Spring Fling

May 4th was our annual Spring Fling, a neighborhood party held at the gardens to socialize, share food, and welcome the warm weather. Thanks to the hundreds of you that came out hang with us!

 

Steve and kids harvest greens and make a salad
Cork sailboat race across the pond
Taylor paints plein air portraits of neighbors
Waste cardboard re-purposed as a submarine

 

performers at the spring fling
performers at the spring fling
performers at the spring fling

December’s Notes

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing well!

Though the traditional growing season has ended, we’re still busy building, budding and buzzing. Here are some of the recent goings on:

We were awarded Urban Neighborhood Initiative‘s Vacant to Vibrant grant for our food-forest project. We have made much progress clearing, cleaning, amending, measuring  and planning the site over the past couple of months, and this grant will cover the cost of saplings and under story plants this spring when we plant them. This is the beginning of a multi-decade project, and we are thankful to be getting so much support early on.

Our hoop-house will allow us to continue growing through the coming months, and is currently flush with various microgreens, leafy greens, root veggies and wheatgrass.

Other than the hoop house, our apiary continues it’s activities through the winter. Since our hives are young we are feeding them regularly through the winter. Anyone interested is invited to come and learn about the process and say hello to our haplodiploid friends. Bee feeding will resume in January on Mondays at 1pm (weather permitting) As always, email [email protected] for more information

Ken descibes Mitzvah Garden’s high tech equipment: Solar cells, rain catchment system, and honey-badger gloves.
Founder Ken Sonnenschein showing us their four-in-one pear tree. (various species of pear and apple scions grafted onto a bradford’s trunk.)

We were generously invited to visit Mitzvah Garden KC, an urban farm in Overland Park, Kansas. They have a 7 acre space with communal growing areas, a well developed orchard, apiary, composting sites, solar power infrastructure and a rain catchment system feeding into drip irrigation lines. Needless to say we were thoroughly impressed by their operation, and by their generosity.

Gardener’s discuss projects over hot coco and homemade latke.
Ken, Taylor and Spencer plant ancient Levantine grains in eastern Kansas.

They exemplify many of our ambitions through their giving of produce to those in need, development of high yield sustainable practices, and community engagement through events. Thus we hope to continue collaborating and crosspollinating with these fine folks.

Otherwise, we still have piles and piles of work to be done (literally, piles) to prepare for the spring. The city has given us a bounty of resources, mulch, Zoo Poo, leaves, mashed barley and other organic ‘waste’. We are continuing to work these piles into the earth so they can become food for next seasons plants.

 

 

-Jacob

 

Fall Update

 

 

We’ve been busy on site, so it’s been a while since this site saw some love.  Manheim Park + Garden has seen two major events last month

October 13th, Christmas in October

Via our crowdfunding campaign, we were fortunate to be receive a generous donation of  materials and labor from Bayer though Christmas in October.  This included a chicken coup, construction of a hoop house (greenhouse,) and mulching of brush from the north end of the site that is become the food forest.

Gardener and neighbor Jason helping volunteers construct the greenhouse

 

Mulching brush from the food forest

 

We have immense gratitude toward the folks at Christmas in October and Bayer, whom we were excited to show off our approach to agriculture.  These projects are pushing our development ahead nicely.

Gardeners and volunteers sharing a lunch catered by our wonderful friend Justin Clark at Urban Cafe.

October 28th, Harvest Festival

The following weekend we hosted Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ 3rd annual Harvest Festival. This neighborhood get together included a potluck, barbecue, taiko performance and the event was followed by an evening local poetry collective performance.

 

establishing rain collection from Emmanuel Manor’s down spout
Gardeners and volunteers digging trenches for the pipe
Plumber Leonard and gardener Steve planning the install location of the rain barrels.

We’re continuing to move forward on preparing the food forest and establishing a rain collection system. As always, come by Sundays between 10am-2pm to say hi to us, see the site, or help out. Walk-ins welcome, we love meeting you all.

-Jacob

Apiary!

Big News: The bees have arrived and have been installed. On Monday evening, with the help of neighbors, the gardeners built a fence in the back of the main garden, sectioning off an area where the bees live and where we may eventually put the chicken coup.

Brittany Frasier and Sam Steiger prepare the hives for the colonies.

 

Two hives were erected, and two colonies deposited with two healthy young queens. The few hundred new members to the garden were surprisingly well behaved,  landing only one sting over the 90 minute installation process.

Brittany Frasier and Jacob Canyon introduce the bees into their hives.

