The past month has been such an exciting one out on the Urban Farm! Here are some of the cool things that have happened:
Grand Opening! On April 21, we celebrated Global Youth Service Day by having the official launch of the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. Hundreds of youth, Starbucks partners, and neighbors came out to show their support and volunteer. We created rain gardens, made signs for our trees and veggies, made wood chip paths, dug an irrigation ditch, and had a blast doing it!
Water access – We’ve been waiting on planting most of our vegetables until we had a reliable source of water. Just last week we got the water turned on, and now we can water all our trees, flowers, and vegetables. They are much happier now!
Compost – We’ve been experimenting with different composting containers. Here are some volunteers helping us test out the latest version:
Planting – We didn’t waste any time getting our plants in the ground as soon as we knew we could water them! We’ve put in tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, kale, mustard, broccoli, cabbage, arugula, beans, corn, and a wide variety of herbs and flowers. We’ve also mulched most of our new sprouts so we can keep them cool and damp in this crazy hot weather.
Apprentices – This summer we’re hiring eight youth apprentices to help us lead a curriculum-based youth camp. We’re in the final stages of selecting the apprentices, so we’ll be able to announce them soon!
There’s so much to do out at the farm, and I hope you’ll be able to join us for an upcoming project! Check out the available times for this month here.
Josh Corlew is Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program Manager. He oversees the organization’s efforts to engage volunteers in service opportunities that empower them to gain gardening skills, learn about healthy eating choices, and help address our city’s food access issues. In 2011, Josh developed and implemented an urban garden program at PERK Urban Farm, in partnership with Trevecca University, that engaged 1,000+ volunteers and produced 700+ pounds of food on a 2.5-acre plot of land. An AmeriCorps alumnus, Josh also has a secret past life as a Trekkie (he’s a big fan of the TV series Star Trek, for the uninitiated among us), and he has been known to participate in death-defying canoe trips.
* Top and bottom photos courtesy of Betsy Mason. (Thanks, Betsy!)