Making Urban Spaces Green
Introducing RE Sources' New Community Garden and Educational Series
With the help of Homestead Habitats and BUGS, RE Sources has taken a step toward greening our city spaces. The unused grassy areas behind The RE Store is now be a food producing, educational pocket park! Our lovely new RE Patch Community Garden houses eleven raised annual veggie beds, bordering edible perennial beds, and a mushroom-inoculated forest garden featuring primarily useful native plants (though every plant is useful, really).
The RE Patch offers many opporunties.
Rent your own garden bed. If you're looking for a place to grow your veggies and herbs, look no further. No matter your gardening skill level, you're welcome to garden with us. We like to share meals, learn, problem solve, and work in the dirt together. Click here to see our contract and application. If you would like more information or to schedule a garden tour, email Hannah.
Take a class. RE Sources Sustainable Living Center hosts sustainable gardening workshops for a variety of skill levels. From sheet mulching, garden planning, soil building, crop rotation, seed saving, water catchment and irrigation, composting, to harvesting and preserving the fruits.... we invite skilled community members and instructors to share their knowledge of how to become more sustainable and self-reliant.
Take part in our community events. We have regular work parties, in-the-garden mini classes, potlucks and garden tours. You are always welcome, and if you'd like to receive invitations in your inbox, email Hannah.
The RE Patch Community Garden was born from a desire to create a center for growing food and teaching others how. In a short period of time, on a shoe string budget, led by a brand new gardener, the RE Patch came to life. How? Only by the amazingly skillful and generous people we have in Bellingham. Our friends, Homestead Habitats, BUGS, the City of Bellingham and Cascadia Mushrooms, volunteered to help a group of beginner gardeners install a 300 square foot dense urban garden. It was a lot of work, but many hands made light work.
Growsource donated all the organic soil we needed for the entire project. Earthworks Tree Service and Treemendous Plantworks donated all the sustainably harvested woodchips. And ALL the plants were donated by local nurseries and garden centers: Cloud Mountain Farm and Nursery, Gardens at Padden Creek, Shelterbelt, Inc., Plantas Nativa, Sunseed Farms, The Garden Spot, Tree Frog Farm Native Plant Nursery, Joe's Gardens, deWilde's Nursery, and Bakerview Nursery & Garden Center. Thank you so much to all these fabulous businesses and individuals for their generosity and support of community projects!
The first phase of The RE Patch Community Garden was installed with overwhelming community support on Saturday, April 9th 2011. The edible landscape garden was designed and installed under the leadership of Homestead Habitats, a local, holistic landscape company, with the help of BUGS, Bellingham Urban Gardens. The eleven raised beds, built out of reclaimed materials donated from The RE Store, are now ready for the RE Patch garden collective, made up of neighbors and community members, to begin planting their veggies.
RE Patch stage two, installing the forest garden, commenced on April 30th. The Forest
Gardening class and installation work party was led again by Homestead Habitats and BUGS, with a mycology lesson led by Cascadia Mushrooms. Dozens of community members came out to learn about native plant recognition and properties, and the benefits of planting a garden that mimics the structure and function of natural ecosystems. Gardeners also learned techniques for inoculating fresh cut alder logs and beds of wood chips with mushroom spores, courtesy of Cascadia Mushrooms (find them at the Farmer's Market!).
Now the RE Patch caretakers are happily learning and tending our community garden. There are eight gardeners total, working to maintain and expand the RE Patch. We've added a shed, a compost bin, a picnic table, arbor and planter boxes all built out of RE Store donated odds and ends. The table and arbor, built by Eberhardt of the RE Vision Division, are especially creative.
The gardens are watered by a commercial size rain water catchment system, installed as a demonstration site by the City of Bellingham (what a cool city). The three food grade cisterns collectively hold 750 gallons of rainwater off The RE Store warehouse's metal roof. Next Spring, we hope to install a second rain water system at the other end of the garden.
The gardeners are working away and food is popping up all over the place! Stop by for a gander, pick some berries, eat your lunch on the grass, have a picnic, or join us for a work party.
If you'd like to teach a workshop or become involved in the RE Patch Community Garden, please contact Hannah Coughlin at 733.8307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Rainwater Harvesting, check out this Rainwater Harvesting Guide, put out by the City of Bellingham.
Bellingham Urban Garden Syndicate (BUGS) is a support coalition of urban agriculturalists in the greater Bellingham area focused on promoting, sustaining, and advocating for urban agriculture in Bellingham through education, garden support, community action, and making local healthy food accessible.
Special Thanks to all our RE Patch sponsors and partners for generously donating to make this community garden happen: Cloud Mountain Farm and Nursery, Growsource, Gardens at Padden Creek, Shelterbelt, Inc., Plantas Nativa, Sunseed Farms, Earthworks Tree Service, Whatcom Conservation District, The Garden Spot, Tree Frog Farm Native Plant Nursery, Joe's Gardens, Treemendous Plantworks, deWilde's Nursery, and Bakerview Nursery & Garden Center
The RE Patch Community Garden and the Sustainable Gardening Series is brought to you by: