cooks or chefs in the food service industry. WC Executive Chef Tom

Tiner is the primary instructor during the 10-week class, which focuses on topics ranging from knife handling and maintenance to menu selection, from searing and braising to breakfast cookery and eggs. “By providing this class, Executive Chef Tom Tiner teaches students in the CuliI hope we can give people a new nary Job Training program how to properly slice bell and viable career choice for their peppers. Tiner is the head instructor of the free class. future,” Braun said. The class is completely free to see what they do with these new of cost to the students enrolled, and skills,” Braun said. upon completion each participant For more information about will receive a graduation certificate the class, pictures of past cookand will learn how to seek work in ing demonstrations or information the food service industry. about upcoming sessions, visit “We have such a great www.growfoodgrowhope.com or group of students. I am so excited contact Braun at 382-6661 ext. 488.


Clinton County Fresh Network Website Goes Live The Clinton County Fresh Network, a Grow Food, Grow Hope initiative meant to strengthen the local food economy in Clinton County by connecting growers to consumers and distributors, is now online. At ccfreshnetwork.com, community members can learn what farmers in the area are growing, farmers can connect with consumers who want to buy their products, and distributors and restaurant owners can find farmers in the area who can supply their needs. “If we can connect all of the individuals in our local food economy, it will be beneficial for

everyone: the farmers, the local citizens, restaurants. Everyone,” said Growers Co-Op Coordinator Aileen Ash. The website currently features 20 local farmers who maintain profiles on the site. Two local restaurants, the General Denver and Jen’s Uptown Deli, are also featured on the site as local eateries who are interested and invested in sourcing their products locally. While still in its early stages, Ash said she hopes the site will grow into a practical networking tool for the local food economy, and for those interested in local food issues.

A screen shot from ccfreshnetwork.com, where farmers can feature their products and consumers can connect with them.

Grow Food, Grow Hope Summer Associates Begin Work

The Grow Food, Grow Hope Summer Associates, all 21 of them, pose with the original GFGH AmeriCorps* VISTA volunteers and Sarah Brady, an AmeriCorps* state program specialist for Ohio. Sarah was in town on Tuesday, June 1 to swear-in the associates as AmeriCorps volunteers and to visit our different garden sites.

This summer, we are lucky to have the help of some extra hands - 42 of them, to be exact. On June 1, we welcomed 21 new summer associates who

will assist us in our projects for 10 weeks. The majority of the summer associates were recruited directly from the Wilmington College campus, but some come from across the country to work

in this unique program. We’re excited to have them, and we hope you’ll join us in welcoming them to our team when you inevitably see them around Wilmington.


New Mulberry Street Community Garden Built & Planted

To further expand our outreach in Clinton County, we established another community gar-

den on a tract of land donated to us by Wilmington’s Scott Kirchner. Below are photos from the construction and planting of that garden, which is maintained by Aileen Ash and located next to Sugar Grove Cemetery on Mulberry Street.

To help lengthen the growing season and to illustrate methods of sustainability, Aileen is currently constructing a pop-bottle greenhouse at the Mulberry Street Community Garden using recycled plastic bottles. If you would like to donate your empty pop bottles, please contact her at aileen_ash@wilmington.edu, or by calling 382-6661 ext. 488.

Do you want a backyard or community garden plot? Contact us at growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu, online at www.growfoodgrowhope.com, or by calling 382-6661 ext. 488


Grow Food, Grow Hope

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growfoodgrowhope.com

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growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu

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(937) 382-6661 ext. 488

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Hearkening the Days of Old With the help of 9-year-old Erma and her 8-year old brother Leon, Mike McCormick, above, plows a field in late May at the Wilmington College farm in preparation for a potato planting. In 2009, Grow Food, Grow Hope and W.C. planted and harvested more than 6,000 lbs. of potatoes which were donated to food pantries around Clinton County as well as neighboring counties. All told, more than 12,000 lbs. of food was grown on the farm, all of which was donated to the hungry. In 2010, we hope to increase that number.


Grow Food, Grow Hope June Newsletter