Monday, December 17, 2012

Garden Beds: Beginning to Raise Some of the Beds

I drove by the garden this morning and some of the beds have been built up (by Doug and crew) -- Thanks to Doug Hilton and Phil Ramey (both master gardeners) and their crew for the work, and AARP and United Way for the money that made buying the supplies possible.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall clean-up day 2012

Saturday morning was a great day for garden clean-up. We had more than 25 volunteers, and among them many Master Gardeners, who came to help. Many hands makes quick work!

Here are some pictures from our morning -- we had fun doing hard work and the garden looks gorgeous -- just right for winter weather that's headed our way.

Many thanks to everyone who helped, and to Chef's Pizza, who donated our post-work feast.

This is what happens when you don't harvest your sweet potatoes in time -- beauties this big aren't much good for eating, per Master Gardners. Doug is the real beauty in this picture, though, of course!

Master Gardeners aren't afraid to get their hands (and everything else) dirty:

Taylor and Jackie pull up tomatoes:

Everybody working:

Eagle Scout Bradley (on right) and his brother Eric have a good time "punching" the compost down:

Finally: the garden at the end of our work:

Thanks again, everybody! Happy day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Transition time

Sorry it's been too long since I've emailed or posted a blog -- a lot has been going on in my life, the most recent of which has been a hard drive crash that really did keep me from communicating well.

The first thing I want to write about is our Saturday, October 27 garden celebration/clean-up day. We're going to start at 10 a.m., and it's going to be pretty low-key. You may or may not know: the First Presbyterian Church shares with us the property upon which Harvest of Hope is located. One of the church's few requests of us is that when we bed down the garden for the winter, we leave it in good shape. Saturday, October 27 is when we're going to get the garden where it needs to be for the winter. Please join and help us!

What's in it for you: Not only will we do good work together; we'll also get to eat together. Doug Hilton, our superman Master Gardener, has talked to Chef's Pizza, and they will be donating pizzas for our lunch. Please let me know if you plan to join us that day.

The other thing I wanted to let you know is that my family and I will be moving to Virginia in December. This has been a decision long in the making, and not an easy one. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our community at Harvest of Hope in my disorganized and disjointed way, and I want to encourage you to continue to grow our garden. We need folks to join us in leadership roles to carry the Harvest of Hope garden forward. We hope that other community gardens will be born as time goes on, and we need you to help grow them.

Here are some pictures from this week -- first, the tomato cages as well as straw and manure/compost that Doug and Phil have gotten for us for filling up the beds once Eagle Scout Bradley has finished raising them to 15 inches.

Second and third -- our fall garden, with lettuces and broccoli ready for harvest.

Happy day!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Listen in!

My friend John gave me a heads-up that Sam Jones will be on NPR this week.

I first encountered Sam through a local voluntary simplicity group, and since then have mostly waved at her as she bikes and I run by on the Greenbelt, but every chance I get to interact with her I'm wowed by her faith in action and her wealth of knowledge. She's as friendly as she is smart.

Anyway -- Sam is a community activist who was integral to the founding of the Carver Community Garden in Johnson City. This week she's the guest on NPR radio show Religion for Life. Here's the link, and, in case you don't want to link, here's the bit about it:

My guest this week on Religion For Life is Sam Jones who blogs at Tennessee Transitions. She is a community activist and advocate for transitioning our communities and our lives to the post-petroleum reality that is coming.  She speaks candidly about the issues that we are facing as well as the importance of living simply.

Thursday, September 20th at 8 pm on WETS, 89.5.
Sunday, September 23rd at noon on WEHC, 90.7.
Sunday, September 23rd at 2 pm on WETS, 89.5.
Monday, September 24th at 1 pm on WEHC, 90.7..
Via podcast beginning September 25th.

If you can, also check out Sam's blog (see link to Tennessee Transitions above). Good stuff; I need to read it more often myself.

Go, Sam!

