As we approach our first week of community gardening there are some things to be done at the garden before we get started. On Thursday, April 21 from 5-6:30 we are going to be at the garden organizing and planning out where we are going to plant things. You are more than welcome to come join us.

Also, there are some materials that we are looking to get donated. If you or anyone you know would like to donate materials please contact us at
Matierials We Need:
More soil for some deeper beds
Wood to build up deeper beds
Material for trellis’
A wheelbarrow to donate or borrow
A trailer or pick-up truck to borrow for picking up manure and mulch

Thank you everyone and we look forward to seeing you April 25 and 28 from 5-6:30 pm for our first work days as well as April 30 at 7:00 pm for our Benefit concert (for more details see the post “Kick-Off Week!!! Mark your calendars!!!!”)


It’s in the air.  Can you smell it?  Spring is creeping up on us and so is the BVG garden season.  This month we are kicking off the Barefoot Victory Garden’s second season and to start it off we are going to have a week packed full of events.

April 25- First Work Day!!!! 5-6:30 pm & Community Potluck!!!! 6:30-7:30 pm

We are having our first work day of the season so bring your green thumbs and maybe some work gloves if you need them.  Afterwards we’ll eat dinner together at our first community potluck at the garden.

April 28- Work Day!!! 5-6:30 pm & Guest Speaker!!!!! Dr. Matthew Bonzo

Dr. Matthew Bonzo will be joining us to share some wisdom.  Dr. Bonzo is Professor of Philosophy at Cornerstone University.  He is co-author of the book “Wendell Berry and the Cultivation of Life: A Reader’s Guide” and owns and runs a CSA with his wife Dorothe and son Matthias.

April 30- BVG Benefit Concert!!!!!!

When: 7 pm, $5 cover

Where: DVDP Studio 928 Wealthy Street (same place as last year)

Who: Wonderful musicians offering their talents…

The Brave Youth

Soil and the Sun

The Mudslingers

City Hicks

Kyle Hall

Chris Clavin

Last year the majority of our funds for the BVG was raised during our benefit concert.  We encourage you all to invite your friends and family for this awesome event.  This year we will be selling Barefoot Victory Garden t-shirts with the pictured above radish logo on it created by Rick Beerhorst for $17 a piece.  They are sweet, just saying.  There will also be local art and baked goods for sale.  If you would like to donate some baked goods to sell at the concert or anything else please contact us at  Look forward to seeing you.

This is our rigged indoor seed starting station.

Those are broccoli sprouts!


We are having an interest meeting March 24 at 7:00 pm for those who are interested in learning more about the Barefoot Victory Garden or those desiring to get involved this season.  The meeting will be held at 250 Fuller Ave SE.  If you have any questions please e-mail us at  Look forward to seeing you!!!

Last night the BVG leadership team met together and picked out seeds to order for this coming season. We bought all organic seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange as well as Seeds of Change. Along with some saved seeds and seeds from last year here is what we have to look forward to at the Barefoot Victory Garden this summer. Remember, if you want to get involved this summer or would like more information about the garden we are having a meeting March 24, 7:30 pm at 250 Fuller Ave SE.  See you then!

Black Seeded Blue Lake Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris
(55-65 days)  This stringless 6-7″ green bean has a dedicated following.  Exceptional for fresh eating as well as frezzing or canning, the vigorous vines  produce abundant yields of straight beans.  Far more productive than any bush bean.
Jacob’s Cattle Dry Soup Bush Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris. Heirloom. 20-24 in. 4-5 in. pod
(80-100 days)  Similar to the southwestern Anasazi bean, this is a high-yielding gem of a bean with an ancient origin.  Popular in New England and other cooler, short season areas.  Wonderful for baking.
Purple Pod Pole
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Heirloom variety discovered by Henry Fields in an Ozark garden in the 1930s. Plants climb vigorously to 6′ and are extremely productive. High quality, meaty, stringless 5-7″ reddish-purple pods that blanch to light green. Pole habit, snap, 68 days.
Heirloom.  Cut open the root and get an internal peppermint stick.  This is an improved selection that originally came from Italy in the 1800s.  A very popular fresh market choice.  Light green tips with light red exterior on the roots make this beet very distinctive.

Early Blood Turnip
Beta vulgaris. Good all-purpose variety that dates back to 1825. Dark red flesh is sweet, crisp, and tender. Excellent market and home garden variety for summer and autumn use. Now relatively rare. 48-68 days.

