This is the season for preseason community gardening conferences. A time for those new to community gardening to learn the skills they need to garden, organize, compost or distinguish between a pest and a beneficial insect. A time for experienced folks to share their knowledge, learn something new and be energized for the gardening season ahead. I think I've experienced all of these things.
I've had the pleasure of making rainwater harvesting presentations at a community gardening symposium on March 3rd with over 100 in attendance at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris County, New Jersey. The county and other counties and small towns have community gardens in areas that I would call suburban. Community gardening is happening in these areas as much as in the urban centers of New Jersey like Newark, Trenton and Camden. The attendees were very interested in rainwater harvesting and many were making plans to capture rainwater in their gardens.
On Saturday, March 12th, we set up the GrowNYC rainwater harvesting display at Making Brooklyn Bloom, the annual gardening festival sponsored by Brooklyn GreenBridge, the outreach program of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I was almost hoarse after speaking practically non-stop for about 5 hours to folks who had rainwater harvesting systems in their backyards, front yards and community gardens. Others came by for advice on how to build new systems in their own yards or for others as a business. All kinds of people were talking sustainability, storm water management and green technologies. It made this early season event quite energizing.
Still to come is the GreenThumb GrowTogether an day long event attended by over 1000 community gardeners who attend workshops and gather information during the networking session. I will be leading 2 workshops, one on rainwater harvesting and one a hands on workshop where we will be making the recycled plastic planter bags that I have been using for vertical gardening.
I hope to have photos and video of the vertical gardening workshop. The rainwater harvesting workshop at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum was videotaped and will be available in some form soon which I will pass along when it is available. Happy Spring events!