Category Archives: Garden Talk

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Garden Updates — 07/28/2020 — 214 lbs. Donated

Hello Gardeners!

Hope everyone is doing well through this round of hot weather.  Thanks to everyone that has helped with watering, harvesting and delivering!  Thank you to all who have donated produce as well.  Rich said he’s planning for some rain today so that will be great!  Thanks to Becky and Rich for all their hard work, thank you to Joyce and Elizabeth for the Kale, and as always Wendy with more beans.  Sue your onions were terrific! So many of your gardens look amazing, you all are really keeping up with the weeding and it shows.

Met Rich last night and we watered a bit, and harvested – he took a harvest this morning. All sorts of things are rolling in.  Lots of tomatoes and peppers, we are just on the cusp of a lot of that.  Squash & cucumbers continue to go like crazy.  We’ve been so fortunate this year, and it’s all because of everyone’s hard work.  I see nice things and can’t wait to see what’s next.

Below are our latest donations:

07/20 — New Bethany Ministries — 23 lbs. — Onions, Peppers, Banana Peppers, Beans, Cucumbers, Beets, Kale & Greens, Squash

07/23 — Trinity Soup Kitchen — 15 lbs. — Cucumbers, Beans, Tomatoes, Kale

07/24 — Trinity Soup Kitchen — 30 lbs. — Beans, Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Beets — Thanks Becky & Rich!

07/27 — New Bethany Ministries — 45 lbs. — Squash, Kale, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Beans, Beets, Radishes — Thanks Joyce and Elizabeth!

07/28 — Trinity Soup Kitchen — 15 lbs. — Squash, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Peppers, Banana Peppers, Beans


I’m blessed to have you as part of the garden!





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Garden Updates — 07/16/2020 — 86 lbs. Donated

Hi Everyone,

We are humming along nicely with 4 separate donations adding 50 more lbs., bringing our current total to 86 lbs.  Keep up the great work everyone.  I appreciate everyone who has been able to donate.  Green Beans are doing quite well across the board, and we are starting to see some cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.  Sue K.’s Brussel Sprouts look like they are re-growing, I replaced a couple of mowed peppers, and Rich planted some more squash.  All is good!  Everyone’s garden has lots of blossoms, I can’t wait to see what becomes of the harvest.

I notice that Lowe’s still has some nice plants, but there is also a clearance section where plants are only $1.  Mostly tomatoes, but still a good buy!  Tractor Supply (Nazareth) also has some plants out at a discounted price.  I did see some squash and other plants there.

Thanks to everyone that has been able to help with watering too.  Don’t forget to continue weeding your bed, the weeds love the rain as much as your veggies do!

Below are our latest donations.

07/10 — Trinity Soup Kitchen   — 12 lbs. Squash — Thanks Rich!

07/13 — New Bethany Ministries — 25 lbs. Beans, Beets, Turnips Squash, Kale, Cucumbers

07/14 — Trinity Soup Kitchen   — 3 lbs. Kale, Radishes/Parsnips, Cucumber

07/16 — New Bethany Ministries — 10 lbs. Beans, Squash, Zucchini, Banana Peppers, Green Pepper, Kale, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes



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Garden Updates — 07/09/2020 — 36 lbs. Donated

Hi Everyone,

Was able to drop off our latest produce at New Bethany this morning.  Thank you all who contributed.  I found Rich’s produce and two more bags this morning, terrific!  About 17 lbs. in all, which brings out total to 36 lbs.  We are mowed (though I was a little over zealous on the weed management and accidentally mowed over some pepper plants in the open area – oops!), and with a few storms probably at least reasonably well watered.  Thank you Rich for arranging that rain 😊.  Don’t forget to continue weeding your bed, the weeds love the rain as much as your veggies do!

07/09 — New Bethany Ministries — 17 lbs. Turnips, Squash, Beans, Radishes

I wanted to pass along that as we plan for re-opening, Pastor Candy is looking for people willing to serve as volunteers.  This includes ushers, greeters, temperature screeners, and sanitation volunteers. (If you would like to serve on one of these teams., please contact Pastor Candy) These volunteers, as the reopening Team has planned, will be the initial group that will be the first to resume in-person worship at Wesley Church.

Additionally, the Board of Trustees has issued a list of rules to follow as it relates to the church property.  Please review attached and follow these rules to the greatest extent possible so we are good stewards both to one another as well as the church and community.




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Garden Updates — 07/07/2020 — 19 lbs. Donated

Hello Gardeners,


I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!  The garden is starting to produce.  We have made several donations already.  We are up to 19 lbs. donated.  The produce should continue to roll in.

Thank you to Lisa, Becky, Sue & Rich on watering, and thank you to Rich and the other volunteers who have taken produce. I will check the storage box on Thursday morning, so leave your produce Wednesday night.

