Grand Opening Party!

You are invited to. . .

Birds and Bee BalmCrowley Station Community Garden will be having a Grand Opening Event! Please join us at the garden at 201 S. Hancock St on September 7, 2014. We hope to celebrate our fabulous first year with all the people who have made this garden possible. Please pass this invitation on to your friends and neighbors. We look forward to meeting with everyone! 
 
5:00 Yoga in the Garden presented by Pat Barone from Raw Materials Wellness & Learning Center. Please bring your own mat. This class will be suited for all levels. $3 for members of Community Gardens in Dane County, $5 for public.
 
6:00 Meet & Greet: Gardeners and neighborhood members can get to know each other and take a look at all the wonderful things growing in the garden. 
 
6:15 Potluck! Please bring a dish to share, your own plate and silverware. Drinks and glasses will be provided. Chairs and Picnic blankets are also recommended. The Garden will be presenting a few special Thank-You’s to the people who have supported the project this first year. 
 
You can see the event on our website and G+
 
 

Some local press and upcoming garden events

crowley both working horizontalWe’ve been featured in an article on the City of Madison website! Click here to read it. It features interviews with Danni and Danna, from our executive team, and gives a little background on how Crowley Station Garden got started!

We’d also like to share a few local garden resources with our fellow garden enthusiasts:

  • Dane County Community Gardens For information on Dane County garden events, see this very helpful calendar. The same website also has helpful links on how to plan and maintain a community garden.
  • The West Madison ARS Display Gardens Open House

On Sat. Aug 9, 2014, from 10am-2pm the UW Display Gardens will be holding their annual summer event in which the public is invited to tour the outstanding collections of flowers, vegetables, and fruit.  This year’s trials and demonstrations include nearly 400 cultivars of annual and perennial flowers and nearly 130 different cultivars of vegetables.

University and Extension experts include Jim Nienhuis, UW veggie expert and professor of Horticulture; Brian Hudelson Senior Outreach Specialist and director of the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic; Scott Craven, Wildlife Ecology emeritus; Julie Dawson, Urban and Regional Food Systems Specialist from Horticulture; Dick Wiedman, grape expert; P.J. Leisch from the Insect Diagnostic Lab; and, and pollinator experts from USDA-ARS will be on hand to offer samples and answer questions on insects, disease and animals that may affect your garden and lawn.

Master Gardeners and garden staff will also be available to field general garden questions on growing techniques and variety selection.

Enjoy tasting of the gardens’ fresh fruit and vegetables, including roasted chili peppers, activity booklets for the kids, pollinator exhibits, and large farm equipment on display.  This event is FREE and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras and questions.

The open house will be held at University Display Gardens that is located at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station approximately 0.5 miles west of the Hwy 12/14 beltline at 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona, WI 53593.

  • Seed Saving Workshop

Sat, August 23, 2pm – 4pm

Where: Madison Public Library: Goodman South Madison Branch, 2222 S. Park St. (map)

Description: Join us for a seed saving workshop with UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. Learn how to dry and harvest seeds to save for next year, and how to return seeds to the seed library! We will meet in Meeting Room 115. Space is limited, please register at http://host.evanced.info/madison/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=36426

Work Party: July 31 5:30-8:30PM

An Example of our "No-Bend" Bed courtesy of Gardeners.com

An Example of our “No-Bend” Bed courtesy of Gardeners.com

Crowley Station Community Garden will be hosting another work party on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 5:30-8:30PM. For this event we will be building our last raised bed, Doty St. All members and friends of the garden are welcome to attend and help out with this event. We are also asking for use of a cordless drill and more buckets, as we have to fill the bed by hand.

This raised bed is quite special. It is called a “no-bend” bed. It will be sitting on a raised stand that allows the gardener to use the bed without having to bend over and put extra stress on their back.If our garden did not have steps leading up to it, a person who used a wheel chair would be able to easily garden in this “no-bend” bed unlike the other raised beds. It also allows someone to place a stool or chair by the bed while they are weeding or planting thus eliminating the need to put stress on their back, knees, ect. Placing a bed a at different height also brings the garden new depths and elements of design that is critical in making an urban garden inviting and engaging. This bed will serve the garden in a host of splendid ways!

Now, it might seem silly to go to all this effort. However, community gardens are places where the public can explore the many varied issues around food including how accessibility plays a role in the availability of healthy food. Members of our community who live with accessibility issues, like seniors, are at an increased risk of also being food insecure. Having access to a community garden can help those members increase the amount of healthy food that is available to them. Yet, it doesn’t do any good to have the gardening experience be painful or impossible! A “no-bend” bed is just one solution among many that helps a community garden be more welcoming to the many diverse members of its community. Other solutions include: paths that are wheel chair accessible meaning that they are large enough for a wheel chair to go through and smooth enough not to get stuck, hanging containers, extra seating and shading for members to rest during the harsh summer months, easy access to water through light-weight hoses, and more. We hope that our first “no-bend” bed encourages other community gardens to think about accessibility issues and discover new solutions.

Community Gardens are only as strong as the diversity and empowerment of its members. Our neighborhoods are not made up of only one type of person and neither should our gardens!

2014 Build Weekend

Many members of the community have been working tirelessly to lay the foundation for Madison’s newest community garden, Crowley Station Community Garden. This process has taken months. Meetings filled with design details and policy development went well into the April and May of this year. Some gardeners were beginning to wonder if anything would get planted this year at all!

Finally, on June 25 we got the materials needed to build our community garden. A call went out to registered members of the garden and the community for a Build Day on June 27 from 3-8PM. Twelve people showed up and got busy putting out beds from NaturalYards.com together. That was the easy part! We then started to move 13 tons of organic soil, by hand, up a small hill, up some steps, and into the beds. One day was not going to be enough! Saturday work continued for another five hours ending right before people began to find places for Madison’s Rhythm and Booms. The job was completed on Sunday at 5PM. A one day project turned into a whole weekend.

I think it can be safely said that all those hours of endless work were worth it! The garden looks beautiful. Many neighbors are already commenting on how wonderful the space looks now. Great things are going to grow in this garden. Please follow us to read the stories of our community garden and the gardeners who create it!

CSCG Build Weekend 2014