Turn a laundry basket into a strawberry planter!

If you have a spare plastic laundry basket/hamper sitting around somewhere, why not put it to good use and grow strawberries in it? Here’s one way you can do that, though of course many variations are possible.

You’ll need –

  • laundry basket/hamper
  • soil
  • plastic trash bag, burlap, or weed mat
  • strawberry starts (look for small ones without a lot of greenery yet, or bare root)
  • other plants for the top (optional; you can also just plant more strawberries there)
  • scissors

The first step is to add some drainage holes to the bottom of your basket. We used a drill, but if you don’t have one, you could cut some slits with a razor blade, scissors, etc.

Next, position your plastic trash bag inside to keep the soil from falling out of the holes in the basket. (Alternately, you could use burlap or weed mat, in which case you’d just line the sides, no need to line the bottom.)  We cut holes in the bottom of the plastic bag that lined up with the holes drilled in the bottom of the basket.

Then you’ll need to add about six inches of soil to the bottom of the basket.

Now you’re ready to place the first round of strawberries. You can place them about six inches apart around the perimeter at the soil level. Just poke a hole into your lining material (plastic/burlap/weed mat) at each spot where you’re going to place a strawberry plant, and carefully place the plant with roots inside and foliage outside in each opening.

Add another 3-4″ of soil and repeat the process of planting, staggering this row of plants from the first row. Continue until you near the top of the planter. You can finish the project by planting more strawberries on top, or another crop like lettuce, kale, etc. Trim the liner material an inch or so above the soil line.

A note about watering – especially if you’re using a tall laundry basket/hamper, you might want to consider including a way for water to reach the center/bottom of the planter better. One way to do this would be to use a 2 liter soda bottle, cut off the bottom, take off the lid, poke several holes in the sides, and sink it upside-down into the top of the planter until the cut-off base sits right above the soil line. When it’s time to water, add water into this reservoir to encourage it to make its way all the way down to the center and bottom of the planter, ensuring that water reaches the roots of the lower plants, not just those on top. (We didn’t have any large soda bottles so we used the base of a plastic mango container from Costco… something longer and skinnier definitely would have worked better though.) You could also accomplish this by using a length of PVC pipe with holes drilled into it.

Here’s the finished planter, with about two dozen strawberry plants around the sides, and lettuce and kale on top.

If you attempt this project, please let us know how it goes!

Connecting during COVID

Greetings,

We hope you are as safe and secure as possible during this time of crisis. If you have any needs that we might help with, please visit the Cooperation Humboldt COVID-19 Community Response Needs Request page.

For those of you in a position to volunteer during this time, we have several specific invitations to collaborate and/or engage with Cooperation Humboldt and our COVID response activities.

Mini Gardens

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 Our food team’s primary focus this season is installing as many mini-gardens as possible for low income residents of Humboldt County. This project is just ramping up, and we’ve installed 18 so far, with almost a hundred more households requesting this service to date. We have a great need for garden installation volunteers – folks who have at least some gardening experience, and who can work semi-independently to deliver and install small (3′ square) garden beds and fill them with soil and plants. Volunteers can take on as few or as many gardens as they like, and of course Cooperation Humboldt will cover all costs. 

If you’d like to help, but are unable to be an installer, we also welcome help in any of the following ways:

  • Donate plant starts (we’re focusing on crops that are easy for beginners to grow, including lettuce, kale, strawberries, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, etc.)
  • Build planter boxes
  • Loan a truck for an installation volunteer who doesn’t have one

To learn more about how you can get involved with this effort, contact Tamara at tamara.mcfarland@cooperationhumboldt.com

Little Free Pantries

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During this pandemic, our Little Free Pantries are being utilized like never before. If you want to help with that project, contact Casey Jo at pheonyx31@gmail.com. And of course, you’re invited to donate non-perishable food and personal care items to any pantry, any time.

COVID Response – Eureka

We are also looking for someone able to take an active role in assisting our COVID response in Eureka. This involves helping to match needs requests with volunteers. If you are interested in learning more, contact David at david.cobb@cooperationhumboldt.com.

