Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hub Gardens at One Year

tomatoes thrive on our sunny patio
at the entrance to the food pantry
a row of cabbages in one of our garden beds
featuring soil built from sheet mulching

It's like a dream come true here at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.  We've always wanted to share our community gardens with all of the folks using our food pantry services. Our three community gardens at Crestmont, Butler Park and Banneker Community Center have always been open and accessible to everyone, but sometimes seeing is believing. It can be challenging to convey the beauty and convenience of growing food right outside your door...unless...well, you have some food growing right outside your door!

from old washing machine basins to leaky wheel
barrows, many everyday objects can be
repurposed into planters
compost bins made from repurposed shipping pallets

Since moving into our new space last June, our on-site gardens have gone from zero to abundant in just twelve short months. Designed to showcase a number of methods of growing food in small spaces, the Hub garden site includes raised beds, window boxes, found-object container gardening, straw bale gardening, a food forest, herb spiral, perennial beds, lasagne/sheet mulched beds, and STRAWBERRIES! With an emphasis on keeping costs down and conserving resources, our gardens feature compost bins made from re-purposed wooden pallets, rain barrels, a low-tech irrigation system and plenty of mulch (straw, leaves, wood chips...).

a perennial bed lines the front of the building.
also in view: rain barrels and a new picnic table
permaculture inspired herb spiral built during a Hub workshop

Garden interns hand out seeds, plants and gardening tips from our patio, and lead folks into the garden to learn about growing food at home or to take home samples of freshly picked fruits and vegetables. Pantry patrons have picked strawberries, harvested spinach, peas, herbs and other greens, and youth groups have toured, tasted planted and harvested.

a view of the irrigation system and our new sign inviting
folks to join us in the garden
Window boxes constructed by eagle Scouts
line the ramp railing, and host edibles
such as this trailing squash vine

MHC's Garden Coordinator Kendra Brewer, remarked at a recent garden workday "The Hub garden is now where we hoped it would be in our first year. It's a real garden now."


  1. I'm constantly amazed at how many ways you've found to garden and how well things are coming along! And in such a small space, too. Way to go!

  2. Thank you! We hope it serves as inspiration folks folks to get started, even if they only have a small patio to work with.