Workday Recap: October 2018

Rainout, three months in a row!

But we still had a great turnout, had a good discussion, and got some important work done. We don’t let rain get us down!

We started with a quick harvest. Can you say “holy bumper crop of sweet potato vines”?! We got some of the sweet potatoes up and set up all three compost bins in phase one of the decomposition. We sure had plenty of material!

We also harvested 67 pounds of sweet potatoes, including two enormous potatoes in LeeAnn’s plot. One weighed 18 pounds by itself!

We also harvested about 35 pounds of other produce, bringing our current total to over 2200 pounds–even before we finish the sweet potato harvest!

But we weren’t outside too long before the skies really opened up, so we all rushed inside–but not before getting absolutely drenched.

Inside, we talked about best bets: it’s time to transition to cold season crops, and expect your summer crops to die back as temperatures drop.

Because we have had so much rain, we will have an extra (optional) workday Sunday, Nov. 11, with the Young Men’s Service League. We’d love to see you there! (Time to be determined)

We also learned that we won a $1,000 grant, so start thinking about the type of greenhouse we should get! This will help us propagate seeds, overwinter plants during a frost, and generally give us more options.

Finally, Mark your calendars for Dec. 8–Garden holiday party! Craig and Lynne have generously offered to host again, and all are welcome. Details to come soon.

Our next workday is November 10, from 9-11 a.m. Remember to check in on your plot–sometime when it is less wet out!

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Buried Treasure Hunt This Saturday.

Our next garden workday is Saturday, October 13th from 9:00am until 11:00am. We will be searching for buried treasure…in the form of a massive Sweet Potato harvest. What other treasures are there to be found? Join us Saturday to see!

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”)!

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!