Zombie Outrun: Who Can Survive the Apocalypse?

The garden hosted its first annual Zombie Outrun on Saturday the 19. The apocalypse began at Huffnagle Park, where students and community members showed up to transform into the walking dead.

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The terrifying transformation from human to zombie just beginning.

 

After some applying some crafty make up and worn down clothes the zombies were ready for the chase.

The Zombies stand by, just waiting for their chance to chase down the 'living'

The Zombies stand by, just waiting for their chance to chase down the ‘living’

Runners were suited up with a flag football belts resembling lives and set free to run amongst the monsters. Their challenge? Make it through the entire 5k without loosing all their lives and falling to the apocalypse.

Garden Intern Jasmine gets her own fair share of scare from the zombies!

Garden Intern Jasmine gets her own fair share of scare from the zombies!

Sounds easy until Zombies are coming after you…

Those who were able to made it through with all their lives were safe. They had survived the apocalypse. Those who lost their lives… are all now zombies! Or at least says their shirts!!

Runners display their shirts announcing whether they survived or fell victim to the Zombies.

Runners display their shirts announcing whether they survived or fell victim to the Zombies.

To end the day trophies were announced to the fastest surviving human and to the zombie who claimed the most victims. Also an award went to the best dressed zombie for their outstanding terrifying appearance.

The trophies for the Zombies able to terrorize the most humans.

The trophies for the Zombies able to terrorize the most humans.

So what do we learn from this weekend themed run? Next time you really don’t want to go on a run, think about being chased by zombies, it’ll get you out the door!

What better motivation could you have to run faster?

What better motivation could you have to run faster?

 

Second Annual Harvest Festival

As another family weekend came and went the Garden celebrated its second annual Harvest Festival. The event featured fun for the whole family with great fall festivities!

It was a beautiful day out, and many people stopped by the busy festival for crafts, snacks or just to listen to some music! Many families enjoyed the free crafts for children, including bracelet making and festive face painting! Very popular among the kids was the pumpkin painting, allowing them to let their inner artist shine!

To appeal to the less crafty folks out there the festival also offered easy-going games such as Cornhole, ready for some competitive throwers. Also ready to pose for a picture was a Halloween ready Mr. Pumpkin head, all dressed up for the great occasion.

Snacks were sold to those with a rumbling stomach from a bright truck offering delicious Korean Tacos, which were a big hit!

For those hungry for more than just a snack, the watermelon-eating contest served as a perfect excuse to stuff their faces! Countless pieces of watermelon, and a lot of laughs later, the festival had its 2 champions of the 2013 contest!

Keegan shows his competition how real boys eat watermelon, laying into a huge piece!

Keegan shows his competition how real boys eat watermelon, laying into a huge piece!

Volunteers stop to pose with their Pumpkin Faced Friends!

Volunteers stop to pose with their Pumpkin Faced Friends!

Watermelon Eating contest Winners Keegan and Duke pose with their cool trophies!

Watermelon Eating contest Winners Keegan and Duke pose with their cool trophies!

Folks wait in line to get some yummy Korean Tacos from the Taco Truck.

Folks wait in line to get some yummy Korean Tacos from the Taco Truck.

 

 

Confessions of a Second Year Garden Intern

Round two of my summer LCG experience is finally over and I can say that it was a summer full of learning and rewards! Now it cannot top my first summer at LCG but it was definitely worthwhile as a result of the changes made and being able to use all of my learned skills from my first year with LCG. There have been a lot of changes made at the garden ranging from new leadership, expansion of the physical garden, transforming to more of learning based garden with a variety of workshops and classes for both youth and adults, participating in more community activities (Lewisburg parade, WNEP news showing, etc), and much more. My favorite part of this summer was working with more interns. Now I know you are thinking it’s because it meant less work for me but it’s not (Keep it a secret between me and you, the physical expansion of the garden coincided with the expansion of the garden crew which meant that there was not less garden workJ). I really enjoyed working with the new garden crew because everyone brought new perspectives that really forced me to think about agriculture in America and different issues related to gardening. In addition, gardening is more fun when you have a crew opposed to gardening by yourself. Now don’t get me wrong gardening by yourself can be very rewarding as it is a good time to do self-reflection, but it’s always nice to do things with friends.

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Relaxing with my fellow interns at the BV Rec Summer Camp.

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Working on our new garden murals.

This summer my position was through the Biology department (Overseen by Professor Mark Spiro) which meant that there was an academic component along with the garden work. I worked at the garden on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and some Saturdays or Sundays and I did research on Wednesday and Friday. I really enjoyed this set up because it was a combination of “book learning” and hands on experience. I think that this setup is the best way of learning because it allows you to develop your ideas and then allows you to put them to use. I looked at obesity and diabetes in Black America and explored how diet affects these diseases. I then proposed adoption of more plant based foods and participation in community gardens as a potential solution. This opportunity was extremely rewarding as I was able to explore and expand my knowledge on issues that were important to me in more depth.

