City of Somerville, MA
Urban Agriculture Initiative Blog

Just when we were ready to Spring into action….SNOW! Break my gardening heart, why don’t you….

Just when we were ready to Spring into action….SNOW! Break my gardening heart, why don’t you….

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Source: somervillema

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Nothing says SPRING like the birds nest under construction in the Ionic column of Somerville City Hall.
:-)

Nothing says SPRING like the birds nest under construction in the Ionic column of Somerville City Hall.

:-)

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  • Question: I want to start a little garden plot in my yard, but my soil is filled with lead (as to be expected). Are there resources out there for free or cheep garden soil? The price of dirt adds up quickly, so any little bit will help! - cdowns84
  • Answer:

    Hi cdowns84! Thanks for writing.

    Please see this post. http://somervilleurbanag.tumblr.com/post/47715301485/the-dirt-on-soil-part-1-hey-read-this-its

    As to your question of getting “clean” soil cheaply…that’s tough.  You can compost or ask other gardeners in your community.  Good luck!

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A Garden so beautiful you could EAT it!
Edible Landscape Design
Somerville Garden Club Monthly MeetingWednesday, April 9, 7-9 pm
Barbara Emerson will cover the concepts to consider when integrating edible plants in your ornamental garden, or edible flowers into your vegetable garden.Manchester, MA, home.


All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings are usually held the second Wednesday of each month at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.

A Garden so beautiful you could EAT it!

Edible Landscape Design

Somerville Garden Club Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 9, 7-9 pm

Barbara Emerson will cover the concepts to consider when integrating edible plants in your ornamental garden, or edible flowers into your vegetable garden.Manchester, MA, home.

All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings are usually held the second Wednesday of each month at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.

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"You are what you eat!"  #TRUTH
That’s what Guy Amara told the folks gathered for the Somerville Community Growing Center seed swap and his 90TH birthday party last week. He attributes his health to a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, but maybe his longevity has something to do with his engagement in the community too? Guy has shared his passion, knowledge and skills for growing tomatoes with generations of city growers, becoming known and loved as “the Somerville Tomato Guy.” He shares his family heirlooom seeds, grows hundreds of seedlings each Spring for the gardening programs at the public schools and is a frequent visitor to the Growing Center. Because of his contribution to the community, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Mayor of Somerville, Joe Curtatone. He is pictured here with his certificate and with Lisa Brukilacchio of the Growing Center.

Once again, if you are confused, you can watch this video on the Somerville “Tomato King” and the “Tomato Guy”.  Hey, we like tomatoes in Somerville…

"You are what you eat!" 
#TRUTH

That’s what Guy Amara told the folks gathered for the Somerville Community Growing Center seed swap and his 90TH birthday party last week. He attributes his health to a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, but maybe his longevity has something to do with his engagement in the community too? Guy has shared his passion, knowledge and skills for growing tomatoes with generations of city growers, becoming known and loved as “the Somerville Tomato Guy.” He shares his family heirlooom seeds, grows hundreds of seedlings each Spring for the gardening programs at the public schools and is a frequent visitor to the Growing Center. Because of his contribution to the community, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the Mayor of Somerville, Joe Curtatone. He is pictured here with his certificate and with Lisa Brukilacchio of the Growing Center.

Once again, if you are confused, you can watch this video on the Somerville “Tomato King” and the “Tomato Guy.  Hey, we like tomatoes in Somerville…

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Rain Barrels Available for Purchase through April 5; Pickup on April 12
Through a partnership with the Great American Rain Barrel Company in Hyde Park, MA, the City of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability is offering rain barrels to Somerville residents at a discount to help conserve water and save money. Barrels can be purchased through April 5 by visiting www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com. Click on “Shop Local Programs,” and search for Somerville. Somerville residents may purchase the barrels at a cost of $69, a 40% discount from regular retail price. Barrels are available in Forest Green, Earth Brown, or Nantucket Gray.
 Rain barrels reduce runoff that can harm existing water sources and contribute to overflow in the city’s water system. Additionally, rain barrels can help offset water usage that, in New England, can increase by as much as 60% during the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
Barrels will be available for pick up on Saturday, April 12 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the DPW Yard, 1 Franey Road. All orders must be made by April 5 at 5 p.m.
For more info, visit the Green Somerville FB page.

Rain Barrels Available for Purchase through April 5; Pickup on April 12

Through a partnership with the Great American Rain Barrel Company in Hyde Park, MA, the City of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability is offering rain barrels to Somerville residents at a discount to help conserve water and save money. Barrels can be purchased through April 5 by visiting www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com. Click on “Shop Local Programs,” and search for Somerville. Somerville residents may purchase the barrels at a cost of $69, a 40% discount from regular retail price. Barrels are available in Forest Green, Earth Brown, or Nantucket Gray.

 Rain barrels reduce runoff that can harm existing water sources and contribute to overflow in the city’s water system. Additionally, rain barrels can help offset water usage that, in New England, can increase by as much as 60% during the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

Barrels will be available for pick up on Saturday, April 12 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the DPW Yard, 1 Franey Road. All orders must be made by April 5 at 5 p.m.

For more info, visit the Green Somerville FB page.

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Finally! Finally! Finally! The crocus are coming at Quincy Street Park!

