Monthly Archives: April 2014

Garden Updates — 04/25/2014

Hello Everyone,

 Just wanted to give everyone a little update on a few things including some progress that was made over the last two days.

 Ron was able to re-configure the rain barrels, and they should be ready for water. Thanks Ron! If someone has a chance, it would be good if someone can check the water line up to the shed, and fill the barrels. This should be a simple task. Just make sure the drain plug/cap is screwed on before attempting to connect the church’s water spigot to the connection in the bucket.

 I was able to bag about 4 bags of stalky vegetation from the open area and a couple beds. I was also able to till about half of the open area. It turned out nice, however, it would be good to rake some of the loose weeds out of it so they don’t re-root.   Actually, anything that can be done to clean up would be a big help. Taking down the broken wash line, etc.

 While I was out there last night Laura (the neighbor behind the church), approached us about the very subject of bee hives we were discussing. She has been taking classes and has prepared to build a bee hive. She asked if it would be okay if she put her hives on her property but near the garden. She mentioned that she has a pond which is a good water source for the bees, and out garden would be ideal because of the flowers. I told her we were talking about that very subject of having a hive, but knew very little about it. I think this could be a good opportunity for us to have the benefit of the bees without necessarily having to get involved in the upkeep.

 I heard back from the Sears regarding the lawn mower repair. Unfortunately, I have some bad news there. Their claim is that the reason the mower is not starting easily, and is stalling so frequently, is because the cylinders are scored, and there isn’t much compression to the engine. They said they can’t get a new engine and are returning the mower. I’ll have to pick it up. I believe at this point we only have about $50 wrapped up in it. I guess my question, is this. We have 3 options. I could take it to another shop, and get a second opinion. Perhaps the outcome would be different. We could search for a used mower in good condition, or we could just try to make do with the mower we have. Please let me know your thoughts.

 Tomorrow is Bread for the Bread for the World Workshop, and Sunday is the annual MS Walk, so I probably won’t have much of an opportunity to get there this weekend, but please, continue without me J





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Garden Updates 04/21/2014 — Lots of Info

Hello Gardeners,

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

I wanted to follow up from our last two meetings, and set some dates for doing some garden work. We had a lot of great ideas and wanted to share with everyone, what we discussed.

 We started with a review of the prior season, and highlighted the great harvest we had last year, and set a goal of at least 1000 lbs. for this growing season. We also noted that the asparagus will be ready to harvest this year, shortly in fact. We gave an update that we have planted tomato and pepper seeds with Bill and Deborah.

 Some beds are starting to show their age, and come apart. Most beds are in good shape, but at some point we will want to begin the process of replacing them as needed. It was suggested by Suzanne, that we start that process over time rather than waiting until they all need replacement. We also noted that the wash line that runs along the perimeter of the fence will need to be replaced.

 Then we discussed some options regarding the open area. Last year, our harvest was minimized by not having good access to the plants because of the weeds, as well as the tomatoes not being staked in that area. We discussed two different plans, one to cover the area south of the strawberries with black plastic or weed block (burlap was also a possibility). The other idea was to try to cover the area with grass clippings. We agreed to divide the area and try both approaches to see which one will work best. However, we will want to move quickly on this as things are already starting to bloom.

We talked about the option of specializing in certain crops in each of our beds, and then exchanging. There were a few interested in that approach, but to make the approach work we would need multiple people to agree.

For the new season, we had Lisa mention an Alpaca farm in South Mountain that offers manure and Suzanne mentioned a horse farm that also has manure.

 We then discussed some new ideas. The main ideas were raspberry bushes, a grape arbor, a bee hive, flowers (along the perimeter) and fruit trees. The most interest came from the raspberry bushes. Andy mentioned that he would be willing to look into the cost of raspberry plants.   The grape arbor and bee hive also have a lot of interest. Primarily we would need to come up with a design and estimate of costs. Regarding the bee hive, we will have to find out more information, and pay particular mind to those who may be allergic to bees. For this project we would need someone willing to talk to others locally to find out how to get started.

 Regarding scheduling, we have realized that weeknights work better than Saturday’s for some, so we will try to mix both weeknights and Saturdays over the next several weeks. Here is a proposed list of dates. It is not expected that these dates will work for everyone, but hopefully provide a mix so everyone can get out once or twice before the last expected frost date of May 15th.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 5:30-7:30PM

Thursday, April 24th, 5:30-7:30PM

Saturday, April 26th, — Come on your own. Jason & Jaimee will be unable to make it. For a list of tasks, consider cleaning your bed, planting cold crops, bagging vegetation in compost bin, laying weed block.

Tuesday, April 29th, 5:30-7:30PM

Wednesday, April 30th , 5:30-7:30PM

Saturday, May 3rd., 9:00AM-12:00PM

Wednesday, May 7th, 5:30-7:30PM

Thursday, May 8th, 5:30-7:30PM

Saturday, May 17th, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Also, the lawn mower was taken in for service.  

Ron has been helping me get the rain barrels back on track. In the next week or two, we should have them ready.

Lastly, we have good news! We were able to get a used rototiller locally off Craigslist with a new motor for $350. It’s in the shed. This is a pretty big machine and should meet our needs. It won’t easily get into the individual plots because of its size, but the open area is where the biggest need is.



Jason & Jaimee

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