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New Season, New Challenges

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | 0 comments

New Season, New Challenges

Ask any farmer what it takes to produce good food, and they will likely reply with some version of, “Good soil.” Healthy life-giving soil is neither easy nor free. It takes hard work, patience, and often requires overcoming a bit of adversity. Owing to housing redevelopment, the Urban Agriculture Collective is experiencing some adversity of its own. Our community farm has downsized from well over 40,000 square feet last year, to just 4400 sq. ft. in 2020. The loss of so much farmland has had a big impact on our projected crop production this year. We expect this loss to ripple out to the...

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CHS 2019/2020 update

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | 0 comments

CHS 2019/2020 update

Writing this update towards the end of March 2020 certainly feels a million times different than it would have just two weeks ago!  Two weeks ago as we headed into what is now considered to be the last week of the in-person school year, we had a hunch that school might be out for a period of time.  Thankfully, we were blessed with gorgeous weather and the students buckled down and got to work turning over beds, prepping for spring crops and seeding tray after tray of thousands of seeds. When we said goodbye on that last Friday, our small farm was in the best shape it had been in by this...

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Birds at Burnley Moran

Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | Comments Off on Birds at Burnley Moran

Birds at Burnley Moran

Something that we get asked a lot as garden coordinators with CSG is “What do you do in the winter?” While it is true that there have been days during these cold and rainy months that I wish it were spring already, there is still ample exploration going on in our gardens and in classrooms this time of year. We use this time to do activities that are adaptable to both indoor and outdoor, in case we have a nice day that allows us to get outside (which has happened a lot this winter). Some of the activities we’ve been doing are bean dissection and sprouting, seed starting, and of course...

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Winter Cooking at Greenbrier

Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | Comments Off on Winter Cooking at Greenbrier

Winter Cooking at Greenbrier

Since starting as a garden coordinator at Burnley Moran and Greenbrier Elementary Schools, I’ve been surprised by how excited students are about trying food. In the fall when the gardens were still teeming with tomatoes, peas, bok choi and more, it was common to turn around to see students with a handful of vegetables or a mouth stuffed with lettuce. I remember this time that a student tapped me in the garden, “Miss Mackenzie, look at my burrito!” She’d stuffed a malabar spinach leaf with 2 cherry tomatoes and a snap pea. Not a class went by without a “can we eat stuff?” But with...

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Harvest of the Month–Cripps Pink Apples

Posted by on Jan 10, 2020 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | Comments Off on Harvest of the Month–Cripps Pink Apples

Harvest of the Month–Cripps Pink Apples

This month marks 5 years of Harvest of the Month in the Charlottesville City Schools. Five years ago we highlighted our first crop: Pink Lady Apples (aka Cripps Pink Apples). This month, to celebrate our 43rd crop, we again, highlighted the Cripps Pink apple. Since the very first crop, done in January 2015, we have been skipping January for Harvest of the month (highlighting 4 fall crops and 4 spring crops) as a time to regroup. It also was consistently a challenge to find a local crop to highlight in the dead of winter. This year, we decided to keep the food going right through the end of...

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Harvest of the Month at Clark

Posted by on Dec 18, 2019 in CSG's Gardens, Featured | Comments Off on Harvest of the Month at Clark

Harvest of the Month at Clark

This year at Clark Elementary, the Harvest of the Month program has extended outside of the cafeteria and into the library. The Harvest of the Month program serves up local, seasonal fruits and vegetables once a month throughout the school year. Students sample it on the lunch line or in the cafeteria when it’s handed out by volunteers. The Clark librarian, Mary Craig, has incorporated Harvest of the Month fruits and vegetables into 1st and 2nd grade library time so that one week out of each month, students have a hands-on garden activity, combined with a related book, and a taste...

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We miss seeing our CSG students in the gardens, UACC friends at community markets, and CFJN partners in advocacy. Please know our hearts and minds are with you. We are working to provide coordination for emergency food assistance and to get the gardens robust and ready for your return. In solidarity -Jeanette, Megan, Aleen, Richard, Shantell, Jordan, Shannon, Mackenzie, Sarah, Tami, Yolonda, Leon, Michael, Rick & Peter

Ode From the Garden

It’s quieter now, less traffic, more bees;

more birds in the garden, more buds on the trees.

Our onions are nestled all snug in raised beds,

Along with potatoes like Kennebecs, and Reds.

 

 

Rain falling, birds calling, bugs crawling about,

A gardener keeps gardening when branches branch out.

The sound of Spring rising and cool morning dew,

But there’s one sound we’re missing, and that sound is you.

 

 

Ms Shannon, Ms Sarah, Misters Davis and Harden,

Ms Yolonda, Ms Mackenzie, Farmer Rich in the garden.

Don’t worry, we’ll be here when school starts again,

The CSG Gardeners and all of your friends.

 

 

Please stay in touch with us via facebook and instagram - especially for our exciting launch of Cultivate Charlottesville! You can also donate to support our CFJN emergency food assistance efforts.