In news of our garden, I'm sorry I'm not being more bloggy these days -- a lot of unrelated stuff going on for me. Watch in the next couple of weeks for more info about our October 27 celebrate and clean-up day. Anything you'd like to see or do that day? Let me know!

Happy day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Raising the beds

Yesterday, Doug and I met with Bradley and his mom. Bradley is a local Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout award, and he's chosen Harvest of Hope to be his project. Through the winter, he's going to be raising the sides of our beds to approximately 15 inches, so that we have deeper beds all around. We're thankful Bradley's chosen us, and look forward to working with him! If you see him in the garden, be sure to thank him yourself!

Here are some pictures from yesterday afternoon -- Bradley and his mom, Suzie:

Doug talking to Suzie and Bradley about composting:

And just because it was so lovely, one of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church's fall plantings, starting to grow:

God bless your day!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Meet Doug!

We have a new master gardener working with us at Harvest of Hope, and he is super. Doug is a former force recon Marine who grew up in Gate City but has been in Kingsport for quite a while. He's going to help us do great things. Thanks to Nancy, who recruited him to our cause, and to Doug himself for joining us and being so ready to help.

Here's the garden -- we're starting to clean some beds and ready for fall. If you are planning on a fall garden, it's time to get it going if you haven't already. We're working on clearing some beds now.

If you're in the garden, please harvest what's ripe and take it to share!

Happy day.

Monday, August 27, 2012

No better time

As my husband and I harvested the rest of our corn this weekend, and -- GULP! -- canned for the first time (nobody was injured : ), we talked about how glad we were to finally be trying this, which we'd talked about for more than a year.

We also talked about how there's no better time for us to figure it out, and to try to pass it along to our kids. Food prices are going to get higher, especially this year, as a result of the severe drought most of the country has been feeling -- here's just one article about it. There's no better time to be growing your own, and learning to store some of it.

Happy day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Companion gardening at Bays Mountain

A quick PSA and then I must be off to tend my sheepies. I was at Bays Mountain last weekend and picked up a flyer about a companion gardening seminar they're hosting next Saturday, August 25. Sounds like what Sue Cadwallader talked to us about earlier in the summer, but maybe more in-depth. Here are the details:

Companion gardening with fall vegetables and herbs
presented by Grassy Creek Wildlife Foundation

10 a.m. till 1 p.m. Saturday, August 25, 2012 at
the Farmstead Museum at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport

$15 at the door, $5 for children 14 and under
Call 423-272-5535 for more information

Learn what vegetables and herbs benefit each other,
tips on intercropping, succession planting and how to control pests naturally

free herb plants, take-home literature, light refreshments, door prizes

Sponsored by Ward's Feed Store and Silver Lake Garden Center and Landscaping
Proceeds to benefit Grassy Creek Wildlife Foundation in Rogersville

Happy day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A tale of two recipes

I have now made this tomato recipe twice, and it's so delicious, I am going to post it again -- not in a link, but as a full-text recipe, lest you think you don't have time to click the link I gave you last time. They're SO good.

For attribution's sake, here again is the link. This recipe is Molly Wizenberg's. I like her blog, and I have her book, and if you like to read and to cook, I'd venture to say you'd like her a lot, too.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Ripe tomatoes, preferably Roma
Olive oil
Sea salt
Ground coriander
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you're feeling impatient, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.)
2. Wash the tomatoes, cut off the stem end, and halve them lengthwise. Pour a bit of olive oil into a small bowl, dip a pastry brush into it, and brush the tomato halves lightly with oil. Place them, skin side down, on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle them with sea salt and ground coriander—about a pinch of each for every four to six tomato halves.
3. Bake the tomatoes until they shrink to about 1/3 of their original size but are still soft and juicy, 4 to 6 hours (at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, these are ready after 2 hours). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator.

