Author Archives: ruthie

Fall Seed and Seedling Exchange!

The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative in partnership with Rethinking Green are pleased to invite you to the 2nd annual Fall and Seed and Seedling Exchange Saturday, September 21st from 2-5 pm in the Pilot Garden (216 W. 26th Street Bryan, Texas 77845).

This event is open to people of all ages and skill level. Whether you are a Master Gardner, or have killed every plant you have ever owned, this event is for you! We will have community leaders giving presentations throughout the event on topics like rainwater harvesting, and how turn your fall crops into delicious meals. Simply bring a packet of seeds or a couple of seedlings to share with a new friend. We can’t wait to celebrate the Fall season with you!

 

Featured Story- InSite Magazine

We had the pleasure of hosting an Enchanted Garden Party for some of Downtown’s leading ladies a few weeks ago. Those in attendance included a few of our friends from InSite Magazine. Check out our story in this month’s addition!

http://www.insitebrazosvalley.com/featured-articles/2013/5/15/create-your-own-enchanted-garden-party.html

Enchanted News!

The DUFi team is excited to announce the launch of Enchanted Garden Parties. Whether you’re looking for a fun filled experience for a child’s birthday, an evening of relaxed fun with your girlfriends or an event on a grander scale, we will work to ensure your event is everything you imagined and more.

20130410-123425.jpg

20130410-123649.jpg

20130410-123948.jpg

Party packages include all the materials needed to make your very own pocket sized garden. From fairy habitats to elegant terrariums, you are sure to learn about planting plants and enjoy the wonder and joy of an enchanted experience in our downtown urban garden. We take care of set up, clean-up and instruction.

Want to know the best part? All of the proceeds from these events support the Distributed Urban Farm Initiative in Historic Downtown Bryan.

Follow the link below to learn more and book your next event!

http://enchantedgardenparty.com/

Season Update

Good afternoon, garden lovers!

With Spring just around the corner we decided that it was about time to give you a quick recap of this season and some hints of things to come.

This Winter season was our first season to have food growing in our Pilot Garden. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce all went in the ground just days before we celebrated the grand opening of the garden at Artist Harvest’s First Friday. We have lovingly watched and encouraged the plants as they embraced their new urban home. We squealed when we saw the very first broccoli bud and baby talked to all the tiny limes that have started to appear on our lime tree. It’s really working!

20130220-124013.jpg

For Valentines day we showed our love for Historical Downtown Bryan by delivering flowers from admiring community members. With the help of an adorable sidekick all the flowers arrived the day before Valentines to the surprise and delight of our downtown businesses.

20130220-124217.jpg

This past weekend, Zach and I had the bittersweet privilege of saying goodbye to a few of our much loved winter plants and welcoming a new season to the Pilot Garden. Mint, strawberries, spinach and a healthy does of beautiful flowers will soon fill the space. We can’t wait to host this seasons birthday, graduation and engagement parties, they are going to be stunning!

Spring, spring, spring! We are so excited for this season. Big things are soon to come. We can’t wait to share them with you! Be sure to check back regularly for the latest.

Blessings,

Ruthie

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest! @DUFiBryan

S’mores tonight!

DUFi is hosting an evening by the fire TONIGHT in our Pilot Garden. Come show your support and enjoy some tasty s’mores!

Our team will be on hand to share information about the urban farming program, our current plan crops and methods. We will also be ready with computers to help you make a donation to our Kickstarter campaign.

We’ll see you in the urban garden!

216 W. 26th
Bryan, TX 77845

Look for the twinkle lights in the back of the alley between Village Cafe and the Federal Building!

 

How to: Build hanging window boxes (part 1)

Let’s start with some dimensions, shall we? We are making 8 window boxes that will be secured onto 4 2×4 boards, serving as a frame. Six of our boxes will be 2×7’s and then the bottom two boxes will be 2×12’s so that we can plant more root vegetables into them.

Each box is 3 feet long, which is also how far apart the 2×4’s will be for the frame. Each box has two 2×7 sides with a bottom that is a 3 foot long 2×10 plank.

