Monday, May 2, 2011

MAY 2, 2011

Opening Work Day- What a fun and productive work day. Everything on my list was accomplished in about 2 hours. (except for the newspaper/chips project). A huge thanks to all of you who came to work, who brought water (which we ended up not needing), who brought refreshments, or who contributed in any way. 

Next Work Day-Because of the wind yesterday, we didn't even try to lay newspapers. We can schedule another work day soon. This is just a medium-sized project; a couple of hours should do it. For those of you who were not able to make it yesterday, here is a golden opportunity.

Logging Your Hours-There is a sheet on the bulletin board inside the shed. Don't forget to log your hours.

Compost-An especially big thanks go to those of you who worked on the compost bins, a dirty and muscle-challenging job.  All of the un-decomposed compost material was chopped and moved into the north bin. revealing our reward of several cubic yards of lovely compost on the bottom, something I hadn't expected.  The south bin is empty at the moment. Here are the rules for the compost this year:
  • Use the south bin only this year. We will let the north bin cook for a season. I will try to find a tarp to cover it so it will get hotter.
  • When weeding your plot, leave small, tender weeds on your plot, root side up to die and decompose.
  • Knock off all the soil from the roots before putting weeds into the bin.
  • Chop large, woody plant material into smaller pieces
  • Put plants that are diseased or that have seed heads into the round plastic bin. This closed bin will heat up enough to kill pathogens and seeds.
Hopefully, this will bring our composting situation under control.

Water-I had hoped that this would not be an issue this year, but alas, that is not to be. The good news is that the water is on. The spigot with the water meter is on the north hydrant (moved from last year). To turn it on, turn the yellow handle with care-it's actually a stepped-down fire hydrant. The bad news is that this is temporary. The city is putting in a new water main and at some point during the summer they will turn off the water to our garden. I'll keep you posted as I get more information. You might want to save back a couple of water jugs or used milk bottles in anticipation of hauling water at some point this summer. Because we don't know have a timeline for the beginning of this project, I won't plan to set up the hoses. People can use the watering cans or 5 gallon buckets to haul water from the hydrant. This isn't great, but it is what it is. If anyone is enthusiastic about setting up the hoses (which includes digging a small trench from the spigot), talk to me. I'm not opposed to doing it. It just seems futile.

Vole Patrol-Wayne worked through most of the winter to reduce our resident population. He trapped dozens (maybe hundreds). About a month ago he surrounded the bottom edge of the compost bins, where we suspected they were living and breeding, with hardware cloth to a depth of about a foot. Yesterday, while working on the compost I think we found only one live one and one dead one. Maybe they have decided to go elsewhere, like back to their lakefront homes. Yay, Wayne!

Peace Corps Donation-March 1, 2011, was the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Returned Volunteers from the Winona area held a celebration. The theme was "Food Security", and the group chose to support our garden with a donation. Yesterday Julie Chiasson presented the garden with a check for $75. Thank you so much to the Peace Corps and to Julie for thinking of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment