Prepared for Growth

The Empowerment Gardens (EPG) hosted a series of garden workshops in March and April, targeting beginner gardeners. The topics included, Iowa soils, composting, small plot and container gardening, and vegetables. Polk County Extension Master Gardeners Mark White and Bruce Travis instructed each of the classes. Master Gardeners have been paired with first time gardeners to mentor and ensure they start of successfully.

The session ended with a brief overview of food preservation by Courtney Long, Iowa State University Graduate Assistant. Courtney spent the 2010-2011 school year mapping potential gardens sites within the Enterprise Community. She also works with our Garden Based Nutrition and Youth Outreach Coordinator, Ramona Bates to design school gardens.

We welcome David Houston from Homes 4 My Peeps, www.homes4mypeeps.com, who is the EPG Building and Grounds coordinator. He will work with us on composting and ways we can apply sustainability concepts to the design of the garden site.

EPG also thanks the Izaac Walton League for hosting a community garden tools drive of which EPG was one of the recipients. Ray Meylor of the Izaac Walton League recently delivered a trailer full of water hoses, tillers, snow blowers, and many more needed garden tools. We will also receive rain barrels and garden fencing from the tool drive. Thanks again for your partnership and support!

EPG has long-term plans to build structures that will be conducive to educating the community about local foods, nutrition and practical ways to apply sustainability concepts to their lifestyles and homes. Check the Mid City Connections newsletter for updates on EPG activities and upcoming summer workshops.

The Empowerment Gardens are located at the northeast corner of 13th and College. To sign up for an 8×8, 8×4 plot or to volunteer contact Alecia Kates at 515-419-6801 or aleciakates@yahoo.com. If you are interested in donating materials or labor for site construction contact David Houston at 972-740-5599 david@homes4mypeeps.org. For more information about the garden based nutrition and youth program contact Ramona Bates at 515-244-3625.