Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Work Party in the garden tonight at 6:30 pm. Meet at Joanies Carroll Street Cafe if it rains.

Be there!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blog open For comments

I changed the settings to allow for comments from everyone. We hope our members ( and non-members) will use the comments section to better communicate with everyone. Try it out to see if it works!

Emergency Groundhog Prevention Meeting

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Harvest

Okay, so harvest is a bit of an overstatement...But we did have our very first ripe garden veggie. I pulled a radish out of the community bed this past weekend. It was spicy and delicious! We got a late start since this is our first year, but things are finally popping!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Website

The FCGA now has an official website!

One of our members has graciously offered to help us with our media needs. There isn't too much up there yet, but in the near future it will be a great place for information, pictures and more. Don't worry, we still plan on using the blog to chronicle our garden adventures!

To check out our temporary page follow the link below

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tis the Season!

This week I had my first bout of poison ivy of the year. I also found my first tick. I think this means that spring is definitely full on! So just remember that with all of the fun that gardening brings, it can also bring some headaches. No need to panic, just be careful. A little education goes a long way! Below are some tips for identifying and avoiding potential problems. I also took a picture as a reminder for everyone of what Poison Ivy looks like. It is actually quite a deceptively pretty plant.

Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans
  • The itchy red bumps you get from poision ivy are caused by your body's reaction to a caustic oil found in the leaves and vines. Caustic and toxic chemicals are an adaptation many plants have to protect themselves from potential predators.
  • Poison ivy prefers areas that have been recently disturbed like fields. It's also well known for its abundance along forest edges.
  • The physical characteristics of poison ivy are quite varied. It can appear as a climbing vine, small shrub or as a ground cover "creeper" The color can vary, as can the leaf shape.
  • If you remember the rhyme we all learned as kids, it can help you avoid it! "Leaves of three, let it be"
  • Some other clues to identifying poison ivy are it's "fuzzy" orange or reddish vines, and twinges of deep red found in the leaves early and late in the season.

How to prevent Posion Ivy:
  1. Wear long pants and sleeves
  2. Wear gloves
  3. avoid touching your skin, especially your face, after weeding and clearing brush
  4. Wash hands thorougly with soap and water to remove any potential oil residue.
  • Reactions to poison ivy can occur within hours or up to 10 days after exposure.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you cant spread poison ivy to other people or to other parts of the body, unless the oil from the Poison Ivy is still on your hands.


  • Tick are often known for causing Lyme Disease and other pathogens. The deer Tick is one of the more common disease carrying ticks in the area. It is about the size of a freckle, so it can be hard to find.
  • Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through vegetation such as leaf litter or shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails, in order to avoid ticks.
  • You can help deter ticks by:
  1. using insect repellent
  2. wearing light colored clothing
  3. wearing pants, long sleeved shirts and hats
  4. for even more protection and a highly fashionable look, tuck your pants into your socks!
  • Always check for ticks after being outside. Ticks like warm, fleshy spaces like under arms, behind ears, and the behind knees.
For more information about ticks visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Planting Party Recap

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous spring day! About 16 members showed up and worked hard throughout the day. We also had a few visitors stop in to check things out and to see what we're up to. We managed to open most individual plots, trim trees, finish the fencing project, and plant the rest of the community beds. Tipsy, the garden beagle particularly enjoyed the potluck portion of the day, where she helped clean dishes and hunted for scraps. No such luck getting her to hunt for groundhogs.

This coming weekend March 25th, is shaping up to be nice and sunny. We hope to see you out there for another exciting day in the garden. Come celebrate Earth day by diggin' in the dirt with fellow gardeners.

Monday, April 20, 2009

First Saturday

The FCGA will be participating in First Saturday on May 2nd, which is also Mayfest. We'll have activities for children and goodies for those who donate. If you are interested in volunteering at the table or helping with preparations, please email Remember, these events count towards member volunteer hours! Location of the table and hours are TBA.

For more information visit

Monday, April 13, 2009

Planting Party and Potluck!

