JHU Staff Get their Green On

Cheerful sunflowers sway in the breeze, birds chirp in the trees and members of Johns Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate (JHFRE) department are hard at work at the Blue Jay’s Perch Community Garden at Eastern.  

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Sunflowers growing in the garden!

For three Wednesdays in July, in an effort to promote social responsibility, foster teamwork and support the garden at a time when it needs it most, JHFRE staff members were basiling (the act of planting basil), weeding and mulching around the green apple tree, plucking pesky weeds, planting some beans and supporting fruit laden tomato bushes. A great deal of employee’s days are spent behind computer monitors; the garden’s fresh air provide a place to commune with nature while giving back to the community.

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Volunteers help turn the compost pile to aerate and speed the decomposition process

The volunteer days were an effort of the department’s Employee Engagement Committee, and spearheaded by Office of Sustainability staff. The EEC coordinates activities like these, which are vital to the overall health and happiness of employees. The Office of Sustainability, which resides within JHFRE, seized the opportunity to synergize this goal where it saw a need for hands-on help right here at Hopkins, allowing employees to connect with other students, staff, and faculty as well as community members.

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Alicia Mulching the Fig tree (top), Harvesting Tomatoes (bottom)

As we all take actions to be stewards locally and globally, the Blue Jay’s Perch was a natural fit. It’s safe to say that all volunteers left the garden with a renewed sense of purpose and pep in their steps.  To take a line from Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”

Cheers friends!

Kelly Collingsworth
Outreach Coordinator
Johns Hopkins University
Office of Sustainability

Spring Party Success!

Last Saturday, May 3rd, was our third annual spring opening party! It was a fun, eventful afternoon with awesome live music.

About 75 people – including students, faculty, staff and community members – came out to enjoy the beautiful weather and a potluck picnic. We ate all-natural hotdogs and organic almond butter and jelly sandwiches as well as baked beans, cucumber salad, curried carrots,  and so much more. All the food was delicious!

After eating and relaxing in the sun, some volunteers transplanted broccoli and collard seedlings into the communal rows.  A lot of younger kids helped with watering and turning up soil in the partner plots.  We also got new markers for the communal rows – they look great!

Please check out the calendar if you would like to help us make this summer another successful season!

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Come to our Third Annual Garden Party on May 3rd!

GUESS WHAT? Spring is [finally] here!

Even though we have had a rocky start to the year with fickle weather and late frosts, our first few volunteer days have been very successful! We have transplanted and direct seeded salad mix, swiss chard, green beans, beets, carrots, collards, and potatoes in the communal rows. In the next four weeks, our drip-line water system will be upgraded to a much more efficient, larger unit that will require refilling less often. We have expanded and improved the steps down into the garden, to make it safer for all community members to visit us! Finally, we have hung a new sign to help show community members how they can become involved in the garden.

In light of all these great new developments at the garden, we are excited to invite you to our 3rd Annual Spring Garden Party!

Please join us at the garden May 3rd from 12-2 pm to help us celebrate the start of spring and a new gardening season.

Garden Party Flyer 2014

This exciting day will feature kid-friendly activities, a composting workshop, and  garden tours. All  – students, faculty, staff, and community members (kids and adults alike) – are welcome!!!

All-natural hot dogs and almond butter/jelly sandwiches will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish or drink to share for the POTLUCK PICNIC. Please also bring a picnic blanket or chairs.

All plates, napkins, utensils, and cups will be provided. All the material used at the garden party will be compostable, so please do not bring outside materials (such as plastic or paper plates). 

RSVP @ our Facebook event and invite your friends!!!

Don’t know where the BJP is? Check out our Google map location.

Don’t know how to get to the garden? – Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! A group of students and other Hopkins affiliates will be meeting in front of the Subway at 33rd st. (across from Barnes and Nobles) at 11:50 am to walk over to the garden! In addition, a group will be meeting by Subway at 12:00 pm to bike over to the garden – so join them if you have a bicycle.

Email JHUcommgarden@gmail.com with any questions or concerns!

Food for the soul and body!

