Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another kale recipe


Sheila sent this one:

Holiday Harvest Kale Salad 
1/6th of recipe (about 1 1/4 cups): 102 calories, 2g fat, 126mg sodium, 20g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3* 

Ingredients:
8 cups chopped kale leaves 
One 10.5-oz. can mandarin orange segments packed in juice, drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup light raspberry (or other fruity) vinaigrette
Optional seasoning: salt

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to mix.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Winterizing the Garden
The garden is settling down for the winter and most of the plots are cleared. Thank you all for your cooperation. And a special thanks to everyone who planted oats and/or mulched the plot.

Sadly, there are a few stragglers. In order to be "winter-ready" you must:
  • Remove anything that is not a plant. This includes fencing, stakes, cages, garden art, tools, gloves, plastic bags, etc. (the 4 corner stakes of your plot should be the only thing remaining)
  • If you have a flower strip with vines on the fence, please remove them.
  • Dig up all perennials. (This is the hardest this for me to require. If you have something really special and need a place to overwinter it, talk to me. I have a little space in my greenhouse.)
  • Kale and other cold weather veggies need to be removed. Below are some suggestions for your excess.

Next Sunday, November 11, a list of plots that are not winter-ready will be posted on the shed bulletin board. These plots or flower strips will not be eligible for a deposit refund. 


Final Cleanup
Next Sunday, November 11, starting about noon, we will do our final clean up (weather permitting). If you need to complete your volunteer hours, this is a good opportunity. If you are not able to come on Sunday, stop by any time you have a few minutes to work. 

Here is a list of jobs that need doing. You may think of others. (I will post this on the shed bulletin board Friday morning)
  • Winterize any plots or flower strips that are not yet done
  • Pick up and carry off any trash 
  • If you have cages, stakes or fencing that you want to save, remove them from the garden. Any that are left on Sunday will be up for grabs or pitched. 
  • Wooden stakes in reusable condition can be stored in the slots in the compost bin. Throw out rotting ones.
  • Put all hand tools, buckets, hose hardware and other savable stuff in the shed.
  • Reclaim anything you have left in the shed (reminder, the combination is 5-1-5)
  • If you have a vehicle capable of transporting the larger trash, let me know. We have a place to dispose of it. 
  • Dig out all perennials.
  • Pull out  the buried hoses. Coil them and tie them. I can store them over winter.
  • Look around the garden with this in mind: "would I rather be doing this now or next February in freezing, snowy weather?" We still don't know our plans for 2013, which makes it really hard to plan, but the less moving we have to do, the easier it will be. 
  • A few plots have dead plant material stacked on them. I think this might be meant for mulch. If they are taller than normal, stomp them down.
  • Be sure to log your hours

Lea's last class
  • This Thursday, 5:30, in the garden. The subject is soil testing, soil building and winterization. Bring a flashlight and dress warmly. 

Kale
  • Wash leaves and remove center vein. Dry it on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven until it is crisp. It will keep forever and is great in soups and stews. 
  • Steam it slightly and freeze it in one-meal sized packages. It can be used any way you would prepare fresh cooked kale.
  • Wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag, it will keep in the fridge for over a week.
  • Kale chips: Cut kale into bite size pieces. Toss with olive oil and any of your favorite seasonings (seasoned salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, cajun spice, any of the Aisian seasonings,etc.) and dehydrate in a 200 degree oven until crisp. Check to see if it needs stirring  or turning during baking. 
  • Give it to your friends or take it to the Food Shelf.
  • Brussel sprouts freeze well. Lettuce, you just have to eat a lot of salads.

2013
The Board has begun discussing strategies for procuring a new and permanent garden site. If you are interested in helping out or finding out more information on this subject, talk to me or any of the garden board members: Lea Karlssen, Joyce Altobelli, Rosemary Lyons, Mary Kaye Perrin,Sheila Rusk,Trina Sugart, 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Plans for our Future

Sunday evening about 22 of the gardeners met in the garden for a potluck and to discuss what to do about the garden next year. It was a gorgeous evening, a lovely setting, and, of course, great company. 

