RootRoot-Riot: Madison Street 7/12 update

Click 07/12/2010 Monthly Agenda (pdf)
The first meeting under the big top was a success! Great attendance and participation! Thanks to all of you who took the time to come out.

For the others who could not make it, just remember that meetings are the second Monday of each month and you and your friends, family, or other sustainability-minded folks are all welcome. Also, we think that last meeting was just a bit to long business-like. We are going to make the meetings shorter and more social from here on in.

To catch up the other folks who could not make, it here is a highlight of what was covered

Key Topics
1.Dedication Day
2.Featured Bed Lecture
Potatos + Irrigation
3. Compost
4. Water, Water Everwhere
Next Meeting:
August 9th (Second Monday of each month)
– It will be shorter and more fun!
– Productive though it was, it was too much work for an evening!
5. Cistern Beautification Area Shade Structure
6. Summer Movie Series
7. Learning Series: Chickens July 21 + Garden Tours July 31.
8. Halloween Oct 31 Harvest Fest Sept 18
9. Not-for-profit
10. Chicago Tribune Article
11. Picnic Tables
12. Mulch + Planter update
13. OP Garden Resolution

1. The Root Riot Madison Street Dedication Day was very well attended!
Thanks to the organizing committee who very gracefully steeped forward and provided light snacks, refreshments and a lovely vegetable display. Thanks to the other Root-Riot Regulars who shared with others about the work that is being done in the garden. And thanks to the Village of Oak park for all they have done so far, as well as the use of the really large scissors to cut the ribbon!

2. Potatoes + Irrigation
Thanks to Jason Burk who gave a great “Feature Bed” lecture about potatoes, potato boxes, and soil amendments for potatoes. Jason also has an interesting idea for a local irrigation system for his bed. Let’s all keep on eye on what he is doing, and see what we can learn.

3. Compost
Are you the next Compost sommelier? A great, healthy discussion about what we are going to do with our compost bins, rolling barrow, yard waste, kitchen scraps was had by all. We did reach a general agreement! The Compost team will meet again and formalize the directions but her is the very basic for folks who are interested. First, we will add green and brown material to the rolling barrow. When that is full we will let it rest. Once it is sufficiently rested, we move it to the bin on the ground. Any questions? Good. Hold on to them. Let the Compost team do some more work and we will send out more info. Then ask questions. Ok?

4. Water, water, everywhere
The folks closer to Madison Street have a new water spigot closer to them. The 3 sister mounds are irrigated.
§          The “tan” hose goes to the spigot and typically should be in the “on” position at the Water cistern.
§          The “green” 3-sister mounds hose should be set to the off position.  I’ll coordinate with Stephanie about the water schedule so once in a while it will be “on”.

I’m sure there will be some confusion for a while as people get used to the multiple places that the water can be shut off. Be patient, and think it through you will get the hang of it as time goes by. When in doubt, I’d say shut it off as we only have so much water in the cistern. We can also put up signs as time goes by.

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep an eye on the water cistern level. We did have the Village fill up the Cistern earlier in the month. Please keep an eye on the water level and let me know when it gets low so I can give The Village a heads up that we will need more. ( I know it is hard to see the water level…let me know if there are any tricks out there for figuring it out.)

5. Cistern Beautification Area
Quite a bit of work over the last month in the area! How amazing is it that one trip to purchase some dirt and a paver or two would end up giving us enough pavers for a nice surface around the cistern and pavers for our major walkway. Let’s be sure to thank the folks @ Lake Street Supply (1810 West Lake Street) for their thoughtfulness, as well as the Water Cistern Beautification crew who donated sand, time, and the general backbreaking labor that we all come to love on Root-Riot jobs.

6. Shade Structure
The white shade structure is may have to come down. We have figure out what permit we need to keep it up longer term. On the other hand, it took us just about an hour to put up, so it is pretty quick if we have the magical number of 10 people. With the light sprinkling of rain during the meeting, it sure was nice.

7. Summer Movie Series
The summer Movie Series is slowly taking off the ground. We have two churches that are interested in sponsoring the series and we will work on coordination and communicating movies and times as the details are finalized. The pdf of the list of movies we are thinking of are on the web site on the Learning Calendar.

8. Learning Series
Sandra and Louise have several sessions lined up.

  • You should have received an evite for a tour of some of the local gardens on July 31st. Please respond to that if you are interested.  There will be more updates to the Learning Calendar in the next few days please check out next week for more details.
  • Updated: Changed from Wednesday to Thursday:
    Also, July 22nd, thursday 7:00 pm at Harambee, “The Chicken Lady” will bring her chickens and talk to folks about what it takes to have and maintain them. There is also a possibility of a tour of a local chicken coop.

9. Halloween Oct 31 + Harvest Fest Sept 18:
§   Sunday, Oct 31st we will be at the garden handing out Tricks and Treats. A few folks volunteered to help organize the day, Jen P, DeAnne T, and Jill N. If you would like to help please let them know as “many hands make light work” and besides that, it would be better to have a few people in the garden on Halloween to make sure no tricks are played on us.

§   Saturday September 18th is date for Harvest Fest.
Hold the date! Let’s all put that in our calendar and we will organize around it closer to the date.

10. Not-for-profit
Cherryl has organized all of the interested parties and we are moving forwards.

11. Chicago Tribune Article

Pete brought and article form the Sunday Tribune Magazine about it being the perfect time to start a late-season garden. If you have the Tribune Sunday magazine take a look at the gardening article. Pete’s quick summary mentioned a 60-70 day lead time before first frost in mid-October means new seed should go in the ground by early to mid-August.  And some veggies will survive the first frost and be harvestable until late October or even Nov. until the ground freezes.

12. Picnic Tables
We are still on the look out for large community gathering picnic tables. If one person walked into a landscape supply company with the intent to buy a few stones, and essentially walked out with ~50 free pavers, think of what could possibly happen when you are out and about sharing your garden experience with others. Perhaps someone will give you a nice sturdy picnic table or two. You never know. Please be sure to bring up the idea.

13. Mulch + Planters
The Village still has us on their list for planters and mulch. They are still working their way out of the work the storms gave them. Eventually, we will see a mulch pile in the back that we can spread around a bit and cover up some of the mud there.

14. OP Garden Resolution
Oak Park Board of Trustees is passing the attached resolution regarding community gardens.  Everyone is encouraged to attend to show their support.  Resolutions are the first order of business so you won’t be there very long. Meeting starts at 7:00. Monday the 26th.

Amy Beltemacchi

Root-Riot: A rhizomatically spread network of urban gardens, growing local food, fostering resilience, creating community, one planting bed at a time.


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