Saturday, September 1, 2012

State of Garden


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
 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.

     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

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