Past newsletters

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From DJamil and the Leland Street team

June 10, 2017

Hello all,

I hope you are doing well with our manic weather and all. It’s surely having an impact on the garden. The rain, so welcome, revived a lot of the plants we almost lost in the drought last year, including some of our invasive weeds…look out for the Nettle and the Bishops weed! These are both healing herbs and are most challenging in a community garden setting. The Nettle has little thorns, even the little ones, and the Bishops weed literally takes over and has already claimed two shrubs…If you have any organic (no Monsanto RoundUp here!) suggestions for removing the Bishops Weed, please share.

Planting is underway with the Tomatoes, and a few others in the ground with more awaiting their places.

At the last general meeting we thoroughly looked into the prospect of growing mushrooms and find we have everything we need. It, like so many ideas, are awaiting the timing and people power to make them happen.

We continue to watch our neighborhood transform with condos selling and new people arriving, or soon to arrive. I have enjoyed meeting kind people and their children and dogs consistently just finding their way around and more people, whom I have not met, sending emails requesting to be added to this list…Welcome all! It seems to me that the Leland Street Cooperative Garden has a Soul of its own and it is a pleasure to be able to help it make this transition for the next generations to love and care for…We are all in this together!

And I saw the first Monarch passing through as well..a big yellow one! Many of you may know that we didn’t have any for a couple of years and they seem to be making their return.

On the tough days, it helps me to remember this amazing Being was once a Caterpillar…

Wishing you all the best,

DJamil and the Leland Garden team

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From DJamil and the Leland Street team

April 17, 2017

Hello all,

I hope you are doing well This spring is springing into action on what seems to me, an entirely new clock, if you will. Just a few years ago, about 20, when I arrived in New England, there was a specific order to the blooms, thus, the hallmarks of the season were easy enough to observe if one were so inclined. However, now the once famous first bloomers, the Snowdrops and the Crocuses, are appearing along with the Daffodils and even the Tulips – in April – an 80 degree day in April at that!  WOW! Bless us all…  🙂

Welcome new neighbors! We have been enjoying a substantial increase in children in the garden, along with casual readers and various forms of yoga. They are new faces and though we may not be formerly introduced, it is so inspiring to see the next generation arriving to care for and celebrate the Leland Street Cooperative Garden.

Workday, Saturday, April 22

10 – 3,  1 pm potluck,
All are welcome…your presence is always enough!

We’ll be cleaning out the beds, and ready with the permaculture plans to continue exploring their potential manifestation.
Thank you to the Angels who turned the compost and removed the gravel.

Anyone passing through the garden is welcome and encouraged to check and  help keep  the bird bath near the bees full of water (there is a small bucket beside it) and pick up the trash along their way. Many thanks!

With the changing clock, we also have a changing age and means of communication. While the foundation of the garden was laid in neighbors talking face to face, we now have digital options that have already brought people to the garden. While we, the current team, are truly grateful, we are not the webmasters/social media people who can maximize the potential of this option. Are you?
Adam Frost has championed this effort and is ready to help the next generation get on board. From Adam:

“The Garden needs a digital gardener to tend our website for about 15 minutes per week. We’ll provide the training in editing our free WordPress site https://lelandgarden.wordpress.com. If you’d like to try it out, please call Adam Frost, our interim web manager, at 617-325-9526  adamfrost@computerCareandLearning.com.

Thank you Adam!

Finally, for those of you who may be interested in the history of the garden, I have attached a PDF of an essay that Kathleen Robinson, one of the founders, has offered. After my close, you will find the Leland Garden History postscript she just finished.

Attached, as well, is the most recent Gardeners Gazetter from the Trustees.

This is such an exciting year. We look forward to sharing the journey, celebrating the Earth together.

Take care,

DJamil and the Leland Street team

Please click here to read the newsletter from our sponsor, The Trustees:

Trustees Boston Gardeners Gazette-April17

Leland Garden History postscript by Kathleen Robinson:

Please click here to read Kathleen’s history of the garden through 2008:

Kathleen Robinson Leland History 1982-2008

A lot of wonderful things have happened in the garden since 2008. We have changed our name from Leland Street Community Garden to Leland Street Cooperative Garden to reflect the fact that the space continues to be maintained and used by the Forest Hills community as a whole, rather than by individual plot holders.

We now have work days once a month rather than bi-weekly, and every workday includes a potluck picnic. Many neighbors enjoyed these days in 2016 – maybe we should call them play days! Every one is welcome at the picnic lunch whether or not they work in the garden. All the flowers, herbs and vegetables continue to be available to any neighbors who can make use of them.

Although there have been fewer events organized in recent years, a number of very memorable occassions have happened. These include a concert and poetry reading by talented neighbors of the garden; a film showing on a warm summer evening, complete with popcorn and drinks; two weeks of nature learning for kids in a local church summer program and a weekend design project in our garden by a permaculture design class which resulted in practical proposals to move our garden in the direction of a sustainable food forest. All the while, the winter solstice Luminaria Celebration has continued unbroken and, though our bee colonies have not always provided ample honey, we have continued to celebrate the bees the weekend before Labor day with a garden event.

We look forward to Leland Street Cooperative garden being shared by the Forest Hills neighborhood in old ways and new in the coming years. Come join us and bring your ideas!

