This article was originally published at The Clubhou.se
Growler Gardening had a wonderful turnout and a splendid cameo appearance this month! Austin New, the founder of the Community Garden was in town and came by to join in the tending.
Four years ago, Austin wanted to set up a garden for growing the ingredients for salsa. theClubhou.se had a grassy area begging for such a rebirth. With approval, Austin set to work tilling the earth with a few helping hands. By summer, the garden was a verdant explosion of peppers and tomatoes, and Austin relocate to the northeast. We kept the garden going for the season and even mailed Austin pounds of peppers in the fall for him to make hot sauce. Most importantly though, Austin had planted a seed.
With his departure, an attendant was needed for the garden to continue. Kim Hines of Augusta Locally Grown had worked with TEDxAugusta, so we knew her pretty. She has helped establish community gardens throughout the city. ALG adopted theClubhou.se Community Garden and it has since been a teaching garden for local school children, college students from Augusta University, and members of the community.
Once a month, Growler Gardening brings together that community for some weeding and tending while enjoying one another and local brews, if that is your sort of thing. Last week, the group of over 3o people planted nine blackberry bushes, some hops, and prepped for blueberries.
Afterwards, everyone made their way inside to join Chef Dave McClesky in making tamales. As a member of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, Chef Dave grew up in upstate New York, but has called North Augusta his home for 18 years. This indigenous foods instructor led everyone through the ancient American practice of wood ash nixtamalization to ready maize for our meal. Nixtamalization is a process for the preparation of maize, or other grain, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater, but sometimes wood ash lye, washed, and then hulled. This process is known to remove up to 97–100% of aflatoxins from mycotoxin-contaminated corn.