Dundee Community Garden Annual Report

Annual Member Meeting

Nov. 1, 2018

 

     In 2018, we had 41 member gardeners grow produce, herbs, and flowers in their individual plots.  We continue to have a wait-list for plots: currently 42 people.

     We donated approximately 700 pounds of produce to the Underwood Tower (includes about 205 pounds of sweet potatoes), and we donated approximately 50 pounds of sweet potatoes to Marks Bistro.

     We grew approximately 825 pounds of sweet potatoes—just under 2017’s total of 880 pounds—even though 2018’s crop was planted 20 days later (June 22) in the season than our 2017 planting date of June 2.  Decreased number of pounds could be due to weighing errors, or problems with our drip irrigation system, or perhaps potatoes were spaced farther apart when planting this year. We grew the Orleans variety for the second year in a row. Our largest potato this year was 6 pounds.

    Harvesting the sweet potato crop was challenging in 2018 due to having to cancel the harvest dates for the first two weekends in October as the soil was too wet, and then having 3” snow fall on Oct. 14, covering the sweet potato vines while the potatoes were still in the ground. A volunteer crew clipped the vines from the potatoes the day following the snow storm, (thank you Rebecca, Bill and Don) and the potatoes were harvested five days after vines were clipped, on Oct. 20.  While the freeze does not affect the flavor of the potatoes, clipping the vines is supposed to protect the potatoes so they can still be cured and stored.

     We had an extremely productive yellow squash crop in our Neighbor Garden that produced approximately 150 pounds of squash, from our original 12 squash seeds.  Jan often harvest 2x/week as the squash was so prolific! (Thank you to Jan de Knock!)

 

MEETING OUR MISSION STATEMENT with Workshops and Events: part of our mission is to provide educational workshops, as well as community-building events. 

Four Educational Workshops (Thank you, Rebecca!)

1. What to Plant and When (Rebecca Reagan), April 7, 17 people 

2. Growing Tomatoes (Rebecca Reagan), May 19, 12 people

3. Pollinator Field Tour (Jennifer Hopwood/ Xerces Society), June 14, 12 people

4. Fall Planting (Rebecca Reagan), Aug. 31, 10 people

TOTAL REACH: Four workshops with about 51 people (about same as last year)

 

Two Kids Educational Workshops (“Kids in the Garden” series) with Lori Huebert and Tancy Ellis  (Thank you, Tancy and Lori!)

1.   Watch it Grow Carrots, June 6, about 10 kids/adults

2.   Garden Gnome, Aug. 8 (rescheduled from July 11 when no kids showed up) about 10 kids/adults

TOTAL REACH:  Two workshops, 20 kids/adults

 

Two Events:

Ice Cream Social, June 24, about 100 people

Watermelon Feed, July 30, about 25 people (down from 55 people in 2017)

TOTAL REACH:  125 people 

GRAND TOTAL WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS: Approximately 196 people

Outreach: DCG Board Members assisted with the annual Seed Share (scheduled for the last Sat. in January) hosted by the Douglas County Health Dept./ Community Garden Network. 

GRANTS RECEIVED: We received a grant from the Omaha Men’s Garden Club for pollinator plants, in the form of $100 cash plus a $100 gift certificate for the Men’s Garden Club Plant Sale.  We purchased native pollinator plants from the NE Statewide Arboretum for the flower beds including Prairie Phlox, Golden Alexanders, Culver’s Root, Rattlesnake Master, Lady in Black Aster, Virginia Mountain Mint, and a Wichita Mountains Goldenrod. And we got many of our vegetable crops—tomatoes, peppers, herbs—from the gift certificate for the Men’s Garden Club Plant Sale.

ABANDONED CISTERN from 2017:  On Oct. 21, 2017 a hole in the ground was observed.  After some digging it was apparently an abandoned cistern, with brick-lined walls.  Measured about 10 ft. wide and 10 feet deep.  Douglas County Health Dept. was consulted, and we ended up having it filled with sand in Nov. 2017. (Keith Mixan of Mixan Concrete for $275).

Review of Goals set for 2018:

Our main goal for 2018 was to better terrace the Neighbor Garden area.  In the spring, we placed rows of bricks along the two upper levels to establish a terrace for the beds.  In October, we recycled some landscape stones obtained from the former Farnam Farm to improve the terracing with larger stone borders. (Thank you Don W and Wally!)  We will need to straighten and dig in the landscape stones either later this year, or in spring 2018. 

Additional goal for 2018 was to require our members to volunteer two hours per month at the garden working in the community beds, flower beds, Neighbor Garden, etc.  We had mixed success with this: we certainly saw in increase in volunteering from our members, but we did not have all members participate, and not all gave 2 hours/month.

It takes a village to make a community garden a success. Thank you to everyone who helped with our garden this season and helped us reach our goals.

Board Elections:  Thank you to all our past board members, and our current and new board members. 

 

Dundee Community Garden Annual Report

Annual Member Meeting

Nov. 2, 2017

     In 2017, we had 41 member gardeners grow produce, herbs, and flowers in their individual plots.

     We donated approximately 840 pounds of produce to the Underwood Tower (includes about 350 pounds of sweet potatoes.)