~Kathleen Robinson

Hello all,

From Kathleen:

Every February for many hears the Leland Street Cooperative Garden (LSCG) has been ordering vegetable and flower seedlings for our raised beds from Revision Urban Farm. This wonderful farm is a project of Revision House, a shelter for women and children just a few miles from our Garden in Roxbury. Revision House started their farm on vacant land across from the shelter 9 or 10 years ago to provide healthy sustainable food for themselves — and it has grown to be a major source of local healthy food for the Roxbury and Dorcester communities selling at farmers markets and through their own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The farm now has a large greenhouse and sells annual vegetable and flower seedlings to keep themselves afloat financially.

LSCG is glad to be able to support this Farm and get seedlings for our annual beds at the same time. We often spend around $150.00. This year, however, our funds to start the new growing season are lower than usual. The main reason for this shortage is a very high water bill we had to pay this winter after last summer’s drought. A couple of long-time Leland Gardeners are planning to front the money for our seedling order from Revision Urban Farm this month.

If you would like to contribute to our Cooperative Garden in time to help with this month’s seedling order, please call Adam to make arrangements 617-325-9526

If you would like to participate in choosing which vegetables to grow, call Adam to make arrangement 617-325-9526. We have discovered over the years that greens, cherry tomatoes, beans and squash are what grows best in our space.

A message from Deborah:

No Hotdogs in the Compost 🙂

Welcome all compost participants  new and old. Leland Street Cooperative Garden values your contributions. Our goal is to reduce food waste and turn it into ‘black gold’ for the garden. We see this as a neighborhood project, a great way to learn about recycling and promote community involvement.

This is a free service, but we need your help to keep it going. Presently the seniors here are providing the labor to keep the compost turned and keep the operation running smoothly.

We really need your help. Volunteering is vital to maintaining the garden and a great way to meet your neighbors. We will be announcing the next compost work sessions soon. Stay tuned!

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The Senior Compost Committee [left to right]  Judy, Emmett,Kathleen, and Deborah. [The ‘hot dog’ in the compost is Kitsey and Dawson, our white four legged friend.]

Notes from the February steering committee meeting:

The meeting was quite spirited. Though we never rolled out the plans in full, we did decide to focus on the compost and the welcome/entrance to the garden. Also, in the picture above you can see on the ground to the right one of the sandwich boards that Deborah contributed to the garden. We hope to reach more of our immediate community who are likely not receiving this email… Now, of course, they are all under snow….patience is the gift of patience I’ve heard it said. And the garden is absolutely stunning today draped in white. I can only send you my awe …

Take care until next time. We hope you make it to the soup night!

Hot chocolate and a hearty cheers,

DJamil

Recent comments from our team:

Compost 

It is awesome that so many people have suddenly started putting their compost in the bin, yet we need more people to help maintain this increased volume. Please consider coming to the workday to learn about the process, or email and we can set up a good time for you.

Also, PLEASE do not put any plastic bags or otherwise in the compost, even if they claim they are recyclable. We want to believe them, however, we are not sure in what century this transformation may manifest! 🙂

Here are some general guidelines that may be helpful. We are working on new signs. If you’d like to help, let us know.
Yes – vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, healthy plants,  ideally if you put large whole items like watermelon please cut it up a bit, coffee, teas, shredded newspaper or brown bags, leaves, grass clippings, wood burning stove ash, egg shells

No – plastic of any kind, corn cobs (attract rodents and take a very long time to break down), meat products including bones, oily foods,  ‘weeds’, diseased plants, kitty litter,

Please tell your friends and thank you for contributing to the ‘green gold’ of the garden!

Our Bee Man, Larry, is still looking for a new garden that he can set up new hives.

Local Beekeeper Seeks Happy Home for Bees

  • o -Will share honey production.o   -Will mentor if interested in establishing your own hive

Larry’s cell – 617.834.6093

email – lvandeventer@comcast.net

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Happy Solstice…may all your dreams come true!

DJamil

Many thanks to Larry VandeVenter, our Bee person, who is doing a great job caring for the hives. We received an update that we lost one of the two hives to the infamous mite. Yikes! However, Larry and his mentor have successfully gathered a few hives together to hopefully make the remaining hive strong enough, with their abundant honey stores from this years hard work, through the winter. Nevertheless, he will be with us next year. 🙂

Larry would like to explore new locations to care for yet more bees. Below is a little announcement he put together: Please contact him for further information/opportunities to have hives in your garden.

Local Beekeeper Seeks Happy Home for Bees

Why are bees in trouble

Many pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates (including honey bees, bumble bees, and other native bees). Last year 40% of the bee hives in the U.S. died. We are dependent on pollination for 60% of our annual food production. The solution to pollinator health is not a simple one. Pesticides are weakening pollinator immune systems, leaving them more open to parasites and pathogens. Healthy food sources such as wild flowers are disappearing with development.

How can you help?

o   Say no to pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides).

o   Plant native wildflowers and flowering shrubs and trees in your backyards, communities, and workplaces.

o   If you have room in your yard, host a hive or two and share in the honey and satisfaction of creating a happy home for honey bees.

Local Beekeeper Seeks Happy Home for Bees

o   -Will share honey production.

o   -Will mentor if interested in establishing your own hive

Larry’s cell – 617.834.6093

email – lvandeventer@comcast.net

Thank you all for caring and being a part of the Leland Street Community Garden. We’re all in this together! See you soon…

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