Workday Recap: July 2022

Some like it hot—but most of us just try to get out of the sun! We had a bright and early workday to avoid the worst of the heat, and many thanks to the troopers who came out for the workday! We accomplished a lot!

That sheen you see isn’t just sweat—it’s the glow of a good day at the garden!

First, some reminders:

  • If you are going out of town or just can’t make it to the garden, put a BLUE STICK in your bed to tell your neighbors you need a hand. A blue stick means “please water and harvest for me!”
  • Get to know your garden neighbors! It is much easier to get through the summer heat if you can take turns watering.
  • Do NOT leave the watering unattended. We are in a stage 2 drought and it is very important that we are good neighbors. Use the water towers and hand water, but let’s not leave the water running.
  • If you see a community member in the garden, talk to them! While we are a community garden, we don’t encourage strangers to harvest. Please let them know about our workdays and other ways they can support the garden if they are interested.
The garden is the place to be!

Don’t give up! Even though it is hot, the garden is still growing. Peppers, eggplant, and okra will keep producing, so long as you keep watering. You may also try crops like black eyed peas or flowers like marigold and zinnia. Water, water, water!

Watering is the key to a happy garden in Texas summer

If a plant is more than 2/3 dead or diseased, it’s time to pull it out! But if it’s hanging in there, you may be able to get a fall crop. (Especially tomatoes). Water water water!

At the garden, you can say things like, “wow, nice melons!”

We have decided on a temporary pause on all squash plants to see if we can overcome the squash bug infestation. We fought hard but the bugs win this round!

Thank you, young men’s service league!

We are in our toughest season, but hang in there gardeners! We’ll see you again bright and early in August!

Mud Warriors are Triumphant!

Mud Warriors Strike Crew; Ed, Al, Mark, and Nathan

We have water today! (And not leaking into the soil). Mud Warriors, under the direction of Mark Avery, completed the replacement of three frost-proof faucets.

Warning…The faucet by 1st Timothy will remain wet for several days, or longer…the ground was saturated for several feet under and around the old faucet. However, we replaced the leaky faucet…so it will eventually dry out.

1st Timothy and the surrounding areas will remain wet for 2 days to 2 weeks.

Thanks to all our Mud Warriors: Mark Avery, Nathan Burmeister, Dan Kinkade, Al McGaver, and Ed Rossol. Special thanks for Luke & Ally Stokes for finding, ordering and purchasing a supply of frost-proof faucets…they have been backordered

New frost-proof faucets.

Reminder…Garden Workday is this Saturday, from 8 to 10 am. (Or until it gets too hot!) we will add mulch, and discuss garden survival in summer heat. We look forward to seeing you then.

Looking for help digging and installing faucets.

Team, I would appreciate any help Thursday Morning,7-10 am. We will turning off the water to the garden, and digging up the water lines in order to replace/repair frostproof hose faucets. Please let me know if you are able, and willing to help. ( I know it’s early…but it’s just too darn hot!)

Our Garden Workday is this Saturday…also earlier due to heat 8-10 am.


What’s worse than Squash Bugs?

Squash bugs are a major infestation problem.

The only thing worse than Squash Bugs is…plot shaming. I have noticed on recent discussion boards, some members calling out and naming other gardeners or plots, and pointing out problems or concerns. While, I totally support questions, how-to’s, and general concerns, I do not want “Plot Shaming”. This is when an individual or group of individuals point out a problem in another persons garden that they believe needs to be addressed. I have had several gardeners call me who were very upset, and even questioned whether they want to be involved in a community garden, after a round of “Plot Shaming”.

Here’s what I recommend as a best practice. Never publicly criticize an individual or identity a specific plot on a public forum like GroupMe, Facebook, or WordPress. On the other hand, it’s fine to talk to a gardener face to face and offer advice or help. Bring up problems like watering, harvesting, Squash Bugs, and discuss ways to help. Use the “blue sticks” to let people know when you need help watering, and harvesting. All of us need help at one time or another.

Use blue poles when you go on vacation, when sick, or just get when you need help. This let’s us know it’s okay to water, harvest, and maintain your plot.

We are the Grow And Share Community Garden…and a community helps each other out when needed.

As for Squash Bugs…we will discuss what we as a garden want to do about this pest at our next workday meeting. In the meantime, offer advice in private, and offer help on public forums.

Blazing Garden Bounty

Long beans, potatoes, and Malabar Spinich

Harvesting was our work goal for our blazing hot workday, and we harvested 300 pounds of produce, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, long beans, cucumbers, squash, and Malabar Spinach.

Our young volunteers found buried treasure!
Al dug up potatoes from the community plots.
Young Men’s Service League.

Thanks again to our volunteers from the Young Men’s Service League. They helped with the harvest, field washed vegetables, and spread cardboard and mulch on garden pathways. NOTE: If you missed the workday, we still need mulch on any bare areas of cardboard.

Armenian Cucumber

Armenian Cucumbers or “Snake Cucumbers” are a sweet delicious variety that grows well in Texas heat. Despite it’s large size, it doesn’t get bitter, like some varieties.

Carrot crops
“Happy Pile”

Stalks and vines too big and woody go into the “Happy Pile” to dry out and partially decompose before shredding.

Kristina and Kristen stepped up to help fill one of our big needs…DELIVERY! Kristina will delivery to the Metrocrest Food Pantry Thursday mornings, and Kristen will deliver on Fridays and Saturday. Thanks to these two for helping out! If you are able to help with deliverys email Dan Kinkade