The Singer Hill Backyard Garden is located behind the Cafe on a 7,000sf lot. A couple of years ago, it was a poorly drained, weed covered lot with a drainage problem.
Beginning in the summer of 2010 with help from OSU Extension Service, and an Oregon City grant funded by Metro, our garden was a productive, if not yet breathtakingly beautiful, source of veggies and flowers for the cafe and for our volunteers. The photo below was taken in the fall of 2010.
The purpose of out Backyard garden is to create beauty out of waste. OUr garden demonstrates how a cafe can use its wastes to help transform an underdeveloped lot into a space that is a beautiful addition to the neighbhorhood.
At Singer Hill, we recycle our cardboard and newspaper into sheet mulching. We use the bulk of our food wastes for our worm bin, which produces worm castings which greatly improves soil sustainably. We have a year-round underground spring which we use for irrigation, so we don't have to use any municiple water for plant growth.
The garden is in a constant state of change. We added some fencing and planted several strips in and around the garden in the summer of 2011. Below is some fence art inspired by the very cool carvings on display at the Oregon Country Fair.
So, keep an eye on our Backyard Garden. We'll be continually making improvements. Slowly but steadily, we'll be working on implementing our vision: a "destination" garden with benches, ponds, plants, and paths with informational signage that will draw visitors to Oregon City and the Singer Hill Cafe.