By Community Garden Network Co-Coordinator Lydia George
It is getting to be the time of year when many summer vegetables and fruits are beginning to flourish, and with them comes an abundance of insects and rodents who want to share in the bounty. Here are some common recipes for homemade pest control sprays that will keep these uninvited guests from eating your harvest, that don’t rely on harsh, dangerous chemicals. You can also combine these recipes together for even more potent concoctions!
1. Spicy Pepper Spray: the spicy flavor in hot peppers are produced by the plant as a
natural repellent, to keep animals and insects from eating their fruit. Humans are the
only animal that ignores the pain and finds these chemicals to be a palatable flavor! That means that Cayenne Pepper can be used as a great pest control for insects and rodents in your garden! Add either half a cup of fresh ground or dried pepper into 2 cups of boiling water. Chili Peppers, Cayenne Peppers, Habanero Peppers will all work, the
the spicier the better! Allow the peppers to infuse in the boiling water for 15-20 minutes,
remember to do this in a well ventilated area because the air in your kitchen will get
spicy. Strain the pieces of pepper out of the water and store in a container. This mixture
will be very potent, so you can mix a few spoonfuls into whatever spray bottle you have
with 1 part pepperwater : 10 part tap water ratio. Coat the leaves of your crops with this
spray to deter many kinds of insects, rabbits, deer, groundhogs, aphids and mites!
2. Vegetable Oil Spray: vegetable oil is a cheap and accessible remedy for many mites
and aphids etc. The oil will coat the insect and clog the pores they use to breath. You
can mix a cup of oil with a tablespoon of biodegradable dish soap for an even stronger
effect. Like with the pepper spray, you only need to mix a few drops of the oil mixture
into the water in your spray bottle, shake well and then coat the affected area of your
plant with the spray. Common areas of your plant that may be getting attacked are the
underside of the leaf, the area where the leaf meets the stem, and any newly emerging
3. Garlic and Mint Spray: garlic is another natural pest deterrent, mostly for insects.
Interplanting garlic with your other vegetables can act as a natural barrier against many
pests during the spring! But after you harvest all your garlic in June you can save some
cloves for making this spray! Mint is also a plant whose smell is a natural pest deterrent.
Mix 3 cups of mint leaves with 7-10 garlic cloves and a small amount of water in a
blender to make a fine paste. Add this into a pot of boiling water and let it boil for 15-20
minutes. Then you can cover the pot and let it sit overnight, so it gets extra potent. The
next day you can strain out all the plant material and put your concoction into a container for storage. This is another recipe that you can dilute with water in your spray bottle to make it last longer.
There are other natural product options like neem oil and diatomaceous earth which make for great pest control, although they are a bit more expensive than the options listed above!
Wishing you all a bountiful harvest this season!
Did you know our Community Garden Network (CGN) hosts free classes? Max Mandler and Tamarya Sims have been our most recent guest teachers. Max led a workshop on tool repair, and Tamarya taught about growing herbs and making homegrown herbal tea. Check out more of our recorded classes in the VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS on our website. Follow us on FB to find out about upcoming classes.
Knowledge is a resource, and that's not all the Bountiful Cities CGN shares. We were able to secure approximately $3,700 from Buncombe County Parks and Recreation to purchase 10 rodent-proof composters for area community gardens, and will be purchasing and distributing those in July.
Also, we have been awarded $10,000 from the Pisgah Health Foundation to restock our free Tool Library and Seed Library, and to provide direct resourcing to five area community gardens. Finally, the CGN has added a Technical Assistance section to the monthly CGN newsletter, which Co-coordinator, Lydia George writes in response to common seasonal garden challenges, and every newsletter is now translated into Spanish by our partners at Cenzontle and distributed in both English and Spanish each month.
If you would like be part of our CGN listserv please contact Isa@BountifulCities.Org
The workshops highlighted were presented in partnership with the City of Asheville
Free Plants !!
Bountiful Cities is continuing to get plant donations to distribute in our community. If your garden has some open space stop by the Lucy S. Herring Elementary Peace Garden or check out the FB page to see what is being offered this week! These organic veggies were donated by Southern States Cooperative. Thanks!