Click on the Picture to view the invitation!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Busy Weekend

We had another jam packed weekend! Saturday morning we spent several hours in the garden opening up beds, mulching the aisles, transplanting seedlings, and creating dry stack stone benches. That same evening, several members headed out to market street where we set up a table for "First Saturday." We had a lot of foot traffic, which was a great opportunity to spread the word. Despite the blustery wind, we managed to distribute brochures and plant seedlings without everything blowing away! Thanks to everyone who helped run the table. We will continue to pursue outreach opportunities as much as possible. If you know of an event/organization that would be interested in hosting us, please email

Sunday was our registration and board meeting. The registration period for the 2009 season is now closed. We have 22 official members! Individual and group plots will be assigned by April 12th, and you will be notified via email. If we have any additional space after assignments are given, we will re-open registration on a first-come, first-serve basis... Don't worry if you would still like to participate , but did not register. We welcome volunteers. All you have to do is sign a waiver, which is available under the registration meeting announcement. We have an exciting season ahead of us, and we couldn't have come this far without such dedicated members and volunteers!


Stay tuned for more updates and improvements, such as an events calendar and links to the meeting minutes.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Despite the rainy weather, many garden members were quite busy this past Saturday. The Waste-Not Expo took place from 9:30am to about 2 pm. It was a great opportunity to share our story and to reach out to the community. We especially enjoyed doing the veggie stamps and basil plantings with the kids. Special thanks to Mary Lou, Andrea, Ed, Marti, Beth, and Eli who helped prepare, set up, and run the table. Here are some pictures from the event.

That same afternoon Eli, Mary Jo, and Ed helped repair and extend the fence. I went to the garden after the Expo and boy was it muddy! We need to get some more mulch to put in the aisles. If anyone knows of a lead on good mulch, we can really use it.

Friday afternoon, I finished cultivating one of the beds and put some peas, kale and radishes in the ground. Just in time for the fence improvements! There's still lots to do. I updated the To-Do list in the shed. Don't hesitate to contact me if you need further instruction. We will set up a watering schedule at our next meeting, which is April 5th at 3pm (details to follow) We haven't needed to water much these days because of all the rain, but it will be wise to get a good system up and running before it gets hot out. Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend a success. Don't forget to get your forms filled out and your dues in by April 5th AT THE LATEST! We have a lot of interest, and limited space, so if you don't want to miss out, get your forms to us ASAP! Email for more details.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Good Afternoon Gardeners. We have a few announcements to share.

* The Waste Not Expo is this Saturday March 28th from 9:30 am- 2:30 pm. We still need volunteers to help with tabling the event. Email to sign up. You are not required sign up for the entire day.

*If you aren't working at the Expo, your help is really needed to extend and repair the fence. We will probably have work days on both Saturday and Sunday. Our groundhog friends recently helped themselves to our freshly planted Kale, so we need to get the fence finished before we plant again. Check back for work day details.

* Don't forget to get your applications and dues in before April 5th.
You must have both turned in to get a plot this season. Check your email for the application and waiver, which were sent by Eli.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In like a Lion

We celebrated the begininng of spring this weekend, by opening up some new beds and planting some cold weather crops and flowers. We had quite a few people pitch in, which made the work get done a lot faster.

There's a lot to report these days. Sunday we had our board elections. The results of the elections are as follows:

President: Karen Buchsbaum
Secretary: Mary Lou Reidy
Treasurer: Eli Roth
Planning Chair: Brad Palmer
Location Chair: Beth Ramacciotti
Legal/Logistics Chair: Debra McKenzie
Education Chair: Marti Grib-Kachman

Congrats to everyone!

We had a brief board meeting following the election. There was a lot to cover! One of the issues we discussed was rain water collection.

The good news is... all of our rainbarrels are full! This is great, because we have enough water to get started with our cold weather crops. However, we are going to need to upgrade our system soon to make sure we're being as efficient as possible with our water collection. We are trying to get some help funding for a 1500 gallon tank. If you know of a potential donor please email

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lots of Progress!

