Friends of the West End Park

Historic West End*Atlanta*GA


This month as I prepare my garden for early spring crops, I’m REALLY interested in learning to grow potatoes. I’m  hoping to start soon since they’re a cold weather crop. We’ll see if I can make it before it gets too warm. As part of my plan, I’ll be researching different ways to grow potatoes and I’ll share what I find. This is what I know so far, you can set potato on window sill and it will sprout. You cut the sprout with enough potato and plant it. This comes from a brief conversation this past weekend with Farmer Deb. Let’s see what else I learn for now I leave you with this…


STEP 1: Turn your garbage can upside down and drill several holes in the bottom of the can. Add a few around the outside wall, 3 to 6 inches up from the bottom. It’s really important to have good drainage or your potatoes will rot in a hurry.

STEP 2: Dump about 2/3rds of your bag of potting soil in the can. Mix in 1 cup of your fertilizer and set aside.

STEP 3: For your seed potatoes, small ones can be planted whole. The larger potatoes should be cut up into pieces with no less then 3 “eyes” per piece (“eyes” being those brown dimples that the roots will grow out of). Let your potatoes dry out on the cut side before you plant them

STEP 4: Once your cut potatoes have cured, plant them in your can 5 inches apart and cover with the remaining soil. You’ll only need 4 starts to a can. Set the can in an area that receives 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight.

STEP 5: Water thoroughly and keep the soil moist but not soggy during the growing season. Don’t let the soil dry out or you’ll end up with misshaped potatoes. On the hot summer days, your potato garbage can might even need to be watered daily (you might move the can to a slightly shadier location on the hottest days).

STEP 6: As the plants start to grow in the can, mound up compost around plant stems keeping the leaves uncovered. They grow a little more, add some more compost. You’ll be able to fill up the entire can with compost by the end of the growing season. Keep it watered.

STEP 7: As the plants start to grow in the can, mound up compost around plant stems keeping the leaves uncovered. They grow a little more, add some more compost. You’ll be able to fill up the entire can with compost by the end of the growing season. Keep it watered.

SOURCE: EHOW By GreenGardenChic





VEGETABLES Sow Indoors Sow Outdoors Transplant
Arugula XXX
Asparagus XXX
Beet XXX
Broccoli XXX XXX
Cabbage XXX XXX
Carrot XXX
Celery XXX
Chard XXX
Eggplant XXX
Fava bean XXX
Fennel, bulb XXX
Kohlrabi XXX XXX XXX
Mache XXX
Onions, bulb XXX
Pac choi XXX XXX XXX
Parsnip XXX
Peas (snow, shell, snap) XXX
Peppers XXX
Potatoes XXX
Radishes XXX
Rhubarb XXX
Radicchio XXX XXX XXX
Scallion (green onion) XXX XXX
Sorrel XXX
Spinach XXX XXX
Tomato XXX
Turnip XXX
CULINARY HERBS Sow Indoors Sow Outdoors Transplant
Basil XXX
Chives XXX XXX
Cilantro XXX
Dill XXX
Fennel, leaf XXX
Horseradish XXX
Marjoram XXX
Parsley XXX XXX
Rosemary XXX
Sage XXX
Savory, summer XXX XXX
Thyme XXX


2009 YEAR IN REVIEW!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays West End & Friends!!!

I hope you enjoyed the day w/ your family and friends.

As the year comes to a close, please consider making a donation to Friends of the West End Park. It is tax-deductible and will help us continue our wonderful work.

Donations can be written to Friends of the West End Park and mailed to:

Yomara Velez, 9to5 Atlanta Working Women, 501 Pulliam Street SW Suite 344, Atlanta GA 30312

Our accomplishments this past year…

We created an initial plan for our park!

We coordinated monthly meetings, started this blog and held monthly park clean-ups!

Mary signs-in (our Spring Egg Hunt Coordinator)

We made improvements to our park-painted the water fountain and after some pressure the City fixed the fountain, we also painted the the tennis courts (walls)!

We mulched our trees and the playground!

We planted trees!

Beth held weekly jump rope classes (Saturday Mornings-10am) and in the Fall added an Abs Class!

We hosted an Earth Day Celebration + involved children in planting a mini-garden! Jamila helps the children plant their seeds!

And-these are the beautiful results from the picture above!

We hosted our 1st EGG HUNT/Spring Celebration!

We solidified friendships + built community!

We hosted West End's 1st FALL FEST!

We carved pumpkins and held activities for the entire family!

West End's Fall Fest involved youth in the community + gave them something positive to do with their free time!

Chin held youth soccer in the park every Saturday (Fall)!

Jamila and Chin co-coordinated the Fall Fest!

It’s been a busy but wonderful year! As I look back, I’m pleased with everything we’ve accomplished. These pictures inspire me to continue the work. I hope it reminds us of how powerful we can be when we come together to create healthier communities. You’ve worked hard and I hope you enjoy this photo essay of our past year!

In 2010:

  • Jamila will help coordinate meetings for the first 6 months to give me some time to continue to strengthen the work in other areas such as fundraising and programming.

