e-news banner
July 2014
In This Issue
Summer Potlucks
Upcoming and New Project Grow Classes
Become a Master Composter This Fall!
Every Groundhog Has Its Day
Site Pictures on Facebook
Free Compost for Ann Arbor Residents
Free Compost in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township

Subscribe to Our Newsletter! 



Our Website 


About Project Grow 


Our Blog


Click Here to Volunteer Now! 

Find us on Facebook  

Follow us on Twitter   

View our videos on YouTube  


Project Grow Summer Potlucks

Project Grow held it's first 2014 garden site potluck at County Farm on June 21st.  It was a beautiful day for the first day of summer and about 40 people came.  

We have scheduled three more of these potlucks for July, August and September.  All Project Grow gardeners and friends are invited to attend.  Each of Project Grow's twenty garden sites is unique and has its own particular advantages and challenges.  These potlucks are a great chance to meet other gardeners, see other sites and enjoy some great food.  

Lakewood Elementary, 344 Gralake
Saturday July 19th at 4pm, rain date Sunday July 20th 4pm

Greenview Nature Area, Greenview & Scio Church
Saturday August 16th at 4pm, rain date Sunday August 17th 4pm 

Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Sunday September 14th at 2pm.  No rain date.

If you plan to come, please RSVP here. This matters because if we get rained out, we will only update the people who have RSVP'd.  Hope to see you there!


Upcoming and New Project Grow Classes



Exploring Bees! 7: Varroa Mite Monitoring

Saturday, July 19, from 10 am to noon.

Apiary, Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor

At the apiary, we will discuss varroa mites, the worst enemy of hives.  We will cover the biology of this pest and ways to monitor, treat and manage it.  Rain date:  Sunday, July 20th.   Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.


Class is limited to those who have already paid for the full course, though drop-ins are permitted, with fees of $10.00 ($15.00 per couple), payable in cash at the door.


Eat Your Weeds!

Saturday July 19th from 10am to noon

Leslie House, Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor

Vegetable gardeners bemoan the pesky presence of weeds that threaten to take over their garden.  Much work goes into weeding them out.  And yet in doing so, valuable foodstuff might be thrown away that are just as tasty and healthful, which grow without the need of coddling and care, and offer themselves free for you to harvest, if you only knew what they are!  Instructor, Inge Ferguson, will redefine what a weed is and show you the abundance of naturally growing new foodstuffs that grow in your garden.  Class is free, but registration is required. 



Saving Seeds

Saturday August 16th from 10am to noon

Leslie House, Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor

Many dollars are spent by gardeners each year on seeds.  And yet, with some planning and a little work, much of the cost for seeds can be avoided.  This class will cover the advantages of gardening with heirloom varieties and seed-saving basics that can help you save money and ensure that you get the varieties that you grow and love.  Participants will then try their hands at saving seeds from a variety of vegetables, including fresh tomatoes, grown by instructor, Marcella Trautmann.  Class is free, but registration is required. 



There are still more classes in August through October so please visit our website to read all about them. 



Become a Master Composter This Fall!
Project Grow will again be offing a series of classes through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed this fall for students to become Master Composters.  

Registration for the Master Composter program is now available on the Rec and Ed webpage.  This is our last newsletter before the program begins.  If you are interested in this program, please take a minute to register now!


The program is seven two and half hour classes:
  • Tuesday September 30th  Class overview, Composting basics, types of bins (Nancy Stone, Master Composter)
  • Tuesday October 7th Yard Waste Reduction (held at Project Grow's Compost Education Center at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor) (Chris Simmons, Master Composter, City of Ypsilanti)
  • Tuesday October 14 Tour of municipal composting operations, 4150 Platt Road, Ann Arbor. Distribute/discuss open book exam.  (Nancy Stone)
  • Tuesday October 21 Vermiculture, worm bins, special composting, compost teas (Jesse Raudenbush of Starr Valley Farms)
  • Tuesday October 28 Soils (Erica Kempter of Nature and Nurture)
  • Tuesday November 4th   Worm bin workshop and site tour (held at Project Grow's Compost Education Center at the Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor. Note: interested students may purchase a worm bin take-home kit for $30 with 1000 red worms, 12-gallon container and worm bedding. (Jesse Raudenbush and Joet Roema) 
  • Tuesday November 11 Guest presenters with community composting opportunities, Take-Home Exam corrected in-class; share ideas for volunteer projects, set date and topic/speaker for spring graduation pizza dinner  (Lisa Perschke, Advanced Master Composter and Advanced Master Gardener and guest presenters)  
All classes are 6:30pm-8:30pm.  Except for the tour of the municipal compost operation on October 14th and the Worm Bin Workshop November 4th, all will be at Pioneer High School.


You can only sign up for the entire series, but the cost of all six classes is only $49.  Erica Kempter, who helped create and still teaches part of the Organic Gardener Certification program at WCC, will be teaching the soils class.  

The Master Composter program does not require any previous knowledge of composting or gardening, but Erica thinks it is a great follow up to the OGC or Master Gardener programs for people who want to continue their organic gardening education.  

After finishing 10 hours of hands on volunteer work and the classes, you become a certified Washtenaw County Master Composter.  


How Do I Register?
You can register through the Rec and Ed website but not until late August.  Just go to the Rec and Ed website and search on "Master Composter"  After Labor Day, you can also register by phone or in person.  Call Rec and Ed at (734)994-2300 for more details.

Every Groundhog Has Its Day

A groundhog is lucky to be born near a Project Grow garden and some are luckier still.  No gardener likes groundhogs, but it is another thing to intentionally let a baby one die caught in a fence.  At the end of the County Farm potluck, a couple of us were walking through County Farm and we saw a baby groundhog (about the size of a guinea pig) with its head caught in a plastic fence.  

We went to get help from Eric Meves ("Eric will know what to do").  Eric and Joe Haiss cut the fence to free it in the lower picture.  You can't see Eric but he is holding the fence in place with a pair of long clippers while Joe cuts the fence from around the groundhog. 

Site Pictures and Other Fun Stuff on Facebook 

When he remembers to bring his pre-smart phone camera, Kirk has been taking pictures of our garden sites as he visits them  and posting the pictures to Facebook.  Even if you don't use Facebook, you can still view the pictures and other posts about events and volunteer opportunities here.  

Looking good at Hunt Park

Free Compost for Ann Arbor Residents

Up to one cubic yard of free compost is available to Ann Arbor City residents!  To get your compost you need to have proof of residency such as a driver's license or recent water or electric bill with your address and first/last name on it.  Also, don't forget to bring your own shovel and container!

Compost is available only on Saturday mornings between 8 a.m. - noon from April until the last Saturday in June.  Drive to the Wheeler complex off of Platt Rd. (driveway on your right, immediately south of  Swift Run Dog Park, and just south of Ellsworth Road).  Drive in to the large blue Materials Recycling Center (past a lake), the drive up the scale to the window.  Show the receptionist your proof of residency and then drive back out the way you came, but turning off on your right where a large compost pile has been set up (there will probably be cars and people already loading up compost).  Using shovels and containers that you have brought along, you can then fill them with compost.

Free Compost in Ypsilanti

Free compost is also available to residents of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.  Follow the links for details.