Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for RWCEG Garden Bed Re-build and Winter Greens!

Thank you to the RWCEG community for support of the recent garden bed re-build and wicking system project! Although not quite done, bed-1 at RWCEG is now functional for growing winter greens! About three weeks ago, the wicking system passed functional testing, and revitalized soil was finally added. Once the square-foot markers were added, my kids started planting on November 9th.  Since then, the garden appears to have survived a few freezing nights, and the nearly 5 inches of rain recently received. Per readings from the "monitoring tube", the wicking system appears to be water tight and yet draining off excess rain water properly. We had our first salad green harvest on Thanksgiving Day, so we truly have something to be thankful for!

What's next?  Although the bed is functional to grow plants, a few construction details remain. The back trellis needs to be rebuilt, and a few block-holes need to be back filled. The arch tubes were recently installed to hold up plastic sheeting to effectively create a green house on very cold days. A full document detailing construction history has yet to be created.

Happy Thanksgiving RWCEG! Enjoy the pictures below.

-Glenn Starnes

 Revitalized Soil being added to garden bed by RWCEG helpers (Many others not shown also helped).

                Gina and Evan planting in newly re-built bed-1 at RWCEG.

Arch tubes and plastic sheeting turn bed into a Green House on cold days.

Monitoring tube measures water level of wicking reservoir.

                               Evan checking on garden and harvesting for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

RWCEG Wicking Bed Project

Rollingwood community, come join us at the RWCEG garden this Saturday, October 25 to participate in our Wicking Garden Bed Project!

Recently, garden bed 1 has been rebuilt with cinder blocks. The next step in the project is to install the wicking system. We need volunteers to help cart gravel from the RW City Hall parking lot to the RWCEG garden. At 9:30 am, a team with two trucks will meet at the RW City Hall parking lot to go to Daniel Stone Company (12015 W Hwy 290 near Nutty Brown Cafe) to purchase smooth river rock and pebbles. We will be back by noon. We would appreciate volunteers to help cart the river rock from the parking lot to the garden. Please bring buckets, hand carts, wheel barrels, and shovels if you have any of these resources to help cart these stones.

We hope this will also be an educational experience to help people learn about the gardening advantages and construction details of a wicking bed.

Contact Glenn Starnes at for additional information or questions.

Evan next to re-built bed 1 cinder block wall.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Important Fall Planting meeting- Sunday, Sept. 14 5:30 pm in the garden

Garden people,
Summer's over, Fall's coming, and we need to get crackin' in the garden! There are lots of exciting projects on the horizon.

Wicking system installation and renovation of Bed #1

Chimney Swift signage and beautification

Food Forest experiments- 
How to make root beer from a root beer tree?  
Sweet potato harvest

Eco-trail signage

Food forest how to video production help

Fall Planting

We miss you and REALLY need your participation to make the 

Please mark your calenders and join us- Thanks! 

IMPORTANT RWCEG steering committee meeting-Sunday, Sept. 14th 5:30pm at garden

Monday, June 30, 2014

Another wonderful growing season

Aloha Jeff, we will miss you!

Thank you for another wonderful growing season!  It was a blast creating the food forest together in the spring and screening Farm City-State this summer.  As we approach July, the garden goes into summer lock-down where we only water what is thriving or about to produce in order to save our precious reserves for the fall. Since this summer has been so wet, it's less of a concern, but the humidity and heat are making up for it, and I look forward to going dormant till the end of August.

For those that choose to continue gardening, more power! Just remember to lock the gate, shut off the water and report any suspicious behavior to "US" and the Rollingwood police.

I will leave you with a remarkable manifesto on food by Wendell Berry

Have a BEAUTIFUL SUMMER and 4th of JULY!

FYI- Next steering committee meeting will be held Sunday, Sept. 7th, 3pm at the garden

Friday, May 30, 2014

Thank you RWC dinner and film screening- Sat. June 14th 7-9:30pm

The garden would like to thank the Rollingwood Women's Club for all their support, most recently with the funding of the food forests.  We planted four of them along the walking trail to the main garden and they are bursting with fruit trees; Grapefruit, Pear, Peach, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Locquat, Fig and all kinds of companion and pollinator plants to help maintain and enrich the soil and encourage bees and butterfly's to visit.   One of the things we planted early spring was potatoes, lots of them, and they are almost ready to harvest.