So first things first, Zach had all of the wood cut for us for this work day (because he is an angel). The first thing we did was construct our boxes. Now this sounds like a quick and easy tasks but it actually takes quite a while. We wanted to have all of our boxes built so that we could go ahead and stain them and the frame before we started mounting the boxes. So we spent this first work day screwing the boxes together.

Still to do: we need to cut our 45 degree-angle supports (that will be situated underneath the boxes and secured to the frame so that the boxes will not be too heavy for the frame), secure the 2×4’s to the fence to create our frame, mount the boxes to the frame

This project seems like it doesn’t have that many steps, which is true, but each step takes a while to do so definitely make sure you account for that! I think it would be difficult to built this entire structure in one day so be sure to plan accordingly!

Best Rhubarbs,

Anne

Calling all volunteers!

We are always looking for volunteers and community participation in our project! We have had a couple Saturday Work Days so far where we had individuals from Texas A&M’s student organizations come out and get their hands dirty.

On our first work day we focused mainly on cleaning up the garden and preparing it for the transformation! There were beautiful wild mustang grape vines and flower pods growing all over the fences surrounding the garden. Unfortunately the mustang grape vines were cut previously but during this work day we got a chance to cut back the flower vines a bit and tame them into a beautiful border. We also cleaned up a thicket that was located on one side of the garden where we plan to put up a pallet wall and we got down all of the dead mustang grape vines. The garden spaced looked so tidy after our first day and we were ready to work with our new, clean canvas!

On our second day we hosted a volunteer from the Construction Science department at Texas A&M University. Our amazing volunteer, Paul, worked with Zach a lot to construct some pallet beds. He was a really big help and their manly, construction-y brains put together resulted in some really awesome plants for our pallet beds. We made a lot of awesome progress thanks to Paul! He’s our star!

We had another work day recently where we put together the window boxes that will be mounted onto a frame on one of our fence walls. You’ll here more about this in an upcoming How-To blog post so keep your eyes peeled!

We have a lot to do in coming Saturdays so if you’d like to come out and help please do so or feel free to contact us to set up a group volunteer day! In the coming weeks we will be doing a lot of construction of beds and window boxes but after that we will be doing less skill-required tasks like painting, filling beds with soil, and planting. If any of this sounds strikes your fancy definitely let us know- we’d love to have you!

Best Rhubarbs!

Anne

How to: Build a Gutter Garden

Shopping list:

Cut your PVC pipes in half- this sounds like a difficult task if, like me, you do not have (and are afraid to use) a hand saw. But let me tell you a little secret- the Tool Rental in Home Depot is your new favorite place. If you take your PVC pipes in there and ask them to cut them in half, they will first make a whole to-do about how that is so difficult, then they will huddle up in a very manly way and make a game plan as to how this will happen. After this they will put on their goggles and make it happen. All of this is also FREE! So if you are worried about this- Tool Rental is my advice to you.

Drill drainage holes into your halved PVC pipe. Make sure that you have several holes but be sure to at least have holes on either side of your PVC pipe as well as in the very middle- this is where you will put your steel cables to hang your garden. It is best for these three holes to be the same size as your steel cables so that there is minimal wiggle room so that they will be more stable.

Once you have your holes drilled- you can string your pipes onto your cables but make sure you secure the pipes with wing nuts on either wide of the pipe. The wing nuts will make it so that the pipe does not bow out or become unstable when it is filled with soil.

In order to hang your Gutter Garden you can do two things- you can round the ends of your cable into a hook with a hammer (this takes quite a bit of effort) or you can make another visit to Tool Rental! I vote Tool Rental, let’s be real. If you take it to them it will take them seconds to make a hook where if you do it yourself, not that I’m underestimating you, it will take you much longer. You can now hang your Gutter Garden off of the top of a fence or through a hook secured in the ceiling.

Remember our halved pipe caps? Grab them and come PVC cement. You should go ahead and put the caps onto your pipes so that you can get planting ASAP and the soil won’t just spill out the ends.

Now all you need to do is fill your pipes with soil and get planting!

Below is a picture of our Gutter Garden in progress- this is before we hung and secured our pipes with the wing nuts so you can see the bowing.

Good luck with your Gutter Garden and be sure to contact us if you have any questions as you progress!

As always – Best Rhubarbs,

Anne