Sunday, May 31, 2009


by Ingrid Burrington and Miranda Pfeiffer

1. When turning compost, pitchforks are a preferred tool. Shovels may seem promising but with so many weeds and stringy things, the stabbing/lifting motion is your best bet.
2. Compost don’ts: Sunflower stalks (they take forever, and dry out to the point of resembling tree branches rather than plants), buckets, fiberglass, baby mice.
3. Compost do’s: plant waste, weeds, manure (Miranda: “preferably horseshit”), water, food scraps (depending on your garden—it can attract vermin)
4. Contrary to popular belief, just leaving waste in a big stupid pile does not magically transform it into dirt. If the compost pile does not have a good mix of materials and there is enough air passing through, anaerobic respiration occurs (which means that the materials rot and mold). You’ll know this has happened when the methane smell hits you. A good compost heap should vary the layers as green waste (we used weeds, food scraps, and dried leaves), brown waste (dirt, manure), and water.
5. Because compost is continuously changing it should be turned regularly. As much as you might want to get as much into the compost it shouldn’t be compacted too much otherwise the layers can’t breathe.
6. Your compost should be warm and moist, as warm as a freshly baked cookie and as dense as a cake. You know, a cookie or cake of decomposing waste.
7. Water allows for the layers to mix well, but too much water will just make the compost a soppy mess. Some use the water runoff from compost heaps for watering gardens (they call it “compost tea”, which is cute). The water should be distributed throughout the layers as the pile is turned, because otherwise the water will only sit on the surface.
8. 3’x3’ is a good size for a compost heaps because it offers the best distribution of energy production for the waste. If it’s too small it will overhead (which can lead to that anaerobic respiration) and if it’s too big it won’t distribute evenly.
9. If composting at home, remember: the human energy required to cut up and eat a vegetable is so little compared to the energy required for that vegetable to turn into compost.
10. If the space is available, having a few compost piles going at one time is good because then there’s material at each stage of the composting process available and the piles can be rotated together.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday 5/29 , Its wet

but not actually raining right now (6:45am) so lets meet at Participation Park,if you need a ride meet at MICA,if you have a car and can give a ride come to MICA too

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tragedy for an LA Community Garden

This story was pretty big so I'm sure most have seen this before, but I'm posting the link in case you haven't. It is so completely frustrating to me and I'm devastated to know what has happened since the creation of this film.

"The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.

But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis." -synopsis

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

interview with Megan Quinn,filmaker

The Power of Community,How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Farm Blog Groups

Participation Park
2. Graham Winbrow
3. Matt Lohry
4. Isaac Diebboll

Duncan St
1. Ben Howard
2. Alex DiJulio
3. Ryan Hammond

Educational Spaces
1. Megan Schwartz

Charm City Farms
1. Patrick Caulfield
2. Michelle Silwester
3. Dominique Hellgeth

Great Kids Farms
2. Megan Schleebaum
3. Amber Moyles

Hamilton Crop Circle
1. Rachel Lowing
2. Matthew Fox
3. Mia Ardito

Cooperative Garden Club
1. Olivia Horvath
2. Zoe Keller

Will Allen
1. Miranda Pfeiffer
1. Eloise Santa Maria

If anyone is willing to switch from a big group to Cooperative Garden Club or Educational Spaces, please let me know and I'll edit the post. It would be helpful! Thanks.

Baltimore Green Map Event!

Please come to this Baltimore Green Map event next Friday June 5. We will be celebrating the worldwide launch of the Open Green Map.  For those not familiar with the Green Map System, it was started in New York in 1995 and has spread to over 550 cities/towns/villages in 34 countries. The maps are created by local people to highlight green living, social and cultural resources. More info on Baltimore's Green Map can be found at and more general info about the Green Map System can be found at  and/or ask me for more info in class. I'll be working at the event next Friday which is being held at the Druid Hill Conservatory. ~megan

I'll try to figure out how to share the press release on here as well...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

4 links from today's Baltimore Sun

In case you didn't see them already:

How a greener city gets growing,0,7601421.story

B'More Green: An environmental blog for everyday living

Finding friends for your fruits and veggies

Urban gardens thrive in Baltimore,0,4145177.photogallery

Children, meet your vegetables,0,3286159.story

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Few Pictures from Participation Park

Participation Park on Friday, 5/22

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Class Schedule

MWF May 22nd – June 19th

5/22 F - Participation Park

5/25- Memorial Day

5/27 W- Participation Park

5/29 F- Participation Park

6/1 M – Duncan St. – Mr. Smith

6/3 W – Educational Spaces – Chrissa Carlson

6/5 F– Charm City Farms – Roy Skeen

6/8 M – Great Kids Farm – Greg Strella

6/10 W – Hamilton Crop Circle – Adam Kandel

6/12 F – (Will Allen @ Great ~Kids)

6/15 M – Cooperative Garden Club – Kate Joyce

6/17 W- Parks and People – Kari Smith

6/19 F- Participation Park

Saturday, May 9, 2009

East Baltimore Garden

Baltimore Garden2

Let's make things grow

Welcome to Baltimore Urban Farming Class, Summer 2009, taught by Hugh Pocock!