Natalie and I just got teaching a class of sorts on Urban Gardening. The focus of the class was to be how to garden even if you have no yard of your own. We gave some sources for community gardening and contact information if someone was interested in gardening in the median strip outside their home. I was supposed to cover soils, composting and bed preparation on top of soil mixes for containers, and Natalie was to also to cover plant selection. Yikes! Too much for our 1 hour slot....I had to get to basics like "What is NPK" etc.
Anyway.... as usual I tried to fit too much in and thus left stuff out!
Here are a few things I should have mentioned, but didn't as I got a little flustered...
1. The Richmond City Extension does not do soil testing, but they do have a range of adult education classes that are worth looking into. Their website says they have an Urban Gardening program Here is the link to the nec. contact information.
2. If you use a laundry hamper or trashcan full of holes as a movable compost bin on your deck or patio, you'll want to put a large pot tray underneath it to catch "runoff" (that is the juices from all that rotting stuff!) According the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this liquid can then be emptied out over your plants and soils like a "compost tea". If you don't know about compost tea that could be a whole 'nother class.
3. Don't forget... gardening of all kinds particularly vegetable gardening fills an important roll in the community. Your own gardening enterprises will lead you to meet new people as you seek out help and answers to questions. You will have food that you have grown yourself to share with others, either by preparing it for them, handing it to them over the fence, or taking it to your local food bank.
Thanks to everyone who ventured in to hear us talk about dirt, and thanks to the organizers at the Richmond 'Zine Fest for asking us to participate.
Oh yes and one of the participants in the class said that the Richmond Food Bank has an abundance of compostable material just waiting for someone to turn it into soil. Contact the Richmond Food Bank to check on this if you are interested.