Aug 4th – Ashtabula Grows! Tomato pruning and garden tour tonight at 6pm

So, your summer garden is growing! Perhaps you have been overtaken by the joy and bounty to harvest, prepare and share? The summer garden is filled with life and living food and reminds us what homegrown means – more color, more nutrition and more taste! The ratatouille of tomatoes, egg plant, onions, zucchini, with herbs of rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley….straight out of a Pixar/Disney movie (but without the mice).

Building community resilience starts at home and if you are growing a garden…you are already doing it! Seed saving and pruning will help make even more of your garden and ensure that it continues to thrive – through the season and into next year. Join us tonight as Sarah Brower returns this week with special guest, Hope Paluga of Yellow House Farm in Jefferson, to walk us through the summer garden, prune some tomatoes, consider which seeds to save and more!


A sneak peak at pruning tomatoes


Missed a class? Last week we had an opportunity to practice our meditation garden with Dia Fleming of The Connection Center. Click here to view all previous classes.  


We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 28th at 6pm!

Check out our website at AshtabulaLocalFood.org for class videos, presentations, handouts and the Ashtabula Local Food guide. 
Join us for week long discussion, photos, Q&A on fb: AshtabulaGrows: an online community garden 
Email us at AshtabulaLocalFood@gmail.com


July 28th – Ashtabula Grows! The garden meditation

Have you ever been in the middle of gardening, planting, digging or weeding and you stop and notice your thoughts. Perhaps you are thinking about your to-do list, or what happened this morning at the breakfast table or your ears and head are ringing with the latest news update? It is in those moments it really interesting to just stop and take a look around. You may notice the birds singing, the bees buzzing and if you listen really closely, you may even hear the plants breathing. At this time you may even take a deep breath in and notice the smells of the day. Tomato plants and basil are some of the local favorite smells at this time of year. Taking in your garden, with all your senses helps one to be in the moment now. Clearing your mind and focusing on the present are just a few ways we can reconnect with ourselves and our garden. And then you might notice that that is all that matters – it is the moment.

Dia Flemming of Connections Center returns this week to breathe us through a garden meditation! A chance to reconnect with ourselves, with nature and our community.


How gardening can change your attitude


Missed a class? Click here to view all previous classes.  


We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 28th at 6pm!

Check out our website at AshtabulaLocalFood.org for class videos, presentations, handouts and the Ashtabula Local Food guide. 
Join us for week long discussion, photos, Q&A on fb: AshtabulaGrows: an online community garden 
Email us at AshtabulaLocalFood@gmail.com


July 21st – Ashtabula Grows! OSU extension & Survey

Will you look at the head on that one!

What a dynamic week of hot, humid and heavy rains. This is a sure-fire combination to set the stage for a large crop of bush beans, squash, cucumbers, melons and tomatoes. We are so curious what you are harvesting now and what is on its way! We have also been getting out the pickling recipes and freezing some of the bounty already. And tomatoes are just starting to ripen on the vine – no store bought tomato can compare. Oh, life is slightly better knowing there is food growing in the back yard. We have also been having some fun trading crops with neighbors.

George and Maureen have a beautiful crop of garlic they recently harvested and Barbara’s watermelon is growing circles around her small, raised bed of corn, tomatillos and lovage (a perennial plant used like celery with a stronger bite to the tongue). This week Julie shared her purples: cauliflower and figs, Sandy is busy fermenting her cukes and John Werner’s beans and carrots round out the colors for the week! 

This Tuesday join us with our special guest from OSU extension, Andrew Holden. Andrew will walk through the many resources at the extension in Jefferson and invites us all to take a closer look at what is going on over there. 


Start thinking about your summer planting for a late fall harvest!

Missed a class? Click here to view all previous classes.  



We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 21st at 6pm!

Check out our website at AshtabulaLocalFood.org for class videos, presentations, handouts and the Ashtabula Local Food guide. 
Join us for week long discussion, photos, Q&A on fb: AshtabulaGrows: an online community garden 
Email us at AshtabulaLocalFood@gmail.com


July 14th – Ashtabula Grows! Hugelkultur Beds and Survey

Scruff Le Puff surveys the gardens and is on guard for rodents and other tasty treats

Hello, Friends! 

How does your garden grow? After the loving rain storm of last week we hope your plants are happy, blooming and productive! Here at the harbor garden, there have been peas-in-the-pod breakfasts, raspberry lunches and summer squash salsa tacos for dinner. We hope you are getting to enjoy the sweet summer sun through the bounty of your garden, too! 