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Got Yard? Wanna share?  
Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England and that means that we have a vibrancy and energy that is unmatched, but it also means that we don’t have acres upon acres of land on which to frolic, do cartwheels or grow crops. So folks have begun asking about yard-sharing as a potential solution for the numerous gardeners who can’t seem to find a place to hang their trowel. Not only is this a great idea, but some local problem-solvers have come up with a nifty online tool to make yard-sharing easy. Their website, called My City Gardens, matches people who want to garden with people with a yard that they want gardened. Genius, right?
Here’s how it works:
1. You sign up and identify what you are looking for. For example, maybe to grow some vegetables in a plot in your neighborhood and share them with the owner of the yard. Or you could offer your yard space to someone if they mow your lawn or tend your flowers once a week. You could even do a seasonal trade: let someone garden in your yard in exchange for shoveling help in the winter. (Remember that if you are a renter, you should check with the property owner before offering up the yard.)
2. Then you look at the other listings and see if someone matches with what you want and contact them via the site. 
3. The rest is your story. (imagine bushels of perfect urban crops, lifelong friendships, butterflies everywhere, etc. etc.) 
As always, if you are growing food in urban soils, be sure you familiarize yourselves with safe soil practices.  Find them on Page 6 of the ABC’s of Urban Ag Guide. 
But wait! There is more.  Some legal stuff we need to tell you: 
1) the website is provided for informational purposes and the City, by providing the information, is not endorsing the organization; 2) the website is not monitored by the City; and 3) upon request, the providing of this information is available to all similarly situated organizations pursuant to the City’s written policy; 4) neither the web addresses nor the sites have been reviewed for content or accuracy. 
If you know of other yard-sharing websites, let us know about them in the comments or by emailing loliveira@somervillema.gov and we will add them to this post. 
Or if you have used a yard-sharing website, feel free to share your story in the comments here or on the Somerville Loves Urban Gardening page on Facebook.

Got Yard? Wanna share? 

Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England and that means that we have a vibrancy and energy that is unmatched, but it also means that we don’t have acres upon acres of land on which to frolic, do cartwheels or grow crops. So folks have begun asking about yard-sharing as a potential solution for the numerous gardeners who can’t seem to find a place to hang their trowel. Not only is this a great idea, but some local problem-solvers have come up with a nifty online tool to make yard-sharing easy. Their website, called My City Gardens, matches people who want to garden with people with a yard that they want gardened. Genius, right?

Here’s how it works:

1. You sign up and identify what you are looking for. For example, maybe to grow some vegetables in a plot in your neighborhood and share them with the owner of the yard. Or you could offer your yard space to someone if they mow your lawn or tend your flowers once a week. You could even do a seasonal trade: let someone garden in your yard in exchange for shoveling help in the winter. (Remember that if you are a renter, you should check with the property owner before offering up the yard.)

2. Then you look at the other listings and see if someone matches with what you want and contact them via the site.

3. The rest is your story.
(imagine bushels of perfect urban crops, lifelong friendships, butterflies everywhere, etc. etc.)

As always, if you are growing food in urban soils, be sure you familiarize yourselves with safe soil practices.  Find them on Page 6 of the ABC’s of Urban Ag Guide.

But wait! There is more.  Some legal stuff we need to tell you:

1) the website is provided for informational purposes and the City, by providing the information, is not endorsing the organization; 2) the website is not monitored by the City; and 3) upon request, the providing of this information is available to all similarly situated organizations pursuant to the City’s written policy; 4) neither the web addresses nor the sites have been reviewed for content or accuracy.

If you know of other yard-sharing websites, let us know about them in the comments or by emailing loliveira@somervillema.gov and we will add them to this post.

Or if you have used a yard-sharing website, feel free to share your story in the comments here or on the Somerville Loves Urban Gardening page on Facebook.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SOMERVILLE GROWING CENTER!
20 years? Now THAT is cause for celebration. The Somerville Community Growing Center has been building community through gardening and growing plants since 1994. Can you believe it? Time flies when you are hosting great events, providing a place for kids to discover and teaching an entire city about growing.To celebrate, they are planning a series of parties and get togethers and the first one is this week (drum roll, please):
Kick-off event: Get Growing with Seeds!THIS Thursday, March 27, 6:30-8:30pm Somerville Public LibraryCentral Library Community Room, 79 Highland Ave Seed swap, seed starting demonstrations—and a birthday celebration for long time volunteer “the Tomato Guy’s” 90th birthday. Please join us!
You can also pick up your High Mowing Seed order!

Photo credit: Maria Toumazou

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SOMERVILLE GROWING CENTER!

20 years? Now THAT is cause for celebration. The Somerville Community Growing Center has been building community through gardening and growing plants since 1994. Can you believe it? Time flies when you are hosting great events, providing a place for kids to discover and teaching an entire city about growing.To celebrate, they are planning a series of parties and get togethers and the first one is this week (drum roll, please):

Kick-off event: Get Growing with Seeds!

THIS Thursday, March 27, 6:30-8:30pm
Somerville Public Library
Central Library Community Room, 79 Highland Ave


Seed swap, seed starting demonstrations—and a birthday celebration for long time volunteer “the Tomato Guy’s” 90th birthday. Please join us!

You can also pick up your High Mowing Seed order!

Photo credit: Maria Toumazou

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