Here is the current situation and our options:
  •  Our  current site at Winona Health: Lea met with Janel Miller, our liaision at Winona Health, on Thursday. Janel told her that,  "You should plan on not being here next year." She couldn't report on specifics, but  plans were in negotiation for development of the site. She added that it would be okay to leave our fencing and infrastructure in place over the winter. If the deal falls through (between WH and whoever), we may be able to stay 1 more year.
  •  A possible site at the Watkins Distribution Center on 3rd St.: Jan and Lea contacted Watkins about the possibility of moving to this site. It fits our criteria of size, central location and water availability. We met with Jim Yenish of Watkins, who is very open to the idea. He spent some time working with Watkins' insurance and legal departments to negotiate a lease. Negotiations are not complete, but this site is a definite possibility. The downside of this site is that it is also temporary in nature. Again we would have a year-to-year lease and possibly be asked to move within the next 5 years. 
  • Put our efforts into finding permanent site: Lea, who has researched other successful community gardens, notes that the ones that succeed long term are permanently located on city-owned land. Several times Lea and others have approached the City to begin a discussion for a suitable garden site on city-owned land, but have not been successful. 
The gardeners discussed these options and every permutation possible. People suggested other potential sites to look into.We brainstormed other ideas (My favorite: use small trailers as raised beds that could be moved wherever and whenever-a true "truck garden"). 

As the discussion wore on, it emerged that  there was little enthusiasm for moving to another temporary site. A  permanent site was what we needed. 
In the end we made the decision to take our chances with Winona Health for 2013 and immediately begin to work towards finding a permanent site for 2014. 
Implications of this decision are:
  • It is possible that we will not have a garden in 2013
  • We cannot begin to register gardeners until we get an official go-ahead from Winona Health.
  • We may be moving our infrastructure off the site with nowhere to store it.
  • We will need to refocus our energies. We will need to convince the city officials that a community garden is an asset to the city as a whole, not just a few gardeners. This will be uphill work. Our future success (indeed our future) depends on it.

As I always say, this garden belongs to everyone and all voices are important. If you were not able to attend the meeting last night and want to comment , please post a comment on the blog or email me.    

Next steps:
Immediately
  • This Wednesday, September 19, 7-8 p.m. 3rd Floor, City Hall  (Layfayette and 4th St.)the League of Women Voters is conducting a forum. The candidates for Mayor and for Wards 1 and 3 will participate. The forum is broadcast by both HBC and Charter on their public access channels. 
This is the perfect opportunity to question the candidates about where they stand on supporting the idea of a community garden and to point out the benefits to you personally and to the community as a whole that a community garden provides. It will raise an awareness that may not yet exist. 

Ongoing:
  • identify potential sites for a permanent location
  • write letters to the editor
  • write letters to city officials 
  • talk to city officials 
  • attend city council meetings 

If you have additional ideas or resources, let me know
If you are willing to help out at whatever level or time commitment you can, let me know.
The Board will be working on a list of reasons why a community garden is a valuable asset in our town, but I'm sure that everyone can name several from their own experience.

Jan

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gardener Potluck and Gathering

This Sunday is our Fall Gathering in the Garden.
This is a very important meeting and I hope most of you will be able to come. 
We will discuss our plans for next year and share what information we have about what our choices are.
We need everyone's thoughts and input.

Here are the details: 

Sunday, September 16, in the Garden
Bring your own table service, a dish to share, a chair
Gather 5:00, eat about 5:30

Agenda:
  • 5:00  Gather and visit
  • 5:30  Dinner
  • 6:00  Discussion: garden location for next year
  • 6:30  Discussion: organizing to find a long term location for the garden

Saturday, September 1, 2012

State of Garden


STATE OF THE GARDEN
SEPTEMBER, 2012

Weeding Party
    A big thanks to everyone who came out to help weed on Sunday. The garden looks a whole lot better. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. Whenever you visit the garden, try to take a few minutes to pull a few weeds. Pay special attention to the weeds that are going to seed. If everyone would spend just 10 minutes each time they visit the garden, it would make a huge difference. 

The Harvest
    I feel silly having to say this, but be sure to harvest your veggies. Leaving them to rot on the ground invites unwanted scavengers. If you have more than you can use, find someone who can. The Food Shelf is happy to take produce. The Catholic Worker House has taken batches of tomatoes to make sauce, etc. Ask your friends and neighbors if they can use some. One enterprising woman has left her name and phone number on the shed bulletin board. She will be happy to pick up any extras if you give her a call.  Also, extra veggies can be left in the wooden box by the compost bin. Joyce left a styrofoam cooler there for this purpose. It has since disappeared. If it doesn't reappear, I'll bring something. If all else fails, put them in the compost.  (and just personal note here, I could use some extra basil. My whole crop failed to germinate this year.)

Late Summer Gardening
    Nature abhors a vacuum. If you have harvested a crop, you're not really done yet. Continue to weed, cover the bare soil with mulch or straw (there is still some left by the shed), or throw down some fast growing seeds. I will put some oats or rye in the shed for people to use.  In my own garden this year I have been using up old seed that is past it's shelf life. So far I've thrown down radish, curly cress and some really old pea seeds. I now have the cutest little patch of pea plants sprouting. My original intention was to add organic matter to the soil, but I may actually get a few servings of peas.  

Fall Gathering-
     
September 16, in the Garden
 Gather 5:00, eat about 5:30
Rain contingency-at the shelter house by the lake, across the road
 Bring a dish to share and your own table service
Agenda:
 Welcome new board members
Discuss plans for 2013 in depth
Discuss hope and ideas for establishing a permanent garden site 


Next Year
    There is still no final decision for moving the garden next year. Last week Lea and I met with someone from Watkins about a possible site near their Distribution Center. In many ways it would be a wonderful site, but there are pros and cons to moving. Come to the potluck on September 16 to discuss the issue. We need and value everyone's input. 

Visitors to the Garden
    The other day 2 redtail hawks were chasing  a squirrel round and round the big tree at the northeast corner of the garden.  The squirrel had one of her babies in her mouth.  The hawks rushed the squirrel repeatedly.  Their efforts did not appear to be coordinated, but they finally succeeded  in getting the baby and took it off for their feast. I was sad for the squirrels, but it drove home the lesson about nature's unbending laws and the cycle of life. These hawks  are probably eating significant numbers of voles, which would otherwise be decimating our beets and carrots. The garden is also full of small birds and even some toads. They are all part of reason that we have very few bug pest problems. Nothing is inherently good or bad in nature. It's all a part of the circle of life. If we remove one piece of this circle, the whole circle may collapse.

Board Openings
    The Board currently has 2 openings for the coming year, including the position of treasurer. Rosemary Lyons has volunteered to take one of the Board positions (Thank you, Rosemary). If you are interested in helping the garden out in this way, let me know. The meetings are friendly and fun, and give you a say in how the garden is run. 

Other Reminders
    If you have taken straw to mulch your plot, don't forget to pay for it-$3/bale, $1.50/1/2 bale. 
    Be sure to log your volunteer hours on the sheet which is posted on the bulletin board on the west side of the shed.

Musings
     Lately I've been aware of having to push myself to keep up with the community garden. I'm wondering if others are feeling this, too. And I'm wondering if our unsettled plans for next year are influencing this, thus the general weediness in the garden. It is important to keep up our efforts in the garden. This is a wonderful project and we are so lucky to have the opportunity. Hang in there and keep February in the back of your mind when your fingers will be itching to get in the dirt

State of Garden, September, 2012


STATE OF THE GARDEN
SEPTEMBER, 2012

Weeding Party
    A big thanks to everyone who came out to help weed on Sunday. The garden looks a whole lot better. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. Whenever you visit the garden, try to take a few minutes to pull a few weeds. Pay special attention to the weeds that are going to seed. If everyone would spend just 10 minutes each time they visit the garden, it would make a huge difference. 

The Harvest
    I feel silly having to say this, but be sure to harvest your veggies. Leaving them to rot on the ground invites unwanted scavengers. If you have more than you can use, find someone who can. The Food Shelf is happy to take produce. The Catholic Worker House has taken batches of tomatoes to make sauce, etc. Ask your friends and neighbors if they can use some. One enterprising woman has left her name and phone number on the shed bulletin board. She will be happy to pick up any extras if you give her a call.  Also, extra veggies can be left in the wooden box by the compost bin. Joyce left a styrofoam cooler there for this purpose. It has since disappeared. If it doesn't reappear, I'll bring something. If all else fails, put them in the compost.  (and just personal note here, I could use some extra basil. My whole crop failed to germinate this year.)

