Jun 15, 2021

Jovial Concepts Gardens Spring into Action!

Seeding room April 21
Seeding room April 21

GlobalGiving Report June 16, 2021

This report is for the second quarter 2021 for Jovial Concepts Garden Initiative

What a crazy spring it has been! After weeks of delays due to weather, we finally got our season going. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to buy enough lumber to build 20 new beds including the soil. We found that lumber costs were up as much as 75% over last year.

We were able to use one of the practitioners’ rooms at The Co-op at 1st, vacant due to the Covid pandemic, as our seeding room and managed to grow out about 600+ seedlings to install in our gardens as well as sell at our annual plant sale. We were able to nurture our seedlings in the greenhouse. This is our Sloan’s Lake/Edgewater Leader Linda with a Project helping Volunteer in the seeding room and then more mature seedlings in the greenhouse.

The new SolarGem greenhouse is even better than we hoped. We loaded it up with some of the prettiest seedlings you would want to see. Soil and seed starter costs were up more than 10% over last year so again, the continued support of our donors helped us continue our mission despite increased costs. THANK YOU!!!

Our Gardening with Disabilities program has grown, last week we had 25 participants in 2 days. This year they aren’t just planting and harvesting but they have learned how to install drip irrigation and about soil science. The 19 beds at The Co-op at 1st building are almost completely planted out and irrigated. We have been able to replace outdated and inefficient drip irrigation at our building.

We have started to harvest and donate spring herbs and greens. I can’t wait to see how many pounds of food we are able to provide to our neighbors this season!

After months and months of covid delays, we completed the Project Pride Pollinator bed at Edgewater Elementary with a lot of help from Ewing Irrigation and their partners. The students were so thrilled to have their new beds, the teachers were happy with the plants selected and I think it looks great! If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and check it out. It runs down most of the west side of the building. Filled with perennials and a few self-seeding annuals, this bed will be helping Edgewater students learn about the importance of pollinators and our environment for years to come. Thanks to Little Valley Nursery for their assistance in plant selection and their generosity.

Lastly, with the assistance of our Vista Volunteer, Ava, we are cultivating some great group and corporate volunteer connections. Please consider gardening with Jovial Concepts as a great way to get together with friends and co-workers or even family reunion activities. Come and see for yourself how your contributions are building gardens, neighborhoods, and lifelong passions for gardening. We meet each Saturday at our building (10 am until June 26 when we shift to 9am due to weather)

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Edgewater Elementary Pollinlator Bed Install Day
Edgewater Elementary Pollinlator Bed Install Day
Ava, Vista Volunteer irrigating Edgewater Elem
Ava, Vista Volunteer irrigating Edgewater Elem
Ewing and Partners Edgewater Elem
Ewing and Partners Edgewater Elem
New Greenhouse Loaded for the Season!
New Greenhouse Loaded for the Season!
Feb 17, 2021

Jovial Winter Gardening

REVEL IN LIFE and Jovial Volunteers at DUG
REVEL IN LIFE and Jovial Volunteers at DUG

GlobalGiving Report February 16, 2021

This report for the first quarter of 2021 for the Jovial Concepts Garden Initiative

And people think you can’t garden in January and February! 

What an amazing partnership we have begun with REVEL in Life! Here (see pix 1) we are learning how Denver Urban Gardens wants us to sort the seed packets for their Grow A Garden pay what you can program. We will be back there later in February to fill the orders DUG has received for this program. Jovial Concepts/The Co-op at 1st Family Market will be one of DUG’s distribution points for seeds, seedlings,

We don’t have any yields to report for this quarter but look at this!!! (see pix 2)

Our new SolarGem greenhouse – no more panels flying off to Kansas! We have been fortunate with a grant that enabled us to upgrade our greenhouse to this beauty. We can even attach it to another SolarGem as our funding and programs expand even more! There are so many cool features of this system including the hydraulics on the roof vents are made of honey. When the honey gets hot, it expands and the vents open, as it cools, it contracts and the vent closes. It’s a honey of a thing! We will irrigate the greenhouse with mist and drip irrigation as soon as the temps allow.

With your continued support, we have grown our gardens in Wheat Ridge, North Lakewood, and Sloan’s Lake/LoHi. We have graduated 5 hosts, 2 have moved, and expanded into 15 new locations. We are looking for a volunteer for our I/DD Gardening with Disabilities program 3 hours 1 day/week to accommodate our Laradon partnership. If we had 2 volunteers, we could serve our neighbors with special needs that we have recently become aware of that would LOVE to have a Jovial Day in the garden (many don’t have the resources to join programs like REVEL in Life). Jovial is looking for ways to increase our salary budget to eventually make these paid positions. Any suggestions for funding or potential volunteers can be made to Kristina or Di and will be GREATLY appreciated.

We have invested in GrowVeg garden planner subscriptions for this season. (see pix 3) This will aid our Neighborhood Leaders to plan and document their gardens, learn about the varieties they select and therefore share their new knowledge with their hosts, increase production through succession and companion planting, and crop rotation to keep their beds and soil healthy and alive.

