Workday Recap: July 2019

Today’s workday was buzzing! Thanks to those who came out on an unusual date and despite the heat. We had a good crowd–and even gained a new gardener!

Today’s workday focused on harvesting for the Sack Summer Hunger program, weeding, and adding mulch to our paths.

Notice: It is the beginning of OKRAPALOOZA! Though we typically ask that gardeners only pick from their own plots, okra is an exception! Okra grows so fast that it needs to be picked EVERY DAY, so help out your garden companions and harvest okra when you visit.

Any okra longer than 2 inches is ready to be harvested! We estimate there are 40 okra plants in the garden, so that is a LOT of okra!

We also talked about the importance of watering, and planting cover crops. Black eyed peas and black beans are recommended to try; they like the heat and may help distract critters from your tomatoes. You can harvest the beans or mulch them under as green compost.

Basil is also a great cover crop that is very popular with the pollinators!

Keep tending your plots (check out the amazing long squash!!) and start to think about your fall crops. It’s nearly time to plant!

See you next month, Aug. 10 from 8-10 to beat the heat!

Hot and tasty!

Join us for an EARLIER start to our garden workday, this Saturday, July 20th from 8am until 10am. We will discuss cover crops, warm season plants, and rogues!

Homestead Parade

To help build the float, meet in the Homestead Elementary parking lot around 8:30…if you just want to walk/ride in the parade, be there no later than 9:45. All are welcome…friends, family, and neighbors!

Workday Recap: May 2019

The good news: we did not have to water today!

The rain provided more than enough! Our group met inside for an hour before braving the elements — you can’t keep a gardener from the dirt!

Now is the time to pull up any winter crops and switch to summer crops. The lettuces, turnips, beets, spinaches aren’t likely to last once the heat comes–and we know it’s on the way! Swiss chard is an exception: leave the center and continue to harvest the outer leaves, and it may last all through summer.

Keep an eye out for pests. This turnip looked healthy on the top, but the underside of the leaves shows small black dots–eggs! Use ONLY organic controls in the garden: diatomaceous earth, insecticidal soap, etc. to discourage pests. Harsher chemicals can affect the good critters we want to encourage in the garden, like pollinators and earthworms, so it is important we protect them by using organic methods.

We also had sad news: this may be the Hines’ last time at the garden. They are moving in June, but have a gift to remember us by: a bug hotel to make their new garden happy!

This is a great time to plant a bunch of things: welcome to peak planting season! Bush beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, eggplant, okra–the list goes on! You can start harvesting onions and garlic or wait a few more weeks. Hold off on harvesting potatoes until the tops of the plant turn brown.

Thank you Loan and Al for the seed donation, and thanks you’re the garden team who sorted and organized all of them! Remember, you are welcome to our donated seeds for the garden or for your home plot!

The weather cleared and we ventured out. Go team onion!

The air around the cleaning table was practically onion soup–that’s good eats!

Mark your calendars for July 4; we plan to once again march in the Homestead neighborhood parade. More details to come. Bring your ideas for a float design!

Our next workday is June 8. See you there!

Mountain of Compost arrives for Garden Workday.

Join us this Saturday, May 11, from 9am until 11am for our next garden workday. We have a mountain (10 cubic yards) of compost being delivered from Texas Pure Products, as well as new seeds, and plants to grow. We still have a few open plots left…so invite your neighbor. Bury your troubles and leave your burdens behind…and garden!

April 2019 Workday Recap

The winds did blow, the rain did fall, the hail did hammer–but the workday went on! A truly stalwart group attended this month’s savage weather workday, and we accomplished way more than expected!

Gardeners are hardy!

Spring has arrived (with its strange weather). Our Best Bets list is pretty long; now is a great time to plant a wide variety of things, including peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, herbs, squash, green beans, cantaloupe, and, yes, even some okra! Remember, label your crops with the variety, so we can learn from your successes!

While the weather was more clear, we added mulch to the paths, mounded our community potatoes, and added compost to the tires, which we planted with luffa! (Yes, the thing you use in the shower!) We tended the beds, but we didn’t need to water–Mother Nature took care of that for us!

When the weather turned severe, we headed indoors to talk. Mike introduces his compost-sorter; keep an eye out for further improvements! Our engineering minds are continuing to develop the concept.

We also got an update on the greenhouse: unfortunately, the city of Carrollton says there is nothing we can do. The zoning codes for our garden are odd and there are no workarounds for community gardens at this time. Long-term, we can work to either change the city code or get an exception approved by City Council, but that can take a long while. In the meantime, we cannot have a greenhouse. However, we will talk about additional alternatives as a group.

See you at the next workday, Saturday, May 11!