Unity Gardens Inc Newsletter
We Are Growing More Then Vegetables Here 
Run Toward Unity
5k Run / Walk 
Sept 14th 
Join us for our 2nd Annual
Run Toward Unity 
5k Walk or Run 
This is a fun event held on the IUSB Campus.
The cost is $20 and 
includes a t-shirt 
and a good time!
Find out more 

September Tips
September is here and we all start looking toward fall.So what to do now?
This is a great time to reflect on what worked well and what did not. It's also the best time to get out a piece of paper and map out next year's garden. Remember crop rotation!

Also, as it cools down, it's a great time to plant those fruit trees you have been thinking about; maybe some berries. Find a dealer in Northern Indiana or Michigan to make sure they are cold hardy. Also,make sure to give them plenty of water.
Be a smart shopper- lots of gardens centers are getting rid of trees, flowers, etc. I have bought apple trees at garden centers as low as $5.00 (and FYI I havested apples off those trees this year).

There is also still time to try to get a few more things planted, but you may or may not get a harvest. Good choices for fall planting that are either cold hearty or have short maturity dates are: Kale, Mustards, Radish, Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, Asian Greens, Collards, and Swiss Chard. 


Fall garden clean up is a great time to nurture your soil for next year!  Get a head start on 2014 by covering your garden with cardboard, grass clippings, and leaves!  Worms love the cardboard, and you will not have all the spring weeds cropping up!  When you are ready to plant, whether that is next spring or in June, all you will need to do is push aside the leaves!  You will find rich dark soil with an abundance of earth worms; great for a bountiful 2014!

Taste of Unity 
8 -10 chefs donate to this event by cooking a tasty Tapas for you to try. 
October 24th is National Food Day! What better way to celebrate than with food. This is the 3rd annual Taste of Unity Harvest Celebration, and Silent Auction.
Food Day  
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Amy Reidel
Know your target audience.   Amy has identified hers and it is the kids!  Amy Reidel, a certified child care expert, has led our Jr. Master Gardener classes and our summer Kids Club for the last 2 years!  Whether we are hunting potato bugs, identifying herbs, or creating butterfly habitats, her creativity and natural love of kids keeps the garden activities fun! 
I initially met Cyndi through my Master Gardeners class. She has been a great help to Unity Gardens. She helps with our kids educational programs,  events, and the market booths.
Cyndi has been instrumental in teaching us how to display and sell fresh produce.  Happy to cal Cyndi a friend. In her off time from Unity, she is a Curriculum Development Instructor for the South Bend School Corporation, and recently, a new beekeeper. She really "gets" giving back to her community. 
Connie (if I could hire someone it would be Connie) 
Two years ago Connie stopped by the garden and said I would like to help out. In some respects, she has never left!  Connie is always there for Unity Gardens, sharing her talent, time, and treats! Connie hosts a volunteer day at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden, maintains the central open garden, creates our fliers and scrapbooks, and backs us up when we are gone.  She regularly brings treats to our classes and events.  So considerate, Connie is always guiding us to higher levels of customer service!
The Lupa's

Jim and Cara were introduced to Unity Gardens through the Purdue Master Gardener class. They were immediately supportive; attending our very first education class on gardening in 2011.  Before they knew what hit them, they were teaching classes, hosting events, helping with fund raisers, and even helping with new Unity Gardens!  Jim and Cara are the kind of team you can count on to fill in as needs.  Full of talents, they share freely! And they have us over on Saturday's after our work day to swim, relax, and eat !!
Dave and Carole Coffman 
More Purdue Master Gardeners 
 Yes the Master Gardeners are always arouind. Dave and Carole have been a treat to work with. Everything to teaching classes, working in the garden, helping with events and even a cooking demo featuring Caroles Salad. We are glad to call them friends and have them on our team. 
Yes Kathy gets on the Hero list, because I have been trying to engage the schools for 4 years now with limited success. Kathy directs the student community program at Saint Joseph High. This year she has started to get the students involved at our gardens. She gets her hands dirty right along side them. Awesome Job. 
Thursday Evening Classes are Back 
6pm Sept and Oct 
The First Class is Canning 
Sept 5th at our office:  
702 Chapin Street 

Who are the heroes of Unity Gardens? Well, it's our entire community! I would love to honor all of the heroes of 2013. I can't possibly fit them all in and I'm sure I will miss a few.

First, starting off with 56 gardens throughout town, we have 56 or more garden leaders or more. These leaders have each taken their valuable time and effort to work tirelessly growing vegetables in their Unity Garden. Whether it be to sprout community connections or to provide healthy food, these leaders are the backbone of Unity Gardens. Together we have grown a community that stands out as unique; a beacon of solution for food security, the health care crisis, and neighborhood redevelopment.  People creating their own solutions- a real grass roots effort!  

We also have a core group of people as passionate as we are, assuring Unity Gardens success at fund raisers, events, and in education.  This is the group of Master Gardeners, neighbors, and community activists who we can always count on to man our booths, set up at the market, help sell our honey from the hood and T-shirts, and help with our events. These folks keep the LaSalle Square Garden prolific and our staff going.  Without this team we would only be able to do one thing at a time (gasp)!  You've most likely met them helping at one event or another.