Touchstone Gold
Beta vulgaris. Hardy Biennial. (45 days baby, 60 days full)  Very attractive green leafed tops, sharpened by yellow stems, will stand out in salad mixes.  Tops are mild-flavored when cooked.  These sweet, round golden roots appear in all the most popular farmer’s markets and farmstands.


Dragon Carrot
Daucus carota var. sativus. Hardy Biennial. (70-90 days) A strikingly beautiful and refined 6-8″ purple carrot bred by John Navazio.  Deep reddish purple witha  yellow orage interior, makes for an interesting contrast when sliced and peeled.  Slightly spicy and sweet.  Good fresh, cooked or roasted.
Daucus Carota var. sativus. Hardy Biennial. (50-60 days)  Very early, full-sized, cylindrical, slightly tapered 7-8″ Nantes. Excellent buncher with bright orange roots and strong, dark green 10-12″ tops. One of the best for harvesting cold-enhanced, super sweet tasting carrots through the fall and winter. More days to maturity are required as the days shorten. This is Eliot Coleman’s favorite winter carrot.
Vates Champion Collard
Brassica aleracea. Hardy Biennial. (65-80 days)  Robust collard with broad, thick dark blue-green leaves.  Bolt resistant and tolerant of temperature extremes it thrives in cool weather.  The nutritious leaves grow sweeter with fall frosts.  Well known in Southern cuisine and becoming more popular coast-to-coast.
Painted Hill Sweet Corn
Zea mays. Tender annual. 5′ (SU 65-75 days)  Another exciting cultivator developed by Alan Kapuler.  This robust and flavorful variety resulted from a cross between Dave Christiansen’s genetically diverse Painted Mountain Indian Corn and the heirloom Luther Hill. 7″ ears in a rainbow of colors on a cold tolerant plan.  Ideal for northern growers with short growing seasons and cool spring soils.
Purple Pickling
Solanum melongena. Traditional Italian variety used for making eggplant relish or for fresh eating.  Pear-shaped fruits (up to 8″ long) are borne in abundance on purple-stemmed thornless plants.
Aztec (Jasmine-Scented) Nicotiana
Nicotiana alata. 3-4 ft. Tender Annual. A profusion of fragrant, trumpet-shaped, pale pink to white blossoms sit on a stem arising from a rosette of thick, velvety leaves. The flowers are intoxicatingly fragrant in the evening and are 2 cm. across. Can be a trap crop for potato beetles. To 4 ft. tall.
Bright Lights Cosmos
Cosmos sulphereus. 3-4 ft. plant height. Hardy Annual. Sunset-orange, semidouble flowers with an occasional burnt-red color. Profuse, early bloomer that lasts into the fall with a few light frosts.
Evening Sun Sunflower
Helianthus annuus. Large flowers in shades of orange, red, and burgundy. Very dark center. Multiple heads and an extended bloom period make this a great variety for cutting. Plants grow 6-8′ tall. Annual, 75 days.
Outhouse Hollyhock
Alcea rosea. This classic variety has graced outbuildings on Iowa farmsteads for over a century. Years ago, refined ladies just looked for the hollyhocks and didn’t have to ask where the outhouse was. Single blooms of white, light pink, pinkish-red, magenta, and burgundy. Blooms the second year in the North or first year in more moderate long-seasoned climates. Self-seeding biennial, 6-9′ tall.
Garden Sage
Salvia officinalis.Heirloom 24-36 in. plant height. Hardy Perrenial. The classic sage grown for centuries as a culinary herb. The fragrant leaves are used fresh or dried for seasoning.  Abundant purple flowers attract bees. Zones 5-9.
German Chamomille
Matricaria recutita. Native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Chamomile has a very pleasant fragrance and was a popular strewing herb in medieval England. Graceful plants are 12–20″ tall with endless masses of 1″ attractive daisy-like flowers that can be used to make tea. Annual.
Parsley Giant Leaf from Italy
Petroselinum crispum. Sizeable bushy plants produce a continuous supply of large flat leaves with strong parsley flavor. Prized by Italian cooks. Biennial in zones 6-9, grown as an annual. 85-90 days.
Purple Opal Dark Basil
Ocimum basilicum. Most likely the same basil Vilmorin referred to in 1885 as “Large Purple Sweet Basil.” Beautiful lilac flowers with dark red stems. Excellent contrast with green basil. Spectacular as a garnish, in salads, or for adding color to basil vinegars. Very uniform, all purple Italian strain. Annual.
Staro Chives
Allium Schoenoprasum. Tender Annual. This thicker leaved, 10-16″ onion chive can be used in processing (freezing or drying) or sold into fresh markets.  Its mild onion flavor makes this a key culinary herb when cut before blooming.  Once Staro flowers, the blooms can be used as an edible garnish.  Zones 3-9.
