Here's everything that you need to know about our Boulevard Heights Community Garden:
After the recent passing of our BOHO patriarch, Rabbit Thomas (pictured), the BOHO Community Garden is dormant. When active, everyone is encouraged to participate in the garden, whether just for a short visit on your daily walk, or for longer periods to help out (we’d like to build a bench for those longer visits...)
The lot for the community garden is located on Schuyler Ave SE between Benteen and Morley Aves. Formerly a lot overgrown by kudzu, covering all of the trees along the creek, a single neighbor on Morley worked to clear the lot of all invasive vines and plants in 2005. The ground was tilled for first plantings that summer, and spring 2011 marked the 6th year of planting. Rabbit voluntarily fought erosion and overtake of weeds and mosquitoes on this lot for many years and was instrumental in securing permission for our community garden (and if you don't know who Rabbit is, ask a long-term neighbor, and be ready for quite a story! -Webmaster).
The garden is loosely coordinated: We put out an invitation to participate on Facebook and/or the Google Group with a prep and planting date, then make decisions about garden design or division among whomever comes to work. In past seasons we have divided the lot into approximately 20 rows of about 50 ft. each. Originally a small group of volunteers tilled and raked the entire lot and prepared rows for anyone who requested one in advance.
During 2017 season, one neighbor volunteered to bring his tractor over to till the entire area. We typically only ask that if you would like your own full or partial row, you need to prepare, label with your family name, plant, maintain, and water it. Weeding is critical and often overlooked. You may plant whatever you’d like, although we’re thinking of making some special areas for sprawling plants such as cucumbers and watermelons.
Several neighbors contribute compost from their own backyard piles, but the garden does not currently have its own compost. We would welcome the contribution of the design and maintenance of an on-site compost pile. Rabbit will probably organize a trip to pick up organic manure, and may need volunteers.
I [Julie] have maintained the ring of indigenous wildflowers around the sign, and everyone is welcome to plant and harvest (and weed) in the small herb garden close to the road.
Labor and expenses
Many neighbors come for tilling and planting and contribute a day of labor and/or seeds. Core volunteers prepare additional rows, sow donated seeds and donate and plant seeds and seedlings of their own.
Weeding and watering of the garden from planting until picking depends on you, volunteer work, and rainfall. One summer a couple of volunteers pumped all of their bathwater into 5 gallon buckets, carried those buckets to the garden once or twice a week, and distributed the water as equitably as possible. Under drought conditions this wasn’t really enough. Other neighbors pitched in by mowing uncultivated areas and picking up trash.
The garden operates on the honor system. We ask that everyone respect labels and be aware that some young participants may have their heart set on picking a particularly beautiful tomato at just the right moment (for example). We may have some “community” rows this year, and we ask that you contribute work in fair exchange for harvest. At the end of abundant harvests of his own garden and the community garden, Rabbit is known for bringing generous bags full of vegetables to neighbors in need.
Rabbit was our irreplaceable master gardener and a fantastic source of information for gardeners of all experience levels. Until another neighbor with ample experience is able to step up, the community garden will likely remain in a dormant state.
-- the above was taken from some helpful information posted on Google Groups by Julie and Raymondo in the spring of 2011.
Below are some photos of the garden from the past couple of years...(find more photos in the Boulevard Heights gallery)