Dear Bountiful Cities Supporter,
Whether it is managing grief, holding on to moments of joy, or some other response, each one of us has our own experience and ways of dealing – perhaps changing daily – with the COVID-19 outbreak. In recent weeks, I have been struck by both the significant human toll and the outpouring of support for one another in our communities. As I reflect on so many responses to the pandemic, I am reassured by the work that Bountiful Cities is doing, and has been doing since its inception.
Today, as always, Bountiful Cities remains committed to partnering with community groups, focusing on dialogue, trust and community needs, to create urban agricultural spaces. We know now, more than ever, how important it is to share agricultural skills and resources to promote social justice and economic viability.*
As Bountiful Cities gets seeds in the ground and harvests cool-weather veggies, we have our eyes set on the coming months, recognizing that long-term food security efforts must be part of a coordinated response. We center racial and economic equity by working with existing partners and communities that invite our collaboration, supporting the community garden network, maintaining local school gardens, and ensuring that gardening tools and supplies are available to community and individual gardeners. At the same time, we continue to co-build capacity of communities for growing food, such as identifying land and providing technical assistance through our advocacy efforts and engaging in residential services through Grass to Greens.
The victory gardens of the past must be reshaped for today’s world, so that we are growing with and for each other, not only now but into the future. We know that people of color and people with lower wealth have once again been the most devastated because of the failings of our political, social, and economic systems. Only when communities act with their own self-determination are our systems and outcomes different, and better for all of us.
As you read Bountiful Cities’ newsletter, I hope you will note the ways that the staff and organization continue to join with each other and our partners to sustain the fundamental shifts necessary to move forward and be healthy. If you can support these efforts now, please donate.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Bountiful Cities. We hope you are well and safe, send you the very best, and hope to see you soon.
Chair, Bountiful Cities Board
Our Food Systems are Changing!
Community and Home Gardens Provided over 40% of produce in the US in the 1940's Victory Garden Era.
Home Grown Gardens Can Feed Us
Are you growing a garden for the first time? Or the first time in years? Mountain Xpress reports a huge surge in garden supply sales in THIS ARTICLE.
That's WONDERFUL! Did you know that in the 1940's home gardeners and community gardens produced over 40% of the produce consumed in the US? We can do that again, and we NEED to do it again. Find out more about Bountiful Cities Community Garden Network in this article from Mountain Xpress.
Our Food System is Changing - let's make it BETTER
LISTEN to this podcast from Reveal on Essential Farm Workers and READ this article from Politico about how Coronavirus is increasing Food Waste for a taste of how the Food System is already changing. We can make it better, more just, and equitable right now.
Bountiful Cities has been supporting low-wealth communities working to achieve LONG TERM FOOD SECURITY through urban agriculture for the last 20 years. We need your help TODAY to sustain EVERYONE in our community in this time of change!
Please donate today to help us GROW Food Security
Now is the time to PLANT!!
It's springtime and the perfect time to get seeds in the ground.
Take this SURVEY! Tell us what you want to know about growing a garden. Tell us what you have learned and what you need to learn!
We are developing and compiling on-line Virtual Workshops and FB LIVE Question and Answer sessions to help new and seasoned gardeners GROW AS MUCH FOOD AS POSSIBLE!
Check out this VIDEO in our Virtual Workshop collection on how to start a weed-free raised bed.
Or this VIDEO on starting a container garden with companion plants.
For more growing expertise check out these awesome local resources:
Sow True Seed - Local Source for Open Pollinated Seeds
Living Web Farms Videos - Hands on Gardening Demos and Workshops
Organic Growers School - Gardeners Library
Buncombe County Master Gardener Helpline - Helpline to Answer Gardening Questions
Can you grow a little extra for those who are houseless or those who don't have a yard or resources to grow? If you can, plant some extra! Bountiful Cities can help get extra produce to where it is needed most!
Thank you to our generous sponsors and donors!!
Don't have extra veggies yet, but do have extra compost?
If you have a Compost Now account and want to share your compost with a Bountiful Cities garden we are one of their garden partners!
Click HERE to share your compost with us!
Are you interested in volunteering in a Bountiful Cities garden? We are having small garden workdays with one or two volunteers at a time so we can maintain social distancing. Please fill out this FORM so we can learn more about you!
Hey all! March was quite a month wasn't it?!? So, with the current state of things this newsletter will be a little different than previous ones. I want to start by seeing what changes may be happening/have happened with the local community gardens (this can be a change in hours, gardens closing, resources available to local community members (such as produce, garden space for growing, etc.)) This is the time when we need each other the most, and I plan on keeping things updated with my monthly newsletters, garden support as needed (with the possibility of holding smaller workdays), and we're even discussing the possibility of hosting online workshops.
