Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 21 Kitchen Garden update

This Saturday, Marcelo, Linda H., Iris, Laura, Susan, Blanca, Linda M, and Gabriela. met at the garden. In addition to tending the family plots and watering the whole garden, all helped in various activities in the communal area. We planted cilantro and rosemary in the herb bed, thinned the bean seedlings, and turned the compost pile. Linda M cleared a section of the back plot by Oak St, spread some lobster compost, and we transplanted some cucumber and/or squash seedlings that had volunteered in the compost pile (it looks like the cucumbers we had previously planted were eaten).


Also, we got a new tomato plant on Thursday. Suzi Novak, our wonderful instructor showed us how to transplant tomatoes and in the process gifted us with a new plant! Summaries of our gardening classes are available on our website.

Watering Schedule so far (subject to change):
Mondays: Susan
Tuesdays: Gabriela
Wednesdays: Iris/Linda H.
Thursdays: Marcelo
Saturdays: Group

**Please note** when watering the garden, if Iris and Linda H's hoophouses are covered, you don't have to water them--only water if the plastic cover is pulled to the side.




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 14 at the Kitchen Garden & Watering volunteers needed!

It was a beautiful morning at the Kitchen Garden. Please read on for the full update and make sure to let me know what days you can commit to watering.

Among other things, ​Blanca and Laura chopped the kitchen scraps in the compost. Please try to chop up your scraps before adding to the pile, and cover with a layer of browns (leaves from the right bin) to speed up the process and avoid odors and excessive flies!

This week at the garden: Marcelo and Gabriela were joined by Linda H, Blanca, Laura, Iris, Linda M, and Susan. We spread organic matter in the herb garden and the bed by Oak St, planted parsley, tomatoes and peppers that Marcelo brought, transplanted mint, watered the garden, weeded, managed the compost pile, and tended the family plots.

​Watering, weeding, planting.
Next steps
  • Watering schedule: We need volunteers! The garden is in its early stages and the newly transplanted or seeded plants are vulnerable. It's critical to water frequently (maybe even daily) when it's dry to help them thrive. This is the schedule so far, so we still need to cover most days--at least one or two more days a week. Please let me know what days might work for you and we'll develop a final schedule:
    • Mondays: Susan
    • Wednesdays: Marcelo
    • Saturdays: Group
  • We plan on procuring some mulch to spread around the plots for weed suppression and to keep the soil moist.
​ While transplanting peas we noticed the root nodules--this is where nitrogen fixation occurs: specific bacteria colonize the root system and transform nitrogen gas from the air into soluble forms that the plant can use.
Other news:
  • Our fifth organic gardening class will be this Thursday, May 19 at 7:30. Please join us if you can. More info here.
  • Roots & Wings and South Presbyterian Church are among many groups supporting the March for Farmworker Justice. There will be an event at the church on Sunday, May 22nd. Read more.
See you next week!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Kitchen Garden Update - May 7


This week at the garden: Sam was at the garden early bringing in his food scraps for the compost as he also checked on his vegetables. After he left a group of gardeners comprised of Marc T., Mark. P., Els, Susan and Iris worked on weeding, turning the compost, planting arugula seeds, collard greens plants, and mesclun lettuce plants. We did not need to water due to all the rain that we received this past week.

Iris uses the broad fork to aerate the soil while minimizing disturbances.

Chris Olsewsky joined the fun as she brought over materials for the front Labyrinth Garden. Marc, Mark and Lenore worked with Chris in setting up a new border made of small rocks around part of the labyrinth. They also planted some new herbs and flowers, plus did some weeding along with adding new mulch. The end result was that the labyrinth looked much improved right before Mother’s Day when many of the South Church people would be passing by.


Next at the kitchen garden: we will still need to make a watering schedule. We should also decide if we want to try to meet during the week such as a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon to do some more group gardening. Right now we try to meet every Saturday from 10 am to noon but it would be nice to have another group day during the week.

Iris' son surprised her with this Mother's Day gift: he installed hoophouses in her and Linda H's plots. These trap the heat and help extend the growing season.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Roots & Wings on Local TV!

We are honored to have been featured in Community Tell-a-Vision: A Forum for Holistic Change and Exchange, a public access cable TV show hosted by Roxanne Seitz. Lenore and Gabriela had a chance to talk about Roots & Wings, our Kitchen Garden, building community, permaculture and more. You can view online (links below) or on Fios channel 45 or Optimum channel 76.

The first segment features mostly Doug DeCandia and the amazing work he does at Westchester Food Bank and beyond.

The second segment is all about Roots & Wings. We hope you like it and please share with others!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kitchen Garden News - April 30

I'm sorry to have missed the fun at the garden in April but look forward to joining the group next Saturday. Thank you Iris for the pictures and Marcelo for the weekly summary!

Currently at the garden
: Present at the garden were Mark P., Iris, Linda M., Susan C., Els, Sam, and Marcelo . 
Marcelo picked up a number of baby plants from Sprainbrook nursery including collard greens, kale, red leaf lettuce, mesclun lettuce, cucumber, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, a rosemary bush, and assorted seeds of green beans.
Everybody worked together as a big team planting all the above mentioned plants in the community plots and some in individual plots. We also planted the beef steak tomato plants that Gabriela started and Mark brought over into the community beds. We added compost to the base of most plants and watered all the vegetables before leaving.

Coming up: Next we will have to create a watering schedule and consider getting a tool shed, and food grinder which were suggested by members. We should also continue with the planting of new vegetables in the coming weeks. Next Saturday (May 7th) ome of us will also be working in the labyrinth along with Chris O. in the front of the Church starting about 11 a.m. (following our regular Kitchen Garden work).

See you next week at the garden!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kitchen Garden Update - April 23

**Note: If you have a family plot and have not been in the garden recently, please note there Marcelo left two bags of "Black Gold Earth" by each plot that you can add at your convenience.**

Currently at the Garden: It was a bit overcast when Mark, Linda, Else and Iris met at the Kitchen Garden. Marcelo had picked up bags of black gold earth and left two bags for each raised bed. They added these to their individual/family plots and one of the community beds, mixing the black gold in with the first few inches of dirt below.


​Linda and Else brought some seeds to plant in their bed.


​Mark added some of our finished compost to the communal garden bed by Oak Street.


​ Mark and Iris worked on the compost. Here he has climbed into the middle bin to be able to flip the most recently added materials in the left bin. They added some dirt and leaves and gave this bin a good turning over. They were happy to feel the heat rising out of the decomposing food scraps. They had the idea of leaving a bucket of extra dirt near the bin and putting up a sign asking people to throw some of it on top of any kitchen scraps they leave. This would both speed up the composting and minimize any odor.


​Iris used the broad fork to aerate the bed near the spice garden where we grew tomatoes and tomatillos last year.


​When Linda and Else were finished planting, they used old window screens to keep birds away and to diffuse the water in case of a big rain. 

We were not able to find potato bags in time for Saturday but Else has some potato bags at home and she will be starting the potato seeds that Suzi donated last Thursday in them. Gabriela had dropped off some tomato seedlings but we decided it might be too early to plant them directly in the beds at this point due to the unpredictability of night time temperatures.

Other news: Mark attended Greyston Foundation's Seeds of the Future event at the Yonkers public library, where he distributed seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library to an enthusiastic crowd of home and community gardeners, and gave demonstrations on starting and caring for seedlings.


See you next time at the garden!