Growing Strong at Venable!

Things are really hoppin' in the garden at Venable Elementary! With nearly every classroom involved in the garden this spring, Garden Coordinator, Jennifer Esser, joyously has her hands full with seeds being planted and potted up or transplanted in classrooms all over the school, classes coming out to work and learn in the garden, and a whole slew of other exciting things going on!

According to Jennifer, the goal at Venable this spring was to get as many students and teachers involved in the garden as possible - and, boy, has that sure happened! In order to do this, Jennifer started by helping students in five classrooms plant seedlings under grow lights to care for with their classes. Students sowed and cared for over 400 snapdragon, pansy, viola, sweet pea, and California poppy seedlings. When it came time to transplant the seedlings after spring break, in addition to planting the flowers all around the Venable garden, each child was also able to pot up a flower to bring home with them!

In addition to all that's going on during the school day, Jennifer has hosted an after school garden club, family workdays, and lots more!

Visit our blog to read more about the exciting things going on in the garden at Venable!

Highlights from Greenbrier!
Lots has been going on in the garden at Greenbrier Elementary! A few weeks ago, CSG had the pleasure of hosting a bunch of new faces in the garden at Greenbrier for a Cultivate C'Ville Event and Spring Volunteer Orientation! The clouds parted ways, the sky opened up, and it was a lovely day to meet, talk, and do some awesome work in the garden!

The first part of the afternoon was devoted to a networking session and discussion with friends from the Cultivate C'Ville Urban Farming Network. The event was aimed at introducing folks to other gardeners from around the city, sharing experiences and ideas, and strengthening urban agriculture connections. After the networking session, more folks showed up for CSG's Spring Volunteeer Orientation where we shared, among other things, the vision and mission behind CSG's work and discussed further opportunities for digging in! All in all it was a wonderful afternoon!

In other news at Greenbrier - Garden Coordinator, Emily Anderson, has been collaborating with teachers to teach garden-based, experiential lessons for students in all grades at Greenbrier. Emily has also been running an afterschool garden club that brings about 20 students out into the garden each Wednesday afternoon!

Already, students have planted peas, cabbages, carrots, spinach, onions, lettuce, asparagus, potatoes, cotton, tomatoes, cilantro, and more. It's shaping up to be a wonderful growing season in the garden at Greenbrier for students, teachers, and plants alike!

To read more about what's happening in the garden at Greenbrier, check out our recent blog post!


CSG Garden Corner

Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.

May 2015:
When to Water and Harvest

by Samantha Taggart


Gardening is not an exact science - the methods are not set in stone and things hardly ever really go according to plan. Schedules get in the way of weeding and sometimes those seeds go in the ground a week after you wanted them to. That being said, there are a few things in gardening where timing really is everything - watering and harvesting are two of them.

Read Sam's blog to get the full scoop on the best times of day to water and harvest your garden.

Harvest now: spring greens, radishes, cilantro, parsley, and other early spring crops
What to do now: start planting hot-weather summer vegetables such as tomatoes outside!

With all of this warm, wet weather our pea plants have really had a growthspurt in the last few weeks! Don't forget to follow the progress of the 1st Peas to the Table friendly pea growing competition happening accross Charlottesville Elementary Schools!

CSG sends out a hearty thank you to each and every one of the individuals, businesses and foundations that support the work we do to engage youth in nature, enhance academic learning, and cultivate the skills for healthy living. We can only thrive with your partnerships! 

CSG has been so fortunate for the partnerships with local garden clubs- Rivanna Garden Club and the Piedmont Master Gardeners. Thank you for the much need financial support that provide gardening opportunities for youth in our community. 


Cox's Tree Service
Van Yahres Tree Company, Cox's Tree Service, and C'Ville Parks & Recreation for their donations of mulch.

Black Bear Composting for all of the donations of compost to each of our gardens!


Susan Northington and the McGuffey Art Center as well as all artists who participated in the Anew Garden Art Show!


Board Profiles: Aleen Carey and Lisa Drake

[CSG Board Chair, Lisa Drake (left) and CSG Board Vice Chair, Aleen Carey (right)]

Each month we sit down to talk with a CSG board member about their history in the garden, hopes for CSG, and more. We even ask them to tell us what kind of vegetable they would be if they were a vegetable (and why, of course!) This month's board members to appreciate are Aleen Carey and Lisa Drake.

Aleen has been a wonderful ambassador for CSG, sharing our story far and wide and getting other people and organizations in our community involved in the work we're doing.

Lisa has been involved with CSG since our beginnings and is a rock-star Board Chair, always willing to lend a hand, reaching out to new partners, and strategically holding the CSG vision. Lisa's impact on our ability to grow has been significant.

Read more about what brought Aleen and Lisa to CSG in our recent CSG Board Profile blog!

Come one, come all, come bugs!

Last year the City Schoolyard Garden at Burley-Moran expanded by one amazing component called the Monarch Garden. This year this expansion is taking yet another step in creating a more complete schoolyard habitat. Mr. Lorigan's second grade class is creating a bug mansion in May that will be made up of several layers of pallets. Those pallets will then be filled with materials to create habitable spaces for all sorts of bugs. Read Burnley- Moran Garden Coordintor Matt Darring's blog to find out more about this cool project!

Also inviting bugs into their garden ecosystem are the kindergarten classes at Clark Elementary School! Clark kindergarteners studied ladybugs and how they are a beneficial insect in the garden because they eat the aphids that attack the plants. The classes raised ladybugs in their classrooms and then released them in the vegetable garden!

Check out the garden facebook pages at Burnley-Moran and Clark.

Tidbits & Dates to Remember


Saturdays at Sticks!
Every Saturday in May...

We are so excited to be celebrating with Sticks Kebob Shop - our wonderful partner. Every Saturday in May, Sticks will donate a portion of their proceeds to City Schoolyard Garden. We will use the funds to support summer programming and purchase seeds for our fall gardens! Come out and enjoy the many fresh and healthy Sticks menu options!

Summer Volunteer Opportunities 

Are you looking to get more involved with City Schoolyard Garden? Visit our website to check out the list of volunteer days this summer and be sure to fill out our volunteer information survey!

Root Celebration
Thursday, May 21st, 5:30-7:00pm, Clark Elementary School

Each year, CSG hosts an annual Root Celebration where we honor volunteers, partners, and donors for sharing in the mission and work of City Schoolyard Garden. If you are a volunteer, partner, or donor who would like to come, contact Jeanette at jeanette@cityschoolyardgarden.

We have updated our website! Check us out.

Now there is more information on CSG programming, including our Education Frame for Garden Lessons (RootED), Harvest of the Month program, and First Peas to the Table friendly competition.

For fun updates, photos and stories, be sure to like us on Facebook!

Click on the apple to donate or send a check to our address below. Thank you!

P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
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