Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Wednesday Garden Update

Greetings Gardeners,

            There is a lot going on in the garden right now, so here goes to keep you all informed:

Garden Meeting:   Minutes from the Monday meeting have been emailed to the gardeners.  Thanks mucho to Beth S. for preparing these.  Attendance was very small, so if you were not there, you should read these to find out what was covered.  We are trying a new format for the meetings with just a few key topics and not using a formal agenda.  We have an open discussion of suggestions, comments questions and general discussion to open the meeting.  This time we also addressed plans for the annual picnic and for the upcoming city-wide Parade of Gardens on July 25th.   

Picnic:  Plans are pretty well in place.  Still need someone who could help with some kids activities.  Diane Hall organized a water balloon toss last year that was a big hit.  A garden scavenger hunt is another possibility.  Do you have any suggestions?  Willing to help? 

Mission Garden and Common Ground:  The crops and garden are looking great.  Thanks to all who are making this happen.  All gardeners with plots are assigned to one of the teams or work groups.  There are other volunteers on these teams as well.  It appears that not everyone is contributing their share to the common effort.  Get in touch with your team or work group leader if you are not sure what you are designated to work on.  I am attaching an updated roster of the teams and work groups. 

Harvesting Report:  We delivered the produce from the first harvest day from the Mission Garden to the Rescue Mission on Tuesday. We will also be delivering to Family Services, Tumble Weed and Friendship House in the future.   It was a surprising amount (50 lbs. total) and included zucchini, yellow squash, Swiss chard, radishes, beets, broccoli and cabbage (from Phil’s plot).  We will normally be harvesting on Monday and Thursday mornings starting around 9:00.  For right now we are just doing one harvest a week on Mondays, but expect to go to the twice a week schedule by mid-July. We are normally done in an hour.  We have a list of designated harvesters with representatives from each of the Mission Garden crop teams, but anyone who would like to help is invited to join us when you can.  The more the merrier.   

Purslane:  Phil & Carol looked up purslane in Wikipedia and provided me a copy.  Interesting article.  It is considered a weed in most of North America, but is a desirable food source in much of the world. Here is the web site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea.  

Weed Pile:  A first load of the weed stack next to the fenced compost area is headed for  the landfill today.  Looks like one more load to get caught up.  I would say 3/4ths of it was purslane, so apparently you guys are not eating enough of it!!  Next to go will be the remaining branches from the labyrinth tree trimming.  We are continuing to work on overall housekeeping to make our garden environment attractive.  Any help you can give is most welcome.:

Plots:  We have one open plot that is available to anyone who wants it.  First come, first dibs.  Most stores and nurseries are closing out seed and plant supplies, but Heightened Harvest on 32nd St W.  just north of Gable Road on the West End will be keeping their remaining supply of seeds up until September.  Also, Jungle Jim’s is selling all plants and gardening supplies at ½ price and they have a large selection left.  They are located off Monad west of 24th St. behind the auto dealerships.  Billings nursery on Frontage road also has plants available.

Watering: We are pouring on the water.  Let me know if you have dry spots. Primary watering will be on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for the plots.  Watering of the Mission Garden is shifting to Sunday, Tuesday and Friday mornings to accommodate the harvesting on Mondays and Thursdays.  Supplemental watering will be applied as necessary based on the heat and drying conditions.   Tall plants that block the spray pattern can result in dry areas on the shadow side.  Another consideration when planning your garden.  A dry area was identified in the middle of the South Raised Beds in the middle of the Swiss chard.  I discovered that tree branches from the adjoining property were hanging down and blocking one of the sprinkler patterns that reduced the water reaching that area.  A little tree trimming has fixed that problem.  It is great when you provide input so we can address problems.