Saturday, November 3, 2012

It is the time of year to close up our gardens for the winter.  This year has been especially bountiful because of an extra long growing season.  We all were able to get an early start on planting and the season continued well into fall.  However, now is the time to put our bed to bed for the winter.  If you haven’t already done so you have one last chance to get your hands in that soil, weed out the old plants that have rewarded you so well, turn the soil over and prepare it for the winter.  It is even suggested that you leave as much as possible of the old vegetables right in the bed for that extra composting and nutrition. Turn your bed over with the plants still in it and just think, the plants that gave so much during the summer months will still be giving all winter long.  Just as we do with our home, the time has come to winterize and close up the garden.  
Writings by Robin, community gardener

Monday, July 16, 2012

Magic is happening at the Community Garden

Have you noticed the magic that is going on at the Community Garden this summer?  The warm spring weather that allowed us early planting has proven to be worthwhile. What a surprise to walk into the garden this year and see the amazing development of the plants.   Already this season gardeners have been enjoying the fruits of their labor with many grown vegetables and this year’s crops seem to be the best since the Community Garden began.  Of course the weather has helped in that regard but let us not forget the diligent work by those of us who have tended our plots since the opening of the Community Garden in 2010 by adding compost, leaf humus and working the soil with loving hands to produce this year’s outstanding crops.

Have you paused just inside the west gate to watch the butterflies flutter around their colorful plants? The newly added Butterfly Garden has really bloomed and is a welcoming stop for the traveling butterflies.  Just follow the colorful dainty creatures and they will lead you to their own private oasis.

We humans also use the Community Garden for our own personal oasis.  Some of us like the idea of homegrown vegetables for our kitchen table.  Some of us are a part of the Bethesda on the Bay Church group or the Village Food Project growing organic vegetables, herbs and flowers for local needs.  And still yet some of us simply like the quiet, meditative surroundings that the garden offers. Whatever your reason, it’s nice to remember that we all come together inside those gates with a common interest and this summer we have all benefited from the Community Garden in one way or another. 

Enjoy the magic that is happening at the Community Garden this summer.

Writings by Robin

Thursday, April 26, 2012

See You at the Garden!

The Bay Village Community Garden officially opens May 1st.  The time is here to finally get excited about getting outdoors and playing in the dirt.  We all have that little child inside us who is eager to run outside when the weather is good and have some silly fun.  Every one of us is anxious to take a walk through the garden, check out our plots, get our hands dirty, turn the soil and mentally map out the placement of this year’s crops.  This is the 3rd year of the Community Garden and with each new season the garden becomes more efficient, more enticing and visually more beautiful.  This year is no different.  Thoughtful new ideas have helped make the garden more organized and more enjoyable.  As you walk through the garden to your little patch of soil take the time to notice the quiet new addition of lavender tucked between the rows of daffodils.  Pause a moment to take in the fragrance of this new plant and appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings. A simple walk through the garden can excite your senses and engage your mind to imagine the changes that will occur in just a few short weeks.  The time is here so bring your garden tools, your gloves and your inner child’s imagination and get busy playing in the dirt.

 See you at the garden!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pleasant Surprises

This mild winter weather has been a pleasant surprise. No one expected a December, January and so far February quite like this. Everyone still seems to be holding their breath wondering when the real northeast weather will arrive. It is hard to believe that in less than 2 months on April 5th the local baseball team will begin their official season. Still harder to believe is that the calendar says spring begins in approximately 4 weeks. Although the calendar says we still have 4 more weeks of winter we have to admit it has been a mild one. Maybe it’s time to stop holding our breath and start looking forward to the next season. Maybe we should just enjoy and appreciate the mild climate and begin to plan for warmer weather. Soon beauty will be born in that now wet ground. A new cycle of plants will fill our garden. In fact blooming daffodils are right around the corner. Very soon the warm sun will beckon us to that patch of soil that once was and will be again a perfect square of vibrant plants and flowers. This unexpected surprise of mild weather is a good thing. Why not enjoy it? Why not embrace the calm of it? It’s time to appreciate the weather that is here now. Let us not second guess the whys of it but instead be grateful. It’s only weeks before spring officially arrives so it’s time to turn our thoughts to warmer weather and the anticipation of what spring will bring. Because springtime is always a pleasant surprise.

2012 writings by Robin

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Growing Season

We have come to the end of a good growing season. It is time to prepare our garden beds for the winter. The fruits of our labor were rewarded with a bounty of delicious vegetables, herbs and a visual assortment of beautiful flowers. The temperatures have dropped so it’s time to put the garden tools away, time to pack those garden gloves that look so wonderfully worn and served us so well away. Just seeing the garden gloves with yesterday’s dirt on them gave you a peaceful feeling, they reminded you of your time alone working the soil in your little patch of heaven. As we prepare our garden beds for the winter we can also take this time to plan next year’s crop. Remember when you would open the gate and make your way to your assigned plot you would notice other gardens with the most outstanding eye-catching plants and you would think to yourself, “I can do that”. Well now is the time to plan and research that plant and add it to your 2012 planting list. With every new idea there is an old one that still works. Don’t discount those plants that gave you that summer smile, but add a few new ones to the old standbys. The most ideal garden is one that combines neighborly ideas, a variety of vegetables, fragrant herbs and a few flowers to excite the senses. Our winter homework is just beginning, relive those summer thoughts and remember to start mentally preparing your plot for an even better 2012 summer garden. Put your garden bed to sleep for the winter, clean those garden tools and imagine all the possibilities of next year. See you in the spring!