Asheville bread festival partnership
Bountiful Cities is excited to be supported by, and partnering with the Asheville Bread Festival! Thanks to a generous contribution from the festival, Bountiful Cities has been able to fully fund our outreach to community gardens, and have an impact on the amount of food those gardens have capacity to grow this year. We are also fully funding our efforts to install solar power in the Pearson garden! We look forward to all the bread baking and gardening in our future together!
Windfall Collective Nursery
Bountiful Cities Windfall Collective Nursery is continuing to grow a wide selection of edible, medicinal, pollinator, and native plants. New varieties of summer crops are coming up, be sure to check our webstore for updates to our inventory! If you're part of the community gardens and haven't gotten a chance to use your gift card yet, be sure to visit our webstore here or contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org to put in an order with us. We'll continue to have new varieties throughout the season, and are happy to take specific requests of plants not yet in our inventory. We'll also be having regular appearances at various plant sales this year, stay tuned to find out more. Look forward to growing with you!
What Grows Faster Than a Weed?
Hardly anything grows faster than a weed! Did you know a morning glory vine can grow more than an inch a day? That means 7 inches in a week! SO come one come all to dig in the dirt and help out at these volunteer workdays! Sign up to hear about weekly volunteering opportunities HERE.
Lucy Herring Elementary School Peace Garden (formerly Vance Elementary School) in West Asheville. Tuesdays 11-12:30 Thursdays 9:30am-11am Please contact email@example.com to for questions and to RSVP
Shiloh Community Garden - Saturdays 10am - 2pm Contact Lydia George firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Peace Gardens and Market 10-noon on Saturdays
Fairview Road Resilience Garden - 5-7:30pm Wednesday evenings, 10am-noon Saturday mornings If you would like to attend please RSVP using this link
Root Cause Farm is hosting volunteer opportunities on Wednesdays and Thursdays 10-12. Folks can sign up here!
By Community Garden Network Co-Coordinator Lydia George
The moon goes through a cycle of phases every 29-30 days, and these phases have a strong effect on the growth of plants, so knowing what conditions the different moon phases create can be helpful for growing vegetable gardens. For instance, the moon has a strong pull on the water table, so at certain phases of the moon cycle there will be more moisture in the soil, and also the different amount of light at night created by the new and full moon can affect leaf production.
The Moon Cycle can be split into four 7 day phases.
The first phase occurs between the new moon and the waxing half moon. During the new moon phase the water inside of the plants can be found down in the root system below the soil and that's where most of the new growth is made. This makes the new moon phases of the moon a good time to plant vegetables that grow BELOW ground, like carrots, beets, potatoes, peanuts and so on, since it is a time of strong root growth. As the first phase progresses towards the waxing half moon the water in the plant begins to rise out of the roots and towards the leaves.
The second phase occurs in the days between the waxing half moon and the full moon. By the full moon, the water in the plants are in the parts above ground, in the leaves collecting the moon's reflective light and in the flowering and fruiting bodies of the plant. That means that this is a good time for planting seeds or plant starts that grow and fruit ABOVE ground, like tomatoes, peas, peppers, fruit trees and so on. The third phase occurs between the full moon and the waning half moon, and the last phase happens in the 7 days between the waning half moon and the new moon. During these phases the water in the plants sinks back down into the roots below the ground!
Tool Repair Workshop Wednesday, June 23rd 5-7pm
Do you have any broken tools?
Join Max Mandler on Wednesday, June 23rd for a Tool Repair Workshop. Bring any hand tools that you need to have repaired and come ready to learn! Limit of 10 participants in person
Please email email@example.com to register
Plant Starts Available at Peace Gardens & Market (formerly Burton Street Peace Gardens)
“Hi, folks! As you may be aware, we host plant sales every year at the Peace Gardens. This year we have quite a few starts left available. I will be making leftover starts available to the community at $1/each, but wanted to make sure that our fellow community gardens and food warriors have what you need for your gardens and communities first.
