SPRING CLEAN UP 2016
Cleaning up the pathways.
We had a great turn out and beautiful weather for the first work day of 2016. Thank you to everyone for pitching in! We got the perennial garden pruned and fed. We cleaned up the walk ways, got the water hooked up, and the library is stocked!
Garden man survives another UP winter. 
Mark hooking up the hose. 

Jennifer working on the compost, a labor of love.

Beth deliberating on the virtues of the perennial garden.

Deric and our new little helper Lilia pruning.


Henry showing Lilia the ropes.

Mark and Eric taking a breather.



Return of the Garden Guardian!


Garden superhero (and welder), Jason Bickford, comes to the aid of Garden Guardian.
Garden Guardian is back on his own two feet, rake in hand, and ready to work. Thanks Jason!

A gentle fall...

A little game of hot zucchini...
Showgirl carrots with lots of legs!
Captain compost working his magic. Beautiful!

Tucking things in for winter.
Garden man making sure those bales are stacked straight.

Late summer...

Our cardoon's first bloom (planted last year). A relative of the artichoke. We didn't have much success with blanching and eating the stalks last year, but the blooms sure are nice and the bumblebees love them.

Sedum in bloom, another last summer favorite of the bumblebee.

Testing out our repaired irrigation system and new sprayer. Our volunteer sunflowers (background) are out of control!

Summer chores—harvest, weed, water, and mulch!

A beautiful crop of raspberries...

...but you have to work for them!

Keeping the raised beds watered...

Mmm...

One of our grazing animals...

Our new compost bins get their first turn!

The pickin' is good!

What better way to spend the 4th of July than in the garden eating fresh picked strawberries? Locally grown food is real independence.

Time to get everything planted!

From our group garden day on June 7...
A couple of the Keweenaw Community Drum Project folks stopped by and gave us a little rhythm to work to.
Freshly seeded rows...grow, grow, grow!

Beth brought a tasty bean salad to share made from her showy broad beans she grew and dried last season (click her to see a picture of her beans in flower last summer).

RSCG Thrivent Action Team Event

We kicked off the 2015 garden season by hosting a Thrivent Action Team event. Thank you to Thrivent members and garden supporters, Ray and Viki Weglarz, for selecting the Ryan Street Community Garden to host the event.


The Thrivent Action Team program is part of Thrivent's Living Generously outreach initiative that empowers their members to make an impact in their community through financial giving. Action Teams receive a $250 Community Impact Card to use as seed money to purchase project supplies and create promotional materials.

Great weather and a great turnout (over 20 people) for opening day of the garden season.

Our Action Team focused on raising awareness about the important role our community garden serves:
The Ryan Street Community Garden provides Hancock residents the opportunity to grow healthy, affordable, fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs for their households. It also serves as a place for social interaction and creates a beautiful and educational landmark in the community demonstrating ecologically-sound and climate appropriate practices.
The main event activity was building a community composting system for the garden. A big thank you to Rick Loduha for helping with the design and construction.

Preparing the site for the new compost bins.

Assembling the cedar frame for the 3-bin system.

Many hands move the assembled bins in to place.

In place and ready to put the removable front slats in.
Fully assembled and in operation.


The Free Little Library returned to its summer location.

MARCH 7: Changing the Way We Eat

The Co-op and the Portage Lake District Library are collaborating again to bring the day long conference TEDx Manhattan, "Changing the Way We Eat" on Saturday, March 7. "Free access to some of the most exciting ideas happening in sustainable food and farming."

Click here for more info and the list of speakers >


The chips are down...

...and the garden takes all. Our Make a Difference Day garden crew (of only three!) made quick work of that big beautiful pile of woodchips.

Nothing beats a good pair of gloves and a bucket for loading woodchips.

Connecting with the past...

Monica Häggström (Nissen) from Närpes Finland contacted us today. Her brother Håkan Nissen happened upon our garden blog researching their family's Finnish-American history. It turns out the house adjacent to the garden was built by their uncle, Joseph Nissen, a Finnish immigrant from Närpes. Monica included a photo from their last trip to the USA which shows the two houses that once stood where the garden is now. The house their uncle built is now part of the Finlandia University campus and is known as "The Ryan House". Fun to learn a little bit of history!

(From left) Monica, Jon Nissen, and Håkan Nissen standing on Ryan Street in 2002 showing the house their uncle Joseph NIssen built (first house) and the two houses that once stood where the community garden is now.

The same view today (2014) with The Ryan House (Nissen House) in the foreground next to the garden.

People's Climate March – September 21

Hancock/Houghton is one of 30 satellite cities helping to raise awareness, and encourage support of the People’s Climate March taking place 9/21 in NYC. Poster designed by Justseeds.

Frost is in the air!

We escaped any signs of frost here at the community garden, but reports from gardeners north and south of here is that they woke up to the season's first frost, and it was a hard one.

Blanching the stalks of our cardoon plant (Cynara cardunculus), one of our experimental crops.

Joyce's plot sign looking right at home amongst the sunflowers.

The flower stalks of our oregano creating a really beautiful texture that none of us have seen the like of before. Now where did we write down what variety that was?

Midsummer heat...


Our last garden day with Kris and Kate. They're pulling up roots and moving to Boulder, Colorado.  We'll miss you!
Speaking of pulling up roots...look at that daikon!
She's got a true heart of comfrey! (Yes, we rent her out for birthday parties.)
Beth's showy beans...ooh la la!

Digger Don doing his thing!
Look close...our first ripe tomatoes of the year. We're keeping our fingers crossed.