Thursday, July 26, 2012

Next Time Wear Pants: Volunteering with GrowPGH

In an effort to get myself closer to reaching 50 volunteer hours in 2012 (of which I had only notched two), I spent a Saturday morning and afternoon in Braddock at the GrowPGH farm. This urban farm sits in the shadow of the steel industry, and what they've got going on in these once-vacant lots is very impressive.

I would try and sum up what GrowPGH's Braddock farm is all about, but they do it best on their site

Our task for the day was to clear out a long patch along the outer border of one of the lots. Then we covered the whole section with wood chips. It felt good to do some manual labor, and it was rewarding to see a debris-covered section of the lot end up closer to being a productive section of the farm.

One day I will have a backyard, and in that backyard I will have some chicken friends.
View of the lot we were tasked with cleaning up .

This is the opposite of what my tomatos look like. I think I need to stick with houseplants.

The fruits of our labor: Soon this area will be as productive as the rest of the  urban farm.
Now, to explain the title of this post. On Sunday morning, my legs started to itch. I thought maybe I had just gotten some bug bites, but what I have actually got is a serious case of poison ivy legs (and arm). Apparently my sensitive skin and poison ivy DO NOT MIX. I should have paid more attention to what I was clearing away, especially when one of the guys who works for GrowPGH warned us there might be poison ivy. But I'm on some medication (steroids! time to rage!) and have been carrying around a bottle of calamine lotion on my person at all times. I hope to volunteer with GrowPGH again at the Braddock farm, but next time, I'm wearing pants.

But hey! Four more hours logged. Only 44 more to go.

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