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. 

  • 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.

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, 

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