Late Summer Gardening
    Nature abhors a vacuum. If you have harvested a crop, you're not really done yet. Continue to weed, cover the bare soil with mulch or straw (there is still some left by the shed), or throw down some fast growing seeds. I will put some oats or rye in the shed for people to use.  In my own garden this year I have been using up old seed that is past it's shelf life. So far I've thrown down radish, curly cress and some really old pea seeds. I now have the cutest little patch of pea plants sprouting. My original intention was to add organic matter to the soil, but I may actually get a few servings of peas.  

Fall Gathering-
     
September 16, in the Garden
 Gather 5:00, eat about 5:30
Rain contingency-at the shelter house by the lake, across the road
 Bring a dish to share and your own table service
Agenda:
 Welcome new board members
Discuss plans for 2013 in depth
Discuss hope and ideas for establishing a permanent garden site 


Next Year
    There is still no final decision for moving the garden next year. Last week Lea and I met with someone from Watkins about a possible site near their Distribution Center. In many ways it would be a wonderful site, but there are pros and cons to moving. Come to the potluck on September 16 to discuss the issue. We need and value everyone's input. 

Visitors to the Garden
    The other day 2 redtail hawks were chasing  a squirrel round and round the big tree at the northeast corner of the garden.  The squirrel had one of her babies in her mouth.  The hawks rushed the squirrel repeatedly.  Their efforts did not appear to be coordinated, but they finally succeeded  in getting the baby and took it off for their feast. I was sad for the squirrels, but it drove home the lesson about nature's unbending laws and the cycle of life. These hawks  are probably eating significant numbers of voles, which would otherwise be decimating our beets and carrots. The garden is also full of small birds and even some toads. They are all part of reason that we have very few bug pest problems. Nothing is inherently good or bad in nature. It's all a part of the circle of life. If we remove one piece of this circle, the whole circle may collapse.

Board Openings
    The Board currently has 2 openings for the coming year, including the position of treasurer. Rosemary Lyons has volunteered to take one of the Board positions (Thank you, Rosemary). If you are interested in helping the garden out in this way, let me know. The meetings are friendly and fun, and give you a say in how the garden is run. 

Other Reminders
    If you have taken straw to mulch your plot, don't forget to pay for it-$3/bale, $1.50/1/2 bale. 
    Be sure to log your volunteer hours on the sheet which is posted on the bulletin board on the west side of the shed.

Musings
     Lately I've been aware of having to push myself to keep up with the community garden. I'm wondering if others are feeling this, too. And I'm wondering if our unsettled plans for next year are influencing this, thus the general weediness in the garden. It is important to keep up our efforts in the garden. This is a wonderful project and we are so lucky to have the opportunity. Hang in there and keep February in the back of your mind when your fingers will be itching to get in the dirt

Thursday, August 23, 2012



COMMUNITY GARDEN
WEEDING PARTY

Sunday, August 26, 6:30 till sunset

Gather in the garden with your favorite weeding tool and plan to make a big dent in the weeds
Bring a snack or something to drink, and watch the sun set over the lake. 
All work on this evening counts for volunteer hours.

Monday, July 30, 2012



The First Ever Winona Urban Backyard Garden Tour 
July 29, 2012





Catherine Cleary and Gary Flynn have more than plants in their garden. Besides the rooster, you will find mosaic stepping stones, "light catchers" and free form art.

 

 
Wes Miller raises bees. He has four hives as well as a couple
of trap hives ready for a swarm.

 
Bernadette Mahfood designs her garden specifically to attract pollinators.


Vicki Englich shows us what to do with all that extra produce
 from the garden.


  
Matt Cyert collects rainwater in these barrels to use on his garden.

Ray Kiihne raises worms in these bins They make great compost for his garden.

Bruno Bosari's chickens have their own private
 door into the garage where they spend the night and lay their eggs. 








Kevin Rafferty explains how to build a wood fired baking oven.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weather Report

The Tour is still on. 
Gardeners are nothing, if not optimistic. 
The weather is going to cooperate. 

