Friday, July 15, 2016

A Look The Community Garden Plots!

Now, in the peak of mid-summer, the garden is flourishing! The community plots are bursting with produce...

Blah Poe's Plot
Chandra's Plot
Ismet's Plot
Albert's Plot
Tulasa's Plot
Punya's Plot
Fata's Plot
Fatma's Plot
Karna's Plot
Mai Mai's Plot
Mensura's Plot
Monica's Plot
Solomon's Plot

Monday, April 25, 2016

Double Digging and Potato Planting!

This week in Garden Club, the Kindergarten through 2nd Grade class planted potatoes. I collected old tires by searching the free section of Craigslist and keeping an eye out for them by the side of the road. We positioned the tires on top of used cardboard, to keep down weeds. Then, the kids stuffed wads of newspaper into the walls of the tires. The idea is that the newspaper will soak up excess water after a heavy rain and store it until the plants need it during a drier spell.  Then the children shoveled a mixture of topsoil and compost into the tires, positioned the potatoes snugly in the dirt, and then filled the tires the rest of the way with compost.

We also watered our raised beds...

And the 3rd through 5th Grade Class were delighted to see that the swiss chard they had planted in a recycled plastic container two weeks earlier had emerged! 

We also had a great group of volunteers on Saturday, April 16th. An English class from U of L rolled up their sleeves to double dig a new garden bed where the children will soon plant squash and watermelon. Double digging is one of many techniques used to prepare a new bed for planting. It entails loosening the soil to a depth of two spade heads as opposed to one. It is a labor intensive technique, but it does a lovely job of aerating the soil in a relatively short period of time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Planting Veggies and Learning About Worms in Garden Club

We have had a busy couple of weeks here at the Americana Community Center Garden. In After School Program we planted in our raised beds: turnips, carrots, peas, kale, cabbage, collards, beets, lettuce, radishes, and onions...

Our garlic plants have emerged strong and healthy...

We also learned about earthworms, and all the hard work they do in the soil to help our garden grow...

Monday, March 7, 2016

The First Seeds of the Spring

Work begins here in Americana's Community Garden! We will welcome eight growers back to the soil this season, as well as five new families. This year the garden represents the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Myanmar, Mexico, Sudan, and The Republic of the Congo, not to mention all of the countries from which our youth participants in the Children's Garden come.

Over the past few weeks, many hands have begun turning and preparing the soil for the first seeds of the spring. In our after school program, we have tested our catalog of donated seeds for productivity by rolling them in moist paper towels and leaving them inside plastic baggies for a week or so. The vast majority sprouted! We have also started some of our slower seeds--tomatoes and peppers--in cardboard egg crates and we will carefully tend to them until May. Our early crops will be sown in our new raised beds--constructed by Youth Build out of salvaged wood--over the next few weeks. First in the ground will be lettuce, radishes, turnips, peas, beets, carrots, collards, kale, and cabbage. As our veggies sprout we will taste them all! Two very important rules in garden club are to get our hands dirty and try new foods.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Garden Blog Returns

The cold of winter has the Americana Community Garden taking a break from production but that just means that our gardeners and coordinator are making plans for the spring. If you haven't visited us recently you will notice quite a few changes in our growing space. Our kids garden now has an outdoor classroom which our youth helped to design and construct. New benches line the area and the frame for a greenhouse is set up and will soon hopefully be topped with a thick lining.  This spring we have many projects coming up including soil restoration, building a new garden shed, and repairing the our fence. If you are interested in helping or donating to any or more of these projects please contact

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another Great Volunteer Day

We picked up trash, cleaned up beds, tilled the earth, sowed cover crop seeds, spread straw and leaves, mulched paths between the beds.

The Americana Community Garden would like to thank 
 David Weigel, James Brown, Elliott Sternberg, Josh Drake, Lindsay Krebs, Kevin Goins, Evan Buch, Sean Daugherty, Ian Soucy, Colleen Stewart, Brian Ebenschwieger, Dennis Maury, Jordan Murphy, Alex Emery, Duncan Sebastian, Miller Kraps, Zach Baugher, and Nathan Morris for all their hard work. Some of the volunteers came representing the Middletown Christian Church, Trinity High School, and Phi Delta Theta at University of Louisville.

One of the rats that lives under our shed has passed.


We Won! Project Learning Tree Grant!

We’ve won a grant to build an outdoor classroom at the Americana Community Center from Project Learning Tree.  Here is what we hope to accomplish and how we hope to accomplish it:

The Outdoor Garden project will benefit nearly 150 students K-6 who are involved in Kids Garden programming which is part of the greater Summer School and Afterschool programming at the Americana Community Center. In addition, it will benefit some 75 community gardeners who are part of the Americana Community Garden and the Louisville Refugee Agricultural Partnership program. Lastly, it will benefit the participants of the Americana Family Education program whom maintain a plot in the community garden.
The Outdoor Classroom will provide a space for environmental education through lessons, workshops, and demonstrations located within our fifth of an acre Community Garden space next to the Kids Garden, which is maintained by the participants of the program.
It will provide a place to sit, workbenches to use, and a chalkboard outside in the environment about which lessons, workshops, and demonstrations are centered. Often, it is necessary to provide Kids Garden lessons inside the classroom to make use of tables, chairs, and chalkboard. Currently, without this space there exists a disconnect between what is being learned and what is being seen. An Outdoor Classroom provides the space to watch and engage with what is being taught. It will make it possible to teach classes on seed saving while the students look at the tomato patch in the garden from which they have just plucked the ripe tomatoes. Lessons regarding compost can be given while the children are able to see the compost. In addition, an Outdoor Classroom will lessen the amount of time it takes to move from classroom to garden.
The Outdoor Garden will be built in the Spring of 2013. We enlist artists and landscape designers in the community to help us design the outdoor classroom. These ideas will be presented to the students, the community gardeners, and the family education participants for their approval. The designs will be voted upon. The Community Garden Coordinator will collect and buy the materials. Community Gardeners, Kids Garden Students, Community Partners and regular Americana Community Center volunteers will provide labor for its construction.
A survey will be given to the students, asking them what they think a perfect outdoor classroom might look like. During fall Kids Garden program, we will spend one class reviewing pictures of other Outdoor Gardens. Students will be asked to describe the specific items of those classrooms that they like and what they do not like. Their ideas will be considered during the design.
Students will review the designs of the Outdoor Classroom and choose which one best suits them and provide further ideas for what they want in the classroom.
When the design has been chosen, students will be responsible for helping to construct the Outdoor classroom with the volunteers, Community Gardeners, Family Education Participants, and Community Partners.
Teen participants at the Americana Community Center will be trained to become mentors and instructors for the Kids Garden program as well. In addition, Environmental Education will make them leaders in their community. For example, education regarding recycling and composting will provide them with the vocabulary and drive to both lead by example and convince others in their community to recycle and compost. Part of the Kids Garden program will include compost and recycling projects in which the students recycle waste. Students will be responsible for creating presentations exhibiting their environmental projects to the Community Gardeners and the Family Education participants.”

WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you are interested in helping design or construct the outdoor classroom, please email