Sunday, April 4, 2021

Thumbs Up for Fences!

We were thrilled to see our fence all secure with holes closed up and sagging posts replaced. 

What a relief to be groundhog proof. Thanks to Dave Person for the great and speedy job! He'll be back to work on the gate some more as well as to tighten up the fence on the Oak St. side of the garden.

We sent him a big thumbs up! 

We took out all the rest of the chickweed and cover crop, and left it root side up to dry into future green manure. We covered the bare earth with cardboard. Andrew turned the compost; Donna checked the perimeter to see what survived the winter, and transplanted some yarrow out there. We set the bird bath upright and filled it with water. I added stones for bees to land on. This keeps them from drowning.

We were inspired to do a big clean up. We straightened up all the tomato cages and made them into four neat stacks instead of being a huge mess. We put the most funky of them back in the shed.

• Next Saturday, we can plant the lettuce seeds and possibly the beans if it is warm enough. 

• If anyone is collecting food scraps at home, please consider bringing a pailful to add to the KG compost. 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

First time back in the garden!

Andrew, Judy, Blanca, Els, and I met at the garden this morning. Sam and his son, Nico, stopped by for a visit, and Nico got to feel the fuzzy buds on the pussy willow and sample some arugula and spinach straight from the garden. It was a cool morning, but working in the sun, we felt quite warm, and it was good to get our hands in the dirt!

We admired the greens that had survived the cold winter, and Andrew turned the compost. Then we decided to concentrate on removing the chickweed that is growing everywhere and to cover the newly empty spots with cardboard. We discovered that the carrots planted in the spring, while teeny tiny, are actually quite sweet. Hopefully they will keep growing to a more useful size.

We inspected the fence, which has a number of very loose posts on the driveway side plus at least one big gap in the fencing. (All that in addition to the breached spots on the Zion side.) We can't start our spring crops until we have a secure fence. This is our first priority. 

We'll meet again next Saturday morning. Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Ending of another beautiful season

 We're coming to the end of the Kitchen Garden season—a time that involves a lot of clean up, storing tools, and looking back on our work together in this ever-changing and challenging world. 

Our last planting of kale, carrots, and lettuce will, we hope, provide some fall/early winter contributions for the food pantry. The lettuce is the most cold sensitive, so we covered it with plastic for the night when we had our first dip into freezing temperatures. 

We also hauled many wheelbarrows of wood chips to replenish the garden paths, thanks to the generosity of our neighbors at Zion Episcopal Church. 

In the late winter/early spring, we'll take stock of what the world is like, what's happening in our individual lives, and make plans for the next growing season. New gardeners are always welcome to work with us on the community/food pantry areas and, in the spring, we'll know if we have any individual beds to offer.

If you are interested in a plot, please be in touch with Iris at

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Ladybugs, groundhogs and other visitors

 As fall advances, things are winding down in the Kitchen Garden. Frustratingly, the groundhog has returned, and we fear for our fall harvest of kale, which it seems to like! We planted a last round of kale, carrots, and lettuce. Otherwise, it's time to begin thinking of putting the garden to bed: cutting back old plants, covering the bare soil with compost and mulch, putting the tools away, and maybe replenishing the wood chips on the paths. We'll leave the dead heads of flowers for birds and insects to feast on as their food gets more scarce. 

Separating the carrot seedlings: 

visiting ladybug


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

heirloom tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors

As we get into the heat of the summer, the tomato, tomatillo and tomato plants are getting heavy with fruit. This has required us to work on staking and re-staking them so they don't topple over. This past Saturday, we harvested eggplants, cucumbers, yellow squash, broccolini and a little lettuce as well as mint, sage, oregano, and lemon balm for the food pantry. 

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Natalia Prakhina (of Earth Nurture Farm), we are harvesting heirloom tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors as well.

As we do every week, we turned the compost and weeded--who knew that the best place to grow grass was in a garden bed, not a lawn?!  Soon we will pull out the rest of the crops that are finished and begin planting for a fall harvest.

Donna has inspired us to clean up and beautify the garden and the surrounding space. This week we moved some of our abundant thyme, sage, and anise hyssop to the area along the path to the gate. With careful tending, we hope it will flourish there. We also have two mulleins relocated by the entrance, which we hope will grow into tall flowering guardians of the garden.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The kitchen garden is really lush right now.

Many of us gathered today (masked and keeping social distances) to clear an area that had become a spot to throw whatever we weren't using. It's now a lovely open space, which we can use for more garden beds or for socializing, when that's feasible.

Our pollinator garden along the Oak Street wall  is not only beautiful with flowering milkweed, echninacea, and yarrow, but it's also alive with bees—right now, they are all over the plentiful yellow blooms on the St. John's Wort. 

We are growing kale, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, squash, tomatillos, onions, mint, lemon balm, sage, oregano, thyme, beans, broccolini. So far, we have harvested lettuce, bok choy, beans, broccolini, and herbs for the food pantry. As the summer goes on, we'll be donating onions, squash, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers, and herbs. 

Thankfully, after all our work on the fence and gate, the groundhog seems to have found other spots for nourishment. (Fingers crossed!)

Spring at the Kitchen Garden

Gardening in the time of social distancing can still be fun! Dario (weeding the raspberries) and Akiko spontaneously gave the thumbs up sign and they, plus Laurie, said to mention they are smiling behind their masks.

Donna is almost hidden by the high cover crop that has been adding nitrogen to the soil since the spring. Some of it is blooming—white pea flowers and crimson clover flowers provided a cover crop Mothers’ Day bouquet. 

Natalia bringing us seedlings, lettuce and onion seedlings on their first day in the ground, a variety of other seedlings (bok choy, sprouting broccoli, kale, napa cabbage) protected from insects with a cover we'll keep on for a few weeks, and Marcelo in the compost
structure, strengthening the wire divider.