Sunday, March 28, 2010

GANG Workshops - Year 2

GANA and ARC are pleased to announce the 2010 GANG Workshop Series. Details of the workshops follow. See you there!

A Project of the Green Acres Neighborhood Association
And an educational project of the Association of Regnerative Culture
At the Green Acres Neighborhood Garden (GANG), 2601 DeKist St.

Workshop space is limited. To pre-register, please contact Ann Kreilkamp 812-334-1987 or Suggested donation per class: $5 to $15.

[April 17: Compost design system Construction: Melissa Clark’s SPEA class: others are welcome to observe and/or participate.]

Less is More: Pruning For Fruit
Sunday, April 18, 2-4 p.m.

This workshop, led by Nathan Harman, will be a strolling explanation and demonstration of techniques for keeping backyard fruit trees healthy and productive. We will work on assorted ages, sizes, and types of fruit trees within a one block walk of the GANG site, including apples, peaches and pears as well as bush and cane fruit. Pruning is by far the most important factor in the health and production of a fruit tree, after soil and climate, and is an essential task every year. We will not prune in the rain, so the rain date is Sunday the 25th.

Get Growing, GANG: Start The Garden
Sunday, May 15, 1-5 p.m.

Led by Rhonda Baird and Nathan Harman, this workshop will provide an overview of spring garden tasks. The first half of the workshop will be indoors and the second half, hands on in the garden. Let's see how those raised, heavily mulched, lasagna beds we built last year are coming along and build a few more, too. We will cover starting seeds in flats and direct seeding, transplanting starts, using the cold frame, checking for weeds, damage and problems, as well as soil analysis and amendment. Snacks and beverages provided.

How's It Going? Problem Solving and Re-design
Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This workshop, led by Rhonda Baird, will ask the all-important questions "Is this working?" and "How can it work better?" We will use permaculture thinking to re-evaluate the design and function of various elements of the GANG site. We may make small physical changes and work in the garden, but this design workshop is intended as a thought pattern exercise that can be applied to any landscape. This is an all-day workshop so BYO lunch. Snacks and beverages provided.

Summer Begets Fall: Planting the Fall Garden
Sunday, August 1, 1-5 p.m.

Just as summer crops are planted in spring, fall crops are planted in summer. This workshop will focus both on caring for the garden in the high heat of summer and on planting the foods that will be harvested through the coming cool. This is the hay-day of the garden and we will hopefully have yields galore. But, the weeds and insects and drying sun are also trying to make their way, so mulch, shade cloth, row cover and other techniques will be employed as we keep the summer crops vibrant and give our fall crops a running start. Snacks and beverages provided.

So... Much... Food! Storing the Harvest
Sunday, August 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In the midst of summer, it's easy to think the zucchini and tomato flow will never quit. But cease they shall, and that's when we turn to the cupboard full of the years stored sunlight in the form of canned, dried, frozen and fermented garden foods. This workshop will teach a variety of preservation methods useful to the home gardener. We will spend an hour with slides and handouts and then harvest, process and sample. Learn how to reduce food costs while increasing nutrition and flavor through the winter. BYO lunch.

Putting the Garden to Bed and Celebration
Sunday, November 7, 2-5 p.m., then celebrate

Though there are still winter-hardy plants in the ground, this is the time to clean up and compost any garden wastes, mulch well, tidy up, and put season-extending hoop-houses and cold frames over more tender greens. Learn what plants require what degree of care in this risky weather and just how far into winter they can go. We will also spend time putting our tools to bed, cleaning, sharpening, oiling and storing to be sure they last as long and work as well as possible. It's difficult to get excited about spending less time in the garden and that's why we'll enjoy our second annual harvest potluck dinner and celebration afterwards!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

GANG and IU SPEA Project - Weekly Blog Update

This spring semester 2010, an Indiana University undergraduate class of 35 students is learning how to design and construct a state-of-the-art compost system for the GANA garden. This class, “E400 Environmental Sustainability,” has been created by Melissa Clark, a lecturer at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Various members of this class have been assigned to write a blog. This week's post(s) follow.

The project is finally starting to get underway with all the groups now that we are back from spring break.

The Design Group has been researching different compost designs and calling local hardware stores to estimate each design's price. They are currently in the process of finishing their official report which will be submitted to the GANA so they can make their final selection for which compost design will be constructed.