If you are interested in picking up a few FREE flats to plant, reply to this message or call (or text) me directly (number below) and we can make arrangements for pick-up. Depending on demand, I will likely limit it to 2 flats for each garden/group. Contact Info: Safi Martin (828) 301-0166
Please do NOT just drop by the gardens and pick out plants - it is important for us to keep good records of both our sales and donations.
Tomatoes: Paul Robeson, Black Krim, Tiny Tim, Marglobe Improved, Rutgers, Old Virginia, Cherokee Green, Persimmon, Pineapple, Chocolate Stripes, Pork Chop, Dr. Wyche’s, Ace 55, Red Pear, Yellow Pear, Pink Bumble Bee, Sunrise Bumble Bee, Honeydrop Cherry, Black From Tula, San Marzano Paste, Speckled Roman Paste, Yellow Plum, Orange Banana Paste, Ruby Gold Bicolor, Hillbilly, and many more…
Peppers: Anaheim, Poblano, Carolina Reaper, Aji Lemondrop, Thai Red, Sweet Banana, and several more…
Herbs & Flowers: various culinary and medicinal herbs and some remaining flowers (including passiflora incarnata/Passion flower)” Fore more info visit: https://www.facebook.com/peace.gardens.and.market
Lucy S. Herring Peace Garden Updates:
Produce Sharing- Produce will be given away starting at 11am and the garden will again be open to the public during weekdays (Located at 98 Sulphur Springs Rd. 28806)
Garden Workdays will shift to morning times: (weather permitting)
* Tuesdays from 11- 12:30
* Fridays from 10- 12:00
“Come lend a hand in the garden! BYO garden gloves, water, and wear a mask. We spread out and practice social distancing while we work. Please RSVP to Jordan.Diamond@acsgmail.net or firstname.lastname@example.org (even if it's only an hour before).”
Community Garden Workdays:
Peace Gardens & Market (formerly Burton Street Peace Gardens) Saturdays 10am - 12pm
Contact Safi Martin email@example.com for more info
Shiloh Community Garden, 59 Hampton St., - Saturdays 10am - 2pm
Contact Lydia george firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Joyner Street Community Garden, 25 Joyner St., - 4th Saturday of the month 10am - 1pm
Next workday will be on May 15th. Sign up to attend HERE
Root Cause Farm is hosting volunteer opportunities on Wednesdays and Thursdays 10-12. Folks can sign up here! https://safe.rootcausefarm.org/np/clients/rootcausefarm/publicaccess/eventCalendarBig.jsp?forwardedFromSecureDomain=1
Other Community Resources/Events
Firefly Valley Community Garden is seeking metal or wooden fence posts, four or 5 feet tall, and a gate to finally put in a fence around our garden. The rabbits are coming, the rabbits are coming!! :-)
If anyone has any to donate or a good contact for discounts, please let Ona know at email@example.com.
The Organic Growers School Gardening Series features 2 classes for each season: Spring, Summer & Fall. Get year-round garden guidance to support you in having your best year in the garden yet.
Summer Series: July 26th and August 2nd, 2021 6:00-8:00pm EST
Topics: Crops for Fall, Low Tunnel Construction, Winter Gardening, Planning for next year’s garden: Cover Cropping, Double Digging, Sheet Mulching.
Find out more and sign up today!
Fern Way Farm School
Registration now open for garden
& forest-based K-12th camps!
If you have kids, grandkids, or just know kids and young adults who will be eager to explore the woods this summer, or care for a chicken, or survey for salamanders, Fern Way Farm School in Black Mountain is the place for them! All registration fees are on a sliding scale, and scholarships are available. LEARN MORE & REGISTER here! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions - we look forward to welcoming y'all to camp!
Bountiful Cities has had several spring plant sales to support our gardens and (with lots of community participation!) these sales raised much needed money for infrastructure and programming in the gardens! Over $2500 so far! The Bountiful Cities Windfall Collective Nursery is continuing to sell plants throughout the season. Please check out the on-line store on our website for summer and fall plant needs! We appreciate all the help including some wonderful plant donations from Gaia Herbs!