Please reach out to me at your earliest convenience with any updates, and feel free to leave any additional feedback, ask any additional questions, and let us know if there's any support you're in need of!
Also, I’ll be sharing as many resources as I can, but I’m sure I’ll miss some. So, if there’s any you’re aware of please don’t hesitate to share them with me or feel free to post them directly to the Community Garden Network listserv.
Thank you! ~Isa
Community Garden Network Events
As I mentioned above we are in the process of converting our educational workshop series to an online platform.
Check out what we’ve started to compile, and stay tuned for more updates.
Vance Elementary Peace Garden Update
“Dear friends of the Vance Peace Garden and FEAST,
I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and are staying well during this crazy time. With all of the sudden and unfolding changes with the Coronavirus, Bountiful Cities/ FEAST staff have been discussing how our work in the Vance Peace Garden and other community and school gardens can move forward and support our communities.
As long as schools are closed, all FEAST educational programming, Weed & Feed workdays, and garden events are also canceled (possible alternative plant sale tbd).
This season I will be focusing attention on growing food in the Peace Garden to share with the community and to ensure there is food in the fall for students to harvest and for FEAST programming. As my time is limited, there is much that I need help with in the garden that volunteers can do independently- right now, I need help tuning up the weed eater and lawn mower, pruning and deadheading perennials, and cutting back overgrown cover crops. As I get more organized, I will have more tasks that I can delegate out that don't all require gardening knowledge.
Though much of our lives have been canceled, gardening is not! It is more important now than ever to grow food! In the broader community, Bountiful Cities is connecting with local food security relief efforts, putting together resources for folks needing food or wanting to grow at home, and supporting community gardens.
Please reach out if you would like to lend a hand in the Vance Peace Garden or if you seek any resources for growing or accessing produce.
We are all taking this day by day, and even amidst uncertainty, I remain wholeheartedly committed to the Vance Peace Garden and the Vance community.
Wishing all of you wellness and health,” -
Jordan Diamond, FEAST Program & Garden Coordinator - Vance Elementary School
Other Community Resources/Events
The NC State Extension has put together a guide which describes “a community garden, its benefits, how to find or start a garden and tips for growing, storing, preparing and enjoying fruits and vegetables. In addition it highlights state and national gardening resources.”
Organic Growers School has put up a resource list for gardeners and farmers regarding COVID-19.
They are updating this list regularly.
Have gardening questions? Send them to YummyYards!
Check out the Asheville Online Farmers' Market if you haven’t already
Ask a Sista Farmer
“Are you ready to grow your own food and medicine for self-reliance and community resilience? Every Friday, experienced Black womxn* farmers answer your call-in questions about gardening, livestock, agroforestry, plant medicine, and food preservation.
This show centers the voices of Black, Indigenous, People-of-Color, Queer, Trans*, Disabled, Immigrant, and Poor communities. Everyone is welcome to watch and listen, but please make space for centered folks to speak. Thank you.
*Sista and womxn includes trans* and nonbinary folks”
For more info, and to see the full line up and schedule:
Every year, one-third of the world’s total food supply is wasted or lost. And, 97% of this waste is directed to landfills and incinerators that contribute to the production of global warming gases, especially methane. Food waste is a huge problem at every step in the supply chain. To combat this problem, communities should come together and adopt Zero Waste methods. How to go about it? Read on to know.
Set Benchmarks and a Timeline – In every industry, it is important to set timelines and benchmarks to measure accomplishments and success. Similarly, communities must set benchmarks and timelines to achieve Zero Food Waste. In some communities, people have adopted the goal of diverting 90% waste away from incinerators and landfills within 10 to 15 years. Others have set larger goals of achieving Zero Waste by the year 2040 such as the Urban Environmental Accords. However, before setting goals and timelines, you must:
Engage the Entire Community – Achieving zero waste isn’t possible unless every member of the community engages in the project. So, do not leave the responsibility to the waste experts. Here are a few things you must do:
Perform Waste Assessments – A waste audit is important since it allows identifying the types of waste produced in a community. If funding is not available, you can collect data locally or access it from comparable communities. By performing the audits, you will be able to create a baseline based on which recovery opportunities can be identified. Here’s what you can do:
Educate the Community – Educate residents, visitors, and businesses about the Zero Waste strategy. Brainstorm and devise ways to achieve better organization and industrial design. Communities must also conduct workshops in schools, universities, and workplaces on how to practice Zero Waste.
