Huge Spring Haul to the Food Bank

This week, the gardeners donated 100 pounds of fresh herbs and greens to the Ballard Food Bank. Boxes of chard and miner’s lettuce along with piles of fresh herbs – all harvested from the land outside the Crown Hill Center. Before this plot was turned into farmable land, it was an underused stretch of grass – and now it is creating a place for neighbors to connect and find nourishment!

Stop by on Saturday!

Do you manage the roundabout on your block or other right of way garden space?
Are you wondering how to get started gardening in your roundabout?

Saturday April 24th

1pm – 2pm

** Connect with neighbors, share tips, and exchange seeds!  **

What’s Growing

  • Chard – Fred says it’s about to bolt so harvest will be “more enthusiastic” this week.
  • So much Miner’s Lettuce!
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb – one from last year and one recently donated by a neighbor.
  • Artichoke – a hold over from the urban farmers who tended this plot before. Amazing to watch grow!
  • Thornless blackberry – different than the Himalayan. Bigger, better tasting berries.
  • Parsley – so curly.
  • Lettuce – still beautiful!
  • Feverfew
  • Kale
  • Peas – the 6′ plastic mesh is so far effective at keeping the bunnies out.

Sage Advice

“Good thing to keep in mind. Dumb thing to worry about. ”  – Gardener Fred

To Do in Your Garden

Super charge your compost game and bury some rotting wood beneath your bed. Hugelkulture gardening (like at the Holman Grove) you garden on mounds: dig a trench, fill it with rotting chunks of wood to be level with the ground, and then mound the dirt. But you can get a similar boost without a full blown hugel. When you are prepping your bed, dig down an extra shovel full. Toss in some rotting wood (there is a good selection behind the track at Soundview), cover it up, and continue as usual. As the wood breaks down it will help you build healthy soil!

Miner’s Lettuce

This tender, cute, delicious spring treat can grow in your garden – but if you keep an also forage it from parks and other green spaces. It is a plentiful, lowland understory herb that especially like to grow around the bases of trees. Individual stalks have a small root and grow in dry soil. They are crunchy with a light earthy flavor.

The gardeners harvested a huge haul to donate to the food bank. There is still some left to harvest, and they will leave 2% to go to seed. The plan is collect some of the seeds and let the rest do its thing.


One of the chard patches at the garden was planted 12 months ago! While some plants develop and grow by the calendar, others respond to different cues. In the case of chard, you can keep them from bolting by harvesting a few leaves from the bottom up. The chard will think it needs a few more leaves before they can bolt, then you can harvest again to restart the cycle. “We are fighting against spring time, but you can win for a while,” Fred said.