Come visit the forests, eat some Au Gratin and watch a documentary about the Austin food movement, 
Farm-City, State

Saturday, June 14th  7-9:30pm at the Pavilion next to Rollingwood City Hall.
Feel free to bring family and friends, a dish and beverage of your choice.
Happy Summer!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Evan's famous, food forest update and garden meeting this Sunday!

After a week or two of glorious of spring, looks like summer is rearing her gnarly little head. Temps are up and so is the humidity, good thing the garden beds are full of tomatoes and ready for whatever hell she has to bring this season, although I hear we may be getting El Nino conditions, which means RAIN!

The food forests are a smashing success.  We are seeing blooms on almost all the fruit trees and having great fun watching our potatoes and asparagus popping up.  There's lots of room now to practice experimental plantings in these new beds, so please feel free to get involved.

Our next steering committee meeting is this Sunday, April 6th 3pm at the garden.

We have some exciting news that just came in.  Karen Knight's dear friend, Jennifer Wolfe, visited the garden last summer and had the privilege of a tour led by our garden mascot, Evan Starnes.  If you haven't had a tour by Evan, you will see in Jen's article what you're missing.  He is fondly know as the "INFORMATION POLLINATOR" and we are so happy to have his passion and energy in the garden.

Here's a link to the full article.

Thanks Jen, Evan and Everyone who participates and supports RWCEG!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The planting of the FOOD FOREST begins- Saturday, Feb.1st 9am-4pm

First off, I want to thank Barry, Brett, Don, Allen, Mike, Glen, Evan, Calvin, Ray, Nolan, Jeff, the Boyscouts, Angelica, Matthew, Kirby, Taelor and Matthew for coming out last Saturday and hauling 22 cubic yards of soil from the city parking lot to the garden.  Thank you GEOGROWERS!

NO SMALL FEAT for so few.  For those that couldn't make it, you missed an incredible core workout!

Paul Galvan and his camera crew got WAY too many shots of us hauling dirt, but this Saturday is gonna be different.  This Saturday, we're gonna PLANT!  The video crew will be back, so we need the ENTIRE COMMUNITY to come out and represent our fair city.  We'll be working from 9am to 4pm, so even if you only have an hour or two, come by and support this amazing project.

Kirby Fry and his permaculture team will be teaching us about the wonderful world of Dynamic Accumulators, Pollinators, Farmer's Trees, Cover Crops and Guilds.

Sorry, no photos of the beds and last weeks work day, (too busy hauling dirt!), but I'll add a little video from Geoff Lawton, a founder of the Permaculture movement.  This inspired me to want to build a Food Forest.

The Greening of the Desert

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The FOOD FOREST is coming! WE NEED YOUR HELP Sat. Jan 25th

Hello and Happy New Year!
2014 is already turning out to be a good one. The Rollingwood Women's Club has generously donated funds towards the building of 4 food forest planting beds along the north perimeter of the trail between the playground and garden.


A food forest mimics the natural, self-nurturing cycles of a native forest where the bigger trees provide a shade canopy and deciduous matter that protects and fertilizes smaller trees, bushes, vines and ground cover below.  Our design will provided fruits, nuts, berries and herbs to the neighborhood!

It's an opportunity for us to try a different type of gardening, one that, once established, can survive with very little human intervention and provide really interesting results.  We will be working with our permaculture design expert, Kirby Fry, of Southern Exposure.  Kirby helped us build the garden and he is a powerhouse in the Central Texas permaculture world.

Our first of two workdays will be SATURDAY, Jan. 25th starting at 9:00am, second work day (if needed) will be the following SATURDAY, Feb.1st.

JOIN IN, it's a great way to connect to the community and your family and WE NEED YOUR ELBOW GREASE!  We'll be hauling lots of dirt from the city's parking lot to the garden beds, bring a shovel, rake and wheelbarrow if you have it.  I can give teenagers community service hours, so get them off the screens and into nature!

LOOK YOUR BEST, because Galvan Creative will be videotaping the event as a possible documentary on "How to build a Food Forest".

Here's a PLANT LIST we're using provided by Caroline Riley, Austin Permaculture Guild teacher.

We hope you'll come out and be a part of the next phase of the Rollingwood Community Education Garden!