Stewardship

Landscape Registry is Growing

During the month of July Incredible Edible Merchantville added two gardens to our Sustainable Landscape Registry. We welcomed the Bouvier Family's garden on July 16th. They have a plot at the Community Center and are growing a variety of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and some flowers for pollinators. At home they also grow herbs, green onions, and flowers, including milkweed for monarchs. On July 27th, Mary-Noelle at sent pictures of her garden at 48 Volan Street. She and her neighbor, Sam, at 54 Volan Street share their gardens. Mare is full sun and she’s part shade, so she does things like lettuces and leafy greens and I do peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. Sharing the garden is a lot of fun since we get to plan, shop, dig and plant together and the kids get into it too, plus there’s always someone to water if you’re away! Sustainable landscaping is a goal of our program. Send pictures and a description of your garden to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join!

 

 

 

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IE Registry Update

Alongside the driveway at the Chestnut Station Senior Complex is a hidden gem of an Incredible Edible Garden and the perfect example of a a creative way to transform an unused hardscape into a sustainable landscape. This garden is carefully nurtured by resident volunteer, Francis Mcgarry, and produces annual seasonal vegetables that support food security and nutrition for many seniors living in the complex. Incredible Edible Merchantville, maintains more than a dozen small action garden/pollinator projects in town and has added 17 residential and business gardens to their Sustainable Landscape Registry this year. We applaud every small action in the Borough that promotes land stewardship, food justice and sustainability. Register your garden by sending pics & info to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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IE Learning Plate

Lynn Geddes’ gorgeous garden was the site of this month’s IE meeting. It was a learning experience where members, Lynn Geddes, Kerry Mentzer and Cindy Hertneck, shared gardening know-how, food and foul stories and, discussed ways to engage our community in this sustainable living effort. We have become dependent on food that is prepared for us, quick and easy but costly to ourselves and our environment. Many of us have lost the skills we need to nurture ourselves and our families with healthy locally produced food and we want that to change – to give people the skills and information they need to take control of their lives, feed themselves well and prepare our younger generations for the future. Since June Incredible Edible Merchantville has provided more than 150 bags of community grown produce to the Grace Episcopal Church food pantry. Join this effort. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

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Partnering With Pantries

At Incredible Edible Merchantville food security is part of our mission and one of our top priorities. To that end, we are hoping to partner with local food banks to share our excess harvest during this growing season. On Monday, June 1st, the Dolores F. Clark Food Pantry at Grace Church accepted our offer of surplus produce. Their pantry takes place on Wednesdays from 12-2PM. If you have fresh greens and vegetables to donate please drop them off at the church (side door) to Peggy Stephens between 9-11AM this Wednesday, June 3rd. All harvested items should be washed and bagged before donating. IE Merchantville will be creating some packaging labels and distribute bags/labels to participating members by next week. We are very excited to have an opportunity to support food justice, nurture environmental stewardship and promote a healthy culture and sustainable future.

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Chronicled Inspiration!

This backyard garden, at 23 East Chestnut Avenue in Merchantville, featuring an overhead irrigation system, is an inspiration to Incredible Edible and everyone who values sustainable land practices and food justice - especially during times like these. Taken on June 15th, 1937, it shows (left to right) B. Smith, William Hurg, Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Hahn, Mr. Hahn Sr., J. Hannigan, and J.D. Campbell, standing under a high-tech, state of art, overhead irrigation system. The photo was shared by the Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission on their Facebook timeline. 1925-31 Courier Post ads for pure bred Barred Rock Cockerels and hatching eggs.

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Perseverance Pays Off

After 6-year battle a Florida couple won the right to plant vegetables in their front yard. Hermine Ricketts and her husband, Tom Carroll, planted in front of their home in Miami Shores, FL on the day a Florida law went into effect that nullifies local bans on vegetable gardens at residential properties. That ordinance, which was tightened to forbid vegetables in the front yard on the grounds that they were unsightly and imposed a daily $50 fine - had forced the couple to uproot a garden in 2013 that Ricketts had tended for 17 years. But, she lawyered up, reached out to Institute for Justice and after six years they won! An appeals court also ruled against Ricketts, but the Florida Legislature passed a bill protecting vegetable gardens, and last week Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law.

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Register Your Garden

Join Incredible Edible Merchantville's Sustainable Landscapes Registry. We know you're proud of your home garden - and so are we! Vegetable, flower, herb, habitat - every type of garden counts towards land stewardship, food justice and sustainability efforts. Incredible Edible Merchantville is working to continue to expand this program this year and attain Sustainable Jersey Bronze certification. This 2020 small action project - designed to create an inventory of Borough gardens and habitats - will support our efforts. To be included please email your information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Send us some pictures, a description and location information to . We look forward to learning about your garden!

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Rooting Celery In Water

Growing celery from the base of the stalks is a fun project that couldn't be easier—plus, it's great to do with kids. The celery sprouts surprisingly fast and, except for the cutting part, even very young children can do the whole project. If you are looking for activities to teach science and math skills, have the kids measure how fast the celery grows. There are two ways to do the project: using just water or in a container with potting soil. If you are just sprouting in water, this project can be a good one for winter when it's particularly fun to see something green and growing indoors.

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Plant Those Spuds!

Potatoes prefer cool weather and can be planted very early in the gardening season—as you soon as the frost is out of the soil and you are able to work the soil. In Northern regions, some gardeners will plant the first crop of early-maturing potatoes in early to mid-April, 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date or as soon as the soil can be worked. They can survive some cool weather but the threat of frost is a gamble. If there is a threat of frost at night, temporarily cover any sprouted foliage with mulch or an artificial covering such as old sheets or plastic containers - and be sure to remember to remove the coverings in the morning. Choose a location that gets full sun—at least 6 hours each day - and grow potatoes in trenched rows spaced about 3 feet apart.

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Goodall Mini-Grants

The Jane Goodall Institute's global youth program - Roots & Shoots - flourishes in nearly 100 countries partnering withWe partner with schools, educators and youth organizations to inspire and educate young people to make a difference on an individual level. Participants identify and address problems in their communities, while becoming the compassionate citizens that our planet needs. Since 2014, the Roots & Shoots mini-grant program has awarded over 500 grants to Roots & Shoots groups in the United States. Mini-grants range from $200-$400 each. Groups are guided by the Roots & Shoots 4 step model to create youth-led service learning campaigns. Once they have chosen a campaign idea, members of all ages are encouraged to apply. Groups use the funds to help implement their projects and celebrate their accomplishments. 

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Minnesota's Bee-friendly

Minnesota just allocated nearly a million dollars in incentives for people to transform their lawns into bee-friendly wildflowers, clover and native grasses. The state is asking citizens to stop spraying herbicide, stop mowing so often, and let their lawns re-wild into a more natural state. The goal is to provide food sources for pollinators of all kinds, but will specifically aim at saving the rusty patched bumblebee, a fat and fuzzy species on the brink of extinction that seems to be making its final stand in the cities of the Upper Midwest. Citizens living in rusty patch bumblebee zones are eligible for grants up to $500, while people living in zones of secondary and tertiary importance to bees are eligible for $350 and $150 respectively.

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