Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Growing Summit

Lions Club Gives Away 300 Trees at
Growing Summit
Phil Sutton handing out advice

First Growing Summit: A Huge Success!!!!
by  Doug Simpson, St Joe Valley Master Gardener
Where else could you experience 23 one-hour long classes taught by 25 different instructors all about one broad subject matter - GARDENING --- and, all in one day between 9am and 3pm, Perhaps most amazing, it was open to all interested gardeners free of charge.
Well, it all happened at IUSB on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The fi rst Growing Summit was truly a highly successful experience for more than 150 attendees. In addition to the classes there were more than 20 vendor stations relating to various aspects of gardening. They displayed a wide selection of timely subjects from Prairie Wind Farms to Green Drinks to Soil Boosters by the Fish Guys and much more. It appeared that most of the vendors, if not all, were in a happy mood when they left. As for the folks who attended this fi rst Growing Summit, it can be said that as a group they were excited, serious and eager to learn more about the subject of gardening. Many of them came with questions to be answered, and new ideas to be discovered as they eagerly anticipate the 2012 growing season. Incidentally, we were pleased to greet several members from the Michiana MG group from Elkhart County. Three SJVMG members presented over 10 of the 23 classes. Mitch Yaciw set the record that will be hard to beat. He taught four classes, each with a different subject relating to vegetable gardening. Vicky Rydzynski taught her popular class on Rain Barrels, and then led a new exciting offering of hers’ entitled Water Conservation. Monica Guillauds’ class was about Herb Gardens. The St. Joe County MG Class of 2010 was well represented: Besides Mitch and Monica, Sue Lowe taught a class on Native Plants, and Cara and Jim Lupa led two classes on Container Gardens, a subject that they have excelled in. And not to be left out, three members of the St. Joe County MG class of 2011 signed up to teach two more of the 23 classes. Dave and Carole Coffman taught a class on Shade Gardening, and Cyndi Kingma’s topic was Edible Flowers. Finally, in typical fashion, Sara and Mitch were already planning improvements and taking notes for a second in a series of Growing Summits in 2013. Our hats are off to the both of them for bringing this extremely well planned and executed event to our area gardeners.

Monday, April 23, 2012

IUSB Sustainabilty Award

The IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future has chosen to honor Sara Stewart and Unity Gardens with this year’s Organization of the Year award.
The award, one of four given annually by the center, recognizes individuals, groups and businesses that make significant contributions to a more sustainable future in Michiana.
Unity’s focus on local food production, all within a framework of strengthening and empowering communities and their leaders, has grown in its fifth season to include dozens of gardens. Unity Gardens connects people to healthy food, and each other.
But Unity’s emphasis on educating both children and adults helps to promote a sustainable future through changing lifestyles, by improving community health and fostering a love of growing and connection with nature.
Among the latest Unity projects is a native planting area at the flagship LaSalle Square garden on South Bend’s west side. The introduction of the plants, education about their role in the ecosystem and the introduction of bees to improve pollination go beyond the backyard tomato.
Countless volunteers, donors, agency partners and officials have helped to further Unity’s success. Sara’s thank-you remarks at the awards ceremony graciously expressed the true vision of Unity when she stressed that really, all we can ever hope to grow is each other.
Other award winners included Myles Robertson, IUSB student extraordinaire who won the student award; Carl de Bruyn, assistant director of facilities, for campus staff contributions; and Charlotte Wolfe, who was recognized with the Community Individual Sustainability Award for her sustainable farming and native landscape restoration at Prairie Wind Farms, her home north of Lakeville.
For more information about the center and the awards, visit https://www.iusb.edu/csfuture/index.php
To learn more about Unity and find ways to connect or donate, visit http://theunitygardens.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Weekend

What to expect at this weekends Growing Summit
Parking : South off Mishawaka Ave on 20th St. Parking lot in front of Student Activities Center on the East Side of campus . Wiekamp Hall is next to the parking garage
here is PDF map of Campus  http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2966157840711046486#template

Lion Club:  Will be giving out  300 Free Tree Saplings

Classes :      21 Free Classes on Lawns, Gardens , and more to choose from . Come for one Class or come all day.

Ask an Expert : Phil Sutton with Purdue Extension, and a crew of Master Gardeners will be there to answer all you Garden related questions and more.

Garden Seeds : Unity Gardens will be selling Garden seeds , Coffee Mugs , and T-Shirts to raise funds for the gardens and events like this

Rain Barrel Raffle : The St Joe Valley Master Gardeners will be holding a rain Barrel Raffle to raise funds Tickets are $ 2 or 3 for $ 5