We set up a seeding room (see pix 4) in The Co-op at 1st, flats of Calabrese Broccoli, Snowball Cauliflower, and Red Acre Cabbage have all germinated and we are planting more flats this weekend.

We are continuing to work with DPS, Barnum Elementary, and our irrigation consultant to get those beds ready for their teachers and students to get planting this spring. We are still hopeful that we will able to complete the Pride Pollinator Bed project with Edgewater Elementary and Ewing Landscape and Irrigation Supply.

We recently had a great meeting with the Financial Health Institute representative re. Build a Raised Bed digital project and have a tentative date set for building 2 additional beds here at our building. We will be filming this construction and honing our digital presentation so that the MOST inexperienced person can build their own bed and start to grow their own healthy, organically grown food with our digital instructions. Not only will they eat better, but they will also add some physical movement to their daily routine, possibly improve their uptake of the happy hormone, Serotonin, and by using our techniques, they will help to sequester carbon in their soil and reduce their carbon footprint by walking to their supper not shipping it thousands of miles to their grocery store a couple of miles away at best.

Thank you for matching our donations at the end of 2020. Our hosts were excited to learn that their contributions could be doubled through your generosity!!! There is a lot ahead for this next quarter with bed building, seed starting, and solidifying our relationship with corporate volunteer groups to knock out some of the garden bed builds. We are exploring the possibilities of aiding Grow Local Colorado in starting some perennials as they do not have a greenhouse. As you can see, even if things aren’t growing above the surface right now, Jovial Gardens continues to grow and find more ways we can serve our community. Thank you again for your continued support! 

“The love of gardening is a seed that once sown, never dies” Gertrude Jekyll

Jovial SolarGem Greenhouse
Jovial SolarGem Greenhouse
Jovial Immunity Bed built on GrowVeg planner
Jovial Immunity Bed built on GrowVeg planner
Safe Seeding Room Gavin, Di, Paige
Safe Seeding Room Gavin, Di, Paige
Oct 20, 2020

Jovial Garden Initiative Grows More Than Vegetable

Revel in Life Volunteers showing off Hestra gloves
Revel in Life Volunteers showing off Hestra gloves

This report for the third quarter of 2020 for Jovial Concepts Garden Initiative

Again, you will notice that we are experiencing even more growth in this quarter.

Growing friends and leaders. This is our amazing group of volunteers from Revel in Life. Revel is a new group to join us in our Gardening with Disabilities program. Since they have joined our program as the Thursday regulars so many wonderful things have occurred in our gardens. They consistently bring 5 or more clients and 2 or 3 caregivers/therapists. They are always enthusiastic and love doing physical work, so we have scratched a bunch of chores off our to-do list. You see they are showing off the gloves that were donated by Hestra Gloves which has a location right up in Arvada! All these young people have fun while learning about gardening, focusing, and staying positive. The Revel leaders have told us that Jovial Gardens are their group’s favorite activity of the week! I know the program is here for our IDD participants, but I do believe we at Jovial have benefited as much as they have. It is very hard to be grumpy when the Revel group is in “in the house”! Katy, the Jovial IDD leader has grown so much in her lesson planning and teaching our participants with disabilities. There is so much more growing here at Jovial than vegetables!

Growing vegetables. 3rd quarter harvest yield was 3101.76 pounds! Jovial Gardens faced down that September snow harvesting over 500# in September after the snowstorm! We taught our hosts how to protect their gardens from frost and came back to harvest a whole lot more produce. The USDA Emergency Food Boxes Jovial Concepts is distributing have once again been supplemented by our fresh, organically raised produce. That is personally one of my greatest joys, watching the actual families select the food we have grown for them. Single week harvest from our first ever hoop house host’s site (averaging over 20# per week tomatoes from this location!)

 

Growing volunteer numbers. Volunteerism is up. Thank goodness with all that poundage to harvest last quarter! In June, we were feeling fortunate to log 30 volunteer hours a week after less than 10 hours per week on average in April and May. This quarter the numbers are coming in at just under 50 hours per week. If my  “old school math” is correct that’s an over 60% increase in 1 quarter. We partner with Project Helping and thanks to their effort, we logged 96 volunteer hours in one week! Whether it is from the fact we are all getting a bit ‘wiggy’ from staying home from covid, people are realizing that there are a lot of people out of work or have reduced income that need help feeding their families, or the word is getting out about how much you can learn while volunteering with Jovial,  Jovial Gardens seem to be filling the need of many more people in the 3rd quarter. What I am most proud of is that we have not had one case of covid-19 due to our gardening efforts.

With your continued support, we are looking forward to growing the number of garden beds next season with 6 new beds on the slate and 5 more prospects to interview so far. It looks like we will be bringing on some more neighborhood leaders in 2021 to maintain our quality of education and production. We have grown some great volunteers into prospective neighborhood leaders for next season.

One week's harvest from the hoop house!
One week's harvest from the hoop house!
 
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