Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Garden Update, July 15

Hi Folks – here is the latest: 

            Picnic Report:  A smaller than usual group of gardeners gathered last Sunday for a very enjoyable afternoon.  Wonderful food and lots of visiting.  This is always a great way to get to know our fellow gardeners and their families.  It started with a windy afternoon, but the wind died off and folks were still enjoying visiting until after 8:00 in the evening!  A big thanks to Terry M. and Chuck B. for helping get everything set up and then being the grill chefs.  Thanks also to Bonnie W. for helping with the water balloons, Susan B. for overseeing the flower/leaf hammering activity, and Sandy W.h for coordinating the crop identification challenge.  Then there was the cleanup with Duane A., Don J.and several others lending a hand.  Ben L. took photos and we will get those up on the Facebook page soon.

            Mission Garden:  Many thanks to all who are keeping their crop areas cared for.  A unique feature of our community garden is that those who have garden plots commit to helping in some way with the Mission Garden or some other Common Ground project.  We additionally have some great volunteers who do not have plots that work with us on the Mission Garden.  A great big udos to all who are doing this work.  However, we need to be sure that everyone is doing their part to the extent of their capabilities.  There are several gardeners who have physical limitations to what they can do, and that is fully understood.  But we need everyone else to be contributing their share.  There are several areas of the Mission garden that need attention.  These include the Open Area corn and the South Raised Beds bush beans and one section of the lettuce.  Most other crops just need some touch ups to keep up with new weeds. 

            Harvesting:   Things are going great and we have already harvested over 100 lbs. of zucchini, yellow squash, Swiss chard, broccoli, beets, radishes, and Chinese cabbage and delivered them to local agencies.  We are now harvesting twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings starting around 9:00.  We have a harvest team of five gardeners identified, but anyone else who would like to join us is more than welcome.  Tomorrow (Thursday) we will be continuing to harvest more of the same crops and will also be harvesting garlic and onions to go on drying racks in the west shed.  Other crops are maturing quickly and by next week we should be adding peppers, green beans, lettuce and some herbs to the list.  We would certainly welcome those who have cared for these crops to participate in the harvesting.  That can be arranged to be done the day before for most crops and then stored in a refrigerator in the church for delivery the next day.  Just let me know if you would like to do that. 

Parade of Gardens: 

Saturday, July 25, 4:00 to 8:00. Gardener  Katz Hettinger  is coordinating our participation in this event.  There are a total of about eight community gardens throughout the Billings area that are part of the Parade this year.  It is a great opportunity to promote gardening in our community and give visibility to your work at the St. Andrew Garden.  Katz is organizing two sifts of volunteers: 4:00 to 6:00 and 6:00 to 8:00.  She has signed up gardeners for most of the slots, but a few more volunteers to greet visitors,  give tours or help with kids’ activities will be more than welcomed. Let me know if you would be interested in helping and I will put you in touch with Katz.

We want the garden to be looking its best for the visitors.  Please focus on weeding your plots and Mission Garden areas and clearing dirt and weeds from the paths around your plots.  A few plots are very much in need of attention and I will be contacting those individuals. 

            Watering:  We are continuing the M-W-F early morning schedule for the plots.  The Mission Garden runs on M-Th-F evenings with selected additional watering as needed.  Not sure how much of the rain showers last night  hit the garden, but things should be very moist today with that added to the watering!. 

            Organic Products:  A donor gave us a selection of organic plant supplements that include such things as blood meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal, etc.  They are in a storage box underneath the seed exchange box.  You are welcome to help yourselves to these.         

All for now.