Vendor Booths
Potawatomi Conservatories : Learn about the new renovations, new membership package, and grand opening event
INPAWS : Learn all about Indiana Native Plants
Ginger Valley : See whats new in gardening
Edible Michiana   Edible Michiana is a community-based culinary magazine dedicated to the growing local food movement in northern Indiana and southwest lower Michigan
New Life Soil Booster : Learn how Asian Carp can help your soil
Purple Porch : Local Food C0-OP and all around cool folks
South Bend Dept of Energy: See what they are doing to inprove the City
Wild Birds Unlimited  
Urban Garden Market
Soil & Water Conservation
South Bend Green Drinks  South Bend Green Drinks is now over 2 years and we are definitely green and growing! What started with a handful of people meeting for a drink has grown into 30-50 people getting together each month for drinks with friends and a chance to learn about what's happening in our community.
Gro Pro Manufactured in Kokomo, Indiana by parent company Syndicate Sales Inc., steadyGROWpro was engineered specifically for the germination, propagation, and growth of ornamental and vegetative plants. It is produced using an aromatic –based system of thermoset carbon based polymers which creates a cell structure allowing for optimal water retention and air flow
Peace Bees    Speading awareness of the Importance bees
Clay Granger Lions Club
 South Bend Chicken Allience
Unity Gasrdens
Downtown South Bend
Michiana Organic Growers

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Week

Tonight  April  19th 6pm Cooking Butternut Squash
702 Chapin St

This Weekend !! The Big Event , Come all day or come for one class !!
Growing Summit- April 21th 2012
What :
• A full day of one hour workshops: Gardening, Food Preparation, Nature, etc.
• Exhibits from local Nurseries, Greenhouses, Garden Centers, Farms, and more
• Network with area gardeners, educators, and vendors
Where : IUSB Campus

Cost: Event and Classes are free.
lunch available $$.

Event Co-Sponsored by Unity Gardens , Indiana University , St Joe Valley Master Gardeners, Purdue Master Gardeners ,

Registration 8:00 am
Introduction and Welcome 8:30 am
Krista Bailey, Assistant Director, IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future
Class Schedule Subject to Check Please Check One Week Before Summit

Breakout Session I 9am to 10am
Classroom A Rain Barrels Rm 1135
Vicky Rydzynski -Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom B Open
No Classs
Classroom C Shade Gardening
Dave Coffman and Carole Coffman Purdue MG Intern
Classroom D Organic Gardening
Greg Leyes/ Ginger Valley
Classroom E Intro to Bees
Steve Lesniak / Peace Bees
Classroom F Garden Planning
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Breakout Session II 10:30 to 11:30am
Classroom A Water Conservation
Vicky Rydzynski-Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom B Increase Your Sustainability IQ
Mike Keen / IUSB Center for a Sustainable Future
Classroom C Invasive Spicies
Phil Sutton / Purdue Extension Educator
Classroom D Herb Gardens
Monica Guillaud / Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom E Beekeeping 101 /
Steve Lesniak / Peace Bees
Classroom F All About Soil
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Breakout Session III 12:30 to 1:30pm
Classroom A Native Plantings
Sue Lowe / Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom B Plant Cloning
Dan Biggs / Steady Grow Pro
Classroom C Worm Farming
Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom D 11 Tips To Make Your Lawn Look Its Best
Dave Millar / Red Hen Turf Farm
Classroom E Open / No Class
Classroom F All About Vegetables Part I
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Breakout Session IV 2:00 to 3:00pm
Classroom A Container Gardens
Jim and Cara Lupa / Purdue Master Gardeners
Classroom B Edible Flowers
Cyndi Kingma / Purdue Master Gardener
Classroom C Landscaping to Attract Birds
Wild Birds Unlimited
Classroom D "Odd, weird, and dumb things about lawns."
Dave Millar/ Red Hen Turf Farm
Classroom E Open / No Class
Classroom F All About Vegetables Part II
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AG Days

Last week it was AG Days at the St Joe Co.Fair Grounds . Its a weekend to raise awareness about 4H and agriculture in general. It was a busy weekend Friday it was non-stop students on field trips, and Saturday, and Sunday was about the biggest crowds I've seen at AG Days. We teamed up with Peace Bees at our booth celebrating Bees and to new hives coming to the Unity Gardens. We also had a Tomato planting activity for the kids. They planted Tomato seeds in small pots to take home with them. We went through 400 pots, and the kids loved it. It was a great weekend to build awareness of both Honey Bees and Unity Gardens

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free April Cooking Classes

Too Cold to Garden ..Then Cook ! Tonight Thursday April 12th
Monica Esquivel, ROC's registered Dietician will be doing the cooking demo tomorrow night at the Unity Gardens. She is going to prepare a cauliflower mac and cheese (Yum-o!) See everyone at 6pm, 702 Chapin St. South Bend, IN 46601.
Classes are free Every Thursday in April at 6pm  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Double Duty Day

Saturday was a busy day for us we had two great events . First was Peace Bees doing a Beekeeping 101 class. This year Peace Bees is putting Hives in one of our Gardens , and maybe more at a 2nd garden. As gardeners we all know the importance of Bees to our food supply, as well as the health benefits of Honey. So this may BEE the most exciting project we have taken on yet. Our mission will be to train future beekeepers. Steve gave a great intro class and anyone wanting to learn more can have hands on instruction at the LaSalle Square Garden.
      We also had several groups of ND students, and a Group of Saint Mary's girls come out to the LaSalle Square garden to do spring cleaning. A special thanks to our Volunteers that helped manage the students , Sue, Connie, Gabby, and Laureen we could not of did it without them. This is the 2nd year Notre Dame has come out on Communiversity day to help in the garden. Its a great way to kick off spring in the garden after a grey winter. Mulching Paths, cleaning out an area for our new Bee hives , making an area for our growing hoop , and spreading gravel were just some of the projects. All I can say is the season is upon us and we are ready.