As I'm sure many of you noticed, there have been crocus flowers popping up all over Frederick. Crocus is one of the earliest flowers to bloom, and indicates that spring is just around the corner! This is exciting news. We had two great work days this past weekend March 14th and 15th. We accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. We got 3 rain barrels up, dug most of the trench for additional fencing, and laid out beds. As soon as the soil is dry enough to work, we can plant some cold weather crops like kale. Big thanks to everyone who came out to help. Special thanks to Mark Boggs of Boggs Environmental, who is donating soil testing services. If you couldn't make it out, don't worry, theres still lots of work to be done! I left a bulletin board up in the shed where we can post a To-Do List. If you haven't already, don't forget to sign a waiver and bring it to the next meeting, which is Sunday, March 22 at 3pm in the Trust Conference Room at the Library. We'll be officially electing board members.

Below are some highlights from the weekend


Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday Night at the Garden

Hello fellow gardeners!

I wanted to let everyone know that thanks to the generosity of Old Towne Historic Landscaping (Brad, Jared, & Matt), our garden site is now cleared, graded, and ready for tilling!

Last night Old Towne was nice enough to bring in a skid loader to carry away the piles of dirt and rocks, scrape and dig out weeds and roots, and level out the entire site. Those who attend the work days this weekend will be amazed! Hopefully we will be posting some pictures today or tomorrow on the blog for all to see.

Hillary also brought out a huge pile of mulch. Thanks Hillary!

Thanks again to Old Towne Historic Landscaping and our garden members Hillary, Brad, & Matt (and Jared, who is not a member but operated the machine for three hours straight in the cold last night).

A few extra notes:

  • BOARD ELECTIONS AT THE NEXT MEETING! (Be expecting a detailed email from me today or tomorrow)
  • We will need more mulch, and we need to start with rain barrels SOON so if you have barrels or equipment to donate, we now have a lock on the shed and we can store everything you bring.
  • Tasks for Saturday and Sunday include: Digging trenches around the fenceline, continuing construction of the dry-stack wall for our compost bin, laying out plant beds, moving some leftover dirt and rocks, and tilling the soil (if you have a tiller, bring it with you this weekend).

Hope to see you all tomorrow or Sunday!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Work Days!

Note: Please be sure to bring water as well as your waiver form if you haven't submitted it to Karen already. From what I hear, last week's work day gathered about five people who set to work removing the many rocks from the property. Oh, I also heard about a rock wall in progress! Very exciting. Things are moving along!

Friday, March 6, 2009

First Work Day!

Next Steps

Last week's meeting was very productive. Although I was unable to make it, Karen passed along the highlights of the meeting and it sounds like we are definitely making some good progress. Meeting highlights and action items are listed below:

- The Cannon Hill property has been selected as the garden site

- Current membership suggestion is $30/person with a sponsorship option as an alternative

- Planning for plots: please fill out the following survey in order to assist with the planning of plot assignments. Link to survey >>>>CLICK

- Garden Rules: This is our homework ....research garden rules and come to the next meeting prepared to give input on how best to govern our garden

- Committe leaders: Let know if you are interested in assuming the role of a committee leader. List of available committees will be provided to the listserv.

- Legalities: Non-profit status, property lease, and bylaws are all in the works. Many thanks to Deb Mckenzie for her work on these issues!

Many thanks to:
Boggs Environmental for volunteering to conduct a site check
Dan Lawton for his work in clearing the property of current construction debris


-constructing rain barrels
- weeding
- removing rocks
- building a compost bin

Please bring any tools you have!!!! See you there!!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Needs/ Has list

Here is a list of what we need, and who in the group has things they are willing to donate. Please check the list, and add anything you think we need or that you have and are willing to give under the comments section. Dont forget to put your name!


  • Rain Barrels

  • Seeds

  • Compost bins

  • tomato cages

  • tiller

  • small green house

  • wheelbarrow

  • buckets

  • rakes, trowels, shovels, etc.

