Workday Recap: September 2018

We met inside due to rain and flash flood warnings, so it was a damp informational meeting instead.

Three things to do when you check in during the month:

  1. Weed- weeds are starting to get out of control. While you water, weed your plot and the area surrounding. This is important!
  2. Harvest- Thanks to a bumper crop of peppers by Elric and eggplant and okra in the garden, we eclipsed last year’s donations in the month of August! But that doesn’t mean we can rest easy; keep harvesting and don’t forget to weigh what you donate.
  3. Add compost- our plots are productive, but that means our compost level in the plot has plummeted! So we have bought Texas Pure compost (the dark-colored pile), so please add enough compost to your plot to replenish up to the top of your wood barrier. This helps feed your plants, makes watering last longer, and protects against the cold.

Sweet Potato Special

It isn’t yet time to harvest our sweet potato crop, but in the meantime, you can harvest the sweet potato leaves! The crop will tend to overgrow plot boundaries, so it’s great that you can harvest the leaves. They can be cooked and eaten like spinach or collared greens.

Swiss Chard Recipe

Mike encouraged everyone to grow Swiss chard. It’s a long-growing plant that is a great healthy green! Mike recommends the following recipe:

  • Harvest the leaves and stems
  • Grease a pan with bacon grease or similar.
  • Chop the stems into one- to two-inch pieces and sauté in the grease for about ten minutes or until soft
  • Meanwhile, roughly chop the greens, then toss into the pan.
  • When the greens are partway withered, create a small hole in the nest of greens. Crack an egg into the space and top with crumpled bacon.
  • Put the lid on the pan and wait for the egg to cook. Serve the greens on the side and enjoy!

Okrapaloza

It’s okra season, and as such we need new rules!

Though we generally encourage you to not harvest other people’s plots, this rule DOES NOT apply to okra season!

Please, please help your neighbors! Harvest okra when it is about two inches long. However, Al conducted a science experiment comparing okra from many different plots and found even the larger spears are edible or even delicious! So if in doubt, harvest and donate!

Crop Switch

It’s time to make choices about your crops. If your warm season crops aren’t producing or look unwell, pull them up. Pull up or till under any “placeholder” crops such as basil or black-eyed peas. Look to plant cold season crops such as Swiss chard, kale, carrots, radishes, turnips, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts. Check your best bets list to see if you should plant from seed or transplants. If you wait until it gets cold to plant cold season crops, you have waited too long.

Thank you Christina for sharing the jujubes (also known as “Asian apples”)!

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Black Gold…Texas Pure…Compost

Saturday, September 8th, from 9-11 in the morning, we will enrich our garden with this “Black Gold”. Come join the fun as we harvest, replenish, and plant at our next garden workday. See you there…y’all come back now!

Workday Recap: Aug. 2018

Rain, rain, stay all day!

Today’s workday was technically rained out, but we had a long indoor meeting instead. We talked about best bets, strategies for squash bugs, opened conversation about whether we should investigate getting chickens for pest control and fun, and met new gardeners.

A few even braved the rain to harvest what little produce has survived the summer heat. It’s time to pull up any sick or dying plants to make room for winter crops, particularly beans and “cole crops.” Look to plant in the next few weeks.

If you have any ideas for the garden, we’d love to hear from you!

The next workday will be Sept. 8 from 9-11 a.m. See you there!

The Attack of the Squash Bugs

THEY are here! When it looks like an alien attack, what can you do? When squash bugs get this bad…tear out your squash…or anything in the cucurbit family (squash, cucumbers, pumpkin, gourds), and throw out the plants in a sealed bag or trash. Don’t replant cucurbits until fall.

Also…if you are not a big mosquito fan…get rid of ALL open containers of water. Mosquito larva love small pools of open water!

Last, but not least…speaking of water…don’t forget to keep those plants hydrated!

Workday Recap: July 2018

The few, the brave, the heat-resistant!

Our workday was earlier than usual to beat the heat, which only worked somewhat, but we didn’t let the heat defeat us!

We have hit the “survival mode” months, when a harvest would be nice but we all just have to focus on keeping our plots alive through the summer. Water often and consider adding cover crops like basil or black-eyed peas. You can also add a layer of mulch to absorb water and reflect back some of the heat. If you can keep your plot alive until fall, you’ll have a good harvest!

The Young Men’s Service League helped us turn the compost and we expanded our donation of cardboard (thank you, USPS!) with a layer of mulch in the overgrown paths. We worked hard to keep the garden in good shape!

Many thanks to Aaron for being our compost champion! He helped break up and move the heavy and thick compost at the bottom of the first bin.

Gardeners, when you visit the garden, please consider turning the compost! If we don’t introduce oxygen and water, the compost breaks down poorly and we end up with a muddy sludge. We appreciate your help!

There are new sprayers in the shed. If your plot needs one, feel free to try them out.

Squash bug season is upon us: if your plant is infested, it may be time to pull it out! Topical sprays of soap+water help, but any leaves with squashbug eggs must be removed and thrown into the trash to slow the incursion.

It’s a good time to “rogue” or remove plants that are dead, damaged, or diseased. Please do not put diseased plants in the compost; trash them!

Our next workday will be August 11, with another early start. See you from 8-10!