Don’t miss the Well House Annual Plant Sale!
Don’t miss the Well House Annual Plant Sale!
Growing Food in Urban Spaces, Edible Landscaping and Urban Garden Design Workshop
6 – 9 p.m. Tuesday March 11
Well House, 600 Cass SE, Grand Rapids
Designed for people in the city with limited space to grow, this workshop explores all the possible ways to grow food in an urban setting. Well House staff will work with each participant to design a growing plan for their space.Participants need to bring either a drawing or digital images of the area(s) in which they are growing.
This workshop is limited to 15 people. To register, contact Well House at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $20, which helps to fund the Well House food growing program. However, people with a limited income will not be turned away.
Reposted from Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project
By Camilla Voelker
On November 9th the Well House gardeners and 27 others planted a 15-tree orchard of apples and pears on the property of one of the newest additions to the Well House homes and gardens, 239 Sycamore SE.
WELL HOUSE IS A NEIGHBORHOOD NON-PROFIT nested in the southeast side of Grand Rapids. South of Wealthy and east of Division, we offer safe and affordable housing to people experiencing homelessness. It is not a shelter, but permanent housing. Currently, we have four houses occupied by people who were living in shelters or on the streets.
Aside from the housing component of Well House, we also grow, prepare, and preserve food primarily for and with our tenants, but also for and with our neighbors and community. With a food justice lens, we are working towards growing as much food as we can in an urban setting and sharing knowledge on preparing and preserving our own food to counter the unhealthy options provided to us. . We believe our current food system inadequately provides healthy, nutritious food options for people, especially those in our neighborhood. So working with the folks who are most marginalized by our current food system is important to us in creating change.
Finding out about the mini grants offered through the Urban Forest Project of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, which supplies materials, support and trees for reforestation projects within the city, was a natural next step for continuing Well House’s vision for food growing. An Urban Orchard had been envisioned for the 239 Sycamore lot–which we had acquired from the Land Bank of Kent County–and it also hosts a home to be rehabilitated to house families that have been experiencing homelessness.
Expecting about 15 volunteers on this day, we were pleasantly surprised and thankful for the 27 that showed up – quite the opposite turn out than what most volunteer coordinators anticipate! With all of the fabulous volunteers, we managed to prepare the site quite quickly: trash was picked up, sod was dug up and hauled away, and holes were prepared.
Two Citizen Foresters who offered demonstrations on proper planting techniques and fruit tree care guided us into planting, adding fresh soil and mulching in the trees. Another volunteer watered them in, leaving a job well done. And as one volunteer noted, “Many hands make light work.” It surely did; the community support left a tremendous imprint on Well House’s project and spirit. We are so grateful.
Well House will be preparing a new lot for an urban orchard and mushroom beds for community education and use. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has provided a mini-grant to support the development of an community orchard within their neighborhood. Friends and Well House are asking for interested volunteers to lend a hand, join a community, and have a great time.
Asking volunteers to come when they can and stay as long as they’d like. Help us prep the site, plant the trees and spread mulch! If you’d like to be involved please contact Camilla, Well House Urban Gardener, at CAMILLA@WELLHOUSEGR.ORG or616.245.3910 or sign up at the VOLUNTEER CENTER.
Join the urban farmers at Well House, 600 Cass Ave. SE, for a workshop on how to make and can applesauce. The workshop takes place at 6 p.m. Monday Oct. 21. Participants will can regular and spiced applesauce and take a jar home.
The suggested donation is $20 for this workshop, but Well House welcomes everyone, even if they can’t contribute. Funds collected help sustain Well House’s Urban Garden Project.
Please register by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or calling 616.245.3910.
Celebrated world wide every year on 16 October, World Food Day recognizes the anniversary of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (Oct. 16, 1945). Our Kitchen Table is participating in World Food Day by celebrating seed saving as part of Navdanya‘s international World Food Day action, Fortnight for Seed Freedom and Food Freedom, a global action being promoted by internationally acclaimed seed warrior, Dr. Vandana Shiva.
Using handouts provided by the Well House Seed Saving Workshop, OKT is releasing a zine, “How to Save Seeds” that addresses not only the how-to but also the political, environmental and health reasons for saving our own seeds. You can read it below or download a copy to print.
Market operates Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at 600 Cass Avenue SE.
In addition to vending at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, Well House is now hosting its own farmers’ market, Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at 600 Cass Avenue SE. Well House works with homeless people by providing safe, affordable, long-term housing. Thirteen people currently call Well House home. “We are sensitive to the very limited options for finding healthy, nutritious food in our neighborhood,” says Camilla Voelker, Well House urban gardener. “We are growing that kind of food at Well House, organically and spray-free, and using the space as a place to learn how to grow, prepare and preserve food.”
The Well House market will offer canned goods, seeds, seedlings and
fresh produce. Groundswell Farm will also offer fresh produce at the
market on occasion. In addition, those visiting the market can sign up
for upcoming food justice workshops. “The idea behind this market is
to connect the food stuffs grown and made at Well House with our
neighbors,” Voelker said.
Well House also shares gardening skills and resources with tenants and
neighbors so they can grow, prepare and preserve their own fresh,
nutritious food. Its organic garden uses heirloom seeds that are saved
from year to year, securing food for years to come. These seeds have
not been tampered with, that is they have no genetic modifications for
disease or pest resistance.
The Well House farm staff recently built 30 raised beds on two vacant
lots on Pleasant and Sheldon acquired from the Kent County Land Bank.
This Well House Neighborhood Garden is open to neighbors who want to
grow their own food—or benefit from what grows there. For information,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616-245-3910.