Develop/Expand Zero Food Waste Infrastructures – To achieve Zero Waste, the infrastructure must be in accordance with the strategy. Here’s how Zero Waste infrastructures can be expanded:
Author Bio: Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping businesses understand how to lower their monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from recycling.
As Covid-19 becomes a reality in our region, Bountiful Cities wants you to know that we will continue to be a resource for the communities most affected by issues of food insecurity. We will continue our work on LONG-TERM food security solutions by SUPPORTING PEOPLE GROWING FOOD and MEDICINE.
What Does That Look Like?
We are not certain what the future holds but we do know that many in our community have the ability to grow food. Growing Food = Food Security. Bountiful Cities Community Garden Network (CGN) has resources. Our SEED LIBRARY and TOOL LIBRARY are available for folks who need those resources. If you need space to grow and would like to get connected to one of the 36 gardens in our network please respond to this email or contact Isa@BountifulCities.org.
Also, the CGN offers free educational workshops on things like Medicinal Herbs and Plant Medicine, and Grant Writing. We are assessing which upcoming workshops can be moved to an online platform, and now is a great time to utilize the Community Garden Network listserv to be able to communicate with all other community growers in Asheville and Buncombe County instantly as needs and opportunities arise. To be added to the listserv, just email Isa with that request. To use the listserv just write firstname.lastname@example.org in the To line of your email.
Our Grass to Greens edible landscaping crew can assist you if you want to start a garden and need consulting (this can be done via phone if necessary).
Our FEAST school gardens will continue growing food and distributing it to the communities we serve.
What Can You Do?
Stay connected with us, grow food, and share food! If you want more specifics on volunteering please respond to this email, or contact email@example.com. Donations can be made here Like our Facebook Page to find out more about our educational resources.
What do you need?
New developments are arising hourly, and everyone's needs are shifting. If there are things that you need in the realm of food security support please do not hesitate to reach out. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 26th from 1:30-4:30pm
WHERE: United Way Building (50 S French Broad Ave.)
INSTRUCTOR: Nicole Hinebaugh
Come join Bountiful Cities' Director of Programs, Nicole Hinebaugh, to learn about how to incorporate grant writing into your fundraising toolkit. Nicole will offer an in-depth presentation about how to research, prepare for, complete, and submit grant applications that best reflect your program's work and best meet funders' expectations. With 15 years of nonprofit experience Nicole has submitted and received funding from many dozens of grants from a wide variety of local, regional, and national funders. This free workshop will offer tools for beginners, and even intermediate grant writers will learn some helpful tips. This workshop will take place on February, 26th from 1:30-4:30pm at the United Way Building (located at 50 S French Broad Ave.) Refreshments will be provided. If you plan on attending please RSVP, and if you are in need of childcare and/or interpretation please contact Isa Whitaker (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as you can.
CUANDO: Miercoles, 26 de Febrero de las 1:30 - 4:30 pm
DONDE: Edificio United Way (50 S French Broad Ave.)
INSTRUCTOR: Nicole Hinebaugh
Unese con la Directora de Programas de Bountiful Cities, Nicole Hinebaugh, para aprender cómo incorporar la escritura de concesión a sus habilidades de recaudación de fondos. Nicole ofrecerá una presentación en profundidad sobre cómo investigar, prepararse, completar y presentar su solicitud de subvención que refleja mejor el trabajo de su programa y cumplir mejor con las expectativas de los financiadores. Con 15 años de experiencia sin fines de lucro Nicole a presentado y recibido fondos de muchas docenas de subvenciones de una gran variedad de financiadores locales, regionales y nacionales. Este taller gratis ofrecerá útiles para escritores de subvenciones principiantes y intermedios. Este taller será el 26 de Febrero de las 1:30 - 4:30pm en el edificio United Way (localizada en 50 S French Broad Ave). Se ofrecerán refrescos. Si asistira por favor haga RSVP, y si necesitara interpretación y/o cuidado de niños contacte a Isa Whitaker (correo electrónico: email@example.com) lo más pronto posible.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 10th from 5-8pm
WHERE: Stephens Lee Center (30 George Washington Carver Ave, Asheville, NC 28801)
Join us next month for our Annual End of the Year Community Garden Network Dinner Celebration. This year we are planning to have a Stone Soup Harvest Dinner at the Stephens Lee center. We are asking attendees to bring a vegetable produce item to contribute to the Stone Soup dinner, and in addition to the dinner there will be a short mushroom inoculation demonstration. If you plan on attending please RSVP as soon as you can with Isa Whitaker: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you can come celebrate with us!!