The other recipe I'll share is a new favorite from Cooking Light's newest issue. The farmer's market will probably have to help you with this one, but if you're like me, you might have bought a bunch of peaches at their prime to freeze, so you can keep this smoothie going for a while. It's grand:

Peaches 'n' Cream Smoothie
1 1/2 cup peaches, sliced (I used one peach)
1/2 banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup ice
2 tsp honey
Blend and serve. Yum!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday morning at HoH

My best girl and I stopped by the garden this morning to do a little weeding and picking. We ran into Jim, who was there working in his bed. He was adding worm food to his soil, per our education session in June with Phil Ramey. Note to other gardeners: you might want to plant near Jim next time around -- maybe some of his worms will slink over to your bed and do their magic there, too!

My sweetie wanted to check on the carrots, and there were some in a bed that need to be pulled now or very soon, so we got a few to take with us to Hunger First.

There are lots of weeds in some of the beds, and many of our tomato plants need to be pulled up. Please visit and get ready for a fall crop if you're planning to do one. I hope you are!

Thanks again for all you do.

Happy day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What to do with tomatoes

Tis the season of tomato bounty, and I find myself looking at the half of my kitchen island that is covered with them, wondering what recipe I should try next (short of canning, which seems to me overwhelming at the moment, though I've dabbled and would like to do more one day).

My friend Amber reminded me about roasting, so yesterday I "roasted" a batch in my slow cooker -- drizzled with olive oil and with a tea towel over the top and the lid slightly ajar -- on low -- all day. Didn't try them yet, but I froze two pints that way. (See link for where I got this idea.)

I also did a batch in the oven like this recipe -- again didn't try yet, but they're much reduced and in the Fridge, and will freeze, too.

Amber sent this link, which gives a recipe and some ideas about how you might use tomatoes you've roasted. Get ready for your mouth to water!

Happy day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Home carrots

It's definitely tomato season at Harvest of Hope -- weekly I'm getting multiple emails from you guys telling me you're taking tomatoes to the hungry -- it's great to hear!

Here at home I'm raking them in, too, and making efforts to preserve as many as I can for winter and spring. It's a lot to handle right as school is starting (and with it extracurriculars), so I'm feeling overwhelmed!

It's the little (or big) things, though, that cause a pause -- check this carrot that grew in one of my raised beds at home. I mainly tried carrots as an experiment, thinking the soil wouldn't be deep enough for them to do much. This guy had other ideas. You can see where he grew below the compost and into the hardpack underneath the bed -- the "bad" soil didn't stop him!

Happy day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Today's garden

It's been a while since I've been to the garden -- two weeks' away and then a week to try catching up (I'm not sure I'm there yet). Finally, I stopped by today. Wow what a difference three weeks (and a lot of good rain) will make! There's a lot growing on, and a lot of ripe tomatoes, but I can see where it'd be hard to keep up with them at the rate they're ripening now.

I ran into Karen, who was there to harvest, and pointed out a few extras for her to deliver to Kitchen of Hope along with her own harvest.

Things are looking great, gardeners! Thank you!

Happy day.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tomato time and fall info

Here are Nicole's tomatoes, which she shared this week with Meals on Wheels. Kathie writes this morning that another 16 pounds of theirs went to Kitchen of Hope this week. Jim took lots of stuff to Hunger First this week, too. Fabulous!

I sent an email yesterday to all of the gardeners giving info on fall planting and the date for our fall celebration and garden clean-up. I'll copy and paste some of that here:

If you're looking at having a fall garden at Harvest of Hope, it's time to plan. If what you've got in your raised bed(s) is still thriving and producing, don't pull it up, but as the summer crops start to wind down, it'll soon be time to pull things up and replant. Some master gardeners I know have suggested that August 15 is a good date to think about getting fall crops in the ground. Some good ones are:

spinach (which overwinters well -- you can leave it in the ground and it will come back in early spring)
Swiss chard
other lettuces and greens
green beans
If planted soon, squashes and zucchinis can produce another round, too.

October 20 is good date to estimate as first frost, so use that as a guide when planting fall crops.