Next we have thousands of volunteers from schools like Saint Joseph High School, Notre Dame, IUSB, Bethel College, Holy Cross Spiritual Leadership camp, and more. Local businesses also send groups to volunteer like Whole Foods Market, Kolhs, Starbucks, Key Bank, Coca Cola, and more. Then there are the individual people who just stop in to help. We could never do all the garden work without all of them!

Donations come through local foundations, businesses, people like you, and fundraisers. Please take the time to scroll through some of this years heroes.

Ken and Meegan ( the Monday team ) 
Ken, is a retired newspaper writer wanting to make a difference, and Meegan, is a student who attended  a talk by Sara and decided to volunteer.  I think what I learned from them is that having steady help makes it possible for us to continue to grow. Not only was it great to have their help, but I learned from them. Meegan is soon off to Northwestern University and I hope Ken sticks around for the winter .....More projects.  
Steve, Alex and Jonelle ...The Peace Bees Team. 
Jonelle, Tim , Alex, Steve
I ran into Steve at Ag days a few years back and had a chat about how cool it would Bee to have hives at our garden. Some months later Steve called and I meet with he and Jonelle. Not sure they knew what was about to hit them, because we were more than excited about Bees. Two years later they have totally stepped up to the plate going above and beyond teaching classes, and even getting the ordinance changed to allow Beekeeping in South Bend. They are the face of Beekeeping and education in the Michiana area. Peace Bees Website
RJ and his crew. RJ is a PhD student at Notre Dame and wanted to engage in community service so he showed up and worked in the garden every Saturday. After a few weeks he started recruiting other students.  Each week he brings a fresh crew of folks excited to work and to learn about Unity Gardens!
Tim Ives ( Bee Whisper ) 
Tim has been a great asset to our mission. He is a Apiary Director for Peace Bees and has taken charge of our hives, increasing our honey bees 1000% and producing the first " Honey From The Hood".  Tim's philosophy on bee -keeping is simple; respect nature - don't feed sugar or other non-natural supplements.  He calmly interacts and watches bees.  His success in bee keeping has captured national attention.  We are so grateful for his expertise and benevolence!
Charles (Cowboy) resides at the new senior housing near the LaSalle Square Unity Garden. This year the seniors planted a plot in the family  area. Cowboy took charge, helping people plant and harvest. On a regular basis he brings folks by the garden to share the bounty. Patiently, he helps guide novice gardeners.  Little did we know, he still owns his farm in the outskirts of South bend!
A Purdue Master Gardener, and Master Naturalist, Mike has taken on the task of making the garden beautiful. Initially he asked if he could "spruce up" the area near the bee hives.  He has since created several areas in the garden with unique landscaping; butterfly gardens, pollination areas, shade garden, etc.  When a volunteer is helping him, he makes it not just about work but about education. Mike takes every chance he can to teach. We love what you do Mike !! 
Friend, garden leader, volunteer; Laureen is great! I'm limited on space, but I will start with saying she was so passionate about the Unity Gardens mission (both the social aspect and the healthy food) she bought a piece of property to start a Unity Garden! If that is not enough she also writes articles for our newsletter, helps with accounting, teaches classes, writes grants, runs the Unity Gardens booth at various events, and regularly worked the Urban Garden Market. Yes a gem for sure!!! Laureen seamlessly fits in where ever we need her!
Carla (the intern) 
It was a pleasure to have Carla intern for us this year, and not just because she loved to weed. She was pleasant to be around and I felt safe leaving her in charge.  Carla wanted to focus on gardening, and she did just that!  Most importantly, Carla was reliable; she always showed up when she said she would!  We knew we were safe leaving our "babies" in here adept care! 
Chef Alan 
Chef Alan  has been a great support, connecting us to the local Chef community. Unity Gardens grows food, but it takes someone like Chef Alan to create the spectacular end dish.  He is our missing piece in connecting people to healthy food! In addition to creating a team of chefs interested in volunteering for Unity Gardens, Chef Alan has also cooked for our Harvest Party and classes, been a judge at our Salsa Contest, and for 3 years now, cooked at Artbeat giving Unity Gardens the proceeds. Alan also serves on the local American Culinary Federation, the Chef and Child board and works full time at Corby Hall,Notre Dame.
Jessica was one of our first Unity Gardens heroes; spear heading our first fundraiser ever!  Every year she takes Unity Gardens tomatoes and green peppers and with Chef Alan transforms them into salsa! She makes our booth at Artbeat, and I always tell her, "Every successful event we host is due to her example."  In addition, Jessica was one of the first Unity Garden leaders, and used her experience to guide the University of Notre Dame in initiating their own community gardens!     
Sara Lowe ( The Yardener ) 
Sara has a passion for local food, a self described locavore!  Encouraging a garden in every yard (Yarden), she started a facebook group that helps others share tips and garden photos. She has taken the Ivy Tech Permaculture class and leads the Southside Unity Garden. And in her spare time, Sara helps in other gardens and with our events. See  Michiana Yardners Facebook Page