Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ENCM Gardens Calendar of Events

We are happy to introduce the ENCM Gardens Calendar to Growing Our Future today! You can find it under the Calendar of Events tab beneath the sunflowers and can also access it directly at this link.

We will be updating the calendar regularly with event info for study groups, workshops, open garden time, potlucks, community discussions, and more. This will  be a good resource to keep in mind as you're looking for ways to connect to ENCM and partner organizations. As always, we welcome your ideas.

If you have a mobile device like an iPhone, iPad, or Android, it's easy to sync the calendar so you can get reminders about upcoming events. Ah, technology. We want to use it positively around here.

Don't forget that the next scheduled event is the seed and plant start swap this upcoming Saturday!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seed & Plant Start Swap and Community Discussion

Next Saturday, April 6: 3-5pm at our Main Street garden (807 Main Street, Nashville, TN 37206)

Next Saturday we'll continue the great discussion we had at GrowFest about our vision of a thriving backyard food culture that connects with shared community gardens and rural farmers to create a stable, abundant food source for Nashville. We'll be in the garden unless rain takes us inside the cooperative building (park in side parking lot and enter through side garden gate).

We'll continue to discuss questions such as:
  • What is your vision of Nashville’s backyard food culture? 
  • How can we create a network of home gardens that feed us while creating community?
  • What are your ideas about how we can share resources & ideas to create a vibrant part of Nashville's food system? 
  • How can the backyard food culture and the rural farmers cooperate to feed the city?
Bring seeds and extra plant starts to swap -- clearly marked please.

Show and Tell -- bring along a favorite gardening tool or come prepared to tell the group about a unique growing/homesteading technique that others might find useful as they transition into the spring growing season. 

All are welcome! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Landsharing Map by Nashville Grown

Sarah Johnson at Nashville Grown is developing a landsharing map to help connect Nashville property owners and committed growers seeking land. The Nashville Farm and Garden Finder contains cute little animal icons indicating properties that landowners have registered to make available for others to cultivate. Interested growers can reach out to Sarah for owners' contact details.

Many of us and our friends have unused corners in our properties that we would love to see filled with lush gardens, but we might not have the time, resources, or know-how to bring our visions to fruition. By making these spaces available to dedicated and knowledgeable cultivators, we support a system that will create a positive change in the way food is produced and consumed in Nashville. And, we might learn a lot in the meantime!

For inspiration and to see how a large-scale landshare operation is turning out in the United Kingdom, check out Since 2009, this organization has connected over 55,000 growers, sharers, and helpers and helped to develop a thriving growing community. Amazing.

If you or anyone you know is interested in offering land up for cultivation, please fill out the form posted on Nashville Grown's landshare page. And remember - a surprising amount of food can grow in small spaces. One of the current listings on the landshare map is only 1/20th of an acre.  And of course, if you are on the lookout for land to cultivate, contact Sarah about the current properties and check back often for additional opportunities.

Please help us to spread this map's visibility around the Nashville community. The people at Nashville Grown and ENCM will be happy to discuss your questions, concerns, and ideas.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Introducing the ENCM Garden Market and Six Boots Collective CSA

ENMC will be hosting a Garden Market at the Main St. Cooperative Garden every Saturday morning beginning in mid-may. Garden Market offerings will include organic biodynamic produce, herbs, and flowers from ENCM gardens, artisan local products, produce from the Six Boots Collective, and more! Kevin, Peter, and Will, the Six Boots Collective farmers, are offering a CSA for the upcoming growing season and will be delivering to the ENCM Garden Market for weekly pickup. Here's a message from the collective with more details:

Hello, East Nashville neighbors! We are a collective of three farmers from Bells Bend (Kevin of Hoot 'n' Holler Gardens, Peter of Soggy Bottom Farm, and Will of Wiley's Produce)  offering a 28 week share of seasonal produce grown 20 minutes northwest of Nashville, in Scottsboro. We are delivering to East Nashville Cooperative Ministries on Saturday mornings beginning in May. Our Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) program offers a weekly pick-up of seasonal vegetables flowers, herbs, recipes, and newsletter.