As your tomatoes, in particular, begin to slow down, think about pulling them up. If withering tomato plants stay in the beds too long, they can contract diseases that will stay in the soil.

Because it's been hard to get all of us together at the garden and because fall looks so busy for most of our planning crew, we decided to let you do fall planting yourselves without a specific planting day. If you have questions, please let me know and we can try to get them answered, but otherwise, go forth and plant for fall by the end of August! Seeds and seedlings should be fairly inexpensive and available in town, especially at garden centers like Ward's.

Second, we set a date for our fall festival and garden clean-up day. At the festival, we'll gather to celebrate our great success this year, to thank you gardeners, to thank our sponsoring partners, and to get the garden in winter mode, and maybe order some pizza and have drinks and desserts together. The date is October 27. We'll probably gather in the morning, as we've done in the past. First Presbyterian is very generous to let us use their property for the garden; one of their only stipulations to our using it is that we tidy up at the end of each season -- so we all need to chip in to make sure our beds are "bedded down" for the winter and all messes straight. I'll give you more specifics about this day as it gets closer, but please pencil it in on your calendar right now so you'll be able to join us to clean up and to celebrate.

In the meantime, if you have any stories to share about the garden, or news to tell about how and where you've shared your harvest, please email me.

Happy day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tomato time!

Kathie sends this word:

Greetings from the gardeners: Pleased to report that today Clarence picked 25 lbs of tomatoes from the community garden & delivered them to the Kitchen of Hope. This first picking will be the first of many (we hope). Please spread the word that these fruits should be used ASAP and enjoyed for their goodness and nutrition.

It appears that the fresh potatoes have been used by recent K of H cooks - great!

Stay tuned for more info re crowder peas as these will be ready for harvest in September.

Thanks, Clarence and Kathie!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good things

While I've been in beachside slowdown mode, I hear the rains have kept our garden going in the other direction! Last week, Ventana sent me some pictures of her girls in the garden with their Nana, and then delivering some of their harvest to Beverly at the St. Paul's Food Pantry. Thanks, Ven! Beautiful!

I also got an email from Alicia, another gardener, saying that she and her girls were proud to deliver 20 pounds of tomatoes, cabbage and one green pepper to the Salvation Army. Thanks, Alicia!

And, last but of course not least, Kathie wrote again to say that overall about 170 pounds of potatoes have been delivered to the Kitchen of Hope from our garden, and are being very well received by the diners there. Kathie said it's almost time for fresh tomatoes to be heading toward Kitchen of Hope from the garden about every other week.

This is good stuff we're doing, gardeners. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Potato post

Blogger at the beach, folks, so even more spotty posting than usual. I've turned off as much of my responsibilities as I can do.

It's great, then, that Kathie emailed me today to tell me how happy the Kitchen of Hope folks have been to receive fresh potatoes from Harvest of Hope! I'll let her email speak for itself:

WOW - what a hit the new potatoes were with our guests at the Kitchen of Hope this evening! Several asked for seconds, even thirds. I announced that they came from the Harvest of Hope Garden & many knew of what I spoke. One man was amazed that volunteers from the community worked to give the KofH fresh veggies - he told me that nobody ever does such nice things for folks like him - I was very moved! The dining hall applauded when I told them that there would be more veggies coming & they all seemed grateful for the efforts of our gardeners - makes the work worthwhile I'd say! Kathie

PS: I took a photo of the potatoes in the steam table & will post to Clarence's FB page soon.

Thanks, Kathie! And thanks, everybody!

Happy day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SHOUT rain out

Yesterday's morning thunderstorms put the kabash on mulching, but Phil Ramey was able to speak to the SHOUT group about gardening, and about the reasons why mulching is good. It was a treat to get to hear him talk again -- his enthusiasm is catching!

Here's a picture (blurry, but a picture nonetheless) of him talking to the group:

All the rain has been a blessing for our garden; it looks grand!

