Preparing Our Vegetable Garden Build at Carpenter Place

This is no small undertaking we’ve gotten ourselves in to. When we were selected by Kalso Earth Shoes to receive a $1000 grant so that we could plant vegetables gardens at Carpenter Place on April 22, we thought we’d buy some seeds and dirt and soon serve our friends fresh vegetables. Like anything else, there’s a bit of work involved between now and then.

We’re working closely with Jennifer White, a Carpenter Place house parent, to pull off this exciting Earth Day project.

Last week, I sent out a survey to the residents of Carpenter Place to make sure we planted exactly the fruits and vegetables they would want to eat. No sense planting asparagus if no one is going to eat it, right? We’ll probably plant some new things for them, in hopes that they’ll try them!

Tomatoes were a unanimous choice for fruit, followed by melon and strawberries. The herbs were pretty widely accepted, with basil and cilantro being the most popular. We gave a very generous list of vegetables to choose from with about a dozen receiving unanimous selection, including beans, cucumbers, greens, okra, onions, peas, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, potatoes, and peppers like serrano and jalapeños.

We’re still confirming what can actually be planted in the Kansas soil, but feel pretty safe with this list.

As for obtaining the plants and seeds we need, we’ve decided to shop local. In the beginning we did a little online window shopping, but in the spirit of Earth Day, and in an effort to support our community, we decided to buy as many materials as possible from locally owned Johnson’s Garden Center. They’ve even made an offer to give us a 20%, tax-free discount!

We’ve identified a local supplier to provide the dirt, which we can get a small dump truck load that is already composted, mulched and fully prepped for planting at a cost of $260.

We’ve been fortunate with volunteer offers so far. The Carpenter Place family will be on hand that Sunday morning to assist with the build and planting. A second-grade Brownies troop, Girl Scout troop 40693 from Andover, Kans., has volunteered to come out to help. And a few “friends” of DietsInReview have Tweeted their interest in participating. As well, team members Brandi, Dana, and their families are ready to get dirty for a great cause.

Plans are really coming along, and with a little more than a week left, we’ll start finalizing details and picking up supplies soon.

Follow our sponsors Kalso Earth Shoes online on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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