     We grew approximately 880 pounds of sweet potatoes total crop. Last year, we grew approximately 1300 pounds—we were 400 pounds less this year due to late planting date of Thurs. June 22, as well as growing a different variety (Orleans vs. Beauregard in past years—this year we were unable to obtain the Beauregard slips).  Our largest potato this year was 4.25 pounds, compared to the 11 and 12 pounders we have grown of the Beauregard variety. 

MEETING OUR MISSION STATEMENT:

Workshops and Events: part of our mission is to provide educational workshops, as well as community-building events. 

Four Educational Workshops

1. What to Plant and When (Lori Huebert), April 1, 15 people

2. Growing Tomatoes (Rebecca Reagan), May 6, 12 people

3. Native Pollinator Wildflowers (Tom Lundahl), June 22, 5 people

4. Pollinator Field Tour (Jennifer Hopwood/ Xerces Society), July 20, 3 people (about 100º that evening)

TOTAL REACH: about 52 people

Three Kids Educational Workshops (“Kids in the Garden” series) with Lori Huebert and Tancy Ellis

1.   Glass Suncatchers, June 14 (4 kids, 2 adults))

2.   Seed Art, Aug. 2 (6 kids, 3 adults) (rescheduled from July when it was about 100º)

3.   Make your own Bugs and a Planted Head, Aug.30 (4 kids, 2 adults)

TOTAL REACH:  Three workshops, 14 kids, 7 adults

Three Events:

Ice Cream Social, June 11, about 100 people

Watermelon Feed, July 30, about 55 people

Tour de Garden host site, Sept. 11, about 55 people

TOTAL REACH:  210 people

GRAND TOTAL WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS: Approximately 283 people

NEW IN 2017 (Goals set for 2017):

1. Added two additional signs to the Neighbor Garden with less words to make it more clear what the Neighbor Garden is and who it is for.

2. Neighbor Garden was more understood & used by neighbors who picked from it. 

3. Scott and Eric put a fan into the shed to keep the shed cooler during the summer months.

Outreach:

DCG Board Members assisted with the annual Seed Share (scheduled for the last Sat. in January) hosted by the Douglas County Health Dept./ Community Garden Network.

Mary presented about the DCG as part of the Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) conference on a panel about Greening Midtown.

ABANDONED CISTERN:  On Oct. 21, 2017 a hole in the ground was observed.  After some digging it is apparently an abandoned cistern, with brick-lined walls.  Measures at least four feet deep, width is unknown but gets wider as it goes down.  Douglas County Health Dept. has been consulted, and we are researching the best way to fill it.

It takes a village to make a community garden a success. Thank you to everyone who helped with our garden this season and helped us reach our goals.

 

2014 Annual Report

DCG has Successful Gardening Season

2014 was a year of major accomplishments for Dundee Community Garden.   In the spring we installed solar panels on our tool shed (making our lawn-mowing and weed-whacking fossil-fuel free), planted a strawberry patch as an edible groundcover under our six fruit trees, planted a native prairie wildflower area for pollinators (where native plants can send down 20 foot tap-roots, making them drought-tolerant), and built a retaining wall along the alley side of the garden.

On a wet and muddy Saturday in June, we planted our 250 sweet potato starts, which yielded over 1000 pounds of sweet potatoes when we dug them up in October.

We donated approximately 950 pounds of fresh organic produce to the Underwood Tower this year, which is more  than we have ever donated in a single year.  Since our founding in 2009, we have donated 3,937 pounds of fresh produce to others.

We hosted a number of events in 2014, including our annual Ice Cream Social in June, a Watermelon Feed in July, and educational workshops including What to Plant and When, Herbs from the Garden, and Edible Weeds.

In August, we were delighted when scouts from Boy Scout Troop 42 built new compost bins for us as part of Jack McCullough’s Eagle Scout Project.  Jack designed the bins with removable wooden slats, making it easy to turn the compost from bin to bin.  The corner posts are set in concrete, and the wooden slats are made of cedar—it is a highly functional design!

Also in August, our new entranceway, designed by sculptor Dan Newberry and Greensleeves Landscaping, was completed. With its whimsical depiction of people carrying a giant carrot, it serves as a welcoming entrance to both the community garden and the Dundee neighborhood.

DCG hosted a 5th year  birthday party on Sunday Sept. 7, with a ribbon cutting at the new entranceway, and remarks from City Council President Pete Festersen and DMPA President Adam Langdon.   With live music from the “Burt Street Individuals” and homemade carrot cake using carrots from the garden, it was a gala event with over 150 people attending.  

In October, a bronze plaque recognizing those who donated $150+ to our Growing Roots fundraising campaign in 2013 was installed in our 49th Street flowerbeds.

While the DCG is a relatively small garden, our compact design provides growing space for 41 members, as well as additional plots for growing produce to donate, and a “Neighbor Garden” area where anyone walking by the garden is invited to help themselves to fresh produce. 

DCG is a 501(c)3 organization, and donations are fully tax deductible. Plans for 2015 include setting up drip hoses for irrigation for the sweet potato area, as well as improving the Neighbor Garden area, compost signage, and purchasing needed garden equipment.  Every year we have expenses that exceed our membership fee.

If you would like to make an end-of-year tax-deductible donation to the DCG, you can donate through our website at DundeeGarden.org, or send a check to our Treasurer Ben Tiggelaar, at 14302 FNB Pkwy, Omaha, NE 68154.   

Thank you for considering DCG in your charitable contributions.

Happy Winter and we’ll be back next Spring!