Thanks go out to Michelle Eskind and her husband -- they donated a new, small wheelbarrow to the garden. Clarence has taken the old one home, I think, to try to repair it, too. We appreciate them. I enjoyed talking to Michelle when I ran into her at Target last week -- she's donating her harvest to a couple of single moms she knows. Good stuff.

So back to the mulching that didn't get to happen yesterday -- I put a bunch of newspapers in the shed (to keep them from getting wet), four bales of straw (in addition to the two that were left there by Ann and Jimmy) out near the shed, and several pairs of gardening gloves (in the shed).

If you'd like to mulch your garden bed, bring some newspaper and use it after you water -- seven or eight layers think -- to cover the soil all around your plants. After that, help yourself to the straw and lay that a couple of inches thick on top of the newspaper. This keeps weeds choked out, moisture in, and creates a perfect environment for worms to be happy -- and worms are the best friends our soil has (they aerate and fertilize for us, for free).

I have to go tend my sheepies, so happy day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Potatoes o' plenty

Nancy sent me this photo last week -- she (and maybe her cousin Jackie? Who else was there, Nancy?) dug up about 80 pounds of potatoes, as well as some beans and squash and who knows what else. They'll give the haul to the Salvation Army.

Kathie and Clarence also dug up a bunch of potatoes (88 pounds) for Kitchen of Hope.

Many thanks to the growers, waterers, diggers, Nancy the photographer, and to God! Now what's to plant behind these spuds? Kathie and Clarence say crowder peas are going in their former potato bed. Not sure what'll follow up in the other one.

Don't forget to join us tomorrow (Tuesday) morning for the SHOUT crew, which will be mulching the beds, starting around 9 a.m.

Happy day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pictures request

Thank God for all this rain! Gardens everywhere are singing!

I haven't had a lot to say here in recent days -- guess it's something about having kids home all the time -- most of my brain cells are dehydrated in the glare of their sun. It's a sweet sun, for sure, but it does wear one out.

SHOUT is coming to the garden again next Tuesday, and our project that day will be to mulch the beds. I'm going to get newspaper and straw to put down around the plants so that, as Phil Ramey recommended, we don't have any "naked" soil. If you'd like to come lend a hand, that group will assemble around 9 a.m. Phil Ramey will be there to direct. Thanks, Phil!

If you're headed to the garden this month, do me a favor and take along your camera. Get a few pics of yourself and/or your raised bed. I'm always looking for things to feature here and would love to have a picture and a few words from you about your raised bed and your gardening experience, and Harvest of Hope in general.

Happy day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fresh tomato marinara

Here's an easy recipe for putting good use to "too many" tomatoes, and other stuff from the garden. You can use this as a base, and add to it (mine has been known to secretly harbor zucchini, squash, eggplant and probably other stuff). I cook many batches of this these summers lately, and freeze it in pint-sized containers. I haven't bought tomato sauce in a long time! This is good with fresh herbs, too, if you have them. I don't usually add the fennel. Also, I don't ever peel the tomatoes -- too much work! I have a wand-style immersion blender, and I puree this after its mostly cooled -- that way the kiddos don't know all the veggies they're eating (and would otherwise likely refuse). 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3 cups (about 3 large) peeled, chopped tomatoes 1 can(6 oz.)no-salt-added tomato paste 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon basil 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed Directions: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tomatoes are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Cool 5 minutes. Place cooled tomato mixture in blender jar 1 or more cups at a time. Cover and blend at stir about 30 seconds after each addition. Blend at puree about 30 seconds. Return mixture to saucepan. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over fresh pasta. Happy day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meals on Wheels

Yesterday I dropped several heads of cabbage, a couple of squash, and a multitude of cucumbers (mostly from my neighbors' home garden) for Liza to use with her Meals on Wheels meal prep today. Harvest of Hope is helping to give these shut-ins fresh slaw today. Yay!

Thanks to Liza and our gardeners, and happy day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gathering at the garden

Last night a group of us gathered at 6 p.m. at Harvest of Hope to hear one of our local garden "Ph.D."s. Phil Ramey isn't really a Ph.D., but he might as well be one -- this guy knows SO much about gardening and is excited about sharing it! Big thanks to Phil, and to the gardeners who came to hear him.