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Communing with my insect friends.

What I didn’t like about this year was not being able to travel to Dream catcher farm (a local CSA in the area) as part of my work. It made it more difficult to get out to Dream catcher because I had to shift my schedule around to make it work out. Last year I really enjoyed spending time with Joe and Jackie, the owners of the farm because I was guaranteed to learn something from Joe, get a good laugh from Jackie, and eat (who doesn’t love food). I think that involvement with other farms and gardens is a good learning opportunity for the interns because it allows them to gain knowledge and insight on what others are doing which could potentially allow them to take the learned knowledge and apply it to their own work.

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Getting ready to march in the Lewisburg 4th of July Parade.

What I would like to see in the garden in future years is continued expansion and being able to reach out to more families through our food donations. From observing the reactions of individuals who receive the food from the garden at the hot meal programs that we serve, I think that people really enjoy having fresh produce because they always come up to us and tell us how much they appreciate the produce from the garden.

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Making Solar ovens with my fellow interns.

This has been a very rewarding summer and I would not have wanted to spend my summer any other way. Even though I’m excited to be going home, I’m also sad because it’s like I’m leaving a part of me behind. While I’m home I will be thinking about the new baby carrots that I put in a couple of days ago and anticipating whether they survived. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I will be returning in the fall to continue to help out with the garden but until then ADIOS everyone.

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I want to give a BIG thanks to everyone who made this summer a success. Thanks and I love you Guys!!!!!!

~Post written by 2nd year LCG intern Jasmin Johnson.  Photos by Jessie Horning.

Makin’ More than Just Food in the Community Garden!

The Saturday Summer Art Classes at the garden have been going great so far. The attendance has averaged around four students per class, with several returning students.

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Painting was the hands down favorite part of birdhouse making.

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Two completed bird houses ready for new occupants.

 The first class is the most challenging; lesson plans have to be written, examples of each craft have to be assembled, and a wide variety of materials have to be collected, salvaged, bought, and organized. I’ve been using as many recycled materials as possible, scavenging through the bins at the Lewisburg Recycling Center with the help of Leroy, the recycling center manager who enjoys smoking a corn cob pipe and can offer you a wide range of solutions for battling bees.

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Adding a little wildlife to the terrariums.

The choice to use as little money and as many recycled materials as possible has had its rewards, and has also been the source of some headaches. I want to show students that they can be creative with a range of materials, many of which we use up and throw out everyday. You can transform used soda bottles into self-watering terrariums that hold live plants. Juice containers can be cut into triangles to create colorful, waterproof garden garlands to string along a fence. The possibilities of cardboard are endless; from slathering it with peanut butter to create a tasty bird treat, or cutting it into a form to create a floral wreath. 

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Utilizing recycled and household items to make bird feeders.

 

While trying to find ways to work with these materials been a challenge, figuring out how to structure a class that will accommodate a 4 year-old or a 13 year-old’s skill levels has also been eye-opening. I’ve been learning a lot about how to set up a class to cater to a wide range of abilities and interests. So far what I’ve found to work is the following: offer a range of materials, have several activities to choose from, give basic directions of technique, and then give students plenty of time to experiment. The first class is always the most stressful, but the moment one student gets excited and invested in their project all the long hours of preparation go *poof* and fade away. 

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Completed outdoor planters.

As a mixed media artist I love to work with a variety of materials and see how they strengthen and transform the ideas I’m trying to convey in my work. Being able to share this process with kids has been a very exciting experience that I definitely want to continue. Stay tuned for more art classes from the garden!

~Post and photos by LCG Art Outreach Coordinator Jessie Horning

Lovin’ in the (solar) ovens!

Now that we have made it to the mid-summer meltdown, it is time for more solar food! With the slowed pace of life and the increase in solar radiation, what better than planning a evening meal during the cooler morning hours, prepping, setting out, and forgetting until our stomachs remind us that it is suppertime?

A few weeks ago, Jasmine (another Garden intern) and myself built a few different designs of solar ovens for a summer camp activity with a middle school groups called Milton TIES. They visited the Garden twice this summer, both times extremely fun, educational, and helpful! For the solar activity, we just did a demonstration of the pre-made boxes and a discussion of possible recipes, alternative materials and designs, and some basic concepts for solar heating. Due to the short length of their visit and the cloudiness of the day, we didn’t cook any food (although we did prep some dough for the heck of it!). I sent them off with one of the ovens made from an old plastic produce bin and they are planning to use it on a sunny day during another week of their camp.

