Charity Plots Project
Juneau Community Garden Association leases four acres of land from the City and Borough of Juneau for gardening, education, and charitable use. Our non-profit devotes a portion of the acreage and volunteer effort to food production for local service providers, and involves community youth in the project: enrollees in Johnson Youth Center’s First-time Offenders program perform construction and assist with plot maintenance; students in the Juneau Montessori Youth Odyssey program harvest potatoes (pictured) and prepare plots for winter. In 2014, JCG donated 400 pounds of potatoes, 23 boxes of lettuce, 17 boxes of kale, 16 boxes of chard, 4 boxes of rhubarb, 3 boxes of radishes, 1 box of cabbage, and 2 1/2 boxes of carrots to Southeast Alaska Food Bank.
Until 100 years ago glaciers covered the area. The ice receded, but rocky silt and cold, soggy conditions remain. Raised planting beds offer the warmth and drainage necessary for food production in our coastal rain forest. In 2014, we converted two neglected areas into food productive plots. Each 5 x 20-foot wooden frame should accomodate 50 potato plants, when the composted wood chips, seaweed & sand become actual soil (also pictured).
Our established plots produced abundantly in 2014; however, varmints destroyed half the greens, radishes and cabbages. Porcupines chewed off whole heads, or carved out chunks, and voles nibbled around roots and stems. Row covers don't deter either. Chicken wire excludes the deer & porcupines, but voles slip through. Snap traps catch birds, too. So we're working with the First Offender group from Johnson Youth Center to construct nesting boxes for owls, which we hope will encourage natural predators. In addition, we seek funds from KGI for fencing around plots dedicated to greens and root crops.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA