Socially Distant Birds

Thanks to Doug for erecting our new birdhouse! Now the purple martins can get comfortable at their preferred distance from all other critters!

Gardeners, stay well! We are still taking donations to Metrocrest Services, and we anticipate a continued need. Please continue to check on your crops! It’s planting season and getting outdoors at the garden is a great way to manage cabin fever!

Remember, there are lots of chores you can help with: pull weeds, turn the compost, add wood chips to the path, help your neighbors, tend to one of the community plots. It helps with stress management and supports the garden community as a whole!

March 2020 Un-workday Recap

We had a quiet but productive day at the garden today. We did not hold our typical workday but still invited those who felt comfortable to join us in getting work done. And we didn’t get rained on!

It is now spring, and that means it is time to plant! Now is the time to plant your beds with all your spring (and some summer!) favorites: tomatoes (transplants), all varieties of peppers (transplants), melons (remember: grow UP, not out, or you will lose your whole bed), cucumbers, snap peas, long beans, etc. You can also check the A&M planting guide for ideas.

Helpful tips:

  • Wear bug spray! It is the start of chigger and mosquito season, and because of the mild winter, the bugs will be active. Wear long sleeves and spray bug spray, particularly on your shoes and ankles, to prevent itchy bites.
  • Consider building an “anti-bunny cage” for popular greens. Use chicken wire or similar; remember, bunnies can squeeze through very tight places to get your delicious lettuces. (Also, remember to close the gates to prevent bunnies!)
  • Make good use of your trellis! Grow UP, not out.
  • Please continue to weigh and document your harvests. Put harvested produce in the fridge or cooler near the church.
Acorns starting to sprout! Doug collected the acorns to help his friend plant 1 million trees.

If you visit, consider doing a “community chore” while you are there. Ideas include:

  • Weeding path areas
  • Turning compost in the bins
  • Taking out the trash in the green trash can
  • Laying down cardboard and mulch in washed-out parts of the path
  • Volunteering to deliver harvested produce
  • Watering community crops
  • Harvesting community crops, including the blackberries outside the fence
  • Watering or harvesting crops for your neighbors (get in touch with them first to make sure this is okay!)
Grapevines beginning to bud

We will keep you posted as the virus news continues, but the garden is always open. It’s a great way to get some high-quality outdoor time and do some good. Please do come and plant your plot! We will continue making deliveries to area food banks and want a full, productive harvest!

March Workday Update

Gardeners, with the rain and health concerns, the March workday won’t be “required.” We won’t have any large community projects or a gardening lesson.

However, you are still welcome to come by! We’ll be there to work in our beds and get our crops planted.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PLANT, so please do come garden when you feel comfortable. Gardening is good for you and it is easy to keep your distance from others outdoors.

Workday Recap: February 2020

Spring is just around the corner! Now is the time to start preparing your bed and thinking about what you will grow this year. We recommend the square foot gardening method—remember, grow UP, not OUT.

Special thanks to Ty and the Trellis Construction Team!

Take the time now to PLAN your plot. For example, if you want to grow tomatoes from seed, you need to both start now (indoors!) AND plant only short-term crops like radishes so you will have room when it comes time to plant. If you want lettuce, go for it! But if you plant potatoes, you’ll have to wait until June to harvest and use that spot. So think carefully now to get the garden you want!

We recommend the “hole” or “hill” method for potatoes. Ask one of the experienced gardeners for tips!

It’s a good time for greens, such as lettuce, collards, and spinach, as well as root veggies like carrots and onions. Plant potatoes now, but it will take awhile before you see any harvest. This is the prime season for snap peas, so plant quickly before it gets too hot!

Please welcome our new gardeners, and yet again, thank you to the Young Men’s Service League for their continued help!

As a reminder, we now have a cold frame near the shed! All plants in the cold frame are considered available for the community, so it is a good place to check and also to leave your spares. We grow AND share!

Nearly every spot has been taken, but we have a few that are not officially claimed. Please reach out as soon as possible and make plans to attend the next workday, March 14!

Rain, Sleet, Snow, Nothing Stops our Gardens to Grow!

No matter what the weather…our next garden workday is this Saturday, February 8th, from 9-11am. This is the LAST meeting to claim your plot…we have a waiting list of gardeners, who are ready to claim any unassigned plots. The list of vegetables to plant grows much larger in February—-come on down to our workday to learn more. Finally, here are some great “Garden Hacks” to try! Garden Hacks

January 2020 Workday Recap

Welcome to a new year of gardening! Despite the snow, we had an enthusiastic turnout–gardening is an all-seasons hobby!

It was really cold, so we only worked outside briefly. Now is the time to plan ahead. We recommend the Square Foot Method. Remember: grow UP, not out!

It’s also time to replenish your soil levels. We just got a new batch of compost; feel free to use it to top up your soil.

Now is also the time to fertilize your soil. We recommend slow-release fertilizers such as worm castings, fish emulsion, manure, or mushroom compost. A commercial fertilizer to try is osmocote.

Harvest your winter crops. Some, like lettuce, can continue to produce if you harvest the outer leaves only.

It’s time to plant onions, peas, and potatoes. We have some community starters in the cold frame next to the shed.

Today, returning gardeners got to call “dibs” on their plots (returning gardeners can have up to two), and we assigned plots to a few new gardeners. We will continue to accept the $35 fee and assign plots for the year. To be assigned a plot, you must attend the workday.

Our next workday is February 8, from 9-11 a.m.

Thanks to those who made it out. Here’s to a year of great gardening!