As we continue to transition the 610 Gifford Street Community Garden to being majority perennial based plantings, we have implemented an Adopt-A-Bed program trial this year that is meeting with some success. Over 5 years in, since the formation of the 610 Gifford garden, numerous founding members have either moved from the neighborhood or taken their use of time elsewhere, resulting in a need to reduce labor and inputs to sustain the viability of stewardship of the site. Although we still welcome annual beds, we are focused on perennial beds, and have 5 people now who have adopted at least one of them!
Frank has adopted the rhubarb bed, which also includes some plantings of herbs including chives and bergamot underneath a yellow fruiting dogwood. Susan has adopted the strawberry border bed facing Gifford St. Kathy has adopted the native wildflowers bed planted in the right-of-way strip along Gifford St. Ursula has adopted the two pallet strawberry beds in the interior of the lot. And most recently, Carrie has adopted a new strawberry bed adjacent to the other interior strawberry beds and next to the highbush cranberry, where we are removing mint and expanding berries!
Why are perennial beds easier to maintain and adopt? The plants are usually more drought tolerant, and don’t require regular watering over the summer. The plants have a permanent place, making it easier to identify weeds that are growing around them, and reducing the need to clean them out and replant them every year. And, they are pretty much guaranteed to produce a product for harvest every year! We have lots and lots of rhubarb, strawberries, and mint year in and year out no problems, and we can all share with each other when it is harvest time.
Want to get in on the fun? Here’s some beds looking for an adopter:
Get in touch, or show up Saturdays at 11 am during the fall/winter/spring seasons, call or text ahead to double-check that we’ll be there, everyone sets their own schedules. Adopters will be asked to visit their beds at least 1-2 times per month. We’ll teach you what else you need to know for care and harvest.