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Rose RootZone Nov 2022 Iss. 2. Ballot Results and Lead Reports

We would like to thank all gardeners for a wonderful productive season! We would especially like to thank the Rose Roots Leadership Team for their dedicated work in leading this active garden community. Thank you to Erin Newton. for serving as President, Patty Sacks for serving as Vice President and Project lead on the Westside landscaping Project, John Malito for serving as Treasurer, Laura Bennett for serving as Administrator and John and Laura for sharing the Membership Coordinating tasks. Thank you to Gary Williams and Jim Richards for serving as Operation leads and Members-At-Large on the Steering Committee. Thank you to Cindee Malito for leading the Food Donation Team and Karel Hemler for leading the Food Bank Donation cultivation efforts. Thank you to Deb Harris for designing material for and maintaining our beautiful kiosk, and thank you to Nicole McCrorie for leading maintenance of the beautiful pollinator Garden at our entrance. Thank you to Glen Andrews for leading our composting efforts and Bill Ott for being our resident bee keeper. Also, thank you to Gina Schley, Jim Richards, and Laura Bennett for offering fabulous workshops. It takes many hands and many volunteer hours to run a successful productive volunteer-run community garden. We are so thankful to have such an active community and we are most thankful for you Gardeners who filled all of our plots this year and made Rose Roots such a beautiful space!

Ballot Results

The 2023 Rose Roots Leadership Team was unanimously elected with overwhelming support! The Elected Leaders of the 2023 Rose Roots Steering Committee are as follows:

  • President: Laura Bennett

  • Vice President: Erin Newton

  • Administrator/Secretary: Shannon Sawyer

  • Treasurer: John Malito

  • Membership Coordinator: Donna Neill

Congratulations to the 2023 Rose Roots Leadership Team! Our Steering committee meetings will resume next season in March and all gardeners are welcome to join. Schedules will be posted on our garden calendar.

Quick Updates

  • Our seasonal dumpster contract has ended so please take any trash you have home if you are still clearing out your plot.

  • We will get invoices out for the Service Hours next week. Please let us know if you prefer to pay via Venmo instead of check and we can organize that for you.

  • Our final Steering Committee Meeting for the season will be a quick one online for some season wrap ups. All gardeners are welcome to call in here:

Final 2022 Steering Committee Meeting (online)

Tuesday, Nov 15 · 6–7 PM

Google Meet joining info

Or dial: +1 312-883-1805 PIN: 665929876

Summary Reports from Garden Leads

Food Bank Donations Summary from Food Bank Plot Lead Karel Hemler

As the 2022 garden season comes to a close, the leaves turn and we put things to bed, I thought I'd send a quick update regarding the bounty from the food bank plots.

First of all I'd like to thank the leadership team for seeing the vision / passion and providing the space for a dedicated "Food Bank" garden. Each year as the soil is worked it gets a bit better and more long term improvements / mitigations are deployed.

This year, through a donation I added two smaller raised beds in the FB space. Those were beneficial in providing coverage and supporting a raised weeding / harvest platform for some of the helpers. We did struggle with one box being "infested" with large meaty grubs. However with patience and diligence turning the soil daily and hand picking the grubs from the soil for a few weeks we achieved either dormancy or eradication, not sure which but the plants began to thrive. (always easier when there isn't something nipping at your roots!).

Additionally we experimented with trying to "trellis" the squash, -- referred to as the "squash forest" as those plants began to take off. Donations and items picked up from Craig's List and Next Door postings enabled the "build" of the experimental squash forest. There wasn't the volume of east side compost as in prior years, so supplementing / amending the soil was very limited this season, and may have impacted production. The raised boxes and trellis' will be a strategy deployed again as a space and manpower saving effort for future plantings.

I'd like to recognize and thank the following individuals for their support / supply of plants, product and manpower. Together we collected nearly 500 lbs of donated organic produce, supplemented by an additional 200+ lbs from my personal family plot, for total just shy of 700 lbs. (although I may has missed a weigh in at some point).

A special thank you to:

  • Jim R

  • Julie G

  • Anna C

  • Bonnie

  • Maggie A

  • Audrey

  • Deb H

  • Kendra

  • Jodie

  • Tom and Sarah

I may be forgetting some folks and apologize if I have omitted anyone.

Some challenges this year that reduced production:

Bugs, bugs and more bugs!

Squash bugs

Cucumber beetles




lack of manure / mulch to enrich the soils

lack of access to DUG offered "free" plants June / July (as obtained in prior seasons)

Finally the variety of produce gleaned from this space included, okra, squash, pumpkins, peas, beans, cabbage, several varieties of peppers, several varieties of eggplant, onions, cucumbers, several varieties of tomatoes...probably some other things I've forgotten. Attached below are photos of some of our harvests.

Looking forward to the 2023, I am making the following request(s) with the assumption the leadership will continue to support designating this space again next year for Food Bank production:

  • Assistance with tilling the soil

  • Assistance with additional soil amendments (manure, compost, mulch)

  • Assistance with obtaining plants / seeds for the season

  • Build additional box(es)

As 2022 comes to a close I look forward to what 2023 has in store for the garden, and we'll be digging in the dirt again before we know it!

Respectfully Submitted,

Karel Hemler

Community Feedback from the 2022 Season

Community feedback 4/21/22:

"I don't have a plot in the gardens, but I want to thank all the volunteers for the beautiful gardens. I enjoy walking along the gardens every day and get ideas of what to plant in my own yard. The volunteers along there are also so friendly and nice."

--Lauri Krysl, community member

Gardener Feedback 11/05/22:

"This was my first year and I loved it! I can't wait to come back next year. In 2022, I unexpectedly had to be out of town for a month while producing a feature film and then traveling a lot for work, so I relied on my husband to help. And, unfortunately my schedule didn't allow me to do service hours or attend the music events. But I hope that we can do so next year and be a bigger part of the community. Thanks for all you do to make this garden a great experience!"

--Andrea Nordgren, Rose Roots Gardener

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