The heatwave will start ramping up, I will probably mow this evening and check things out. We have a chance of rain today, tomorrow and Friday.

6/15 — New Bethany Ministries — 3 lbs. Radishes

6/22 — New Bethany Ministries — 3 lbs. Radishes & Greens

6/29 — New Bethany Ministries — 5 lbs. Radishes, Summer Squash, Zucchini & Beans

07/02 — Trinity Soup Kitchen — 2 lbs. Beans & Greens 

07/05 — New Bethany Ministries — 6 lbs. Turnips, Onion & Summer Squash

Thank you for all your efforts, I appreciate every one of you!




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Garden Updates — 06/01/2020 — Checking In!

Hello Gardeners,

Just wanted to give a shout out to recognize the outstanding work everyone has done.  Most plots have been planted, and many of the extra tomatoes and peppers have been planted, although I think we still have a small number remaining!?

Shout out to Becky H. for watering, and to Ben M. for mowing, as well as Rich C. and Sue K. for help with planting.  We re-tilled a nice section in the open area and planted a number of peppers and tomatoes.    The rain barrel was filled last week, and I will check again tomorrow.  I continue to be awe and in great appreciation of everyone’s effort.  Good job everyone!

In other news I took in 94 lbs. of alkaline batteries to be recycled as well as a few florescent bulbs.  Since the main electronics recycling events have been postponed, the place I took them to charged a bit of a premium.  We are about $100 short of donations that have previously covered.  As you know our mission is to keep these batteries out of landfills, and it is becoming more expensive.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, please let me know.

Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather, and watching their gardens grow.

If anyone hasn’t planted their plot, please do soon to ensure a good harvest.  If you still owe for your plot please let me know, or send a check for $30 to the church with garden written on the memo line.

Stay well, and look forward to seeing you soon.

In Peace,


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Garden Updates — 05/10/2020 — Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there today and thank you for all you do!

We are giving out free tomato and pepper plants – They will be outside the church today and tomorrow until dark.  Please take some to plant in your garden, to plant at home, or to share with a friend.  Bring back and donatable harvest during the season and we will donate it with our normal harvest.

Also please watch the weather for more freeze warnings, they are expected to continue into the early part of the week.

Thank you all and stay well!


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Garden Updates — 05/08/2020 — Freeze Warning

Hello Gardeners,

Sometimes the weather is unpredictable.  With the string of nice weather we have had, it surely is by surprise that we are faced with some cold weather (and even talk of snow in some parts).  The national weather service has issues a freeze warning for tonight in our area.  This means we will want to cover sensitive crops, with plastic, a blanket, or something else.  Be sure the covering is not touching the plant or it may defeat the purpose.  See information below.

Also, this weekend (Sunday and Monday from noon until dark) we will be putting out our trays of plants outside the church (by the storage box) for congregants to have to grow.  This is from our seed starting project we did in March.  Members may take a plant home with the hopes that they will grow the plant on their own and bring the produce back to the storage box for donation to local food banks.

Thank you and stay well!





* WHAT…Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 31 expected.

* WHERE…In New Jersey, Sussex, Warren, Morris and Hunterdon.

In Pennsylvania, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, Western Chester,

Western Montgomery and Upper Bucks.

* WHEN…From 11 PM this evening to 9 AM EDT Saturday.

* IMPACTS…Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops and other

sensitive vegetation.


Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold.

What plants are sensitive: Beans, cucumbers, eggplant, musk melon, okra, peppers, pumpkins, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, and tomatoes will all be damaged by even a light frost, but many other crops will survive

How to protect: Bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable covers for vulnerable plants. Use stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from touching foliage. Remove the coverings when temperatures rise the next day. For a short cold period, low plantings can be covered with mulch, such as straw or leaf mold

For more tips:


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Garden Updates — 04/29/2020 — Get Your Gardens Ready!

Hello Gardeners,


Hope you are all doing well as we are hunkered down at home.  I’m sure many of you are anxious to get outside and gardening.  Although we’ve had some freeze warnings the hope is that we will soon be ready for planting.


Over the last several weeks Rich Chambers and his son Chris has been busy helping getting us ready.  A number of raised beds that were unserviceable have been replaced, the compost we ordered has been distributed into the raised beds, and the they have been tilled.  The open area has been tilled and our shed has been cleaned and the lawn has been mowed.  We are basically ready for business.  Chris battled a rototiller whose handles are coming apart, a broken handle on a wheelbarrow and other hazards! I’m truly thankful for his help, but it doesn’t stop there.  The garden elves were busy taking our seed project to the next level and transplanting them into paper cups for distribution.

I hope all of this inspires you to get out and plant your garden.  With your raised beds ready to go now is a good time to get started.  I have posted some Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines for Community Gardens on the picnic table.  If you find yourself in the garden with other gardeners please have a mask handy to wear.  The last expected frost date is May 15th, though you can plant early at your own risk.  Many “cold weather” crops will not be affected, however, warmer weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, squash would need to be covered if a freeze warning is issued.