We are back on this week with special guests; Mardy Townsend of Windsor to discuss the benefits of Hugelkultur beds and Emily Hall of Medina will be presenting some of the lessons learned in her first year utilizing this dynamic permaculture technique. There has been a lot of excitement around this topic so we hope you will join us! 


Missed a class? Click here to view all previous classes.  



We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 14th at 6pm!

Check out our website at AshtabulaLocalFood.org for class videos, presentations, handouts and the Ashtabula Local Food guide. 
Join us for week long discussion, photos, Q&A on fb: AshtabulaGrows: an online community garden 
Email us at AshtabulaLocalFood@gmail.com


For a change of pace…Timebanking with Ashtabula Grows! 6.30.20 at 6pm

Barbara repurposed her old walker to a tomato stake!
So many tomatoes…so little time (Barbara with walker repurposed as tomato stake)

Join us this Tuesday, June 30th, for a lively discussion on prosperity, growth and abundance! Gallo will be discussing building community resilience through timebanking…how to get what you want and GROW!

Ever thought about an alternative to cash? In a world where we have so much uncertainty, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry so much about cash? Ever thought it would be fun to take a class on cooking, get a massage, plant a bigger garden, plan a water catchment system or build a cob oven or take music/singing classes but did not have enough money to justify these “luxuries?” Are you someone who likes to volunteer? What if your volunteer hours translated into giving AND receiving but did not involve cash? Do you have an elder parent or neighbor who would benefit from some company for social interaction or light house duties but did not have enough cash to pay for it? Want help to make your garden really grow? 

Tonight’s class will be an introduction to timebanking…a means to trade services, skills, knowledge and goods for time. Many communities, worldwide, have used this system to keep loved ones at home, share skills and resources and build tighter neighborhoods. For our gardening purposes, it could be used as a way to receive help in your garden, help canning, caring for plants, processing food, preparing new garden beds, making a compost bin. 

This may be a very new concept for many of us. Join us tonight and check it out! 


Missed last week’s class on WEEDS? Click here to view Leah Wolfe of Trillium Center in Conneaut discuss which weeds to pull and which to use. 

On Timebanking after the financial crisis of 2009.

We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, June 30th at 6pm!

Check out our website at AshtabulaLocalFood.org for class videos, presentations, handouts and the Ashtabula Local Food guide. 
Join us for week long discussion, photos, Q&A on fb: AshtabulaGrows: an online community garden 
Email us at AshtabulaLocalFood@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 23, 6 pm – Ashtabula Grows! Bring a Weed: Food, Medicine or Tool?

Red Clover, Trifolium pratense

Do you ever wonder if that weed you just ripped out of your garden could actually do you some good? Well, the likelihood is pretty high, but it’s also important to know the answers to the “W&H” questions:

  • Which plant is in my garden?
  • Why would I want to use it?
  • Who would benefit from the plant?
  • What kinds of things will the plant do?
  • When should it be used?
  • How should it be prepared?
  • How much should I use?
  • How long should I use it?

So now that you’ve ripped that plant out of your garden, why don’t you bring it to the online Ashtabula Grows! class coming Tuesday, June 23 at 6 PM. This class is hosted by Leah Wolfe from the Trillium Center. Leah teaches classes in herbalism, first aid, and community wellness throughout the Great Lakes Region and is now developing and supporting programs at the Conneaut Art Center.

Note: when you bring a plant to the class be sure to bring enough of it for identification purposes. Although most weeds in the garden are not poisonous, a few are toxic. Also be sure to know how to identify poison ivy. Plants are often easier to ID if they are flowering, but if there are significant features that also helps.

Positive plant ID over the internet is always tricky, so be sure to look at several sources to be sure. Botanical illustrations are more reliable than photos because they are likely to emphasize identifying features and sometimes provide a better idea of the size of the plant.

Finally, be aware that some weeds interfere or interact with medications. Leah will offer tips on how to figure out which weeds to try and which to avoid.

Common Fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus

Tuesday, June 16th at 6pm – Ashtabula Grows! Compost and Worms!

An online home gardening series to build community resilience and food security. Picture of nasturtium flowers and leaves (edible and delicious) plus red cabbage.

Register here!


