Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work day.....

The warm day, the warm earth and the fellowship of other gardeners brought the promise of another bountiful garden season. It was a joy to be back in the garden, preparing it for the new growing seasons. What a joy to harvest the winter crop of spinich, to share with others, and to taste it's delicious flavor. God is good and we are blessed. Debbie Dowling
20 people arrived Saturday morning 3/7, at 10 am to help kick off the Seagrove Community Gardening season. We welcomed returning members; Tom and Slate Gray, Tim, Susan and Jeffery Greene, Bob and Debbie Dowling, Venetia Smith, Bonnie Burns and granddaughters Lexi & Emma, Donna Brown, new member Alexa Modderno, and appreciated the support from nearby Stargarden’s Anne & Adam, Andreas and Lyza, also Gail and Brenda from Wilmington and Jeff, Slate’s cap worker. We enjoyed coffee and conversation in the fellowship hall before gathering tools and heading over to the garden.

The objective of the day was to clean up the fall debris, pile up all the garden stakes, tomato cages and trellises. We moved piles and piles of withered tomato vines and okra tree stems to the compost. It had been too wet the previous week due to an all day rain followed by 4 inches of snow to get a load of the lovely composted cow manure/top soil mix from our supplier Barry Brown. Fortunately, we still had half a load left from last year to be spread.

We did weeding in the beds, thinned spinach for harvest and layered shredded paper and compost mix on top of beds. We also built one untreated lumber, 4’ by 8’ by 16” H raised bed and filled it with a mix of shredded paper, leaves and composted soil. We plan to put in several more of the raised beds to make it easier on backs and knees.

After several hours we headed back to the fellowship hall to enjoy a lunch of baked ziti, Mexican vegetable stew, fresh bread and an Asian inspired spinach salad with spinach from the garden that was planted last October. Chocolate cupcakes, and other sweets topped off the meal.

All in all it was a great beginning to what promises to be another productive year. We are grateful for all we learned last year and thankful to be so much further along than we were this time last year, with the majority of our rows now ready to be planted. Pastor Bob has already filled row 10 and part of row 11 with spring plants-broccoli, cauliflower, English peas and sugar snap peas. Bonnie plans to fill row 4 with turnips, greens, lettuce, and edamame. Beth will be filling row 6 with cut flowers and herbs. Barbara will be planting tomatoes, cucumber, squash and peppers when it warms up a bit. Donna will be planting roses in the middle of row 3. We will continue to harvest our spinach until it gets too warm and begins to bolt. Hopefully, by then the Amish paste tomatoes and California Wonder bell pepper that Susan started this week will be ready to go into the ground.

Friday, February 27, 2009


We hope to have quite a bit of activity in and about the garden over the next 2 Saturdays. Saturday morning the 28th. at 10 we will meet to assign "parcels" of garden space. This year we will be doing things a little differently in order to decentralize responsibilities. Although the produce will still be shared communally, individuals, families or small groups will "adopt a bed" and be responsible for planting, weeding and otherwise caring for that space. If it rains we will meet in the back lobby of Seagrove United Methodist Church.

On Saturday March 7th. at 10 we will start rebuilding the beds using leaves, shredded paper and topsoil/manure mix. As it stands right now people are coming from as far away as Wilmington, a group from Covenant Garden in Fuquay-Varina, and hopefully even some college kids from UNCG. We will start by tilling up the old beds, then applying the compostable materials and finally the soil/manure mix. If you wish to join us and have a wheelbarrow, shovel, or hoe, please bring them along. We will gather in the Seagrove United Methodist Church parking lot at 10, and later have a covered dish meal around 12 or so.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lasagna gardening.....

Tony Garner and I spent part of the morning building up one of the eleven beds in the garden before the rain ran us off. We're using a concept called lasagna gardening, or lasagna composting. The raised beds can be made with layers of any compostable material---leaves, shredded paper, manure and straw mix, imported top soil, etc. We started by hand tilling the existing beds to "fluff them up," then added a layer of shredded paper, and finally a layer of cow manure/topsoil mix. This bed is the furtherest away from the soil mix and bags of shredded paper, so the next ten beds shouldn't take quite so long to build. As it is in the bottom of the garden, bottom meaning the lowest area, we built it up higher than the other beds will require, just to ensure better drainage. We also extended both ends of the bed, which added another approximately forty square feet of area in which to plant. By the time we finish with the other ten beds we will probably have added another two hundred square feet plus of space in which to plant. All in all it was a great morning---good friends, good stories, a good workout, and an opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Just a little over two months and we'll start our seedlings indoors for next springs garden. A reminder to anyone who wanders into the garden---PLEASE do not walk on the beds! One more thing---a big thanks to Fiskar's and Heifer International who provided us with mini-grants to buy tools, deer fencing and an irrigation system.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food conferences.....

There are four different food conferences going on in North Carolina over the same time period in February and early March. If you are any type of foodie, community gardener, have concerns about the hungry, or are a food revolutionary of any sort, you should find a conference somewhere in this great state where you will fit right in.

(1) Come to the Table - Feb. 25th. -
Garysburg - Feb 26th. - Boone - Feb. 27th. - Charlotte.
(2) Read Food Real Medicine - February 27th. - March 1st. - Chapel Hill.
(3) The Hunger Conference - February 27th. and 28th. - Raleigh.
Food Summit - March 2nd. and 3rd. - Raleigh.

We hope you will check out the different conference links, find a conference that is calling your name, and will attend.


Sunday afternoon the Seagrove Community Garden hosted a service of thanksgiving for the garden's bounty, and a serpentine prayerful/contemplative walk through the garden, all followed by a chili supper at the Seagrove UMC's fellowship hall.
Vespers --- in this case, 2 hymns, 2 psalms, a story and a prayer.
Prayerful, serpentine walk through the garden's aisles, reading the quotes on peace and reconciliation.
Pastor Bob.
The mayor of Whynot, the honorable Bill Spencer, pontificating.
Venetia Smith, garden's head cheerleader, flanked by her son Tim, and daughter-in-law Susan.
The honorable Mrs. Mayor of Whynot, Sue Spencer, the lady whose formidable task is to keep the mayor on track.
Stacye and Slate.