Phil was kind enough to give me his notes from the talk, so that in days forward I can try to type up some notes here for everyone. There was a lot to learn, so I want to remember as much as I can.

Some of the things he emphasized most were creating healthy, living soil (there are some free helpers you can involve -- and Phil had tricks for getting them into your beds); preventing and coping with weeds without using chemicals; how to build a cucumber tree; and how to feed your raised beds simply, organically and continuously.

After hearing from Phil, a few of us worked in the garden for a bit. With the hot, dry weather we're having, the garden needs your attention more frequently for watering. Please try to stop by two or three times a week to water if possible.

Also make sure to harvest your veggies when they're ready. I had to compost some baseball-bat sized zucchini last night because they'd grown too big to be good.

We'll come up with a July speaker for our next gathering, and I'll post info for that here. If you have suggestions for topics you'd like to hear about, please let me know.

Happy day!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunday gathering

Don't forget to join us if you can this Sunday at 6 p.m. In the garden - Master Gardener Phil Ramey will be talking to us! Happy day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Students Helping Others Understand Tomorrow (SHOUT) was at the garden this morning, and its members did a tremendous job getting new beds in at the front gate, watering, weeding, and moving compost for us. Many thanks to all of them, and to their leaders, most notably our friend Jill. Margot and Larry were front and center to lead and direct. I was only there for a bit, but I could tell that this was a good group and today a good day. Again, we are blessed.

Here are Hope and Emily:

The "men at work" with Margot, planting the new flower beds at the front gate:

And the whole group of happy helpers lending us a hand:

Thanks to all involved! Happy day!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SHOUT in the garden

I'm still catching up on emails I missed while I was out of town ignoring them. Add that to the lovely, slightly slower pace of summer and the need to keep my kiddos mostly entertained for long swaths of the day and you'll see the result of a few less blog posts than I'd like to accomplish!

A few things I wanted to say here today, though -- first, happy Sunday! Maybe a little rain is headed our way, and sadly it seems the cool morning temps and the moderate days might be inching toward true summer temps. What a gift that cool spell has been, eh?

I stopped by the garden last week and noted a couple of items that need attention -- number one being broccoli. I saw some beautiful broccoli in a bed that was starting to go to flower -- so if you are a broccoli farmer at Harvest of Hope, please make sure you harvest ASAP so that the veggies get eaten instead of going to seed. There are also some big cabbages, and it's perhaps becoming time to harvest potatoes, too. Make sure you keep an eye on your plot and harvest what needs to be harvested. If you need me to email you the list of pantries and kitchens who would love to receive our veggies, please let me know. I'll likely post the list here this week, too (but won't do so now since that would make a really long post). 

Also: weeds. I posted a picture last week of spiny amaranth, and I'll post it again here. This booger is nasty -- so wear gloves -- and it's best if it's pulled before it has gotten too big (and definitely before it has gone to seed). If you see this in your garden bed, get rid of it! This rode in with our first batch of compost last year -- we're taking efforts to make sure we don't bring it back again.

Finally (and much more fun than talk of spiny weeds), upcoming events:

This Tuesday, June 12, a group called SHOUT! (Students Helping Others Understand Tomorrow), led by Jill Salyers, will be in the garden doing service learning. Larry and Margot will be there to help them, and the students will be prettying up the two flower beds that sit on each side of Harvest of Hope's front gate. 

We're so glad the group will be there, and thank them in advance for their efforts to help us in the garden. Thanks, too, to Margot and Larry for shepherding them!

And, more on this upcoming, but don't forget Sunday, June 24 at 6 p.m. Please try to join us in the garden to hear Master Gardener Phil Ramey give a talk and answer any questions you might have. Plan to arrive early or stay late if you have any work to do on your bed, and we can spend time together. Invite your friends! Bring your family!

