Monday, August 15, 2011

Great Gardeners in Baltimore City

Baltimore City is home to its very own Master Gardener program. The Baltimore City Master Gardener program aims to educate city residents on safe and sustainable greening practices as well as produce expert gardeners. People who are interested in knowing more about gardening first apply to become a Master Gardener. They must learn all of the important practices and aspects of effective and productive gardening through the courses and material put out by the Baltimore City Master Gardeners. In order to become a Master Gardener (MG) the trainees must complete 40 hours of community service, pass an exam and complete a training program. 

The Baltimore City Master Gardener program is very active in Baltimore promoting greening and healthy living through plants and gardening. They recently held two events which were a complete success! 

Every year the Baltimore City Master Gardeners hold a City Farms Supper for all MG members. People bring dishes they have made with materials from their gardens and everyone feasts on delicious, organic, local and sustainable goodies. There is also a judging of various fruits and vegetables that people grow - awards are given for best squash, best tomatoes, best peppers - you name it! They even had a "craziest garden hat" contest, and several raffle ticket prizes. There were representatives from gardens all across the city, including Duncan Street Miracle Garden, Park Heights Rennaissance Urban Garden, and Our Community Garden. 

And, even though the skies decided to open and let loose a downpour this past weekend (which made all our gardens and green areas very happy!) the Baltimore City Master Gardeners along with CGRN and The Parks and People Foundation put on their second annual Charm City Bike Tour, and it was a success despite the rain! The tour was supposed to start at 2 - and the bus that was organized took off diligently to begin touring gardens. All of the brave bikers huddled under a tent with all their gear and helmets on, singing rain songs to ask the rain to hold off for just a little bit. With smiles on their faces they all laughed at their situation - a bunch of gardeners couldn't be mad that it was raining, could they? Gardeners love rain! So, while it postponed the bike tour, it was good for their plants back at home, and eventually the party which was to be held at 5 was relocated to the Parks and People building and everyone celebrated.

The 2nd annual Charm City Bike Tour was of West Baltimore gardens this year. Gardens in West Baltimore include: Whitelock Community Farm, Our Community Garden, Reservoir Hill Community Garden, AFYA - Park Heights Community Health Alliance, Mt. Wahler Vegetable Garden, Newinton Ave Community Garden, Cordelia Haywood Cuthbert Community Garden, Park Heights Rennaissance Urban Garden, Baltimore Free Farm, Lennox Street Garden, Roosevelt Park City Farm, and Druid Hill City Farm. I bet you didn't know there were so many!

If you've never seen any of these gardens I suggest you hop on a bike, put on your walking shoes, take a bus, or get in a car, and go look at some of them. They are inspirational! They show what can be done within the boundaries of an urban area that is still an oasis of greenery and nature. And if you've never heard of them before, look into the Baltimore City Master Gardener program! You too can have the expert knowledge of a Master Gardener, and aid your fellow urban citizens on how to create beautiful gardens and grow delicious vegetables within city limits. 

Stay Green!

Power in Dirt, Anna

Do you have an urban gardening experience you'd like to share? Are you thinking about adopting a city-owned vacant lot to turn into a green space? Are there vacant lots in your area you'd like to do something about? 
I encourage you to visit the Power in Dirt website at to look into creating your own community managed green and open space in your neighborhood. There are so many possibilities! 

1 comment:

  1. Anna's got the dirt on everything! Keep posted . . . .