It's official, as of today - the incorporation of the DC Urban Gardeners. And who might they (we) be? The six DC Master Gardeners who've been meeting and scheming since last August to create an association in D.C. for volunteer gardeners, whether Master Gardeners or not, because there isn't one. (And why not? Good question!) As mentioned here before, we've put on a couple of functions already - a Plant Swap, and a Composting Talk and Demo - and we have a consulting team that's already at work helping folks create school gardens. Oh, yeah, school gardens are HOT with our group, and we hope there will be lots more. (Our new mayor has deemed education to be his top priority and we're there!)
Along with boring old articles of incorporation, I'm happy to also announce the birth of:
The DC Urban Gardeners site, with a full calendar of gardening and environmental events; links to gardening and environmental groups, both local and national; resources - books, mags, sites and blogs; sources of plants, both local and mail order; volunteer "opportunities," with details galore; sources of in-person training, courses and workshops; plus gardens to visit, in town or within day-trip distance. So tell us, readers: What else would you want on the site if you lived here?
The DC Urban Gardener News blog, a companion to the site, to carry news and features of interest to the local gardening and environmental community (and, we hope, residents.) And guess what - I don't have to write it all myself. I'll be contributing articles but newbie blogger Ed Bruskie, a former Washington Post food reporter, got the ball rolling and has lots of ideas and energy. We'll encourage other Urban Gardeners to contribute stories, as well.
The Battle of the Blog
So does anybody remember the old DC Master Gardener News blog that's been sitting in my sidebar since last summer? Well, it's been "deleted," the weblog equivalent of being put down. That's because when we decided we'd get waaay more accomplished if we were independent of DC's Cooperative Extension Service, the bureaucrats got testy and started throwing around the L word - lawyers - so we changed our name, shut down our blog, and started all over again. (Not that we had to legally; even quacks like Jerry Baker can use the term Master Gardener.) But besides creating a bunch of dead links out there on the web, no harm is done. In fact, this way we can be much more inclusive AND completely free of the stranglehold of restrictions being imposed on us by UDC. Freedom! (Honestly, we can't understand why more Master Gardener groups haven't gone independent, like our new friends on Long Island.)