By Nora Conroy
Depending on the source you consult, the average last frost date in Boston is anywhere from April 20th to May 5th. This date is an important guideline for avid gardeners, but the real indicators are only found in day-to-day weather trends. After a long, cold winter, the first legitimate days of spring seemed to finally arrive mid-April. Sensing that the threat of snow had mercifully past, the BU Gastronomy Garden Club rallied to organize our first workday coinciding with the Fenway Victory Gardens (FVG) annual Spring Meeting. The plan was to attend the meeting then proceed to the garden plot and tackle a few spring projects in preparation for planting.
The FVG meeting was held at the MassArt Tower, and was preceded by a coffee and pastry social (catered by an FVG member owned business). During the two-hour meeting, many questions and concerns were voiced, some of which related to safety issues in the FVG. Bruno Rubio, the FVG VP of Safety (also a BU Chemistry lecturer), provided details about his dialogue with Boston police, relaying the message that police presence will only increase if crime is more consistently reported. While I havenʼt personally encountered any crime during the past year working at the garden, FVG is located in a highly traffic part of Boston, and care must to taken especially around dusk or dawn.
The VP of Communication and Social Media, Mario DʼAmato, recognized the unique partnership that has formed between the BU Gastronomy Program and FVG in organizing events (like movie screenings) and generally spreading the word about FVG. Mario also mentioned plans for a new, updated FVG website that will be compatible with smart phones and other mobile devices. In addition to general FVG info, the new website will be used to promote The Legacy Project, which is a media compilation that celebrates the FVG’s 71 years in service, and will include interviews with gardeners, some of whom have been members for decades.
After an eventful meeting, fellow Gastronomy Garden Club members and I trekked behind the MFA and through the Fens to our plot at FVG. Such a beautiful day needed to be savored, so we took a few minutes to sit and chat. Joking about how the Gastronomy Gardeners often like to talk more than do, we eventually decided to get some work done! The first order of business was retrieving salvaged wooden pallets (courtesy of Taza Chocolate) that will be re-appropriated as planting containers. After a short panini break, we were back to work repairing the fencing around the gate, eager to use our newly purchased wire cutters and zip ties.
When we turned our attention to cultivation, it seemed our mulching and weeding late last fall had paid off. We cleared some weeds and fall leaves, but in general the plot was weed free and in good shape. We ended our leisurely work day around 5pm, already planning our next moves. The spring task list is always long, but it’s balanced by the excitement of a new growing season: once the soil is prepared we’ll begin direct seeding hardy vegetables and eventually transplanting seedlings. Stay tuned for more garden updates throughout the season. To learn more about the BU Gastronomy Garden Club, look us up on Facebook. Happy planting!
Nora Conroy is a recent BU graduate and employee in the BU CAS Computer Science Department as the Staff Coordinator. Her interest in food sustainability and food policy issues led her to discover the BU Gastronomy Garden Club. Nora is currently considering the BU Gastronomy MLA Program for future studies.