Participating Gardens – 2013 American Legion Report
American Legion Post 139
2013 Season Report
AFAC Plot Against Hunger Vegetable Garden at the American Legion Post 139
Submitted by: Erica Antonson, AFAC Garden Coordinator
The AFAC Plot Against Hunger vegetable garden at the America Legion Post 139 was begun in June 2012. All produce grown at this garden is donated to AFAC for distribution to low-income Arlington residents.
In 2012, summer squash was the primary crop grown in the garden. During the 2013 season, the amount and variety of produce grown increased significantly. In 2013 the garden produced 330 pounds of produce for AFAC and eleven different crops were grown in 2013 (broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, swiss chard, cucumber, eggplant, green peppers, onions, radishes, sugar snap peas, and summer squash). One of this year’s most successful crops was collard greens. Planted in April, the collards remained disease free until late summer and produced reliably from June until September.
Approximately 25 to 30 volunteers spent time working in the garden in 2013. Many volunteers were Arlington residents living in nearby neighborhoods, but volunteers also came from the District of Columbia and Maryland. Volunteers included individuals affiliated both with AFAC and with the American Legion.
Two significant renovation projects were undertaken at the garden this year. A low retaining wall along the front edge of the garden and a raised bed at the front of the garden were rebuilt using lumber donated by Long Fence of Chantilly, Virginia. Volunteers also built trellises out of bamboo donated from local Arlington County yards. The bamboo trellises were used to support sugar snap peas and cucumber plants.
The picture at left, taken in late April, provides a view of the low retaining wall built as well as of the bamboo trellis.
The volunteer in the foreground is tending to young sugar snap pea plants. Behind the green fence are collard seedlings. The volunteers at the back of the garden are preparing a section of the garden bed for bell pepper seedlings.
The Arlington County community gardening mini-grant provided to support this garden was used throughout the growing season and greatly enhanced the garden’s success. Items purchased for the garden include:
- Straw bales
- Soil amendments
- Hand pruners
- Gardening twine
- Storage bin and lock
- Watering cans
- Hose and water wand
- Plant stakes
- Plant labels