We had another great workday on Saturday, December 10th, led by Mary Lynn Zoeller and the Compost Team. All plot holders are required to donate two hours of labor each month to helping maintain communal areas or projects and the monthly workday, always held on the second Saturday of each month, 9:00-12:00, is a great time to get the work done and meet fellow gardeners.
Join us on October 8 for an educational session, featuring a compost demonstration with master gardener Joy Ruth. Joy will also be teaching about vermiculture and will give a demonstration on how to start your own worm bin.
We will be filming Joy’s compost demonstration to help “seed” the community we are creating around the documentary film “What Are You Growing?”
Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10am-12pm at Festival Beach Community Garden. This class is free and open to the public. Please invite your friends and family to join us for an exciting education session!
Greetings Fellow Gardeners & Planners!
Please join us on October 1st for a fall and winter gardening class taught by Rosalie Russell and sponsored by Travis County Master Gardeners Association and the Travis County AgriLife Extension.
- Garden vegetables which only thrive in the cool temperature of the fall and winter.
- General gardening principles and guidelines for protecting plants from usually cool temps will be discussed.
This event is outdoors. Please bring a chair if you wish to sit during the lecture portion of the class.
Saturday, October 1, 2011, 10am-12pm at Festival Beach Community Garden. This class is free and open to the public. Please invite your friends and family to join us for an exciting education session!
Gardeners from the Multicultural Refugee Coaliton tend to their plants and plots at the Festival Beach Community Garden. Photo by Hannah Jones for KUT News.
On Saturday, neighbors that share the Festival Beach Community Garden by Town Lake celebrated one year of gardening. The two-acre piece of land is lush with potato plants, onion stems and infant orchard trees. When Kathy McWhorter first started searching for a place to establish a community garden, she remembers this area being a flat piece of green lawn space.
“We are the first community garden to be put in on city park land as part of a new initiative to have community gardens developed on city park land and other land,” McWhorter said.
City staff is identifying other parcels of land that can be used as gardens. This year, the Austin City Council approved water rate reductions for community gardens. Under the new city initiative to expand the number of community gardens, the city will offer the land but it is up to the community to organize and manage it. A non-profit would have to sponsor it and rules set by the city must be followed.
At Festival Beach Community Garden, plots are rented for free to people and organizations. Johnson Doe showed off the potatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, onion bulbs and other vegetables growing in the ground. Doe runs the Multicultural Refugee Coalition. It’s a non-profit that helps refugees get acquainted with the Austin community. As others at the one-year anniversary party are enjoying the music and food, a small group of refugees are transporting mulch in wheelbarrows and watering the plants. The group has a couple of plots reserved for their clients to grow food their own food at the Festival Beach Community Garden. Doe said the garden gives the clients something to work towards.
“What happens is these people don’t speak English. So it’s just hard for them to get work and so we want them to feel at home and the only thing they can do to feel at home is to get a place to work,” he said.
>> Read or listen to the full story at KUT.org
When East Side Pies opened its doors on Rosewood Ave. in 2006, our East Austin community had more to celebrate than a great new restaurant. We finally had pizza delivery! Long time residents will tell you what a milestone this really was; some had lived mere blocks from pizza restaurants for 30 years with none willing to cross the physical, cultural and class divide of I-35 to deliver to their homes. East Side Pies changed that.
But the good news didn’t end there. It turned out that East Side Pies serves up some of the best pizza in Austin, with an emphasis on inspired combinations of super fresh, seasonal ingredients, often from local farmers’ markets and East Austin’s own Boggy Creek Farm. They were recently named in a top 10 list of restaurants that buy local produce.
So when they offered to donate pizzas for Festival Beach Community Garden’s first-anniversary event, and they suggested they use our own gardeners’ bounty… our tummies growled as our hearts did a little flip flop.
East Side Pies let us peek behind the scenes as they concocted 10 museum-worthy pizzas, using our gardeners’ donated heirloom, tiger stripe and cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, bell peppers, cherry peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, onions, jalapenos and serranos, placed on top of their superbly thin crust layered with sauce, cheese, EVOO and an amazing chimichurri made of fresh parsley.
The pizzas were promptly gobbled up by party goers and served as one of the big highlights of the day.
Thank you East Side Pies. You are good cooks, good people, and good neighbors.
We are excited to welcome to our garden a number of speakers, including Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Sustainable Food Center Board President Sara Bohn, Austin Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Hensley, Austin Parks Foundation Board President Jill Nokes, and many garden experts! Please join us from 10:00 – 1:00. 35 Waller Street (at Cleremont Street), in East Austin.
Buckets of sweat have gone into preparing our garden for today’s big event: Our first anniversary celebration! Please join us from 10:00-1:00 at the garden for this free party, featuring food, beverages and other goodies provided by neighborhood businesses and the greater Austin community. The garden is located at 35 Waller Street (at Clermont) in beautiful 78702.
We will update our website later today with photos from the event, but in the meantime, here’s a quick “then” and “now.”
1 Year Ago:
Our mission statement includes this very important clause:
Create a gathering space that brings together diverse neighbors to encourage cooperation, collaboration and friendship.
We take very seriously the “community” part of our community garden. Over the course of our first year, we have made so many friends, worked elbow to elbow in our gardens and communal areas, and shared so much — from information and expertise to veggies from our gardens to laughs and frustrations and even tears. We’ve built such a strong garden community…well, we well up a little just thinking about it.
Thanks to Alberto Martinez, Austin American-Statesman, for these photos, taken in April to celebrate the first calendar year of gardening at Festival Beach Community Garden. We look forward to Saturday’s public party and the friends and faces we will add to our growing community!
Our big event, the first-year anniversary party, is this Saturday! The event is free and open to the public. We’d like to thank in advance all of the wonderful businesses and individuals who have donated food, goods and monetary donations to make the event possible. THANK YOU!
One Year Anniversary Party Sponsors & Donors:
Blue Dahlia Bistro
Break It Down
Brite Ideas Hydroponics
Chipotle Mexican Grill (1201 Barbara Jordan Boulevard location)
East Side Pies Pizzeria
El Cristo Rey Catholic Church
Goforth Special Utility District
Green & White Grocery
Hot Mama’s Café
It’s About Thyme
Jim-Jim’s Famous Water Ice
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
Rebekah Baines Johnson (RBJ) Center
Romeo’s Italian Grill & Bar
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Sustainable Food Center
Sweet Leaf Tea Company
Texas Coffee Traders
Veronica Martinez & Family (for snow cones!)
Wells Fargo Bank (E. 11th St. Branch)
Whole Foods Market
Will Dibrell and Beverly Bajema
Zandunga Mexican Bistro
If you would like to donate to Saturday’s event, it’s not too late! Please email info(at)festivalbeachgarden.org.
Update: Garden is now back open.
The cottonwood tree that was the focal point, gathering place, shelter and spiritual guide of the Festival Beach Community Garden split down the middle and toppled over today. City crews were called in, but postponed removing the felled tree and cutting down the part that remains standing because they didn’t have equipment that could handle the job. They’ll return on Monday.
The garden, meantime, remains closed until the the tree is removed. As it is now, the other half could fall at any moment, injuring anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. Nobody was hurt in the incident though it was a close call for Regina who had been working in the herb garden nearby. She heard a number of creaks and cracks, not realizing where they coming from. When she heard it one more time, she turned to see the tree slowly falling over. She ran out of its way to safety.
Many thanks to Alberto Martinez, Austin American-Statesman, for these photos. The first was shot in April during a potluck under the tree. Alberto shot the second today from the same vantage point.