Some say cheap…I lovingly call it thrifty! What better way to amend your soil, reduce input to landfill, exercise, connect more with your food AND grow bigger, better and more rich plants all for free? Composting! This week we will learn to turn your food scraps and garden waste into a deep luscious and rich compost. We will be joined by two Ashtabula natives: Isaac Coblentz, an extraordinary gardener, rope maker, artist and chili pepper popper and Suzanne Westlake who you will remember from last month’s class on soils of Ashtabula. Suzanne will be walking us through the worm bin at OSU extension and Isaac will be talking with us about composting. It’s going to be quite a ride – see you on Tuesday at 6pm!


Miss last week’s class? No worries – click here to view. Last week, we were fortunate to have Ashtabula Master Gardener and co-owner of Honey Hollow Herbs, Meghan Davis, join us for some instruction on growing herbs. Check out the website: ashtabulalocalfood.org on the “Previous Classes” tab. Or, click here.


It’s a great day to incorporate a composting routine. Click on this video to find out why!

See a list of classes that will be coming your way…


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Walkin’ through the garden and eating a snack…

We look forward to seeing you tonight at 6pm!

Ashtabula Grows! Tuesday, May 19: Local Soil and Testing

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
― Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

IMG-6089Move over snow…spring has sprouted! The greens are back and they are changing by the hour. Light green to darker and the grass is long enough to cut a maze through it. Many of you picked up your garden kits this week. We have more to give away! Email us and we will share instructions on getting your own kit. We also have so many seeds to share. If you want more, we have it! AshtabulaLocalFood.org

We have an exciting presentation this Tuesday by Ashtabula Soil and Water Conservation District Technician, Suzanne Westlake. Suzanne will discuss the various soils around Ashtabula County, walk us through soil testing and what that means and present some very interesting historical perspectives of our land. Suzanne is very enthusiastic and is a native Ashtabulean! Suzanne will also share how to perform a soil test and what you will learn from it.

If you missed any of the classes you can watch the videos and/or see the powerpoint presentations from previous on our website AshtabulaLocalFood.org on the “Previous Class Resources” page. Some highlights are listed below:

May 12th – Mental Health Check-in with Deirdra “Dia” Fleming 

May 5th – Seed starting with Sarah Brower 

April 28th – Building Community Resilience and Food Security with Sarah Brower 

Join the discussion! We have a lively fb private group: Ashtabula Grows: an online community garden. In order to keep it private, you must ask “permission” to join the group. This a great place to share your budding garden with the group, ask questions or share resources. Let’s see how your garden is growing – mind, body and spirit.


Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday at 6pm! 

“Our most important job as vegetable gardeners is to feed and sustain soil life, often called the soil food web, beginning with the microbes. If we do this, our plants will thrive, we’ll grow nutritious, healthy food, and our soil conditions will get better each year. This is what is meant by the adage ”Feed the soil not the plants.”
― Jane Shellenberger, Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West


Tuesdays at 6pm – Ashtabula Grows! Home Gardening: Gardening apart while growing together

An online home gardening series to build community resilience and food security.

Register here!

Howdy, friends and neighbors! Ashtabula Local Food is teaming up with OSU extension, Community Counseling Center and the Ashtabula Master Gardeners to inspire home gardening, give insight into starting seeds indoors and out, help navigate the land and temperature of NE Ohio (what grows best, when, and how) and help you have a productive home garden.  Our simple goal is to build community, improve health, contribute to food security and, perhaps, give you a little piece of mind. These are uncertain times so we would like to help you take care of yourself.

We will be hosting a live class every Tuesday via Zoom at 6pm with 30 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers. Then, follow us on our own group facebook page during the week. Feel free to send pictures, ask questions, or, get to know your neighbors by helping them in their garden (after May 1st, of course, and while respecting social distancing).


Classes are free and interactional!

Instruction by local gardeners and community members

See a list of classes


Register here!


Follow us on facebook

Starting seeds indoors while we wait for weather to catch up with spring!

Register here!

Tuesday, June 9th at 6pm – Ashtabula Grows! Herbs!

An online home gardening series to build community resilience and food security. Picture of Thai Basil growing, from seed, in Gallo’s Vietnamese and Thai inspired raised bed started a few weeks ago.

Register here!

What makes the difference between a decent meal and a fabulous meal? Herbs! It is what distinguishes cultures, culinary acumen and cookbooks for all levels! What brings health and prosperity more than herbs? Oh, yes…the cilantro patch is growing abundantly and I can taste the homemade pico de gallo (hurry up, tomatoes)! Cilantro piled on top of cooked beans (black, pinto, lima, fava, or scarlet runner beans) makes every dish taste like summer. Or, try it chopped and decoratively sprinkled in your favorite noodle with coconut milk soup (can be served cool on a hot day).