You will also have access to:
  •  Locally pasture raised meats from Ecotone farm in Joelton, TN
  • Thanksgiving heritage breed turkeys (also from Ecotone Farm)
  • Honey
  • Biodynamically prepared compost
  • Agricultural news
  • Invitations to upcoming square dances
  • Dinners/Potlucks
  • Music
  • Fun
The cost for the CSA is $700 for 28 weeks ($25/week).  In practicing the CSA economic model, we ask for a portion, or all, of this money up front in order to buy supplies, seeds, labor, operations, and raise YOUR quality nutritional produce for the season.  Utilizing heirloom and non-gmo seeds, practicing sustainable holistic farming methods, using biodynamic preperations and compost, and employing long-term agricultural land use planning, our vision is to provide continuous access to locally produced fruits and vegetables, promote a healthy local food system, and enliven our native soils.  For more information, check, and to reserve a spot, send a check made out to Six Boots Growers Collective 4502 Old Hickory Blvd. Nashville, TN 37218.  We are looking forward to growing with you this season!

Your Farmers

Kevin, Will, and Peter
Six Boots Growers Collective

More details about the Garden Market will be posted soon. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GrowFest Gratitude and Ways to Connect

Thank you to all of you who came out to GrowFest! We enjoyed an active seed swap, great conversation with local leaders offering resources to home growers, and a lively and engaged discussion outside in the garden on a beautiful day. How good is that? 

We look forward to growing the seeds planted at GrowFest. We are grateful to all of you -- gardeners, friends, leaders, educators, volunteers -- for connecting in a real, meaningful way as we create this community growing network. 

A small photo album documenting GrowFest can be found on the ENCM Facebook page. We welcome you to add to the collection!

We'll be hosting another seed swap and discussion in the ENCM garden on April 6, 3-5 pm. 807 Main St 37206.

For any of you interested in participating at ENCM in the garden, here are a few options:

  • Be a part of the Urban Farm Cooperative. Choose garden projects (see list below) that appeal to you as we cooperate in creating a thriving, bountiful growing space at ENCM. We've got everything from building natural garden structures to being a School Garden Liaison, so your time spent with us is purposeful and fulfilling. You choose what you'd like to learn the most and connect with others on the projects.
  • Start or become a Peace Garden. Be a part of the network of ENCM partner gardens, sharing time, resources, and harvests as we grow peace in our community.
  • Participate in or lead a study group. City Gardener Gatherings monthly potlucks, Biodynamic agriculture monthly study group, Wendell Berry reading group coming soon. More to come!
  • Attend or lead a skill-share session. Have you learned a new growing technique or homesteading skill you'd like to share with others? Use our space and coordinate with us to set up an amateur-led learning opportunity.
  • Suggest or lead a growing or homesteading workshop. What would you like to learn from the amazing garden/sustainable living leaders in Nashville? Let us know, and we'll add it to our workshop schedule.

Upcoming: City Gardener Gathering Potluck March 30, 4-7 pm in the garden. All of you growing in the city are welcome! We will share food and stories about our plans for growing this year. Vegetarian preferred.

We will be sharing a calendar soon for all these events.
Contact me to connect in the ways listed above or to suggest ideas, ask questions. 

In cooperation,

Urban Farm Cooperative Garden Projects:
  • garden care basics
  • signage
  • tool library
  • Biodynamic practices
  • Forest gardening
  • garden events
  • social marketing
  • natural garden structurebuilding 
  • carpentry 
  • grains
  • medicinal herbs
  • compost 
  • vermiculture
  • harvest to pantry
  • creative kids' projects
  • Garden to Pantry Liaison
  • fruit 
  • art projects in the garden
  • School Garden Liaison
  • Church Garden Liaison
  • Wendell Berry book study leader
  • flowers
  • herb market
  • mow gathering spaces
  • tree nursery
  • garden photo essays