Blackshear Neighborhood Garden is located at 2011 East 9th Street. It was started on January 30th of 2008 when a license agreement was signed with the City of Austin. The garden is the size of an urban city lot. It is divided into a section of shared neighborhood rows and another section containing 14 plots. Our structure is informal and neighborly. If you are interested in gardening at Blackshear email Caitlin Macklin.
Garden Work Parties:
We hold monthly garden work parties, alternating between Saturdays and Sundays. Hot season work parties are from 9am-12n, cool season parties are 2-5pm. Email Caitlin to be notified of our next event!
On the last Sunday of March, June, September, and December we have a garden dinner after our workday. Bring a dish or drink to share, your own place setting, and join us for dinner at 6pm.
Blackshear has received the support of the Sustainable Food Center, Steps to a Healthier Austin, the Austin Parks Foundations, Bury and Partners, and the Blackshear Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association.
If you’ve noticed Wintertime on the wane and are hankering to get your hands in the earth again, come on and join friends of Blackshear Neighborhood Garden at the
FREE HUGELKULTUR WORKSHOP!
During the 2 hour workshop with experienced hugelkulturist and urban homesteader Matt Hollon you will:
-Understand the methods of water-conscious hugelkulture bed construction.
-Install a hugelkulture bed from start to finish at the 9th Street Schoolhouse in east Austin.Date: Saturday, February 16
Time: 12 noon – 2pm
Location: 2006 E. 9th St.
Wear sturdy shoes, gardening clothes, and bring a shovel if you have one.
CHILDCARE PROVIDED by GrowinTogether after school program!
Coffee, tea, and snacks provided for your refreshment!
Sign up by RSVP’ing to the facebook event page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you can join us!
You’re invited to join the Blackshear Gardeners and Neighbors for our quarterly potluck and party!
This Sunday 6/17
8pm live music by The Cans and My Neighbor Nancy
What to Bring:
a dish and/or drinks to share
your own place setting
a chair if you’d like
Click here for the facebook event page.
We hope you can come out to meet neighbors, enjoy the garden, and check out our projects: rainwater collection, sustainable building techniques, chickens, shared garden rows, and compost.
Email caitlin.macklin[at]gmail.com with questions.
New garden work day hours for fall/winter: Sundays 2-5pm. Want to garden but can’t get a plot? Sign up for a monthly shift in our shared community rows.
Cob Wall Workshop sponsored and taught by the fine folks at Design~Build~Live! Saturday November 12th 9am-5pm. Learn about this sustainable building practice while contributing to our garden’s kid play space. Go to designbuildlive.org to register or contact Caitlin for more information.
Our quarterly Garden Dinner will be November 19th at 6pm. Please join us for fellowship and good times in the garden. Bring a dish to share and your own place setting.
December Work Party will be Saturday Dec. 3rd 9am-1pm. The Urban Farm Tour will roll through then as well, so come be part of the magic! Projects on tap: Solar Panel Mounting and Compost Pile Reorganization.
We had a successful workshop at Blackshear Garden Saturday 10/8/11 on Bio-Intensive Gardening. Big thank you to Rosalie, Joe, and the rest of the Travis County Master Gardeners who made this free workshop possible. Folks from all over town came to learn about adapting this method of gardening to the Austin area. It was really great to learn from experienced Texas gardeners, and to make connections with other folks who grow food.
Photos from then till now!
The garden is actually doing quite well considering how hot and dry it has been. We still have Okra, Eggplant, Corn, Black Eyed Peas, Melons, Pumpkin, Tomato, Peppers, and even Cucumbers in the cooler parts of the garden. We have most of the garden hooked up to a drip watering system, which gives a slow deep watering, giving the garden its summer longevity. About the only plants not on the drip system are the trees and vines and like yours I feel like we are barely keeping them going until the cooler damper months restore them. Our water bill is running about $35 a month and is easily split among the gardeners.
The participation in the garden is doing well. There was a lot of upfront help and effort put in by at least 40 neighbors, volunteers, and friendly gardeners to prepare the beds and plant. We also hosted two volunteer service days, one with 20 or so LBJ School of Public Affairs students and another with the same number of church youth. Since the initial setup and planting of the garden there have been around 15 consistent gardeners. Each of our 10 garden plots are taken and the others help tend the community rows. To celebrate a successful planting we had a garden open house and cookout in early May where 40 or so friends of the garden had a great afternoon together.
Aside from the cost of getting water service to the site little other cost is expected aside from the afore mentioned monthly water bill which is easily covered. Our fundraising ideas for the $11,000 water service installation are realistically fairly small scale: a yard sale, a produce stand, or tricking neighborhood kids into selling lemonade. Realistically we are looking to grants, contractor write-off donations, and sizable individual donations to cover the higher than expected cost. As requested as a condition of the Austin Parks Foundation grant, we have secured the support of council members necessary waive all associated city fees.
So, aside from the water service hangup the garden is going great. I feel like it was an enormous accomplishment to get the whole garden successfully planted just in time for spring (late spring as it were). The most satisfying thing about the garden is that it has become a neighborhood focal point, that are so rare these days, where neighbors and friends come to share in a meaningful project that empowers and nourishes. With the garden already prepared we now look forward to learning from the many upcoming planting seasons.
Many thanks for all of the support thus far with funding and support. Bury and Partners has been great and helped us get through the permitting and technical side of of the water meter install. Any additional support that Austin Parks Foundation could provide for the installation of the water service would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy the pictures!
Grass to soil. Hope is in planting a seed.