Growing food in Shaw

Some of you have seen me or my girlfriend Ama out front in the garden on 3rd Street NW. We’re by no means professionals, but I’ve let myself become obsessed and in the process have learned quite a bit. This season will be our first season growing at something close to capacity for our little front yard and shady backyard. We managed to over-winter some lettuce, spinach, arugula, and, of course, garlic, and now seeds are already in the ground for early crops while warm-weather seedlings sit under grow lights inside. 

We’ll be growing sun-loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, okra, potatoes, carrots, green onions, sunflowers, and more in the front yard. The backyard will be an experiment to see how much shade crops like celery, leeks, lettuce, spinach, radishes, beets, beans, peas, and broccoli will tolerate. We toyed with the idea of setting up some beds in front of the former Bates Market (with the owner’s blessing), but pending renovation efforts axed that plan. Instead, we’ll likely stick a few large containers on the gravel (in case we have to vacate the property) to grow things like watermelon, squash, and eggplant. If last year’s follies were any indication, any effort should prove bountiful.

I’d love to get some feedback on what kind of information people might find useful, but I’ll be providing an abbreviated log of the growing season focusing on resources for those who want to do some growing of their own. Some topics to be included are composting, getting finished compost from the city to get started, good stores both local and online, tools, techniques,maximizing limited space, etc.

Feel free to stop and chat if you see us out front.


4 thoughts on “Growing food in Shaw

  1. Thanks Patrick! Awesome. I’d personally like to know about composting, local resources for getting free garding, much and compost materials, and updates on the (former) 7th St. Garden program.

  2. I am sitting next to our new composter, still in the box. I will let you know how it goes. Also, I have a spare large container that can be moved to the Bates Market. I also have a handtruck to move them. I am sure the Mrs would be willing to get a matching large container. Let’s firm up a plan they next time we are together.

  3. Mamuka, the owner, made it sound like we were welcome to garden there at risk of losing it all if they begin renovation. I wrote him one more time to confirm that containers are okay.

    There’s a very large container on the sidewalk between Caryn’s house and the Bates Market. It’d take a lot of soil to fill, but it would work.

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