Last semester I joined a club called Garden Apprenticeship; which aims to explore ways to create a sustainable urban agriculture within the low country. There is an abundance of food insecurity that we as a community within Charleston are unaware about. To help combat food insecurity, we started a project last semester at Florence Crittenton. This program is for pregnant teens, from ages 10-21, and it provides medical help, parenting skills, counseling, a home, and education for these teenagers. Every Friday a group of us would go out to this run down garden and try to revive it. All it took was a few containers of soil and seeds, mulch, weed picking, a raised bed, and some compost. Towards the end of the semester we started to grow romaine lettuce, pak choi, lacinto kale, and chinese cabbage. The women were able to have food justice and a brightened landscape outside their house. The urban garden gives the women access to fresh, healthy food, which they might otherwise not be able to afford. Many cultures revolve around food, by growing, cooking, and eating it. I hope the garden helped the women feel a sense of community. The food that was grown also had no pesticides and more nutrients, such as antioxidants. This semester the club has many more goals; such as creating more urban gardens for other impoverished communities within the low-country and also learning how to become more sustainable ourselves.
This semester and into the summer I think it would be exceedingly rewarding to start my own garden by utilizing efficient use of the little space I have outside my house. I would need to build a raised bed, start small and slow, enrich the soil with compost, pull out weeds, protect the investment with mulch, and by then hopefully I will not have failed too many times before I achieve a good yield of vegetables.
That is a great organization to be apart of! I have my own garden at home; and it is very rewarding and liberating to grow your own food; and to sustain a healthy environment. I have always thought about starting a compost pile; but I don’t know much about that topic. Do you happen to have any tips or knowledge on that topic? Great post!
Hi Sydney! Starting a compost pile is easy, particularly if you have a garden and outside space. One general rule of thumb is to try to keep a 1:1 ratio of “green” to “brown” materials. The “green” represents nitrogen-rich sources such as vegetable scraps, and the “brown” represents more carbon-rich sources such as dead leaves, twigs, and even shredded newspaper and cardboard. Too much “brown” and decomposition will be slow, and too much “green,” things might get a little slimy and smelly. Exposure to sunlight and air will also keep it from smelling. There’s lot of tips online. You could also check out some local resources such as MUSC’s urban mini farm or the Charleston Permaculture Guild. Folks there can show you how to compost. 🙂
What a great project! I am so happy that the Garden Apprenticeship club is focused on social justice and food security issues.