At the Garden, we had the opportunity to use two designs to make solar pizzas with the campers from the Meadow View housing complex. One was made from a plastic Coleman cooler and the other was made out of three interlaced pizza boxes. Both worked very well, the pizza box working better for making the pizza. Go figure….

Making some pizza in a pizza box solar oven!

Making some pizza in a pizza box solar oven!

I prepped the dough in the morning and during the cooking//nutrition portion of our day, one group of campers helped to dust the dough with oil, top with fresh herbs, greens, and garlic and load up the ovens!

Prepping the pizza!

Prepping the pizza!

We played in the sprinkler and had water balloon battles, played some music, wound down with some yoga, and then ate our doughy pizza deliciousness. YUM!

Morning yoga!

Morning yoga!

Fun in the sprinkler!

Fun in the sprinkler!

I miss the kiddos already and can’t wait to see them again….maybe this week I will utilize my solar oven for the Thursday Buffalo Valley (BV) Recreation campers! Kale chips here we come!!

SYDNEY

+–<3

More solar cooking at our workshop!

More solar cooking at our workshop!

Finished pizza, yum!

Finished pizza, yum!

Our solar-prepared meal!

Our solar-prepared meal!

Good eats!

Good eats!

P.S. Check out the video of the making of one solar oven! Courtesy of Kai Ja Productions.

Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUNqgDuC_fI&feature=youtu.be
Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkprpjimKjk&feature=youtu.be

poem:
gettin’ hot in here
feelin’ like an oven
better get your glove on
don’t get burned
don’t get discouraged
the weeds are a challenge
mulch them
muster the strength
or come back in the morning
or evening
when the sun is elsewhere
bake bread in the meantime
and indulge after the work

So many vegetables!

Already late July and the garden is in full swing! Despite the ridiculous amounts of heat that we have all been enjoying these past few days, the plants are doing pretty well! The interns and volunteers have been putting their blood, sweat, and tears (but mostly their sweat) into keeping the plants as happy as possible in this weather. And the payoffs have been huge! Yesterday we harvested 110 lbs of veggies! And the variety is AWESOME. We had a little of everything – squash, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, greens, and even fennel.

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Intern Jasmin Johnson searches for the hidden beans. Finding all of them is harder than it sounds.

The best part is, the veggies will just keep coming! A lot of the plants are still producing, and will keep on being bountiful – especially with the amazing rain that came last night. And even where the plants are done, we can replant for harvesting later. And the best part is, even though we have an aggressive amount of produce, none of it will be wasted. It’s being used where people need it most – to prepare healthy, delicious meals. The only difficulty is picking what tasty way we should use our vegetables next!
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Above:  A trunk loaded with produce heads out to the patrons of Community Harvest!
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As of July 25th the garden has harvested 443 lbs of organic produce donated to local hot meal programs.
~Post written by Lewisburg Community Garden intern Sarah Frank.  Photos by Jessie Horning.

What’s been eating at your Goodies: Garden Intruders?

Have you been having “issues” with garden pest? Have you given any thought to why this is occurring? Well at the Lewisburg Community Garden, we have been experiencing what some say is damage from pest or so called “garden intruders”. Many people have mentioned crop damage from rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs and a variety of bugs and beetles.

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A nest of baby bunnies born in the community garden in June

Now there are two ways that we can look at this issue. The first perspective is the issue of nature taking its natural course which includes the idea of first come first serve. If the animals get to the food first, why should we get upset? After all, the garden is outside which means that all creatures should have equal access to the items outside, right? The second perspective is that of Humans being superior to all other creatures on earth. As humans this is our world so all other creatures don’t have the right to tamper with our things. From a garden point of view, our things would be the food being grown in the garden, right?

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A groundhog takes a stroll in the garden

I want to know what you guys think. Do you agree, disagree or have other perspectives?

~Post written by Lewisburg Community Garden intern Jasmin Johnson.  Photos by Jessie Horning.

Kids in the Garden!

Between the blistering heat and the hurricane-esque thunderstorms, we’ve been chugging along at the garden. We’ve harvested, we’ve planted, we’ve raked, shoveled, watered, mulched, lathered, rinsed, and repeated. But for me, the best part of all this was getting the kids from BVREC involved in all this good fun (no, seriously, it is actually lots of fun!).

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Buffalo Valley Recreation summer camp prepares their plot for planting.

Last Thursday (July 18th), the kids finally got to come down for the day to start working on their garden. Unfortunately, weather and other delays prevented them from getting an earlier start on their garden, but better late than never, right? Despite the heat, the kids trekked on down to the garden and, after a water break in the shade, got right to work. They all loved it! Everyone was excited to get involved in the gardening process. We planted, raked, shoveled, and watered the entire plot. We even ended up watering ourselves after all the hard work! The kids had a blast getting their hands dirty (literally) and took pride in the work they put into their garden. After we finished up, we all went into the shade to cool off and rehydrate. It was definitely one of the best days at the garden; it was a blast seeing all the kids get excited about gardening and they had a great time. I’m sure they’re just as excited as we are to see their plot grow!