Hello all,

My name is Charmaine Richardson (AKA Ole Richardson) – I’m a counselor at Marian House, a healing community for women and their children who need housing and support services to transition into independent lives.

Marian House has been a BJP partner since the garden opened in 2012 and the photos in the video below help show what a fun journey it’s been participating with the BJP Community. In 2011, Ann Beckemeyer from the JHU Public Health Studies Program came to us to see if we would be interested to participate in the garden.  The BJP is a great way for JHU and community organizations to partner up. Marian House is just a few blocks from the garden, so our members enjoyed spending time planting, watering, and harvesting throughout the growing season. In addition, we were able to rectify an old garden directly behind Marian House that houses tomatoes, strawberries, cabbages, other veggies of choice.

Check out this fantastic video documenting the Marian House/PHS BJP Partnership:  http://animoto.com/play/O2b9ESLcfJ2J2mqg451zWw

Moms and kids learned an appreciation for fresh veggies and about healthy food options – many had never seen food growing while others had gardened before and could recommend techniques. The kids especially enjoyed building a scarecrow named “Billy.” You can see him in the garden today faithfully keeping watch over our wonderful garden. We’ve had a great two years and look forward to spring!

All the best,

Ole Richardson

Last Work Day of the Semester!

Thanks to Hopkins Farmhands and others who came out to help us build a stellar squash/potato bed today! I should have gotten a picture of the final product because it came out great. Looking forward to seeing more photos in the spring-thanks to all for a great season at the BJP and keep in touch! 

-Emily

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All are invited to the 4th Annual 100 Mile Meal

In the context of other national and local Food Day events, undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and Baltimore community members are invited to celebrate the signing of the Real Food Campus Commitment by President Ron Daniels during the 4th annual 100 Mile Meal.

The 100 Mile Meal will feature an all-local (sourced from within 100 miles) and sustainable meal cooked entirely by members of Real Food Hopkins. By signing the Real Food Campus Commitment, President Daniels will add the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins to the growing list of universities around America that have pledged to purchase at least 20% “real” food (defined as local/community-based, ecologically-grown, humanely raised, and fair trade) by 2020.

After dinner, a guest panel will discuss how the Real Food Campus Commitment will impact consumers of campus food, food service workers, and local producers.

Food will be sourced from the Blue Jay’s Perch Community Garden and other local producers. Poultry, vegetarian and vegan options will be available.

For off-campus visitors, please see www.charlesstreet.mdprojects.com for information about construction and parking

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/653217478045950/

Friday, November 1 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Cost: $5 (pay at the door, JCash accepted)
Please RSVP by Monday, October 28: realfoodhopkins@gmail.com
Seats are limited to the first 160 guests

A special thanks to JHU Dining and Bon Appétit Management Company for their support during this year’s 100 Mile Meal.

For more information about the commitment:
http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/commitment

To see other Food Day events:
http://www.foodday.org/

*REAL FOOD HOPKINS is a student-run chapter of the national Real Food Challenge movement (www.realfoodchallenge.org) that is committed to bringing local, sustainable, humane, and fair food to the Johns Hopkins campus and surrounding Baltimore area through organizing food advocacy and awareness events, cooperating with the larger food movement, maintaining a sustainable campus garden, promoting community-based learning about food and where it comes from, and donating fresh produce acquired to organizations that feed the local hungry. For more information, contact realfoodhopkins@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/150501264993488/.

Fall Harvest Party!

It was so fun to see so many folks- old and new gardeners, undergrads, kids- come out to the fall harvest over the weekend to share in some potluck dishes and great conversation. Despite a tangle with some poison oak, we all enjoyed some yummy homemade quinoa, chard, guacamole, and more! Steve’s handcrafted brew, Charmaine’s homemade scarecrow, and some flower picking added to the excitement. Thanks to everyone who participated in spite of the ninety degree weather!

Now that fall seems to be here to stay, we are beginning to wind down the plots and the communal rows. Check out our calendar for upcoming workdays (please note: if it is raining, we will NOT have our workday) to help us out!

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