Humans were not the first invent agriculture, as bees have been selectively breeding crops for as long as flowering plants have been around.  The bee colonies will support all of our other projects by their work as pollinators and possibly as honey producers in the future.

Green Thumb Nursery

 

Our friends at Green Thumb Garden just opened up shop selling native plants on 30th and Troost right by the Longfellow community garden. Check them out Thursday thru Sunday!

Ami Freeberg, who is in charge of this site says that the land is owned by a developer with a background in urban agriculture, and they are planning to build a green house along Troost in the near future. The Troost corridor is becoming the epicenter of a green revolution in Kansas City.

Center City Field Day

The Center City Neighborhood community garden had students from a local elementary school over to their site at 34th & Forest to work in their rain garden and orchard. Pete Hughes and his team guided the third-graders in their projects, helping them identify native plants and weeds, how the different organisms work together ecologically, and showing them hands on techniques of urban agriculture.

Needless to say the kids were thoroughly engaged, only stoping working to ask enthusiastically about the plants and bugs they found.

Thanks to Pete for inviting us to see this event. It was a great example of how green spaces can be used to enliven urban communities!

 

Sunday the gardners re-habed the wildflower garden, removing invasive ground cover, poison ivy and planting more native flowers. This week, they were also able to install two wire arches for cucumbers in the east communal area. The vines will cover the wire cage, and the cucumbers will hang down under the arch when mature.

the garden was also given these two lovely insulated boxes for the tribe of neighborhood cats that frequent the garden. You may have noticed the wet stretch of sidewalk on the west side of the community garden. Our horticulturist, Jill DeWitt, is meeting with a geologist to investigate what may be a natural spring in the garden, and to see how best we can use it as we develop the Forest Avenue frontage.

 

-Jacob

Herbs! 16 April

Hello friends, I hope you’re doing well.

We’ve got a big year ahead of us, but many of our projects are already getting off the ground (literally)

Lynne has reclaimed a partial shade area of the garden and turned it into an herb garden. Look out for borage, nasturtium and parsley this year, they’ve already sprouted. 🌱🌱🌱

Other members have their own herb projects; The bed of garlic, planted by long time member Susan Lackamp, is going strong. two massive sage bushes and a huge heirloom fennel plant are dominating the raised beds.

In other news, we are very excited for the Spring Event on the 23rd.

There is much to be done yet in preparation for our spring Meet & Greet! Mostly it involves cleaning up the garden space and gathering items for the sale and raffle. On Thursday, the 20th, we’re going to be doing an overhaul on the weeds, mowing, and clearing up any unkempt raised beds (only those that are overflowing with weeds)

 

We have a local musician playing, CJ Walker, a wonderful blues guitarist, and a trio of poets from Kansas City’s artsbar. They’ll be going on at 4:00pm, so you don’t wanna miss it!

Again the event can be tracked on facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/753330014820006/

 

– Jacob

Urban Cafe Featured in Flatland KC!

see: Couple Brings Fresh Ideas to Troost | Flatland KC

Justin and Rashaun were interviewed by Flatland KC about their business, Urban Cafe. For those who don’t know, Urban Cafe is a new restaurant on the corner of 41st and Troost. Urban Cafe’s food is delicious, health conscious and locally sourced. As it would happen Manheim Park + Garden is one of those local sources, and the cafe and the garden have been supporting each other since the business opened this year.  We are excited about the success Justin, the owner and chef, has seen in just these couple of months of business. The local community has responded well, and we look forward to seeing Urban Cafe continue to develop. If you haven’t been, grab breakfast or lunch there sometime soon, and enjoy food grown at MP+G!

Urban Cafe

13 March

Spring is upon us.

We have been working hard this winter; planing, plotting, pruning.

We (the Manheim Park Garden Conservency) have successfully purchased the land of the main garden, as well as other assorted green spaces in the neighboorhood from NHS, who had taken great care of it for so many years. This purchase was important for two reasons. Firstly, as outlined in the Conservency’s articles, it assures the land will be maintained as a green space in perpetuity. This protects the garden and the neighborhood from being mangled by short sighted / speculative real estate ventures that have left slummy apartment blocks strewn throughout the city’s historic neighborhoods.  Secondly, it affords us as community more autonomy in our projects there. The formation of the Conservency and the purchase has already made us more ambitous, and more people from the community are involved now than ever.

 

Also, not long after a group pruning session, the peach tree blossomed this week, aint it purdy?

 

-Jacob