Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kitchen Garden Notes - October 17

Last Thursday, Marcelo, Blanca and Gabriela planted garlic with Suzi Novak, so we hope it will grow in the spring! This Saturday, Marcelo, Mark P, Blanca, and Gabriela were at the garden. There was little to harvest and we expect that not much will survive the low temperatures over the weekend. We began removing some of the plants from the shared plots. Mark P bought a weed whacker for the garden and brought it on Sunday to do some trimming outside of the fence. He also cut herbs from the labyrinth garden.

It's time to start putting the garden to bed! All gardeners are asked to take down their plants no later than October 31, so we can add new soil and nutrients to the raised beds over the next two or three weeks. In our last gardening class, Suzi recommended chopping and leaving any plant residues in place, including weeds (i.e., leave roots in the soil, cut above-ground plant tissue and leave on the soil). This helps maintain soil structure, preserve the living organisms in the soil and contribute to build organic matter and nutrients. As a general rule, it's best to disturb the soil as little as possible. Check out the summary of the class on our web page for more details.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Kitchen Garden Notes - October 10

Things are slowing down at the Kitchen Garden as the growing season is approaching its end. This Saturday, Marcelo, Iris, and Blanca were at the garden. They all helped with the usual tasks of watering, harvesting, and weeding. 

Our group gardening days remain Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to noon.  We will continue tending the garden until we put it to bed until next year. We will be having the next free gardening workshop on Thursday September 24 at 6:30 pm with Suzi Novak. Join us if you can at 6 PM as Suzi will help with gardening tasks, including garlic planting and pH testing. For more information about the class, summary of the last class, and registration please visit RivertownsCommunityGardens.com.

Kitchen Garden Notes - Sept 26 & Oct 3

We had a rather quiet (not to mention wet and chilly!) day at the kitchen garden on Saturday, October 3rd. I stopped by briefly and met Mark Pennington, who was showing the garden to Mary Beth, a friend who has been gardening a bit with Greyston Foundation. We left by 11:15.

Last week (September 26), MJ Wilson stopped by and brought three monarch butterflies she had been tending to. She and Marcelo released the butterflies in the front garden (see Sept 29th post below). Linda McCarthy joined us for harvesting and watering and helped Marcelo aerate a bed and seed cover crops. Blanca stopped by as well to lend a hand. We harvested tomatoes, tomatillos, greens, and hot peppers for the food pantry. Mark P. did some weeding and maintenance and found a beautiful black swallowtail caterpillar. He took it home and it's turned into a chrysallis! With the cooler Autumn weather many vegetables are nearing the end of their productive cycle and we will continue to prepare plots for next year by aerating them, adding compost and a cover crop.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Solar News for Dobbs Ferry and Hastings

Dobbs Ferry and Hastings Selected for Solar-Savings Program—discounts of up to 15%

When Roots & Wings was asked to write a letter of support and endorsement for Dobbs Ferry and Hastings' application to Solarize Westchester last June, we did not hesitate, as it was brought to our attention by friends at the Dobbs Ferry Energy Task Force. 

Here's the good news: Solarize Hastings-Dobbs Ferry was approved as the newest program of Solarize Westchester! Read the official news here. (Other programs include Tarrytown, Cortland-Croton and Bedford-Mount Kisco. More here.) 

This means that between now and the end of February 2016 residents of Dobbs Ferry and Hastings can buy solar electric systems at a discounted group rate, and from an installer--Sunrise Solar Solutions--which has been vetted by a team of local architects, green energy specialists and homeowners.  

You are invited to attend launch events for Solarize Hastings-Dobbs Ferry:
  • Thursday, October 15 @ 7:30 PM in the Board Room at the Dobbs Ferry Village Hall
  • Sunday, October 18 @ 3 PM at the James Harmon Community Center in Hastings

There will also be a home tour of existing solar installations the weekend of October 24, and a series of workshops throughout the next four months in both villages for residents who want to learn more about installing a solar powered system. 

From Solarize Hastings-Dobbs Ferry's press release:

Given the tax incentives, cheap financing now available, and the group discount, homeowners can have a system installed right now at no upfront cost, and realize immediate and ongoing savings on their electricity bills.