plot 50 11.29.2013 on Flickr.

The remains of this year’s community garden plot

This morning, I went to pull up the tomatoes and clear out the remaining bamboo poles and wooden stakes. The mustards (kale, collards, brussels sprouts) are still vibrant and firm, in spite of the 30-degree temperatures we’ve had the past few nights. I’m thinking that I won’t use this space again next spring, but we’ll see what happens.

plot 50 11.9.2013 b on Flickr.

My space at Alice’s Garden in Milwaukee, Nov. 9, ‘13

winter garden 5 on Flickr.

One of the plots at the multi-acre, community-managed Alice’s Garden in Milwaukee, WI, 11.9.2013

Speaking of the gardens…

I had the day off, but I felt ill for most of it and didn’t get out to work on them until almost 5 p.m. The first photo is the 20’x20’ plot south of downtown Milwaukee. The second photo shows the 16’x16’ space on the near west side. They were planted about a week apart, toward the end of May, but water wasn’t available at the southern site until well into June. We had to bring water ourselves during that time. Thus, the smaller plants in the first photo (esp. the corn, boo hoo).

There’s a ban on squash/cucumbers/melons at the western site. This is because of borers that have plagued the garden, which has well more than 50 plots. It’s hoped that by not providing the insects a food source, their numbers will be significantly diminished next year. Of course, not everyone has complied with this restriction. Maybe they didn’t get that email, or the instruction wasn’t translated for non-English speakers. It’s not the end of the world, though.

From the Center for Resilient Cities website:

"Alice’s Garden, an urban agricultural project located in Johnsons Park, is a two-acre community garden located on a parcel of land that was once part of abolitionist Samuel Brown’s farm, the first farmer to provide safe passage to Caroline Quarlls, an escaped slave from St. Louis.  The events at Brown’s farm led historically to   the birth of the Underground Railroad in Wisconsin, establishing Johnsons Park an area of great significance in Milwaukee. 

"Before thousands of houses were torn down between 1969 and 1972 for a proposed freeway project, there was a culturally rich African-American community in the Johnsons Park area.  However, after the Park West Freeway plans were halted, the land remained abandoned and untouched.  In the late 1980s Alice’s Garden was created by Milwaukee County Extension to create a community gardening space for city residents."