Things to look forward to in the coming year:

  • Monthly clean-ups (3rd Saturday/month)
  • Saturday morning fitness classes (saturdays/weekly)
  • Knitting/crafting circle in the park.
  • More on plan/design for the park.
  • Wooden posts at the park to minimize cars on the turf.
  • Continue to contact the City about the broken sidewalk.
  • Community Events in the Park such as the Spring Egg Hunt + Earth Day Celebration!
  • Malcolm X Festival (Friends will have a table at the event + work w/ festival organizers)

I HOPE YOU’LL JOIN US! Much love…Yomara!



This is super-exciting news:


Friends of the West End Park , NPU-T’s Agriculture Committee, Rose Circle Garden, People’s Victory Garden, Truly Living Well (awaiting confirmation), Creating Vibrant Communities-Urban Farms along with other amazing urban agriculture enthusiasts will come together to plan our 2nd Annual Atlanta Fall Summit on Urban Farming + Gardens. This year, we’re adding a children’s track w/ workshops and activities specifically designed for our young ones. Last year, this event was a great success-people came from different parts of the city and other states to participate. This year we have more folks involved in the planning and we know it will be a huge success!

The tentative date is October 24, 2009 (Saturday). Location to be confirmed-Good Shepherd Community Church’s beautiful urban farm and West End Park.

Our next planning meeting will be either September 9th or 10th, Stephanie will confirm early next week. I’ll immediately post the confirmed date and location on the blog.

As part of the event there will be workshops on gardening, wellness, environment, art, composting and there will be craft/harvest vending so if you know anyone that may be interested in participating please contact me. We will also have garden tours, a “free market”+ bartering space and an informal seed swap. We look forward to an amazing event! If you have any questions or you’re interested in sponsoring this event (as a business or individual donor) please email me at (your donation is tax-deductible). Other organizations are welcome to participate, if you’d like to become part of the planning committee contact We welcome cross-community representation. : )



ART THAT MAKES SENSE… August 18, 2009

I was looking through Apartment Therapy today and came across these posters, artist Joe Wirtheim began making stuff in 2005 and lives in Portland Oregon. You can buy these + other lovely posters for $12 bucks on his etsy shop: The Victory Garden of Tomorrow (webisite: Great inspiration!


FALL CROPS in GA! August 3, 2009

Diego and I started our lettuce seeds today! I love salad so I’m excited to have lettuce again. Here’s a list of GA specific fall crops w/ planting dates. These planting dates are for actual plants that are transplanted not seeds:

Spinach-Planting Dates: Oct 1-21, Moon Favorable: Oct 18-21

Broccoli-Planting Dates: Sept 7-31, Moon Favorable: Sept 18-30

Carrots-Planting Dates: Aug 1-Sept 7, Moon Favorable: August 6-19 and Sept 5-7

Source: (you can go to website and enter your zip code for region-specific information)


MY TOMATO PLANT : ( July 25, 2009

Okay-I learned my lesson! I must start my pile of compost asap so I can improve my soil. Here are some pictures of the tomato plant-I believe it’s Fusarium wilt. If any of you can recognize what it is or have any ideas for treatment, please contact me or comment.





WHAT TO PLANT IN AUGUST in GA… July 22, 2009


Sow Indoors

Sow Outdoors


Bean, bush snap XXX
Beet XXX
Broccoli XXX XXX
Brussels sprouts XXX XXX
Cabbage XXX XXX
Carrot XXX
Cauliflower XXX XXX
Chinese cabbage XXX
Collards XXX
Cucumber XXX
Kohlrabi XXX XXX XXX
Mustard XXX
Parsnip XXX
Potato XXX
Radish XXX
Rutabaga XXX
Squash, summer XXX
Spinach XXX

CULINARY HERBS Sow Indoors Sow Outdoors Transplant


Chives XXX
Cilantro XXX
Parsley XXX



DRYING HERBS July 18, 2009



Today-I spent some time harvesting herbs: thyme, oregano, lavender, sage and mint. I decided to air dry some of the herbs for future use. My research shows it’s best to dry herbs that don’t hold a lot of mositure such as Bay, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory and Thyme. Moisture dense herbs, like Basil, Chives, Mint, Tarragon preserve better in a dehydrator, or try freezing them.

herb blooms

blooms change the taste of your herbs

It’s said it’s best to harvest herbs before the plant blooms. I share this because I let my mint plant  bloom and I didn’t know what to do with it. The flowers are edible but for the best tasting mint, you should harvest before there is a bloom. If your mint plant has already bloomed, I learned today, you can cut the flower and use the mint leaves that grow in the new branches so you can still harvest your mint through the summer months.

preparing the herb bundles, paper bag + materials

preparing the herb bundles, paper bag + materials

After much reading, I decided to dry the herbs in paper bags. I punched holes so the air will flow and I’m hoping the bags will shield the light and allow the plants to dry in a couple of weeks.

my new mask...

my new mask...

Next, I placed the bundles in the bags and used a rubber-band to secure them . It worked out great, the bags stand on their own so you don’t have to hook them to anything. I do plan to hang bunches on hooks because it looks beautiful but for now, I want to make sure the flavors remain and the herbs are good for cooking. After drying, the herbs can be used for about a year. I’ll let you know how it goes!