  • potting soil

  • Compost

  • Mary Jo & Ed: hand tools, soil, rain barrel

  • Beth & Matt: Manure, egg cartons, space for seedlings, chicken wire, tiller, labor for riggin barrel

  • Hillary: shovels, pond liner, preform ponds, tubing, mosquito dunks

  • Dan Lawton: tractor

  • Anna: rake, hoe, space for seedlings

  • Brad Palmer: tools to loan (rakes & shovels), irrigation components, woodworking equipment for sheds, trellis, fencing, buidling composting bins and irrigation systems, 3 trucks (one is a dump truck), and bricks for building a pizza oven on site.

  • Summer Creek Farms: Large bag of organic fertilizer

  • Karen & Eli: Hand trowels, seedling pots, seeds, Bioactivator for compost.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Second Meeting

Our second meeting was slightly smaller than the first, but no less productive. After a brief discussion concerning the meaning of community, we then broke up into our respective committees and got to work laying the ground work for our garden. The primary key action items to arise from these discussions are as follows:

Legal Issues Committee
- Attain 501C3 status

Membership & Fund Raising Committee
- Create a budget
- Establish membership dues
- Establish treasurer
- Establish membership guidelines
- Identify possible donors
- Look into “wooden nickel” support from the Common Market

Tools & Supplies Committee
- Identify and gather necessary supplies
- Groundhogs were identified as major problem at Cannon Hill property (current supplies inventory soon to follow)

Logistics Committee
- Identify garden location

Much of our progress hinges on the selection of a garden site and establishing ourselves as a non-profit (501C3 stuff). We will then have a better idea of our budget as well as be able to solicit for possible sponsors.

Our next meeting will take place on Sunday, March 1st at 3pm (meeting in library community room). Provided we are granted access to the property, this meeting might involve a short field trip to check out the Cannon Hill property! Also, I believe there was a suggestion to push our meeting time back? I will be sure to keep you all updated should there be any changes in the above time.

Thanks again to everyone who came out! Things are definitely moving along!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cannon Hill Property

The slideshow below provides more photos of the garden site we are currently considering.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Prospective Site

Today Karen and I paid a visit to a prospective site for our community garden. This plot of land is part of the Cannon Hill property which is located on South Street between Market and Carol. The owner of this property has graciously offered us the use of his land as well as some assistance in preparing the site for our garden. Some of the highlights of this property include:

- proximity to town
- building for rain barrels
- enclosed by fence
- easy access
- fairly secluded

Although it is not a very large piece of land (roughly 25' x 90'), it should be sufficient for a good beginning. This and other sites will be presented for consideration at our next meeting to be held on February 23 in the library at 6pm.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First Meeting!!!

The first meeting of the Frederick Community Gardeners came to order at the community room in the C. Burr Artz Public Library on February 12, 2009. This meeting was made possible through the leadership and vision of Karen Buchsbaum who did a fabulous job of creating a focused and productive meeting agenda. We started off the meeting by going around the room and introducing ourselves, providing some basic information about who we are and why community gardening is important to us. Minutes from our meeting were recorded by Eli and an abbreviated version of our meeting agenda can be seen below:

I. What is a community garden?
II. Steps for creating a community garden
III. Create a vision, mission statement
IV. Group share:
V. Committees

Action Items:
- Send Karen your name, contact info, committee
- Contact Karen if you would like to host some seedlings in your home
- Please forward any photos of possible sites to Anna & Karen
- Continue to communicate with your respective committees. If you are not currently part of a committee, but would like to be, please contact Karen.

Next Meetings:
Feb 23rd 6pm
March 2 3pm
meeting location: C. Burr Artz Public Library

Hope to see you there!!!

Frederick Gardeners

The Frederick, Maryland Community Gardeners are a group of over 25 community members who have come together in hopes of improving community cohesion and sustainability through the creation of an organic community garden. This blog creates a space for the exchange of ideas and experiences in that pursuit.

“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” -Wendell Berry