Summer garden greetings friends of HRDC!
The Gardens are off to a beautiful start this season! We have had an unusually cool and wet spring which presents challenges for some crops and boons for others. We have enjoyed the rain as it is reducing our amount of effort spent watering.
We are so grateful for the collaboration with many entities in Bozeman that make our growing efforts possible. All of our vegetable starts are lovingly grown for us by David Bombaur and Allison Rongalie at the MSU Plant Growth center as well as the staff at Towne’s Harvest Garden, our compost partners are YES Compost and Happy Trash Can, and as always none of this would be possible without YOU our selfless volunteers. So far this season we have had over 800 volunteer hours in the garden!
Gallatin Valley Food Bank:
The greenhouse is in great shape this season. Our tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, peppers and watermelons are off to a great start and are enjoying a steamy time in their happy beds.
The raised beds have shown marked improvement in growth this season with last season’s soil remediation. We are already harvesting greens from these beds regularly!
We have a promising stand of carrots, beets and winter squash in our row crop space! They managed to survive last week’s chilly weather with a little help from floating row cover.
Story Mill Learning Garden:
The Edible Food Forest is in full happy bloom and the thistle will not be winning this season! If you are in the park please take a moment to walk through and pick yourself a treat! The Strawberries and Honeyberries are in full swing! MIFSI has transplanted some sweetgrass into the Food Forest so please be aware of those tender babies when you are exploring (also a reminder that the Sweetgrass is not available for open harvest as it is a protected medicine plant). There have been a few setbacks with irrigation in the learning garden because of the wet spring we are having but the heat is just around the corner!
We want to spread the word that Story Mill Learning Garden is open to the public! The Learning Garden is YOUR garden! We believe strongly that every member of our community should have access to growing spaces, gardening knowledge and to whole food.
The Learning Garden has been abuzz with our various partners’ summer programming! We are thrilled to see people of every age and origin engaging and learning in this space! There is only more growth to be had here! We are so incredibly thankful for our partners this year and their diligent effort. This year our partners include: Montana Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative, Sacajawea Audubon Society, Broken Ground Permaculture, Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance, Providence Mental Health, Bozeman Parks & Recreation, and Gallatin Valley Farm to School.
Warming center ComUNITY garden:
Last season we helped to build a garden at the HRDC’s Warming Center. This space brought much joy, dignity and constructive activity to our community members who are staying at the shelter and living in the Housing First VIllage. The garden was aptly named The ComUNITY garden by a former resident and their partner who are now permanently, safely housed and working as a result of their use of the HRDC’s housing resources and the Warming Center!
We were so excited to bring volunteer effort to replant this garden this season. We hosted two volunteer work parties in which we weeded, broadfork-ed, composted and planted new starts. This summer the garden menu at the shelter will include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, squash, beans, carrots, cabbage, kale, a host of herbs and strawberries/raspberries. Special thanks to Chance Farm and Towne’s Harvest Garden for their generous gift of veg starts and to Happy Trash Can for the beautiful compost!
We are all equals in the garden. Planting and cultivation can teach us many essential lessons about dignity, respect and care. Care given to every sprouting life among us will blossom into an equitable and sustainable ComUNITY for EVERYONE!
Fork and Spoon:
Our hard working/intrepid chefs from the Fork and Spoon have been sneaking over to the GVFB garden periodically to glean herbs and greens for their incredible menu and catering endeavors. On the 23rd of June we hosted a group of 22 students from Towne’s Harvest Garden Summer internship program! These lovely humans volunteered to not only plant an herb garden on location but to assist with food prep for F&S/Summer lunch, and to weed and prune the ComUNITY garden! Now our beloved Fork and Spoon culinarians can just step outside their door to glean tasty herbs and greens! If you haven’t had the pleasure of a meal at the Fork and Spoon, I encourage you to do so!
Every growing season presents uniquely difficult challenges and we harvest the fruits of our diligence and perseverance. Growing food is a constant learning opportunity as is the work of cultivating a resourced community! Learning together is how we build connections and strengthen bonds in said community. Together, with our hands on the work, we can put down roots of equity, sovereignty and food security. Our efforts in community building will yield a crop of compassionate care, dignity and neighborly love.
With your help we can continue to bring equitable access to nutritious, delicious food to our beloved Bozeman!
See you in the Garden!
– Cally Jane Ward, Garden Manager