The Budget Group is still working on securing funding from local Bloomington businesses and groups. They have also been in contact with a local construction group that will help with possibly donated materials to build the compost bins.

The City Ordinance Group has visited city hall and spoke with Rachel Johnson about city ordinances pertaining to community gardens on private land. Some details include that retail sales shall be prohibited on the community garden site, except for the sale of produce grown in the community garden. Such sales shall be in compliance with Subsection 20.05.109(b), Farm Produce. Hours of operation shall be restricted to between 5am and 11pm daily. Community gardens shall adhere to the noise standards in Title 14 of the Bloomington Municipal Code. Cultivated areas shall not encroach onto adjacent properties. The community garden site shall be maintained free of high grass in compliance with Title 6 of the Bloomington Municipal Code.

The Bloomington Initiatives Group has found other examples of community gardens in the city of Bloomington and has even visited one such as the Willie Streeter Community Garden near the YMCA on the Southside of town. They are also getting information from the Bloomington, IN Neighborhood Association, which will providing them with the contacts for presidents of local neighborhoods to see if they have any neighborhood garden or composting programs. So far, they have not had any luck finding other neighborhood garden and composting programs not operated by the city. The group has also found that most city operated gardens strongly advocate composting as the primary fertilizer.

The Newsletter Group is still developing the content to include in the neighborhood newsletter. They plan on keeping everyone informed of the general overview of the garden and its purpose and objectives. A more detailed description of why it is important and why we want more community involvement is to be included as well.

Marguerite Kaye Huber
Indiana University
Alpha Gamma Delta

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Green Acres Real Estate Update - 3.21.10

Green Acres is a great place to live; convenient to IU, downtown, and eastside ammenities. Check out the latest listings of homes for sale in our neighborhood.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Variance Request

Hello All,

I have just recently purchased the two houses at 2210 & 2214 E. 7th Street. They are currently each a two bedroom rental house. There are four separate city lots.

I have spoke with City Planner Rachel Johnson about the two houses and she has suggested that an email be sent out to the Green Acres Neighborhood Association stating what my plans are and to solicit any comments that the neighborhood has regarding those plans.

Basically the plan is this: There are four individuals lots that run East/West at the SW corner of 7th and Roosevelt. The lots are very small, 25' x 125' each. The two houses, 2210 & 2214 E. 7th Street, straddle the two middle lots(which is an nonconforming use). What I want to do is to reduce the number of lots from four to two by running a new lot line North/South down the middle. This would put each house on its own separate lot and therefore making them more conventional.

They could then be sold separately and have owner occupied potential and prevent other housing from being built on the two lots that are empty. The above picuture illustrates what I hope gives good representation of what I have described.

The reason I have to go to Zoning Variance is because if they are reduced from four to two lots, the square footage of the two lots will be less than the minimum lot size currently allowed under the UDO.

We request that comments be sent by March 26th, 2010 to both Rachel and myself at: and

Thank you,

Tom Gallagher

Tom Gallagher
812 333-5252
812 333-5228 FAX

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

GANG and IU SPEA Partnership Project - Weekly Blog Update

This spring semester 2010, an Indiana University undergraduate class of 35 students is learning how to design and construct a state-of-the-art compost system for the GANA garden. This class, “E400 Environmental Sustainability,” has been created by Melissa Clark, a lecturer at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Various members of this class have been assigned to write a blog. This week's post(s) follow.

Not too much to report this week as the warmer weather and visions of next weeks spring break had most of the class distracted. I was able to check up on city ordinances group, and they are still researching our options. I am going to be sending a reminder to the other groups that after we return from spring break that they need to get my group their weekly updates in a timely manner. Hopefully after spring break everyones minds will be clear and as the weather continues to improve they project will began to make strides. I am really excited about working with the other groups and making this project great. Hope everyone has a great week, and check back in two weeks.
Braedon A. Engle
Blog Group 7

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March GANA meeting and potluck

Date: Tuesday, March 9
Time: Potluck begins at 6:30pm, with meeting to follow
Location: Ann's house, 134 N Overhill

Topics: Blooming Neighborhoods Celebration, 6th Annual Plant Share, GANG updates - lots to share, Bypass Expansion Project, Upcoming Events

Neighbors Present: Jelene Campbell, John and Jessica Gaus, Ann Kreilkamp, Al & Kathy Ruesink, Jane Spearman

Blooming Neighborhoods Celebration - Jane did the table last year, but due to her pregnancy will not be able to do it this year; neighbors agreed it was still important to have a table and that we will do it; Jane will let Vickie know that Green Acres will participate again this year. Part of this event is the three awards, all of which come with $100 prize for the winning neighbor/neighborhood. This is a great way to get match money for Small and Simple Grants. We will have nominations for at least two of the three categories.