Bountiful Cities Nursery is budding with new growth and exciting developments this spring! We're changing the name of this program to Windfall Collective Nursery, one that encompasses the larger vision of the project and efforts towards supporting the growth of a thriving community.
Along with our selection of edible, medicinal, indigenous and pollinator plants, we will be offering a variety of useful plants and handcrafted creations from the Bountiful Cities community. Our new offerings will include natural dyes, block prints, herbal preparations, arts, crafts, and more. Supporting resource sovereignty and local mutual aid efforts will also be a large focus for us, stay tuned to find out how to get involved!
Our web store is up and running, we have lots of spring veggies, herbs, and flowers sizing up. Click this link to find out more. Sales start this week, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or specific requests. We look forward to growing with you this season!"
Join the Bountiful Cities Community Garden Network for a free virtual screening and discussion of the documentary "Gather" on Thursday March 11th from 5:30-7:30pm. This documentary looks at the reclamation of land, and how sharing knowledge of growing, harvesting and cooking traditional foods has helped strengthen different indigenous groups in the USA by connecting with their cultural identities. It's a movie about the importance of food sovereignty, the connection between food, land, culture, health and history. The movie will be starting promptly at 5:45, but please be sure to log in to the Zoom link at 5:30, so we can check in and introduce the film, and we will be having the discussion portion over Zoom after.
Register in advance for the Zoom meeting here:
Facebook Event Page:
This event is presented for the residents of the City of Asheville in partnership with the City of Asheville.
As Spring approaches Bountiful Cities has many opportunities to volunteer in a garden. If you would like to sign up and get regular updates about opportunities to volunteer please fill out this FORM.
Here are some upcoming opportunities:
Lucy Herring Elementary School Peace Garden 1pm-2:30 every Friday in the winter months (formerly Vance Elementary School) in West Asheville. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
Fairview Road Resilience Garden 10-1pm on Saturday March 13th. Will be doing some direct seeding, installing drip-irrigation, and spreading woodchips Please sign up to attend at this LINK
Burton St. Community Garden 10-noon on Saturdays
Root Cause Farm 3-5pm on Sunday March 14th. Sanctuary Space Garden Workdays. Please sign up HERE.
Murray Hill Garden Community Garden 12-5pm Sunday March 21st 12-5pm AND Sunday April 18th. Will be fixing and painting raised beds, and preparing beds for spring planting. Please sign up HERE
George Washington Carver Edible Park - monthly workdays check the Facebook Page link for updates.
Support Community Gardens!
Our goal in the next 3 months is to raise $7,000 to broaden the support for community members and fully fund the Community Garden Network Assistant position for 2021.Find out about this community effort HERE, donate here.
The Organic Growers School 28th Annual Spring Conference is virtual! The new online format offers a unique opportunity to view ALL 33 recorded Track Workshops, 3 Live Keynote sessions, and to interact with all of our speakers in Live Q&A sessions.
Your ticket guarantees access to all conference recordings and materials for 3 months after the event!
Register Now! https://organicgrowersschool.org/conferences/spring/register/
Do you have a table you can donate?
Want to donate a folding table? Maybe you have one in your basement or attic you are not using? As we work with community partners to support distribution of fresh food we need clean and sanitize-able places for food to be placed. If you want to donate please contact email@example.com
Bountiful Cities wants your Black Gold!
Know a friend who needs to get this newsletter?
We are launching our Growing Community Campaign and our goal in the next 3 months is to raise $7,000 to broaden the support for community members and fully fund the Community Garden Network Assistant position for 2021. This will allow us to:
Bountiful Cities centers equity in the work we do. For many years we have prioritized supporting communities working to build their own systems of food production and distribution, moving toward food sovereignty and away from reliance on a system which marginalizes black and brown people. Growing Community will support local food sovereignty efforts to sprout, grow, and thrive.
Know a friend who needs to get this newsletter?