Super Sweet Chen
Ocimum basilicum.24-30 in. Tender Annual. Excellent bolt resistance on the highly productive, fresh market Italian large-leaf basil (24-30″) makes this choice ideal fro any fresh market grower or backyard garden.  The fully savoyed leaves, bright green and glossy, give off a strong sweet aroma with good favor, great for making pesto.
Allium ampeloprasum. Heirloom. Hardy Biennial. (80-90 days, 110 days overwinter) This venerable classic, also known as Lyon, is extremely cold hardy with tender, solid shanks of excellent eating quality.
Sugar Baby Watermelon
Citrullus lanatus. Tender Annual. 10-12 lbs.  (60-65 days)  A summertime treat, Sugar Baby sets an abundance flavorful fruit on compact vines.  Thick, near black rinds at maturity. The quality and sweetness of the flesh is good and the smaller overall size makes icebox cooling easy. A must on any farmstand during long, hot summers.
Pastinaca sativa. Hardy Annual. (100-110 days)  Originally obtained from the biodynamic seed company Turtle Tree, this is an amazingly vigorous parsnip, far out-yielding the market standards in our Research Farm trials. Large, heavy roots with outstanding sweet, nutty flavor.
Rooster Spur
Capsicum annuum. Two-inch long, tapered, fire engine red peppers borne erect on 2′ plants. Rare variety from SSE member Virgil T. Ainsworth of Laurel, Mississippi. Grown in his family for more than 100 years. Traditionally used to make Rooster Pepper Sausage. Also excellent dried and ground for chili powder. Ideal for container growing. 95 days from transplant. HOT
Capsicum annuum. Eight-inch elongated bells are as mild as apples. Fruits stand upright on 2′ plants and ripen from green to red. Best used when green or just turning to red. Listed in 1923 by L. L. Olds Seed Company and described as “Possibly the most productive of all the large peppers, bears consistently until frost. Remarkably early for a large fruited pepper.” Best 70-90 days from transplant. sweet
French Breakfast
Raphanus sativus, (aka Radis Demi-long Rose a Bout Blanc) A very early market garden radish of French origin. Listed by James J. H. Gregory of Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1875. Oblong and blunt, rosescarlet with a white tip. White crisp flesh with a mildly pungent flavor. Sow in the spring or fall and pick when small. 20-30 days.
Black Beauty Zuccini
Cucurbita pepo. The standard summer squash, introduced to U.S. markets in the 1920s. Compact everbearing bush plants are loaded with glossy green-black fruits with firm white flesh. Best eaten when under 8″ long. Excellent variety for freezing. 1957 All America Selections. 45-65 days.
Cucurbita pepo. Tender Annual. Vigorous, branching vines produce high yields of uniform pale yellow straightneck fruit with a medium size bulb.  Intermediate resistance to Papaya Ringspot Virus, Watermelon Mosaic Virusa and Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus.
Waltham Butternut
Cucurbita moschata. This butternut, an AAS winner in 1970, was the result of years of patient refinement and selection by Bob Young of Waltham, Massachusetts. Prized for its straight necks, rich dry yellow-orange flesh, nutty flavor, and high-yielding vines. Fruits are 3-6 pounds and exceptional keepers. One of the most popular types of baking squash. 83-100 days.
Purple De Milpa
Physalis ixocarpa. Traditional/Reseeding. Tender Annual. This prized traditional strain yields plump fruits that ripen to a rich purple. Delcious raw or stewed, tomatillos are the mair ingredient in salsa verde. Rambling plant is porlific with 2-3 oz., 2″ fruits.
Lemon Drop
Solanum lycopersicum. Winner of SSE’s 2010 Tomato Tasting. Seed originally from Florida SSE member J. T. Sessions, who found this sport growing with his Snow White Cherry plants. Heavy sets of ½-¾” translucent yellow-green cherry tomatoes. Refreshing tartsweet flavor. Continues producing even in cold wet growing conditions. Indeterminate, 80-90 days from transplant.
Marvel Striped
Lycopersicon esculentum. Rare/Traditional. Tender Annual. 10-16 oz. (90-110 days) A great tomato from the Zapotec people.  Sweet and juicy with few seeds.  Indeterminate.
Speckeled Roman
Solanum lycopersicum. Developed by SSE member John Swenson as a result of a stabilized cross of Antique Roman and Banana Legs. Gorgeous 5″ long fruits with jagged orange and yellow stripes. Meaty flesh with few seeds. Great tomato taste, ideal for processing and fresh eating. Very productive. Indeterminate, 85 days from transplant. 

