Monday, June 20, 2016

June 18 @ the Kitchen Garden--Poison Ivy edition

This Saturday, Blanca and her niece, Laura, Linda M, Linda H, Iris, Mark, Marcelo and Gabriela came to the garden.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Marcelo for bravely charging against the poison ivy that was growing profusely in and around the compost area. Gabriela provided assistance with a special focus on protective measures. We physically removed all the ivy we could see and sprayed the affected areas with a mixture of vinegar, salt and dish-washing detergent. No toxic herbicides were used. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed that the protective gear and post-intervention cleanup worked and nobody develops a rash! PLEASE BE VIGILANT AND LET US KNOW IF YOU SEE ANYTHING YOU SUSPECT MAY BE MORE POISON IVY.

The brave PoisonIvyBuster and the health, safety & decontamination assistant.

The rest of the team carried out a variety of tasks, including mowing, weeding, watering, harvesting, spraying the strawberry patch with a homemade mix of soap, garlic and water (to deal with a soft-bodied pest), and adding compost & hay to newly planted eggplants.


The harvest this week included strawberries, turnips, and greens.



Last week we received a donation of eggplants and watermelon plants from Derek DiGuglielmo of EatLocalNY--THANK YOU!! Marcelo planted some eggplants on Tuesday. Feel free to use the leftover plants.


​ Also Marcelo planted some morning glories in a long container located in between Iris' plot and the fence bordering the garden at Zion--please remember to water them!

Watering Schedule
Mondays: Susan
Tuesdays: Gabriela
Wednesdays: Iris/Linda H.
Thursdays: Marcelo
Saturdays: Group
See you next Saturday!

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 4th and 11th at the Garden


This week at the garden: Linda H, Laura, Iris, Blanca (and her sister), Els, Susan, Marcelo and Gabriela came to the garden and helped with weeding, strawberry picking, watering, and compost mixing, in addition to tending individual beds. We noticed one of the tomatillo plants and the lemon balm seem to be affected by some pest or disease--we'll be asking Suzi Novak during this Thursday's organic gardening class. Also, we believe we may have poison ivy growing in the compost bins. We'll make sure to identify and deal with it properly; in the meantime, please be cautious around the bins!


Last week at the garden: On June 4th we had the maté party and enjoyed some refreshing cold maté or tereré (here's an account of last year's maté party)! On Wednesday, June 8th, the Dobbs Ferry food pantry received its first Kitchen Garden harvest, which included lettuce and collard greens. Marcelo walked Ellen through and pointed to the communal gardening areas that the pantry can harvest, and the family plots.


Next steps: We'll get some additional plants for next week.
Watering schedule remains:
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.
See you next week!
Gabriela.

Friday, June 3, 2016

May 28th at the Kitchen Garden

 
This past Saturday, Linda H., Laura, Iris, Sam, Susan, Blanca, Linda M, and Marcelo met at the garden. We divided up our work by weeding many of the communal and private beds, watering all the plots, adding compost and planting new herbs. Iris provided us with baby basil plants, mint, and chives. Most of these plants were placed in the community portion of the garden and some went to individual gardeners. Our hose has a bit of a leak and we attempted to repair it by placing some duct tape around the damaged area.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Next week we will try to add some mulch around the vegetables in the form of salt hay as recommended by Susi Novak.
 
 
 
Watering Schedule Remains (subject to change):

Mondays: Susan
Tuesdays: Gabriela (away this week)
Wednesdays: Iris/Linda H.
Thursdays: Marcelo
Saturdays: Group
 
See you next Saturday!

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.