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1705936116206842/
Oakleaf Asheville is hosting a benefit for Bountiful Cities on Sunday November 17th, 3-8pm with cooking, cocktail and centerpiece demonstrations. Delicious hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served and all proceeds will benefit Bountiful Cities! Learn more and get your tickets HERE.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Canning Workshop last week led by Cathy Hoesntein (of the NC Cooperative Extension) and held next to the Haw Creek Commons Community Garden. Attendees were taught how to can tomatoes, and yummy other food.
Community Garden Network Events & Announcements
WHEN: Saturday, October 26th from 2-6pm
WHERE: Arthur R Edington Education & Career Center (133 Livingston St., Asheville, NC)
Please join us for our third intensive workshop of the year, this workshop will focus on Equity, and how it pertains to people of color in agriculture and the world at large. The workshop will be taught by Marisol Jimenez and will take place at the Arthur R Edington Education & Career Center next to the Southside Community Garden. Refreshments will be provided.
As always our workshops are FREE; If you plan on attending, and are in need of childcare and/or interpretation please contact Isa Whitaker at email: email@example.com
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/400179320663470/
“The workshop is being presented for the residents of the City of Asheville in partnership with the City of Asheville.”
Leicester Library Community Garden Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, October 29th at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Leicester Library (1561 Alexander Road, Leicester, NC 28748)
Leicester Library Community Garden Meeting
“We are starting a community garden at the library and we need your help! Come to the first meeting of the Leicester Library Community Garden Association to learn more about the garden's design and find out how to get involved. “
Email Sarah Gransee (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Hall Fletcher Elementary School Garden
Want to be someone’s garden buddy? At Hall Fletcher Elementary kids love to garden during recess, and they need an adult to supervise. All you have to do is complete the volunteer background check and come for 30 minutes to 1 hour to hang out! For more info, please contact Summer Whelden at: Summerwhelden@gmail.com
Vance Elementary School Garden Fall Garden Party
98 Sulphur Springs Rd., Asheville, NC 28806
WHEN: Thursday, October 17th from 5-7pm
A community celebration of the harvest season and Ecology Week at Vance Elementary with food, fun, and displays showcasing classroom ecology projects. All are welcome! Additionally, we are seeking volunteers to help run different stations, someone to run a Face Painting booth, live music entertainment, and clean up.
Weekly Weed & Feed Potluck Workdays
Thursdays from 2:30-4pm Aug. 29 through Nov. 22, March through June
Come after school to garden and build community! Bring a snack to share and wear gardening clothes. No green thumb required!
Volunteers needed for FEAST Classes at Vance Elementary!
Contact Jordan Diamond (email@example.com) if you have morning/early afternoon availability and would like to be a part of empowering the next generation to grow and cook fresh, healthy food!
Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Workday
WHEN: Friday, October 25th from 3:30-6:30pm
WHERE: 30 George Washington Carver Ave, Asheville, NC
"Join us for another community workday at the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Friday, October 25 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm! This month we'll be focusing on light tree pruning and clearing invasives. We will include a hands on demo of each technique as well as a tour of the park. This will be a recurring event every fourth Friday of the month. Come give your time and support to Asheville's first edible forest ecosystem!
We will have some extra tools for folks to use, but any gloves, loppers, pruners or weeding tools you can bring are much appreciated.
For more information please visit the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2275640289211775/
We look forward to seeing you!"
The Seed Library & Tool Library
The Seed Library and Tool Library are free resources for our community and garden members to utilize, and also will accept reciprocity if you find yourself in the position of having extras. The seed library is located at the Burton St. Recreation Center at the end of the hallway to the left near the exit sign. The tool library is located at the Patchwork Urban Farms Pearson location (located at 408 Pearson Dr.) For those interested in borrowing items from the Tool Library contact Isa Whitaker directly prior to getting the item/s out of the library. You can reach Isa by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The City is now accepting applications for their Asheville Edibles program. As of 2018, Bountiful Cities has contracted with the City to manage this program. The program allows citizens to start edible gardens on parcels of City land located in various areas of town. There is no cost to lease the land. All you need are helping hands. More info/Applications available here.
Elder & Sage Community Gardens is the first garden group in the Asheville Edibles Program. They opened their gates on June 1, 2017 and have successfully utilized the space at 33-35 Page Avenue for the growing of food, pollinators and community.
The other sites available to apply for at this time are:
Carrier Park - 220 Amboy Road, Asheville NC 28806
Murray Hill - Bartlett Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Weaver Park - 200 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804
Please contact Isa Whitaker by email: email@example.com for more information on how to participate.