Solanum lycopersicum. Heirloom from Krakow, Poland, brought to Cleveland, Ohio around 1900. Given to SSE member Carolyn Male in 1991 by a co-worker. Dark pink beefsteak fruits weigh up to one pound. Firm meaty flesh and thin skin, susceptible to cracking. Excellent flavor, low acid. Indeterminate, 75-80 days from transplant.

Tonight the Barefoot Victory Garden entered Sunday Soup #11 held at the DAAC for a chance to receive a micro grant to support the garden. We were one of four proposals and it was a packed house. The way Sunday Soup works is that with $5 attendees get a bowl of tasty soup, hang out with friends, and a chance to vote. During the dinner proposals are presented before the attendees. After each presentation attendees are given an opportunity to ask the presenters questions and give ideas for their proposals. At the end of the night everyone votes for the proposal they would like to support. Whoever receives the most votes receives all the money from the door. We had a lot of fun tonight presenting but it wouldn’t have been quite so fun if we hadn’t been given the most votes for our proposal and a grant of $482.

Our presentation consisted of 5 parts. The introduction and description of the Barefoot Victory Garden was presented by Kristi Arbogast, Rose Beerhost spoke about our choice to garden organically, I (Stacy Feyer) talked about the importance of community gardening, Rachel Mckay talked about a new project through Americorp that we will be hosting this year teaching children about gardening and nutrition, and Kathleen Merz talked about what we would be doing with our grant money. We played a video of the garden that was made by Pearl Beerhorst and read a poem by Wendell Berry called “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front”, which was a great inspiration in starting the garden.

With the money we were given we will be purchasing seeds, planning our annual benefit concert in April, and building a new compost system. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support us tonight. We look forward to putting your money to use and helping grow a beautiful, bountiful garden in Eastown once again this year.

Also, we will be having an interest meeting for interested gardeners on Thursday March 24 @ 7:30 pm.  The meeting will be held at 250 Fuller Ave SE.  Look forward to seeing you.

Tonight Neighborhood Business Ventures is putting on the 21st Annual Neighborhood Business Awards. The Barefoot Victory Garden has been nominated for a Neighborhood Business Award for the best Non-Profit Community Project. A reception will be held from 5-6:30 featuring local neighborhood restaurants and the ceremony will take place from 6:30-8 pm. We will find out tonight if we have won! This event is free and open to the public. If you were a part of the Barefoot Victory Garden in any way you are welcome to join us at this celebration. Thank you to all who have made this happen.

Looking for something different to do with your Halloween? Come celebrate Barefoot Victory Garden style!

We’ll be at the garden from 6 to 8 on Sunday night, passing out garden-related alternative “treats” to bring awareness about this garden and gardening in general.

So bring your trick-or-treaters over—or dress up in your Halloween finest and come help out yourself.

As our season will begin drawing to a close we will hold our last potluck/ bonfire of the season. The theme is harvest, autumn goodness. Please bring a dish to pass, a blanket, plate, silverware, and cup. We will encourage people to share something they were thankful for during this growing season. Come on out October 14 (this thursday) at 6 pm. If you have any fire wood you can spare it would be greatly appreciated.

Also, we are not done gardening!! We need lots of extra help closing out some of our beds for the season as well as take care of our fall plants. We have built two cold frames to extend the growing season. We still need your help every Monday from 6:30-8 pm and Thursday 4:30-6 pm.

Other news, the Barefoot Victory Garden has been nominated for a Neighborhood Business Award!! All are welcome to attend the awards ceremony November 4th 5-8 pm at Wealthy Theatre. Happy Harvest season and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Leave some space on your calendar to join us the evening of October 14th for one last Barefoot Victory Garden potluck and bonfire. We’re hoping to finish up a beautiful season of fresh, growing goodness by gathering together once more. This time we’ll celebrate autumn: bring some warm food to share, and come hoping for some fresh apple cider. More details to follow.

And as a side note, it’s not too late to help out at the garden! Come this Thursday at 4:30 for another workday. And if you have wood sitting around that you’d like to donate, we’d still love to have it.