Writings by Robin, Bay Community Gardener

Monday, August 1, 2011

Take a Walk Through the Garden

It is very difficult to be in a bad mood when you visit the Community Garden. From the moment you walk through the gate you are welcomed by an assortment of plants, some of which are enjoying the peak of the season and are showing off for you. Some plants tower over your head as you pass. Other plants are so full of fragrance that it catches you by surprise. You need to walk slowly to take in the full effect of what is on display. If you walk too fast you will miss that perfect little flower mixed in with all the hearty vegetables. As you look around you also can sense the tender care that was cultivated into each plot of soil. Some are more experienced than others but that is also the beauty of it, each garden has its own individual charm to offer. A good friend once called the garden “their sanctuary” and I think that is a good description.

If you haven’t been to the garden yet, take a stroll through. You won’t regret it. Escape your worries and let the Community Garden work its magic on you too. Your troubles will be lighter when you leave.

Writings by Robin - a Bay community gardener

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer is Here!

It seems so long since we dared venture outside without an umbrella. The rainy weather dampened our spirits for awhile but now that cloud has passed and it’s so good to feel the warmth of the sun again. Summer is all about warm days, lemonade, bike riding, ice cream cones and enjoying the outdoors. Finally, pleasant summer days are here. Thoughts of short sleeves, evening breezes and the beauty of color are upon us. The grass is greener than ever before. The trees seem fuller and blooms have sprung overnight. Garden centers have become a flurry of activity. We are all anxious to play in the sun, plant flowers, watch our vegetable gardens grow and just relish in the thought that there is no need to run and take cover. Get out your bike, garden tools or just take a leisurely walk next door to say hi to your neighbor. Get out into the warm weather, but leave the umbrella at home this time. It’s finally time to have fun in the sun. Enjoy!

Writing by Robin - a Bay Community Gardener

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 28th Rib Rockin' Raffle

The Bay Village Green Team supports the Bay Skate & Bike Park's Rib Rockin' Raffle and so can you!

This year’s event will be on Saturday, May 28th, from 5-11 PM at the Bay Lodge, 492 Bradley Road. Over 10 teams will face off to bring you the best ribs of the year! Enjoy the rib tasting and be a part of the judging. There will be celebrity judging for the best ribs, plus a People’s Choice Award , with prizes for 1st ($500), 2nd ($250), and 3rd ($100).

This is the second Rib Rockin’ Raffle to be held at the Bay Lodge. The event is a great evening of fun and entertainment. Live local music will be provided by Hypnotic Dog. Also featured is a silent auction with all kinds of unique packages and products from local merchants to bid on. The $50 ticket price also allows you to try your luck in the reverse raffle for a grand prize of $1000.

The Rib Rockin’ Raffle benefits the Bay Skate & Bike Park, and is brought to you by Savannah Bar & Grill, 30676 Detroit in Westlake.
To purchase your tickets, enter a rib team, donate to the silent auction, or be a sponsor , contact John Underation at 330-607-2477. Tickets to attend the event are $50 each.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Meeting Updates

The City is working with the County Planning Commission to craft a sustainable master plan to include a community visioning portion. Mayor Sutherland along with Paul Alsenas, Carol Thaler and Chris Alvarado from the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, were all present at the meeting. The master plan was last updated 10 years ago and is largely around land use planning. The Mayor would like to take this opportunity to update the master plan and set a vision for where the City wants to go and where the residents want to go. There is a desire to have the master plan address a broader perspective, including how the City grows in a sustainable way, addressing everything from human capital to health and education, expanding it beyond land use and zoning. According to Paul Alsenas, our region leads the nation in the sustainability effort. He reviewed examples of innovation and leadership in the field that are occurring in Northeast Ohio. Carol Thaler gave a presentation and reviewed a slide with the group that showed that Environment, Culture, and Economics must all be integrated to be truly sustainable. The group then discussed how to expand the current master plan to include a sustainability vision. The Green Team is very excited to work with the City on this project.

