How do you grow hope?

To find out, head over to Ypsilanti and the Growing Hope community garden project. Growing Hope is a grass roots organization that helps people in Washtenaw County help themselves by educating them on the fundamentals of organic gardening and access to healthy food. The Growing Hope Center on West Michigan Ave. is establishing a demonstration and training site for urban farming, sustainable gardening, and green building. Growing Hope also provides support to neigborhood gardens, several of which are going strong in Ypsilanti. They also work with schools on greenhouse and garden projects as well as encouraging young, potential "entrepreneurs," who learn about marketing the fruits of their labor. They work closely with the Ypsilanti's Farmer's Market in providing fresh food to the community. Check out their blog, the latest entry describing a workshop in Milan on "square foot gardening."


Pulp Tree

Horticulture April 2009

Page 22 Mixed-Up Magic
Pick up some great ideas on how to mix spring bulbs and a perennial garden.

Page 36 Veg Out
Only have a small wedge of space in which to grow your veggies this summer? If you think you have to have lots of sun and a southern exposure to grow good veggies, you're wrong. All you need is at least 3 hours of sun a day for a great container vegetable garden.

An Introduction to Vegetable Gardening


Spring is here, it's time to garden! Learn the basics of growing your own food at the Traverwood branch this Thursday, March 26, 7 to 8:30pm when Melissa Kesterson from Project Grow visits the library to share her knowledge on topics such as learning how to identify the proper site for a garden, preparing the soil, laying out the garden space and planning your garden for the season.

Compost Extravaganza Sale


Prices so low you won't believe your eyes! The City of Ann Arbor has slashed prices on bulk compost 50 to 75 percent from last year. That's right folks, they've got to clear out the Compost Center for the 2009 growing season. Your gardens and lawns are crying out for nutrients so head on over to the Wheeler Service Center and get going on a great deal.

Enchanted Spring, Fairies, Cicely Mary Barker & The Matthei Conservatory!

May FairyMay Fairy

We're all ready to get outside, but it's still a little too cold - so take your coat off and visit the Matthei Conservatory for the lovely, fun and springy Enchanted Spring Display celebrating Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. Find fairies hidden in the conservatory, smell the hyacinth, dapple amongst the daffodils and other gorgeous spring bulbs all over the conservatory, and make a fairy sachet! Or make your own fairy container garden, and start some seeds for your own garden. This special display runs through March 31, for complete information on the display click here. And for complete details about the Matthei Conservatory including hours/location click here. On Wednesdays the Conservatory is open until 8:00 PM and admission is FREE! And don't forget that AADL has many of Cicely Mary Barker's Books Finally, make sure you visit the downtown library fairy door too!

Think local food

Interested in learning about local food and gardening resources or becoming more self-sufficient in your own food production and consumption? Then check out the new website of the Local Food Summit. The site features a calendar of gardening and food related events sponsored by such local organizations like Growing Hope, Leslie Science Center and Project Grow. The site also provides discussion forums on everything from books on farming, food issues, "edible" schoolyards and a local foods exploration group. As the weather, hard to believe, gets warmer, check out our great collection of gardening books including some on local food issues.


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Project Budburst: Tracking Climate Change In The Garden
Organic Gardening Magazine February/March 2009 Page 47
In the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads book "Seeing in the Dark: How Amateur Astronomers are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe" we learned about how amateur astronomers help professional astronomers. Similarly, gardeners can help scientists track climate change. Project Budburst is "a citizen's research program developed to monitor the ways in which climate change is impacting the leafing and flowering of hundres of plant species nation-wide."
Climate change : what it means for us, our children, and our grandchildren
Cool it : the skeptical environmentalist's guide to global warming
The Michigan gardener's companion : an insider's guide to gardening in the Great Lakes State

Gardening anyone?

It's 7 degrees out but it's never too early to start planning your next garden. And if you don't have space or it's too shady in your backyard, check out Project Grow, a group that provides area residents organic gardening space. People need to register for a plot. These sites, usually composed of 10-15 plots each, are very popular, bringing people together who may not otherwise know each other even though they live in the same neighborhood. So read the website or pick up a newsletter which contains an application at the Library and other spots around town starting in February. To read up on other community garden projects, check out the Library's books on the subject.

Panelists to Discuss Community Agriculture

corn on the cobcorn on the cob

A panel discussion is coming up 6-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, on “Community Agriculture, Community Health: Connecting Healthy Eating, Community Gardens, and Access to Lower Cost Produce," presented by Project Healthy Schools. Panelists will be Sharon Sheldon, of the Washtenaw County Public Health Department, who works with the community advisory board of the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market; Amanda Edmonds, founder of Growing Hope; and Deb Lentz and Richard Andres, coordinators of the Community Supported Agriculture program at Tantre Farm near Chelsea. The panel discussion will be in Danto Auditorium in the U-M Health System’s Cardiovascular Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive. If you’d like to go, contact Jessica Moorman,, 975-3063.

Bringing the Green Indoors

Winter is quickly approaching, and the trees and plants outside are gradually losing their green. This year, instead of simply sinking into a five month depression, I've decided to bring the green indoors by growing some nice houseplants. But what houseplants should I get? They must be easy to take care of, attractive, and above all, resistant to my Black Thumb of Death. Fortunately the library has a whole section dedicated to the fine art of Houseplantery. Here's what I'm reading.

Houseplants: The Green Thumb Guide to Easy Indoor Gardening
This book has it all. Beautiful color photographs of all the plant types, general care tips, and suggestions as to which plant will thrive in which environment.

Houseplants by DK Garden Guides
A cool little book that focuses on pictures of the plants. Great for finding the plant that looks best to you.

What Houseplant Where
This book has lots of information on what plants to get if you have a particular spot in your home in mind.

Happy horticulturing!

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