6th Annual Plant Share and Neighborhood Clean Up - Jelene will host the 6th Annual Plant Share on Saturday, May 22nd. Neighbors also agreed that we would continue with last year's idea and do a neighborhood clean up following the plant share. More details on both will be circulated later.

GANG - Instructors for the 2nd year have been chosen and Ann has secured a grant from ARC to cover their fees; a SPEA class is partnering with the GANG to build a compost system and to address other issues of the GANG; Ann is working on possible grants from Bloomington in Bloom; Ann is working with the city to address liability issues and how they limit the ability of community gardens to flourish; the GANG will be featured as part of the City's Parks and Rec Department's Garden Tour; GANA has been contacted by Stepping Stones about opportunities for collaboration and this is being worked on.

Bypass Expansion - The project is scheduled to be let on May 12. The mayor addressed the bypass during his State of City Address. The project will start at the west end, near Kinser Pike and work its way east; it could be 3 or more years before ground is broken near Green Acres.

Upcoming events - The 10th Street Mobility Study findings will be presented Thursday at 5:30 at Monroe County Public Library. Immediately following and also at the library will be a showing of the film "In Transition 1.0" sponsored by Transition Bloomington.

Jelene's band will be having a CD release party on April 23; details to come later.

The April meeting will be Tuesday, April 13 and will be kindly hosted by Jane, 2611 E 5th Street. Potluck begins at 6:30 with meeting to follow.

respectfully submitted by me :)

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

GANG and IU SPEA Partnership Project

GANG Partnership Project: Compost Design and Construction

In order to further the educational and community building missions of the year-old Green Acres Neighborhood Garden, we are creating partnerships of various kinds. This spring semester 2010, an Indiana University undergraduate class of 35 students is learning how to design and construct a state-of-the-art compost system for the GANA garden. This class, “E400 Environmental Sustainability,” has been created by Melissa Clark, a lecturer at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Melissa is also a member of the Bloomington Commission of Sustainability and the Environmental Resource Advisory Council for Parks and Recreaction. Various members of this class have been assigned to write a blog. Here are the first and second posts. — Ann K.

3/02/10 Brodie Hopkins writes:

Here is the first blog. No doubt it is atrocious, but I have never written a blog and I got very little information from the groups.

This is the first attempt at a blog regarding the G.A.N.G. community garden and the E-400 Environmental Sustainability class’s project. The class is divided into groups that will focus on various aspects of the community garden, such as the building of a compost bin, fundraising, as well as a case study. Each week this blog will update the readers on the progress of these groups. While it is early in the project, the class is working hard, researching and planning. The compost group is researching design options, as well as investigating local prices of the supplies needed to construct a compost bin. The fundraising group is drafting up fundraising ideas and finding local businesses that are willing to support the community garden. The case study group will be studying community gardens in a major city in the United States and trying to apply the successes to Bloomington, while avoiding the struggles. At this time, I’d like to end the first blog, please join us next week for updates on the progress each group is making.

3/5/10 Chelsie Hopkins writes:

IU's E400 class is hard at work putting together their plans for the Green Acres Neighborhood Garden this week. So far, we have only received one of the completed plans from the group that is focusing on city ordinance issues.

Their plan maps out different things they would like to accomplish with G.A.N.G such as: prohibiting the sales of any retail items on the garden site, restricting hours of operation to 5 am-11 pm daily, having on-site storage container restrictions, vegetation limits, livestock limits, limitations on the size of garden, etc. They are currently waiting for an update form the city of Bloomington to give them more information on restrictions they need to be aware of.

Stay posted as it is still early in the planning process of this project and we will have more information regarding the garden to come in the following weeks.

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