A brief update was given on the Bay Community Garden by Bob Shields. To date, 120 plots have been spoken for with only a few remaining plots available. There has been a change in rules this year where community gardeners are being asked to provide 1-2 hours of service within the garden each month to help with general maintenance such as grass cutting and tending to common areas like the sunflower garden and pumpkin patch. So far, the response for volunteers has been incredible. Residents at The Knickerbocker want to get in on the gardening action as well and have requested 7, one-half plots (so, 3.5 beds)—the beds need to be raised to around 30 inches. Bob is looking for individuals or groups to help with labor and materials. If you are interested in helping out, please email Bob at:

Volunteers are needed for 2 upcoming GT events—May 5th for the Bike-to-School Safety Fair from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Bay Middle School. Volunteers are needed to set up the table and promote Green activities. On Saturday, May 21st the 4th Annual Waterway clean-up is planned with Bay High School Project Earth Club from 11 AM-2 PM. Eryn Whistler, the Project Earth adviser, would like to expand the clean up beyond the waterways, and is looking for adult volunteers to assist the students in specific areas. Anyone interested, please contact the GT at:

Our next regular monthly meeting will be Tuesday, May 10 at the Bay Community House beginning at 6:30. Make a difference, get involved!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

SPRING, The Promise

With spring comes a promise that better uplifting sunny days are ahead. There is no turning back the clock. We are guaranteed that temperatures will soon be going up, jackets will be coming off and a breeze of fresh air will soon be coming through the window. The heavy feeling of winter will be just a memory. Spring is the time to refresh our way of thinking. It is time for us to make room for the possibility of new growth. Just as the earth was silent under the snow, we have been silently waiting for this time to arrive. In a way we have all been dormant, but now the time has come for us to come alive. Spring is a hopeful time of year, it is a fresh start. This is the time to have new goals and new plans. This is the time when it feels good to break free and just breathe. Walk out into the fresh air and begin to imagine all the possibilities that spring can bring. Visualize all the colors that have been absent for all these months but will soon be in abundance. Picture in your mind the beauty of a newly planted garden. Mother Nature has given us the next season to enjoy she has kept her promise now it’s up to us to make the most of it.

Writing by Robin - a Bay Community Gardener

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Meeting Updates

We were joined at this month's meeting by Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conversation District and Suzanne Krippel and Jill Lis from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to review a grant that they have received from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to conduct a study of the Huntington Beach water shed. The goal of the study is to improve the water quality at Huntington Beach by reducing pathogen inputs (e-coli) from the surrounding water shed (Porter Creek). The contamination sources will be identified, and an action plan to address them (possibly with future grants) will be developed. The study covers 2 years and will look at e-coli levels in the water. In the first year, the storm sewer fall outs that contribute the most contamination will be identified and samples will be taken, particularly when it rains. The University of Toledo will be doing an in-depth study of the samples. In the second year, the surface water where there are a lot of impervious surfaces will be sampled. The results of the study will be published under the Great Lakes Accountability Systems (GLAS).

Amy and Suzanne are also involved in the education of residents around storm water management. There are simple steps that individuals can take to reduce storm water run off, including rain barrels (make one at our upcoming workshop), rain gardens, reduce impervious surfaces on driveways, wash your car on the lawn, plant trees, etc.

After the presentation, the Green Team discussed the fact that there is a volume problem with storm water, even without the contamination. Case in point—the significant flooding that occurred on Porter Creek in February and early March. The development that replaces trees and soil with impervious surfaces (concrete) is a large contributor to the volume problems with the water shed.

Cornelia Ryan provided information on the native plants of the year, from the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity. Invasive species pose some of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of our region. By planting native plants, you will see many benefits, including: Attract native wildlife, reduce erosion, less fertilizer and watering, and connect people to nature. The native plants featured for 2011 are: Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), and Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Mark your calendar for these BVGT Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, April 13---7-8:30 PMCompost Seminar—Bay Community House

Saturday, April 16---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Wednesday, April 27---7-8:30 PMRain Barrel Workshop—Bay Community House

Saturday, May 21---9 AM-5 PMHabitat for Humanity Drop Off—Police Station

Saturday, May 21---10:30 AM-2 PMAnnual Waterway Cleanup

For a complete set of Minutes from the March 8th meeting email us at Join us at our next regular GT meeting on Tuesday, April 12th, 6:30 PM, at the Bay Community House.

Make a difference, get involved!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Composting Seminar at Bay Community House

Spring is a great time to start a compost pile. All you need is a sunny spot in the backyard and you’ll be able to create a compost pile using a mix of “brown” and “green” materials.

Backyard composting is a key to reducing the waste that goes to the land fill. When the organic matter such as kitchen and yard waste go to the landfill, the nutrients are not returned to the soil. Through composting, you reuse valuable materials by returning the nutrients from the food you eat and the plant material in your yard back to the soil. According to the EPA, nearly 25% of all waste that goes to the land fills is compostable.

What can be composted?

The compost process adds 1-2 parts GREEN materials with 2-3 parts BROWN materials.

· Green (organic) materials include: Plant clippings, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, flowers, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags

· Brown (organic) materials include: Dead leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips, shredded newspaper, dryer/vacuum lint, nut shells

A properly maintained compost pile will have an “earthy” smell and will provide you with a free source of valuable organic soil amendments to use in place of fertilizers.

Compost Seminar:

Come and join Kathy Rocco of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District on Wednesday, April 13, 7-8:30 PM to learn all about backyard composting. The Seminar will be held at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Road, in Bay Village and is open to the public. The seminar is free and there will be two styles of outdoor compost bins available for purchase at a discounted price of $50 each. There is also a compost scrap pail for $5. (Cash or check only).

To register:

Contact Warren Remein