Oh -- one more item I forgot -- we could still use a small wheelbarrow, if anyone has one they'd like to part with, or knows of a group looking to help the garden financially. The old wheelbarrow Larry graciously donated has just about wheeled its last load.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big time

Growth, that is. I've been on the road for a couple of weeks, and after arriving back, stopped in at the garden on Monday. Wow. Things are getting big, and looking fabulous! Thank you!

There are a few things that need to be gathered and distributed before it's too late -- some broccoli in bed 14S, and most lettuces/greens, and cabbage. There may be more I didn't notice or don't know about. Please be sure to check your plot and harvest anything that's ready.

Next week on Tuesday the 12th, a group of teens will be helping in the garden as part of a SHOUT! program encouraging youth leadership and citizenship. And please plan to join us in the garden on June 24 (Sunday) at 6 p.m. to hear from Master Gardener Phil Ramey, and to hang out with your fellow gardeners.

Here are some pics I snapped on Monday. Take note of the fifth one -- this is a WEED called spiny amaranth. Wear your gloves and get it out of your bed(s) before it goes to seed -- it's a nasty one.

This guy is the enemy. Wear gloves to get it out of your bed before it gets too big and goes to seed.

Happy day!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hunger First (and, still: tomatoes)

This morning I stopped by the garden to harvest Ms. Loulla's onions and take them to Hunger First. Here's a picture of Cindy, there, receiving them:

And here are a couple of pictures of the garden (using my good camera rather than my phone):

There are still some tomato plants left if anyone wants them. They may croak by the weekend if there are no takers.

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Sunday, June 24 at 6 p.m., when we'll hear from Master Gardener Phil Ramey! Be there, and bring friends, please!

Happy day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yesterday's view

I stopped by the garden yesterday to check on the tomatoes (there were still a few as of yesterday morning) and to drop off a few extra plants left over from my garden to Mr. Tim at Interfaith Hospitality Network, and I snapped a few pics while there.

Anybody harvesting anything soon? Ms. Louella, one of our gardeners, has some onions she'd like someone to harvest -- if you're planning to go, let me know and I'll let you take these onions along with whatever you're picking.

Thanks again to Dan for the hose hanger, and to God and all of you for such a beautiful garden!

Happy day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Late-spring planting: May 12

We couldn't have ordered a more perfect-weather day for our late-spring planting. The one thing I forgot to do yesterday I'll do today here: Thank you, God -- for our garden and our gardeners, for bringing us together, for providing all the gifts for growing and the gorgeous day to gather in.

Here are Ann and Christine, representing the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church gardeners -- this bunch has their act together. One look at their lettuce and you can see. They decided yesterday to let their current crops go a little longer, and as such did some harvesting and weeding, and sharing of wisdom.

Karen and Nancy worked hard all morning, weeding and planting:

The New Vision Youth were a bunch of wonderful fresh faces in the garden -- they got their two beds squared away and weren't afraid to dig in and get their hands dirty (though when they learned what compost is, it might have given a pause : )!

Nancy D. plants some tomatoes:

Christine shared her tomato-planting wisdom with all of us -- here she's talking to the New Vision Youth. I brought home what I learned from her yesterday and used it on my own home-garden tomatoes, too. Thank you, Christine!

Father and sons Willie, Chandler and Zachary came to get their bed going. Here they are with Scott, weeding. Chandler was directing the efforts yesterday, and seemed to know a good bit about gardening (but also learned a lot, I think):

Sam and Nicole came to move out the early spring crops in their bed and get tomatoes growing. Sam was a great -- and smiley -- sideline coach!:

After most of the gardeners had gone home, Nicole's husband Danny, and her older son, Jack, came (after a fishing tournament where Jack caught his first fish) to build us a hose hanger. Here they are digging the hole where it'll stand. Big thanks to their family!

And here's the lovely hose hanger!

Happy Mother's Day, and thank you to all of you gardeners who are helping make mine extra blessed.