On the agenda tonight for the IE core working group is a a proposal to move froward with their Innovative Community Project called Incredible Edible Merchantville. Joan Brennan and Betsy Langley will present the proposal so that it can be finalized before submission to Mayor and Council. The project is focused on nurturing environmental stewardship in Merchantville through the development of edible landscapes to promote a healthy culture and sustainable future. "Creating a kind, confident and connected community through the power of food." - Pam Warhurst Learn about our mission.
Some of you might think it’s crazy to start thinking about gardening when winter is just getting started, but the opposite couldn’t be more true! When the wind is howling and snow is piling up outside your window, is there any better way to lift your spirits than to think of the warmer weather that’s just a couple of months away, and the amazing garden you can cultivate once it returns? Although you can’t dive into the soil or start your seeds just yet, you can work on some fun DIY projects so they’ll be ready to go as soon as the snow melts. A bug hotel is part garden art and part winter habitat for beneficial insects - the garden army that helps to keep the bad bugs under control. If you are an organic gardener, then you will want to be sure that there is a place in your garden for beneficial insects to lodge for the winter. Next spring, when they wake up, lay eggs, and sweep your plants clean of aphids and mites, you will be thankful. Here is how to make a beneficial bug house.
Three ambitious co-founders want to turn what was once America's most dangerous city into a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurs. For two years, Tran and his business partners, Johnathan Grzybowski and Melissa Thi Le, have been trying to build that ecosystem almost from scratch to demonstrate that tech companies can thrive in Camden, New Jersey. "Penji is the poster child that will be an example to other startups," says Penji co-founder Khai Tran. "Even in an underserved community, you can be very successful." To pay his way through Rutgers, Tran freelanced as a web designer. Upon graduation, he expanded that business into what became Dino Enterprise, a highly profitable 15-employee company, based five miles away in Merchantville. https://www.inc.com/leigh-buchanan/camden-new-jersey-city-of-startups-2018-surge-cities.html?fbclid=IwAR3NtYe66VZ6PHqbf4cmYHh4SIkbzofIRH7mJTxMlVy1bljSsZ8nTDFjYNE
Incredible Edible Merchantville is scheduling a kick-off meeting in early January and hope that many residents, Green Team and Garden Club members will be able to attend. We'll be giving updates on progress and partnerships developed since our December meeting and discuss plans for moving forward in 2019. In the meantime, we invite you to join the discussion on our FB page and FB Group page to browse through our information and share your thoughts about this proposed community stewardship and sustainability project.
Urban gardening may be catching on now, but today's urban gardeners have nothing on their grandparents - urban farming was way more than a fad in the 1940s. During the World Wars, the U.S. government urged citizens to plant their own small vegetable gardens. It was a super positive spin on "We don't have enough war rations." I don't know what people would do today if the government asked them to grow cabbage in their front yards, but people back them were ready. Around 20 million families planted victory gardens. They grew 40 percent of the country's vegetables by 1944. Hopscotch was supplanted by a new and serious game for these Girl Scouts called Plant the Victory Garden. Victory Gardens - for family and country.
St. Martins is a close-knit community. Not too long ago a group of passionate community members got together as a group that they called the St. Martins Area Communiteers. Watch two of the group's prominent figures, Fern and Kathi, and a few community residents tell us about the impact one of the Communiteers' projects, called "Incredible Edible", had on the village. It’s brought people closer, connected generations and beautified the village, all while promoting healthy living. The magic of a community that's empowered to affect change for the better is that the project stemmed into multiple other initiatives, and brought a huge sense of pride to all those in the village. Wellness lives where we can communities - and generations - come together. Wellness Lives Here.
Look at the amazing rain garden created by members of Merchantville's Green Team and Garden Club over the weekend near the multi-use path and the Station. It's not only pretty, but it works! Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers that made it happen. A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, patios or lawns. Rain gardens can also help filter out pollutants in runoff and provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other wildlife.
Chris Waldron, director of Sustainability and Shared Services, Camden County, was the main speaker. He explained his duties and services that he could provide out of his Lakeland, NJ facility. Following the discussion, we all, under Chris’s leadership, were able to begin making plans to start our project. We will get in contact with a Master Gardener located at Rutgers; outreach to Dina Turan to determine Merchantville Elementary School's interest as a stakeholder in the education component; research registration required for grants available for the project - with assist from Chris; attend Tri-County Sustainability Alliance - meets and often works with county partners on projects; Dorothy Foley volunteered to take our minutes to the Green Team meeting after our meeting; and planting survey/plans - first planting place should be very visible so people become acquainted with the project and then become involved as our work begins to take shape. An invitation to visit Chris’s facility any time (Saturdays 10 am—noon) was extended to the group.