Happy spring, folks! It's been a while since an update, taking a nice breather after falls intense planting episodes! As the epic snow accumulated, it was time to retreat and process the lessons of the past year into visions for this next one.
As the snow melts and the rivers run high, we are finding that the vast majority of the perennials we planted last year made it through. A few were lost to rodents, though may re-sprout, and a few got killed by plows. Lesson learned - surviving one low snow winter and associated plowing doesn't mean a tree can handle the massive piles dumped in huge snow years.
| || |
2014 was a big year for Help Yourself. We handled more than 2,000 fruit and nut trees! About 400 went to our plant sale, a further 200 went into volunteer nursery beds in Greenfield and Belchertown, and the rest got in the ground at new and old projects like the Boys and Girls Club and 3 different community gardens w/ Nuestras Raices in Holyoke, K-12 schools in Greenfield, Holyoke, Montague and Gill, the Hampshire Regional HS in Westhampton, the Brookie Sculpture Park in Greenfield, businesses along King St, Northampton and many more locations!
This winter, we've been working on compiling maps, maintenance logs, resources and steward directories for each of the 70 odd planting projects we've started over the past 2.5 years. It's a big task but it will streamline management and vastly increase the potential for stewarding relationships, and communication between garden volunteers. As the projects grow, we envision their surrounding areas joining the patchwork paradise.
We've already broken ground along the bike path in Northampton. After pruning the 175 Concord grape vines, we're starting the cuttings in a propagation bed. More apple trees went in there, some to Just Roots community farm in Greenfield, whose HYS plants will be moved this year to a large public orchard on the farm. Four Rivers students planted paw paws and hickory trees at the Green River Rec Area, also in Greenfield.
There are many exciting projects to expand this year, and of course, such potential to expand. Volunteer to be a tree or garden steward! This Sunday 4/26 from 12-2 we'll be tending to the PYO medicine plot at the Florence Organic Community Garden. Stay tuned for upcoming meetings and orientations.