Stewardship

Winning vs. Weeds

Mother Earth News says, "Two thousand gardeners can’t be wrong — the best tools for keeping ahead of weeds include several types of hoes, a good garden fork, a garden knife, a dandelion puller - some use an old screwdriver or butcher knife instead - and a high-quality pair of gloves." Weeds are an inevitable thorn in every gardener’s side. While some weeds offer benefits, such as the edible greens of young dandelions and the nutritious roots of burdock, many quickly become a frustrating, ongoing struggle if you don’t spot them early. Garden weeds can steal water, sunlight and soil nutrients from food crops, and some even release toxic chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of other plants. Gardeners also rated several mulch types and organic herbicides based on their effectiveness in controlling weeds. Paper or newspaper, black plastic and straw or hay proved 70-80% effective as mulch and vinegar, herbicidal soap and Neem oil were the most successful organic herbicides.

Published in Stewardship

Fresh Produce Exchanges

Incredible Edible Merchantville expanded their efforts to ensure community food security by making fresh home-grown food accessible for pick up or drop off through a produce exchanges at Rasta Kitchen, 618 West Maple Avenue and Eclipse Brewing, 25 East Park Avenue in Merchantville. Both businesses offer easy access to free locally grown veggies and herbs - tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, rosemary, basil and oregano. Rasta Kitchen is open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Eclipse Brewing is open weekdays 4:00-9:00 p.m. and weekends 12:00-8:00 p.m. Making fresh home-grown food accessible to address community food security is one of 15 small action projects that the IE group has initiated in town since 2018, including bi-weekly donations to the Dolores Clark Food Pantry at Grace Church. Stop by these exchanges, take what you need, and if you grew too much, feel free to bring your donations!
Published in Stewardship

Greening Unused Spaces

The annual "Greening" of the gardens alongside the driveway at the Chestnut Station Senior Complex is underway and we all anxiously await their summer evolution. This hidden, sustainable gem is part of the Incredible Edible Garden registry and a perfect example of an inventive way to transform an unused hardscape into a sustainable landscape. This garden is carefully nurtured through the dedicated effort of resident volunteer, Francis Mcgarry, and produces annual seasonal vegetables that support food security and nutrition for many seniors living in the complex. Thank you for the beauty and the bounty!

Published in Stewardship

Teen Wins Grants For Gardens

Bradley Furgeson, 14, of Northfield, has raised more than $15,000 by applying for grants that have helped refurbish the local American Legion Post and start a garden that supports veterans and the local food bank. Inspired by his sister who did volunteer work with the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and is currently doing an internship with the World Health Organization, he has continued her work on hunger issues. His biggest grant to date is the $10,000 Opal Apple Youth Make A Different Grant he just received that will pay for a hydroponic greenhouse and video equipment for the Northfield Community School, where Bradley just finished eighth grade. This summer Bradley is focusing on the vegetable garden started behind the American Legion Post. 

Published in Stewardship

Fight Lanternflies With Milkweed

Milkweed is a beautiful American wildflower, garden plant and a magnet for butterflies and pollinators. As the host plant for caterpillars of the monarch butterfly they playing a critical role in the monarch’s life cycle - and as an added benefit - are poisonous to that invasive spotted lanternfly. Spotted lanternflies are attracted to and will feed on milkweed, unaware that it's poisonous, and become sick or die as a result. Incredible Edible Merchantville encourages residents to plant some milkweed in your garden to protect our beautiful oak and maple trees from the damage, weakening, loss of leaves and susceptibility to illness that lanternflies can cause. Once it takes root, milkweed is a perennial that will thrive for years to come and spread quickly. Four species of native milkweed are found in most states: the Whorled Milkweed, Common Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweeds, and Butterfly Weed. 

 

 

Published in Stewardship

Planting Paw Paws

Merchantville Organic Community Garden now has three native fruiting Paw Paw trees thanks to a generous donation from the Merchantville Observer and collaboration between Merchantville's Shade Tree Commission, Green Team and Incredible Edible. Thanks to a great group of volunteers from town: George Aaron, Lynn and Steve Geddes, Monica Tully, Anna and Joe Bouvier, Kerry and Tim Mentzer, Greg Hample, Jim Murray, Bob Murray, Dorothy, Joe and Pat Foley, Cindy Hertneck, Denise Menzel, Nina Scarpa, Alice Diamond, and Ed Bohn. IE Merchantville member, Brigid Austin, planted four immature Paw Paws three weeks ago in Wellwood Park along Hamilton Avenue. This is the group's first "understory tree" project. Paw Paws will grow from 12 to 25 feet tall and will produce fruit in 2-6 years.
Published in Stewardship, Clubs

Pollinate for Mom

Every May, adults and children alike are tasked with a daunting mission-to somehow thank our mothers for everything they’ve done for us over the years. Classic Mother’s Day traditions include a sentimental card, breakfast in bed, and of course, flowers. This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to celebrate not only your mother, but also the mother we all share — Mother Earth — by purchasing and/or planting pollinator-friendly flowers. Here are some helpful suggestions for pollinator-friendly flowers that are native to the Mid-Atlantic region: Lanceleaf coreopsis, Wild indigio, Purple coneflower, Bottle gentian and New England aster.

Published in Stewardship

Plant Swap

Garden enthusiasts love to get together to talk about the splendor of the garden. They also love to gather to share plants. Incredible Edible Merchantville and The Merchantville Garden Club will host Plant Swaps at the gazebo on the Chestnut Avenue bike path and Wellwood Park on Saturday on Saturday,…
Published in Boro, Stewardship

IE Chronicles Growth

In early 2018, inspired by the actions of a community in Tordmoden, UK, Joan Brennan and Betsy Langley started planting the seeds for a town-wide sustainability program called Incredible Edible (IE) Merchantville. By the fall of that year,  Merchantville’s first community projects were under way, and the ideas of community garden sharing, greening public spaces, produce donations, monarch habitats, and pollinator gardens were born. Bolstered by a group of passionate volunteers they set out to educate our small town about the value of nurturing environmental stewardship to promote a culture of healthy living, provide food security and foster a sustainable future through edible landscapes. Collaboration with the town Garden Club, The Green Team, borough officials, businesses, schools, churches and other community organizations have led to small project expansions including multiple communal garden spaces and insect habitats. In 2020 more than thirty-five residents have joined the effort as part of their This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. many dedicating a portion of their produce to food security donations at the Grace Church Food Pantry. IE was also an active partner in Merchantville's successful Sustainable Jersey Bronze certification application. For Incredible Edible Merchantville, the vision of  believing in the power of your own potential and creating a kind, confident, and connected community through the power of food is just beginning! They were able to chronicle their journey in this video with the able assistance of Ashley Brennan.

Published in 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!

 

 

 

Published in Stewardship

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..

Published in Stewardship
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