Root Cause Farm will be hosting once-a-month Sanctuary Space work days throughout winter. People can use this sign-up sheet to volunteer! Sanctuary Space Work Days: March 14th 2021 3 - 5 pm
Dr. George Washington Carver Community Workday
WHEN: Friday, February 26th from 2:30-5:30pm
WHERE: The park is located at 30 George Washington Carver Ave, next to Stephens-Lee
We will be focusing on mulching pathways, light tree pruning, and clearing invasive plants. There will be a hands on demo of each pruning technique as well as a tour of the park. This will be a recurring event every fourth Friday of the month.
Please wear a mask to this event and maintain social distance practices. Stephens-Lee is not open to the public so we won’t be able to use the bathrooms there. You might see children in and out of the facility, but they are only open for the learning pods program for right now due to Covid-19. We will have some extra tools for folks to use as well as hand sanitizer, but any gloves, loppers, pruners or weeding tools you can bring are much appreciated.
These community workdays are being presented in partnership with the City of Asheville.
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park Facebook page Come give your time and support to Asheville's first edible forest ecosystem! We look forward to seeing you!"
Vance Elementary Peace Garden (Now Lucy S. Herring Elementary Peace Garden)
FEAST @ Home Cooking Videos:
Jordan Diamond, the FEAST Garden Coordinator at Lucy S. Herring Elementary, has launched FEAST @ Home: a series of cooking videos that teach kids how to make yummy, easy snacks using a new veggie every week. Each week for the next 6 weeks, Jordan will upload a new video to the FEAST Peace Garden YouTube Channel. Videos and a recipe will be shared with teachers every week so they can incorporate them into their weekly lessons and share with families. Students are encouraged to follow along and make the recipes at home (with adult supervision!). If you have a child that doesn't attend Lucy S. Herring Elementary but you would like to use these videos for your Home School routine, contact Jordan.Diamond@acsgmail.net to be added to the email list.
Herring Peace Garden Workdays:
Fridays from 1:00- 2:30 pm
Join us for socially distant garden workdays! BYO mask and gardening/work gloves and RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Know someone who needs access to fresh produce? Visit the Lucy S. Herring Elementary Peace Garden or Hall Fletcher FEAST Garden on Tuesday afternoons and check out the produce sharing tables! Thanks to a generous, weekly donation from Mother Earth Food, we are able to share produce with the community through our school gardens. Join each garden's Facebook page to see updates each week.
Soul and Soil Project's farm in Fairview is in need of helping hands! Get down in the regenerative-market-farm and help us prepare for autumn and winter. Their farm helps support their nonprofit's Resilience curriculum and outreach efforts. Register to volunteer on Eventbrite via soulandsoilproject.org. Mon, Tues, Fri 9am-2pm.
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. Normally, the seed library is located at the Burton Street Recreation Center at the end of the hallway to the left near the exit sign, but due to recent restrictions we have limited access to our library. If you’re in need of seeds for the growing season please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tool library is located at the Bountiful Cities Pearson Community Garden 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: email@example.com
Bountiful Cities is very excited to be moving towards renewable energy at the Pearson Garden this coming season! The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy has donated solar panels and is working with us to get the garden on solar power, which will provide electricity for all of the shared community spaces, walk-in cooler, pavilion, and greenhouses. While we have been able to get some of the resources donated for this project, there is still a lot to do. If you'd be interested in joining us for an educational community workday or donating funds/materials towards this project, FILL OUT THIS FORM or reach out to us directly. Looking forward to working with you on making Pearson gardens more of a sustainable community resource this season!
Systems Need to Change...
As we welcome 2021 we see even more evidence of the need for systems change! Last year brought us many reveals of the reckoning needed for moving toward reparations centering racial equity. Bountiful Cities work will continue to nourish our relations alongside communities creating access and pathways to resources for thriving local food abundance centered in racial equity.
Looking to Spring
We need help to keep these important workshops and programs going! Suppling tools, seeds, education, and on-going support are long term solutions to some of the systemic injustices that cause food insecurity. Now more than ever, systems need to change so that all people have access to food and resources. Bountiful Cities envisions abundant, food secure communities and works to make that vision a reality.