Wednesday, July 7, 2021

CSA season 5~

We're delighted that it's fresh, local and organic veggie season again! The below pix shows one of our members growth over the years : )  


weeding/harvesting in-between showers

We wound up working in shifts in the garden today . . . in between rain showers! Donna, Jonathan, Marcelo and Akiko were the first shift. As Jonathan reported earlier, he and Donna spent a little over an hour weeding, fixing the flagstone path.

Els and I arrived later. Aside from the mandatory stint of weeding (including some work on the raspberry patch which we think could use some pruning), we decided to see if one of the large metal trellises I had schlepped over would work to extend our cucumber support. First we needed to move the sprawling volunteer cherry tomato near the wooden trellis, which none of us has had the heart to pull out. We decided to spare it once more and moved it down to the end of the bed to the side of the cilantro (which we are hanging onto for the seeds). We'll see if it survives and, if so, if it produces yummy tomatoes. Here's the new spot:

We then positioned the trellis and think it has promise for letting the cucumbers really grow. It will need some stabilizing from Jonathan and/or Marcelo!

Here are two views:

Otherwise, Els turned the compost and harvested some purslane.  

We call this a combo weeding/harvesting as the purslane is sprouting up all over the place (likewise lambsquarters--both very nutritious but invasive). I pulled some wild grape vines and another vine off the St. John's Wort in the pollinator garden. It is now in bloom and, on a less rainy day, it will be swarming with happy bees.

The lettuce is starting to come up in the lasagna bed. This is great news as it may be time to pull out the older lettuce in the other plots if it's getting bitter. With that ending, it will be good to have another crop coming up. Our haul for the food pantry will likely be smaller this coming week. Next up will be cucumbers and tomatoes, but those will take a while!

a panoramic overview

On Saturday, Els, Jonathan, Donna, Judy, Blanca, Laura and I met at the garden. Jonathan took the wonderful panoramic shot above.

Els planted the entire lasagne bed with four rows of little gem lettuce. The seedlings she brought have done really well in the center bed, and Judy and I will harvest them for the food pantry on Tuesday. Hopefully the lasagna bed will bring another crop.

We worked on weeding and getting invasive vines off the fence. Blanca did a masterful job going outside the fence and ripping out the wild grape, mugwort, etc. in the corner of the garden.

Jonathan brought his toolbox and strengthened the structure for the cucumbers and then removed some deep rooted grass by the Oak St. fence. We planted more of the little broccoli seedlings in the center left bed. Donna continued her work beautifying the entrance, adding a layer of compost and mulch around the plants. And then, of course, there was lots of weeding . . more fun when done with a friend, as Judy and Laura are demonstrating:

Judy weeded the beans and we added compost and straw.Els harvested some peas and we were amazed to see some tomatoes already:

Since Saturday, I've been back a few times to put some water in the bird bath and water the new plantings or areas that aren't irrigated by our system. I got another bale of straw from the Buy Nothing Rivertowns FB group . . just in time as we had just finished the bale we had.

There may be more, but that's what I remember!

See you next week!


Welcome, pollinators and people!

 Donna continued her amazing beautification of the entrance and around the fence. Being greeted by lavender, blooming thyme, sage, anise hyssop, tall mullein spears, etc. is really lovely!!

The pollinator garden is blooming madly! Here's some milkweed and yarrow. The St. John's Wort is about to burst into bloom. Thanks to Susan for this wonderful and important part of our garden!

Repurposing with a purpose

We had a super busy day at the garden on Saturday, with people working hard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m and a lot was accomplished! If I remember correctly, our crew was Judy, Laura, Marcelo, Andrew, Els, Donna, Jonathan, and me.

We removed the kale from the Oak Street bed. We were able to harvest some for the food pantry. The kale left behind many small white flies in the spot where we were planting tomatoes. We tried spraying with the BT from a couple of years ago (recommended then by Natalia the farmer), though we aren't sure it is still viable. We planted at least 13 tomatoes--many donated by Fable Farm and some that I had grown from seedlings my neighbor donated to us. Andrew spoke to Tom (of Fable Farm) at the CSA pick up the next day about the white flies, and Tom gave him a spray that he says will help. (Thanks, Andrew and Tom!) We spread straw around the tomato plants to help the soil stay moist and to keep down weeds.

Building on our love of repurposing items that would otherwise be thrown out, we made two structures for viney plants to grow on in one of the center beds and at the sunny end of the lasagna bed. We planted two cucumber seedlings that Laura and Blanca had grown in the center bed and two carnival squash seedlings in the lasagna bed.

We harvested and enjoyed some strawberries and noticed that the raspberries are starting to come in. Donna planted a tomato and cucumber in Sam and the kids' bed. 

Freecycle, Upcycle, Recycle

 A bounty of free bricks and pavers make fantastic edging material! 


A few of Judy's gorgeous photos—flowering kale, a carrot green forest, and Els' red lettuce . . .