Category Archives: Garden Talk

Here you can talk about the Garden

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!

Jason

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

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!

Jason

 

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM EDT

SATURDAY…

* 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.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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: https://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/5-tips-for-protecting-your-plants-from-this-weekends-freeze-570277281.html

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

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.

Jason

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

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:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_cd8KCsO_V9kKjDvZYPXvhFdqWBTobReBnw2TiNV4bE/edit

This information is considered “supplemental” information below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x5TybK_lj4IjGiB79Ge89dkP_ScQVZbP3ULMClyc7gE/edit

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

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!

Jason

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

Garden Planning and General Meeting 2020: 03/10/2020 @ 6:30PM (Church Library)

Hello Gardeners,

Happy Leap Day!  As I write this, winter has warned us that we are still within it’s clutches.  However – it is not too early to begin planning for the 2020 growing season.

Also, if you were part of the garden last season, could please let me know for 2020 what your plans are and how many plots you intended to have.  This will help us determine the number of plots available for this season.  The cost of a plot is still expected to be $30.  Enclosed is our prior year budget, the 2020 Garden Plot Covenant, and our agenda for the next meeting.

We will have our first Garden Group Meeting on Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30PM in the Church Library.  This would be a great opportunity for newly interested members to come meet and join us as we talk about ideas for 2020.  We have some early season things such as a plant sale that Christine and Youth group will be having as well as plants we intend to grow from scratch with Pastor Candy and give out as a means to have church members contribute some produce from home.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Jason Walters

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

Garden Updates — 11/16/2019 — 358 lbs. Donated

We have a slight update to our donation total for the season.  We had one addition squash, and 2 small cabbages.  13 lbs taken to Second Harvest Food bank, 11/11/19.  That brings our total to 358 lbs. for the season.

Most of the plots have been reasonably cleared out, but some others were not.  Some of you may have received an Email from me with a reminder to clear out your plot.  Please do so while you have the chance.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

May God bless you and your families.

Jason

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

Garden Updates — 10/21/2019 — 345 lbs. Donated

Hello Gardeners,

 

We conclude the growing season with 345 lbs., with some nice squash and garlic from Wendy A.  Also, was able to get 2 nice cabbages from Sue K.’s garden.  This was definitely our lowest producing yield, and we will want to talk about changes for next year.  I’m looking for your feedback in how to make things better.

 

I will not be taking any more donations for this season, but if you have anything to add and are willing to take to the food bank on you own, New Bethany, Trinity Soup Kitchen, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Northeast Ministries all accept donations.

 

The rain was a bit of a damper on the final clean-up efforts on Sunday.   However, it is still expected per the garden covenant that you will clean your raised bed at the end of the season.  I will be reaching out to some of you with reminders in the next day or so.

 

Thanks again for your effort this season, and look forward to seeing you soon.

 

We have some donations to report:

10/10/2019 – 7 lbs. – Second Harvest Food Bank – Peppers

10/15/2019 – 10 lbs. – Second Harvest Food Bank – Peppers, Tomatoes

10/21/2019 – 78 lbs. – Second Harvest Food Bank – Peppers, 2 Cabbages, Scallions, Big Squash & Garlic

 

Thanks,

Jason

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

Garden Updates — 10/04/2019 — 250 lbs. Donated

Hello Gardeners,

 

Please remember that final Garden clean-up will be on Sunday, October 20th between and after services.

We will be making one more collection this year for the October 5th electronics recycling event.  I’m very thankful to Ardis C. & Sue H. for their recent donations to help offset those costs at .75/lb.

 

We have a donation to report:

10/02/2019 – 15 lbs. – Northeast Ministries – Lots of Peppers & Tomatoes

 

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

 

Thanks,

Jason

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk

Garden Updates — 09/27/2019 — 235 lbs. Donated

Hello Gardeners,

 

Things are definitely slowing down for the season.  As of October 1st, I will only look to do one collection per week until clean up day.  Please remember that final Garden clean up will be on Sunday, October 20 between and after services.

 

Also, a reminder if you have any batteries to recycle, we will be making one more collection this year for the October 5th date.  I’m very thankful to Ardis C. & Sue H. for their recent donations to help offset those costs at .75/lb.

 

We have 2 donations to report:

 

09/23/2019 – 10 lbs. – Trinity Soup Kitchen –Peppers, Tomatoes, Chinese Okra.  Thank you Wendy A. again!

09/26/2019 – 3 lbs. – Northeast Ministries – Peppers, Tomatoes

 

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

 

Thanks,

Jason

Leave a comment

Filed under Garden Talk