Green Corn Project
Some people have coffee in the morning. Some like to read the paper. Some like to read the paper while having coffee. I like to listen to National Public Radio. I listen to it in the car, with a coffee-to-go, on the way to work. I like it so much that I skip riding the motorcycle more and more often, in spite of it’s “cool” factor and the gas savings it affords. Starting my morning without Michele Norris’ stories to warm my numb brain is almost incomprehensible.
On a dewy morning a month or so ago, a commercial for the Green Corn Project aired during my morning program. I made a mental note and visited the webpage when I got into work. They were looking for team leaders to help guide volunteers on “Dig-in’s” – ie, days that are designated for vegetable garden making. Green Corn Project’s main ministry is helping disadvantaged Austin residents take back control on their food supply by starting & planting 4′ x 12′ vegetable gardens.
I signed up. It made total sense. I like vegetable gardens. I like Austin. I like helping disadvantaged people. I like building things. I should like Green Corn Project. So on Sunday, I attended my first Green Corn Project event: team leader training.
We journeyed to South Austin and built a 4′ x 12′ bed in a current dig-in leader’s backyard (I assume they didn’t want us to screw up anyone else’s yard). Green Corn practices John Jeavon’s double dig method, which basically asserts that well prepared soil can yield a lot of veggies in a small amount of space. There’s a little more to it than that, but I won’t bore you with the specifics.
On Sunday I learned a few things: 1) the Jeavon’s method, 2) tomatoes can and should be planted much higher on the stem than you ever thought, 3) old women with A.D.D. & O.C.D. are the most annoying creatures on earth. I have never seen one person so hell bent on removing every single stinking blade of dying grass from a pile of dirt. And I also hope to never see it again.
Overall it was a great experience, but I’m even more excited for my first real Dig-In day, when we’ll be installing a garden in a program participant’s yard. If you’re interested in helping out, no prior gardening experience is necessary! Just go to Green Corn’s website and sign up for any of the volunteer opportunities. Dig-In’s will continue on the weekends throughout the rest of May. In the meantime, check out the “fruits” of our labor below!
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