And the medicinal remedies continue to line our oral folk tradition. My neighbor George, who has lived in this neighborhood all of his 70+ years just shared an Italian family remedy: at first sign of “cold” or flu; place a few cloves of chopped garlic next to bed and wake up feeling much better and signs of sickness abated. As a nurse practitioner, I can not validate these findings but George’s daughters use this remedy today with continued success!

This week, we are fortunate to have Ashtabula Master Gardener and co-owner of Honey Hollow Herbs, Meghan Davis, join us for some instruction on growing herbs. Many folks have expressed interest in this topic and those who received a free garden kit (provided, with grant Sarah Brower procured, by Pollination Project) know this name well as we included herbs from Meghan’s bounty! We also learned, last week, about some of the protective-against-pests- aspects of herbs.


Miss last week’s class? No worries – click here to view. Class focused on planting your starts, companion planting and some permaculture concepts with John Wright of Red Beet Row and Sarah Brower of Harbor Gardens and Holistic Health. Check out the website: ashtabulalocalfood.org on the “Previous Classes” tab. Or, click here.


Some inspiring ideas about herbs…great for taste, great for body/mind!

See a list of classes that will be coming your way…


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Meghan Davis of Honey Hollow Farms and Ashtabula Master Gardener will join us on Tuesday, June 9th to discuss growing herbs!

We look forward to seeing you Tuesday at 6pm!

Tuesday, June 2nd at 6pm – Ashtabula Grows! on planting your starts, companion planting and more!

An online home gardening series to build community resilience and food security. Sandy M’s backyard garden and supervising chickens

Register here!

Hello, Ashtabula Grows friends. We sure hope you are finding a way to get your hands dirty and your face sunned this week! A friend was over to our backyard garden this week and asked me, “Gallo, are you trying to become completely self-sufficient and grow all of your own food?” It was a great question and I had to be honest with myself. While that seems like an admirable goal it felt a bit overwhelming. But inspired, I offered that it is a long term goal but one that would be more attainable as part of a team. To be transparent, I do believe that one day we could, as a community, grow enough food that we would not have to rely on imports from California, Florida, and foreign countries. The idea motivates me. Plus we have the land, community, experienced farmers and access to water to do it!

Still on a bean kick and want to learn something new about beans? Or, trying to decide what kind of beans to grow? Check out this comparison chart of lentils and black beans. This is a link to some of the health benefits of beans. Mostly, I am getting excited about sharing recipes and eating what we grow. However, first things first. Tonight, we will have John Wright of Red Beet Row in Jefferson join us to discuss planting your seedlings, companion planting and more! John is from Jefferson, is a permaculturalist and many of you probably have take a class with him on the farm or in one of the local libraries. We are excited to have him as our guest instructor tonight!


Miss last week’s class? No worries – click here to view. Class focused on container gardening and gardening in small spaces, Alice of Ashtabula Master Gardeners joined us and gave some great instruction! You can also find her handouts on our website: ashtabulalocalfood.org on the “Previous Classes” tab. Or, click here.


An inspired way to look at what you grow and some longer term planning

See a list of classes that will be coming your way…


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Mardy Townsend’s hugelkultur bed with cow supervision!

We look forward to seeing you tonight!

Tuesday, May 26th at 6pm – Ashtabula Grows! on Container Gardening

An online home gardening series to build community resilience and food security.

Register here!

Howdy, friends and neighbors! Somehow we managed to move to full swing summer in the matter of days and the greens are so vibrant! It is one thing the west coast does not have…so many shades of green. They just may be envious! In fact, California just does not have the access to water that we have here, either. In the midst of pandemic – we are in a pretty great spot to thrive.

Many folks tell us that the official first week of planting out of doors is Memorial Day Weekend. Whether you started in March or you are still waiting to be inspired – no worries, you are just in time!

We have been very excited to share with you Tuesday’s class on container gardening. Alice and Meghan of the Ashtabula Master Gardener Volunteers will be joining us for an inspirational discussion on how you can grow food in small places.


Did you miss last week’s class on Soils of Ashtabula? No worries – click here to view.


Not sure where to start? Here is a quick plug for the favorite annual – beans! (The one plant everyone can be growing for food security)

See a list of classes that will be coming your way…


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Nasturtium – flowers are gorgeous, spicy, nutritious and great to eat in your salad!

Register here!