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Old 12-28-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default My favorite organic garden

My favorite organic garden is shutting down for now.

Earthshare Gardens, in Lafayette, LA is near and dear to my heart. I've volunteered there, off and on, for the last 8 years. The lease expires at the end of the year, and although the property manager offered on several occasions to relocate the gardens elsewhere on the property, that has not materialized, and December 31 is getting very close. We have been digging vegetable, herb, flowering plants, shrubs and trees for the last few weeks and taking them home until a new place is found. Today was designated as the day for everyone to come help dismantle beds, greenhouses, sheds, etc, but it rained all day.

http://earthsharegardens.org/?page_id=147

There is the CSA garden a Donation garden, the Food Net garden, a therapy garden, the HALT garden, an Enterprise garden and Community gardens.

The part of the garden that helps support the rest is the CSA (community supported agriculture) - "shareholders" pay for a half year of produce up front, and come each week to collect their "share" of the harvest.
I spent one summer getting the Donation Garden up and running, and then stepped aside and let other volunteers adopt a row. All food from that garden goes to 2 of the soup kitchens in town, both of which serve food 7 days a week.

Food Net is a local organization that collects and distributes food to food pantries and soup kitchens in several parishes. Food Net has been offered land to move their garden to.

I don't know what the letters in HALT stand for, but the HALT garden is where drug court offenders can serve their community service. Counselors come and work with them as they're working in the garden. I believe that food also goes to the needy. Land has been located for that garden as well.

Plots are rented in the enterprise garden by gardeners who grow for profit and sell to restaurants and at farmers markets.

Plots are available for local residents for a small fee, and no one has been turned down for not being able to pay.

We are tearing everything down and packing it up. Some offers have come in for land, but none of it is in town, and the hope was that we would continue to be in this part of town, which is considered a "food desert". Several offers are there for places to store things, and it appears that things will be split up and sent to various locations, some with lock and key, some protected from the weather, and some to my place, which is not nearby, but has plenty of room for things that can be stored outside. Including a place the sharecropper can plant a garden, to keep his sanity until things are settled.
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My favorite organic garden-earthshare.jpg  
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Last edited by biigblueyes; 12-28-2013 at 05:30 PM. Reason: add picture
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that, biigblue. I hope something can be done to resolve everything. At least you are doing your part. Keep us posted.

Beautiful picture by the way.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Today we're packing it up physically. But the organization has much local support, and we'll just have to wait and see what doors open for us. It's sad, and a lot of work was put into it. But when we emerge, it will be like the butterfly coming out of the cocoon - something very different that it was before.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Best wishes to Earthshare Gardens.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Thank you!
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biigblueyes View Post
Today we're packing it up physically. But the organization has much local support, and we'll just have to wait and see what doors open for us. It's sad, and a lot of work was put into it. But when we emerge, it will be like the butterfly coming out of the cocoon - something very different that it was before.
Good to hear that there is so much support...and that you have such a positive attitude about what it will become.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:01 PM   #7
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You've for sure got plenty of space to "stash" goodies until they find a forever home!!! They're real lucky to have you as a volunteer right about now!!! I sure hope they find someplace in the vicinity of where they used to be so the folk that were dependent on plots won't have to shell out extra $$$ on gas.

adding something.... around me people just "squat" and garden under utility lines. I can't remember but are the majority of lines underground or above ground like where I live? Something else.... lots of corporations have big expansive lawns.... you've probably already thought about approaching some of them for some space to garden but since y'all are a 501 (c) 3.... make sure to let them know that if they "charge" you rent then let you guys slide on paying it that.... I'm pretty sure there's a way for them to write it off.
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Last edited by Equilibrium; 12-30-2013 at 02:04 PM. Reason: adding something
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:14 AM   #8
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http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pb...=2013312290007

Article in the paper yesterday. We got rained out Saturday, but still had several people show up Sunday to help tear down trellises and buildings. We even had the daughter of a volunteer show up with her fiddle and played for us. It was a nice touch.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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That is a nice touch.

I'm glad they did a newspaper article; that helps to get the word out. Hopefully you will not only find a place nearby, but will have attracted more people to the idea.
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