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Jasmin Johnson leads the BV Rec Summer Camp on a garden tour. The tour included some tasting as well.

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To beat the heat a hose brigade was formed. Some water for the plants, some water for the people.

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The leaves of the edamame plants are soft like bunny ears.

Post written by Lewisburg Community Garden Intern Terra Fasold.  Pictures by Jessie Horning.

Year One Recap

Fall has come and winter is creeping in! We’ve reached the end of our first season and can’t believe the garden is now “closed” for the season! Here is a bit of a recap to look back on our first season:

  • We were able to fill all 22 plots, with some people sharing.  This gave us the opportunity to provide gardening space for 35 families, and individuals.
  • The LARA Summer Camp had their own plot. They completed a summer curriculum with our garden interns learning about gardening, the environment, and nutrition.  The plot gave them space to cultivate tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
  • The community plot was maintained by over 300 volunteers who were directed by two full-time interns from Bucknell University, and a half-time intern from the University of Vermont.
  • The community plot cultivated 46 different crops.  Some were more bountiful than others but all were donated to the Community Harvest Dinner, Dinner by the River, and the Union County Food Bank.
  • The garden maintained organic standards all season through.  Plot renters were provided with leaf mulch and compost.  Interns and local experts helped people troubleshoot pest problems.
  • No incidents of vandalism occurred in the garden, and there is only one known instance of produce theft.
Looking Ahead:
  • We will be planting a cover crop of oats over the entire garden.  This will be done to replace nutrients in the soil, and to improve the appearance of the garden over the winter.
  • The site will be tilled in the spring with the addition of compost and limestone.  This will further improve the nutrient composition of the soil.
  • The advisory board has determined that in order to continue to provide gardening opportunities to the community only 50% of plot owners will be allowed to return.  This will open up new spaces.  A two-year term limit is also available with the ability to return after one year off.
  • Betsy VanBuskirk, a Social Studies teacher at the Lewisburg Middle School, has received a State Farm Healthy Neighborhoods grant to revise the greenhouse at the Middle School and get students involved in gardening.  We look forward to forming a partnership with her and her students!
Thank you to everyone who volunteered, owned a plot, stopped by our various fundraising efforts, came to the Harvest Festival, or was in any way a part of our first year! It was such a success and we couldn’t have done it without all of your support. As winter fast approaches, the oats in the garden will grow and eventually die, but think of all the possibilities their nutrients will bring in the spring! With that, I leave you with these words from Elizabeth Coatsworth:
 November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
The earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

Happy November!


A Poem by Sydney Stieler for the Harvest Festival

Dear plotholders and company,

It is my pleasure to be addressing you. I enjoy your spirit immensely, letting your spunk enter the earth’s skin. Getting down and dirty with some newly-defined kin.

Where do I begin? This summer was magic, heat stroke, no rain, cherishing inches, spellular. Multicellular. Learning about organization and optimism. Growing community through conversations, physical labor, and love. For plants, each other, the earth’s systems, our good ol’ Susquehanna, local heritage, urban renewal.

For to survive is to push, fight, shove. To thrive is to allow light to reach our souls and the grit of our bones and to cook a meal for a friend. To trade off on responsibilities (for they never end). To persevere against the trend. Tying the fray up in a way that the ropes don’t break, they bend. Unless this is the end, in which case we tear at the threads to ensure our daily bread (or at least the ingredients we need to bake).

I like the location of the garden; it seems appropriate. Next to the river, our source, and the Street of Shops, chock full of antique hand-tools and cast iron pans. City water that smells like rotten eggs and burgundy sunflowers for bird-watching. Hours go by.

The seasons change and the crops cycle. Some are now encased in glass and brine, others are just pushing out new leaves, true leaves, buttercrunch or atomic spinach. Brussels sprout time to shine is almost upon us. The frost will indicate a shift, a change in type of work, a change in diet and lifestyle. Our schedules will begin to reflect our capabilities, the environment will respond to our place in the universe, and we will feel the ice come. Potentially less than years prior, due to the warming period that we are encountering. We grew sweet potatoes this year; that is an indicator!! Up here in VT, sweet potatoes were grown as well…

Now is time for the communal harvest (although we’ve been goin’ all summer long). Nice weather to share in the bounty and appreciate the surplus and to pass it along to those who will benefit from its nourishment. Liston to Billy Kelly sing children songs and watch the kids dance. Eat food and swap recipes.

That is all.
Hope all is well.
Being treated fair and swell.
Givin’ ‘em hell.

SYDNEY
+–<3