High School Volunteers

Three students from Coral Glades High School spent some time in the garden on Labor Day weekend weeding and mulching a section of the Food Forest. They are members of the Save What’s Left Club at the High School. The club is focused on environmental activism and community service through events like beach cleanups, garden maintenance and garbage removal. The club also recycles trash into new items through arts and crafts. Thank you Peyton, Gabby and Ciara for your dedication to our community and for helping out in the garden!

We love our volunteers!

Garden Awe

Years ago, a couple of gardeners planted coontie in the pollinator section of the Community Garden. It is the host plant for the Atala butterfly which is a Species of Extreme Concern in Florida. We saw a few last year, but this year we had a population explosion! There were a couple of hundred! Caterpillars ate the coontie until it almost disappeared! The remarkable thing about them is the eggs hatch at the same time, the caterpillars make their cocoons at the same time, and the butterflies emerge with in a few days of each other. It was beautiful to watch them floating in the garden and Food Forest. The Ackee trees were flowering at the time and the Atala butterflies covered the trees for a couple of days.

The Plant Exchange

If you have been by the Community Garden you may have noticed a new addition. The Garden Club of Coral Springs, not to be confused with the Community Garden, has installed The Plant Exchange in the front fence. Anyone with extra plants can drop them off and those looking for plants can find some interesting specimens. Some are labeled and others are easily recognizable. Fruit trees, landscape plants and some vegetable plants can be found here. The variety of plants changes almost every day as there is a lot of interest and activity! If you need a plant, come check it out!

Food Forest Signs

Gardeners and volunteers gathered at the Sawgrass Nature Center classroom on Sunday for a sign making project. The garden committee wanted to label each of the 55 trees in the Food Forest so visitors would be able to identify each individual tree. A decision was made to make colorful, friendly signs that would be staked near the tree for easy identification. The painting project was attended by adults and youth, who produced the following beautiful signs. A huge thanks to all who participated!

Look for the signs in the weeks to come after we weatherize them and begin to install the signs throughout the garden.

Sensational Sunflowers!

Everyone loves sunflowers! They are colorful and cheery and are always a standout in the garden or a bouquet. There are many varieties, too! But there is more to a sunflower than meets the eye – there are other benefits to growing these eye catching blooms in your garden. Sunflowers are great at attracting pollinators. Bees love them! Research has shown that bees can see uv light and detect faint electrical fields around plants. Towering sunflowers are like a beacon drawing them in. The seeds produced by sunflowers are highly nutritious and the sunflower stalks can be used to support other plants. All good reasons to include sunflowers in your garden.

It’s Time to Mulch!

We were very fortunate to meet Lumberjack Jake who has generously donated hardwood mulch for the garden. We will be using this on our work day June 5th to prepare the garden and food forest for summer. As the temperature rises, the soil in our garden boxes can dry out in the hot sun. But there are many other great reasons why mulching is beneficial for your garden.

  • It deters weeds
  • Prevents soil erosion
  • Helps to retain moisture
  • Insulates the roots of plants from changing temperatures
  • Feeds the beneficial organisms in the soil.

We will be ready with our wheelbarrows, pitchforks and shovels on June 5th. Hope to see you then!

The Memorial Grove

A beautiful spot has been created in the Helena Ramsey Memorial Garden which is part of the Rotary Coral Springs Community Garden and Food Forest. One of our gardeners, Debbie Wenger, saw an area that she believed would be an ideal spot for visitors to feel the peace of the garden. After discussing the idea with other members, she applied for and received grant money in May 2021. It was called the Pollinator Project and $1000 was used to purchase soil and plants which were all pollinator and wildlife compatible. An incredible amount of work was required to prepare the area, cleaning out bushes and weeds, adding the soil, and finally planting. Soon, the project began to grow and a moon arch was installed and benches purchased and painted. More flowering bushes and plants have been added and the work is ongoing. Volunteers weed and water daily and the once weedy spot has turned into a beautiful oasis for people, butterflies and birds. Thank you Debbie, Satya, Judy, Susan, Anne, Bez, Eric and many others who labored to make this special grove for the community. Here are a few before and after photos.

Before:

May Workday

Memorial Grove

Dear Gardeners and Volunteers,

Please join us on Sunday, May 1st from 5 – 8 PM for our garden and food forest work day, There is a lot to do and your help and participation will be very much appreciated. We will have snacks and fun give aways! Don’t forget your garden gear – hats, gloves, work shoes, water and sunblock.

Garden Tasks

Move the tool shed, weed and mulch east fence, butterfly garden and mandala

Food Forest Tasks

Mulch the Grove, Ridge and Mango Tree. weed the gravel path, weed and mulch the flower beds, fertilize and water the fruit trees.

All gardeners should work to their skill and physical levels on the workday for the general good of the garden and food forest. There is always something each of us can do to maintain the beauty of our shared space. Remember, each gardener has committed to a minimum of 12 hours of volunteer service in 2021/2022 to contribute to the upkeep of the garden and food forest.

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