You might just now be feeling like you haven’t heard from us in a while. You aren’t thinking about it, or at least you weren’t until you decided to start reading this, but now that I’ve mentioned it, you’re definitely noticing that you noticed us not being very present of late.
I’m here to tell you why. Southbound Gardens has been shaking and moving all kinds of crazy ways these last few months, and keeping you informed on our jiggly steps would’ve been less than entertaining for anyone, and certainly utterly uninformative, as our direction has shifted day by day all summer long.
Lucky for us, it was all summer long, and not all fall, winter, or spring long. Those are the months when you depend on us and we depend on you. Amicably, not in a co-dependent dangerous sort of way. Summer not so much.
So, first things first, we shut down our nursery every June. That’s standard practice. We try to get back in the plant selling game in early to mid-September, because that’s when it makes sense to be planting plants. Y’all don’t wanna be putting our vegetable starts or anyone else’s in the ground after mid-June, I promise.
Now September is right around the bend, and so too is the completion of our brand new nursery, greenhouse, education and resource center. The future is bright, but we’re shining a different sort of light this time around.
This time last year we were maintaining five gardens across central city as well as running our plant nursery and teaching workshops a few times a month. We have pared down our urban farming interests and now Southbound Gardens exists in just two concrete places, our flagship garden, The Urban Farmstead, at 1730 Clio st, and our new nursery, retail and education center, which we’ll probably call ‘Southbound Gardens’, at 3700 Toledano st. You'll still be able to find us in all sorts of less concrete places, teaching workshops around town or building gardens in your backyard, for example.
We are coming into the new growing season with the intent to focus our all-encompassing vision on the most critical aspects of what we do; growing perfect plants for you and teaching you how to interact best with those plants and the world as a whole.
We are slowly transitioning the The Urban Farmstead’s growing space into a seed collecting operation, so we can breed the best locally acclimated herbs veggies the Gulf South has ever seen. We’ll also be expanding programming there, hopefully, with more events, education, and you-pick opportunities on site.
The new Southbound Gardens Site is where we’ll be growing our plants from here on out, as well as selling them. But we have plans to make it more than just a nursery; we’ll also be teaching classes here regularly, and like the Urban Farmstead, will have many permacultural and eco-friendly features spread across the property, mostly because it makes sense and we like it, but also to inspire you with realistic examples of what living alongside the land looks like around these parts.
The 'urban farming' part of our business is becoming less central to our mission these days, but we're still producing produce for the time being. We'll still be offering garden buildout and maintenance as well.
Our first seeds were literally just planted today, so it’ll be a few more weeks before we have any plants for your gardens, but we look forward to seeing you at the new Southbound Gardens’ nursery, at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, or at the Refresh Market. And if we don’t see you directly, our plants look forward to seeing you at Holly Grove Market and Farm and at garden centers around town.
Stay tuned for more info regarding our new site, workshops in September, new events such as the garden walk and talk and the you-pick produce extravaganza. We’re excited to get growing and stoked to get you doing the same. Also and finally, if you're interested in volunteering with us, don't hesitate to ask, we love having helping hands in the dirt.
Ian writes these. Fearlessly.