Mask Making

Want to join our mask-making team? Have materials to donate? You can sew from home, or come to our physically distanced office space in Bayside (which is sanitized before/after each use) and use a donated sewing machine. Contact Kait at kaitangus@gmail.com.

Learn/Engage

Curious about Solidarity, but isolated? Join us for a video conversation about the concept of Solidarity Economics generally, how Cooperation Humboldt applies those concepts in tangible ways locally, and how you can get involved – next Wednesday, May 6th at 2:00 pm on Zoom. Advance registration is required  click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

#ShareYourCheck to Ensure Food Security for Our Community

We hope this finds you, your family, and your loved ones as safe and secure as possible during this historic crossroads. We are grateful to live in a community that has come together in this time of crisis to help one another. If you believe that:

      • Food is a Human Right…

      • Housing is a Human Right…

      • We can build a just, equitable, and compassionate society on the principles of solidarity and mutual aid…

      • Each of us can contribute to our community according to our abilities, and receive based on our needs…

Then we invite you to donate part or all of your $1200 stimulus check to ensure food security for all members of our community.

Join the growing movement to #ShareMyCheck
to support Cooperation Humboldt’s Food Programs 

Your donation will:

    • Aid in the cost of 3′ ready to plant mini gardens
    • Provide fresh and healthy food to low income community members
    • Provide educational materials and ongoing garden mentorship to impart life-long food cultivation skills
    • Ensure both short and long-term food autonomy

We are grateful for your continued support and encourage you to reach out if you have skills or goods to share, or are in need of assistance through our Covid-19 Response team.

In Solidarity,

The Cooperation Humboldt Team
Cooperation Humboldt
707.273.1146

Join us on Sunday, February 23

Thank you for your help and participation as we build a solidarity economy in our local community. This week we extend two invitations, both happening next Sunday, Feb 23rd.Cooperation Humboldt co-founder David Cobb is delivering two “lay sermons” at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 24 Fellowship Way in Bayside. The first will be at 9:00 am, and the second will be at 11:00 am. A lay sermon is defined as “an address on moral and religious questions by a layperson.”

David’s address is titled “Calling all Visionaries.” He will make the case for peaceful revolution, and outline Cooperation Humboldt’s vision, plan and our efforts to implement it.

Later that afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm we will host a monthly potluck at The Purple Palace (aka David and Ruthi’s home) located at 1402 M Street in Eureka. This is an informal gathering where we can get to know each other better and support and care for one another as we engage in the difficult work of trying to change our society. All are welcome to join us to connect, deepen relationships, and grow our community.

Please be conscious of dietary restrictions and choices (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc.) in the food you choose to bring so everyone has something to eat, and please label your dishes clearly if they contain meat/dairy/eggs/gluten/sugar/etc.As always, please reach out to us with your own dreams, ideas, and plans. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on how Cooperation Humboldt empowers our community to build a brighter future!

With hope for a collaborative future for all,

The Cooperation Humboldt Team

A Movement of Movements

At Cooperation Humboldt, we are committed to supporting grassroots social movements, building alternative institutions, and engaging in electoral work within the legal constraints of our 501(c)3 designation. Contrary to common assumptions, nonprofits can host candidate forums, circulate candidate questionnaires, and endorse legislation – we just aren’t allowed to endorse candidates.

Last week we helped to organize an impressive coalition of 15 local organizations that collaborated in a candidate forum that helped to develop a “movement of movements” approach to the upcoming local election. The event was held at College of the Redwoods, and simulcast on KMUD radio and broadcast on a large screen at the Mateel Community Center in Redway. All seven candidates running for County Supervisor in Districts 1 and 2 participated. (District 3 is also on the ballot this year, but is an uncontested race).

You can watch the entire forum by clicking here.

In Humboldt we vote for County Supervisors in the primaries, which will be held on March 3rd. If any candidate earns 50% +1 of the vote, they win the election. But if no candidate passes the 50% threshold, the top two vote earners go on to a run-off in the November election.

If you need to register to vote, or update your registration, please do so now!

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on how Cooperation Humboldt empowers our community to build a brighter future!

With hope for a collaborative future for all,

The Cooperation Humboldt Team
Cooperation Humboldt
707.273.1146