Tickets for the tour are available at each site.
AND are only $10. 

Call your friends to come enjoy the day. 

Urban Backyard Farming Tour


Tickets available on July 16, 2012 @ the following locations.
The Co-op
The Book Shelf
Paperback & Pieces
The Winona Post 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


STATE OF THE GARDEN
SUMMER SOLSTICE, 2012

POTATO BUGS!!  
  • Check your plants. I noticed one row of potatoes covered with larvae. The larva is orange with brown spots. Eggs are orange-gold in clusters on the bottom side of the leaves. Adults are a brown and orange beetle about 1/2 inch long. Potato bugs (properly called Colorado potato beetle) will also feed on any plant in the nightshade family-eggplant, tomatoes, ground cherries, etc., and will consume any plant they happen to hatch on. 
  • The best control is to pick them off daily. Either squish them or throw them into a bucket of soapy water. I will put a bottle of non-detergent soap and a pail in the shed for people to use. Put a teaspoon or so of soap in the pail with water. Birds love the larvae. If you have the stomach for it, squish them and throw them in the paths for the birds to enjoy. 

BINDWEED AND THISTLE-
  • They are still in the garden, but seem to be less of a problem this year. Keep up the aggressive pulling. It works.

URBAN BACKYARD FARMING TOUR-
  • Mark you calendars for July 29, 12-4 p.m.
  • Plan on coming
  • Tell your friends about it
  • Tickets available after July 16 at  
    • The Co-op
    • The Book Shelf
    • Paperback & Pieces
    • The Winona Post 
  • A huge thank you to the fundraising committee (Jennie Rafferty, Catherine Cleery, Margaret Kiihne, Matt Cyert) for organizing this; to the backyard farmers (Rafferty's, Cleary/Flynn's, Vicki Englich, Cyert's, Bruno Borari, Kiihne's, and Wes Miller) for offering their time and expertise;  and to Tonya Van Tol for posting it on Facebook. 
JULY
  • Both Lea and I will be unavailable in July. 
  • Trina Shugart has volunteered to be the onsite go-to person if there are any problems.Thank you Trina.

Monday, May 21, 2012


State of the Garden
May 21, 2012

Plant Sale-
    We made $240 on the second sale. Thanks to everyone for your participation-helping with sales, donating plants, buying plants. 

Water-
    When you use the water,  turn the YELLOW HANDLE ONLY at the hydrant. Someone has been turning off the silver metal  valve, which creates a problem getting it back on. 

Mulch-
    28 bales of straw are on order and will be delivered soon.  A half bale is usually enough to cover a full plot, a quarter bale enough for a half plot.  Last year the cost was $3/bale. I'll let everyone know the exact price when it is delivered. 
    Sue  will be delivering the straw, probably next Saturday. She could really use some help unloading and stacking the bales. Let me know if you can help. When Sue knows exactly when she will be delivering them, I'll let people know. 

Tiller-
    I keep hoping that the tiller was borrowed and that it will magically show up again. If you have borrowed it, please let me know, or just return it to the shed in the dark of the night-no questions asked.
    Alternatlively-Does anyone have a tiller they would be willing to loan to the garden for a day? The Garden would pay for the gas and return it to you with a full tank (such a deal) We could schedule a specific day to complete the tilling. I don't know how many people still want to till their plots, so let me know if there is a need for this. 

Jobs-
    The grass path to the shed really needs mowing.  At this point,  it may be easier to  scythe or weed whack it. 
    Notice the new blackboard on the east window of the shed. When you have a few extra minutes in the garden, check there to see what you might be able to do. Then scratch it off and log your time. 

Chips and compost-
    Due to the high possibility of our moving to a new site next season, we do not plan to get more wood chips or compost for the garden. You are welcome to add compost to you own plot if you want (leaves, mulch, store bought). 

Voles-
    Wayne is taking a break from his vole trapping project. He says the numbers are diminishing. Updates from observers are welcome. Thanks, Wayne, for working so diligently on this.

Reminder -
    Because of the incredibly warm spring we have had, weeds are already beginning to go to seed. If you haven't had time to plant your garden, try to at least remove seed heads. Remember that all plots need to be planted by June 15.