If you have not done so, now is a great time to mail a check to “Wesley Church” for your plot, the cost is $30, mark the garden in your memo, and please be sure to let me know so I can update the expense and budget sheet accordingly.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.  Stay Safe.



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Garden Updates — 04/09/2020 — Guidelines for Safe Community Gardening

This made its way to me via of the Coordinator of Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council.  Here are a set of guidelines that community garden groups have shared as a manner of Best Practices.

In particular, I want to draw your attention to, “Gardening Guidelines”.  Small tools like trowels, shears, cultivators, hoes found in your pretty basic garden tool set, I would agree, bring your own from home.   Larger tools such as Shovels and Rakes that are in the shed, I can suggest either temporarily bringing your own from home, or use gloves plus sanitizing.  As mentioned below, using gloves is not a substitute for sanitizing your hands before and after contact.  In my view for now we have to treat everything as though it is contaminated.  Certain tools such as lawn mowers, tillers, weed trimmers and the wheel-barrow are not easily displaced by home tools.  In that regard I would treat those like Hoses and Spigots as in part d. below.

  1. Gardening Guidelines
    1. Gloves:
  1.      Gloves do not replace proper hand sanitation procedures. The outside of your glove can transmit diseases from one surface to another, including transmitting the disease to yourself and others.
    1. Sanitizing:
  1.      Bring sanitizing wipes and be prepared to wipe anything down that you touch that someone else might come in contact with
  2.      Or – bring a clean cloth and a spray bottle of sanitizer. Washing reusable cloths regularly.
    1. Tools:
  1.      Garden committee should remove all ‘community’ shared tools for the time being
  2.      Do NOT leave personal tools in the garden.

                                        iii.    Essential shared tools such as the garden cart: Please use sanitizing wipes to thoroughly wipe down handles before AND after use. This is particularly difficult with wooden handled tools.

  1.      Gardeners need to bring and use their own tools
  2.      Gardeners need to take their tools home when they are done for the day
    1. Hoses and Spigots:
  1.      Bring sanitizing wipes and wipe down what you touch
  2.      Thoroughly wipe down the hose nozzle BEFORE AND AFTER USE
    1. Composting bins (this guideline should be addressed by specific garden committees as it pertains to each community garden):
  1.      Please do not handle the compost bin lids. They will be removed by the committee and placed behind the bins. Please leave the lids where they are.

This document continues to evolve, and the latest version can be found at:

This information is considered “supplemental” information below:

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Garden Updates — 03/31/2020 — Season Starting (Cautiously)

The last few weeks have been a big adjustment for us all.  I hope everyone’s family and friends are safe, and you are at home maintaining following orders.  We are in new territory, and as we look at the world with this new lens, we wonder how soon things will return to normal.

We had a wonderful meeting a few weeks ago, with a solid turnout.  Our seed starting project was off to a great start.  Pastor Candy & Debbie have been doing a great job getting these seedlings off to a great start.  Below is a picture Pastor Candy passed along.

As we begin this growing season, we should all remember that our produce will be needed now perhaps more than ever.  We have some challenges ahead, it would seem that at least part of the beginning of the season will be tending our gardens individually, and there won’t initially be any group workdays as we had previously planned.  However, there are many ways you can get started practically immediately with the garden.  Some of you may be anxious to get outdoors, especially in this situation.  The wonderful thing about gardening is that there is nothing between you and the land.  In fact, this is the exact time perhaps that God is calling us to reconcile with the land.

There are a number of things I’m working on for the start.  My intention is to have plots re-labeled with place cards to make sure everyone knows where their plot is.  I have ordered 6 yd. of compost, that will be delivered Friday.  Anyone wishing to get started could probably do so by this weekend.  There are a number of crops that can be planted this early, and may be for many of us a great opportunity to try an early planting of something that does well in the spring.  Red Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Radishes and more all could be planted as early as now.  There are a number of great companion mobile Apps such as Gardroid or From Seed to Spoon that call tell you exactly when and what to plant.  I will also be getting the rain barrels filled so that people can fill watering cans to water their plots.  When the compost arrives, turn over the first foot of soil in the bed adding some of this compost, and your soil will be off to a great start.  All sorts of tools such as pitchforks, rakes, shovels, and the wheel barrow are in the Shed.  This is a standard combination lock, with the combo being E-A-T.  (2 turns to the right ending on first letter, left all the way around stopping the second time on 2nd letter, turn right directly to third letter).  Tilling the open area may be a bit challenging for a single person, we may defer that until perhaps early May.

As we navigate this uncharted territory, we have many option, but the best is to post your questions to the garden Email group – wesleygarden at googlegroups dot com.  We have approximately 4 plots still available at a cost of $30 per plot.


Stay Safe everyone!



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