Saturday, April 19, 2008

2nd. workday.....

Another three rows planted Saturday by faithful Seagrove Community Gardeners - Pat VonCannon, Donna Brown, Pat Callicutt, Venetia Smith, Tom Gray, Linda Bohn, Jim Bohn, Bobby Shelton, Tim, Susan and Jeffery Greene. We welcomed four new family members this week. Hooray!
Garden HQWe started the morning preparing beds by clod busting with rakes and hoes. This was the weekend for tomatoes and bush beans, squashes, melons and corn. One group planted row four with alternating 4’ squares of German Johnson (eating tomatoes) then a square of Heritage Bountiful bush beans, Roqq Paste (roma) tomatoes, more BB beans, cherry tomatoes, BB beans, Mt. Spring (supposed to be a good eating tomato!), BB beans, more German Johnsons, more BB beans. We plan on erecting a trellis system over the tomatoes to train them up and not out. A little later (warmer) we’ll companion plant plenty of basil in the tomato squares. Yum, fresh spaghetti sauce and pesto! Now if we could just find a local source for parmigiana reggiano…Row five got planted with alternating squares of Heritage green squash, more German Johnsons, Heritage golden hubbard squash, Botanical yellow crookneck squash, muskmelon (cantaloupe) and Heritage Star and Moon Watermelon.
Other members stayed busy repotting the Heritage Amish paste tomato and marigold seedlings that we started on April 5th. Another week or two in their individual pots and they’ll be ready to go into the ground. Still other members grabbed various hacking and cutting tools and whacked away at the brush and vines that threaten to merge with our deer fence in the near future. Lastly we planted a final row of yellow sweet corn, next weekend we plan on planting more…is there such a thing as too much sweet corn?
We also made headway this week on our drip irrigation system, purchasing the majority of the hoses and parts that we need. We are SO thankful to the folks at Fiskar for giving us an $800 gift certificate to Home Depot as part of our winning grant; it is enabling us to make great strides converting our community garden vision into a very real entity. We are also grateful for Heifer International giving us such a wide variety of heritage seeds. It is immensely satisfying to be planting and raising vegetables that come with their own unique and individual histories and stories…just like our families.
Oh, and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon God showered us with rain once again with perfectly divine timing. We are so very blessed!

Monday, April 14, 2008

First planting day.....

Saturday morning 4/12 started off cloudy & warm, not hot - perfect for sowing seeds and planting seedlings, onions and potatoes. Fifteen eager community gardeners clad in orange Fiskar's Project Orange Thumb tee shirts gathered around, ready to dive in to the tasks at hand at the first “official” workday of the Seagrove Community Garden. We all posed for commemorative group photos with our clean shirts and tools - all shiny and new! After the pictures we formed a circle and held hands as the Rev. Bob Dowling led us in a prayer and blessing. We went around the circle and introduced ourselves. Susan gave a brief introduction to the group of our organic gardening methods and the square-foot garden idea, demonstrating visually with a square foot grid made from wood strips. She explained the intensive planting design that discourages weed growth and promotes plant health through diversity and companion planting that discourages pests.
The first task at hand was to grab a rake or hoe and break up some of the larger dirt clods in the three beds we planned on sowing. The gardeners broke into smaller groups to accomplish a number of goals. In the next few hours, we planted 8 - 4’ beds of Kennebec, Cobbler and Yukon potatoes that should be ready to harvest mid-July. 128 lettuce seedlings and 144 spinach seedlings were transplanted to begin our salad days. One flat of marigolds was evenly distributed among the 3 rows. We planted a bed of beets, a bed of carrots and lots of radishes. We hope to get at least one picking from 4 - 20’ rows of sugar snap peas by mid-June and we put in over 300 each of yellow and white onions. We should have our first salads in about 7 weeks! Several members took on the job of planting new seed trays for successive planting and seeded 5 trays of nasturtiums, marigolds and romaine lettuce.Three hours later we began to call it a day as we finished filling the majority of the intended three 50’ x 4’ rows. Hot, dirty and tired but full of satisfaction from a job well done we parted ways after high fives, hugs and a sense of camaraderie. As soon as we left, God in his infinite wisdom gifted us with a perfect shower of gentle rain.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Deer fence, day one.....

As a result of our sharing a Heifer International planning grant with 2 other faith-based gardens, we have started work on our deer fence. As we began planning on how to spend available grant monies we were advised to do 2 things first - build a fence to keep deer out, and build an irrigation system. It will probably take us another week to finish installing the fence, and by then our lettuce and spinach seedlings should be ready to plant. This Saturday, God willing and weather permitting, our gardeners will be planting potatoes and onions.
Doris Jean Barrett, the lady who graciously loaned the land for the garden. James Davis is running the Bobcat with the auger, making quick work of post hole digging.
James and Mary Davis, the folks that did most of the work.
Bill Spencer and Mary Davis, pruning brush to make room for the deer fence.
Tom, Bob, James and Mary, mixing quik-crete.
James Emery, Bob Dowling and James Davis setting one of the white oak posts for the deer fence.
Tom Gray, James Emery and Bob Dowling setting another post.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Odds and ends.....

Here are some more images from our PING workshops here at Seagrove and Anathoth.
Our steering committee.
3 of our garden members.
Working on the raised beds in Seagrove.
Workshop on transplanting seedlings at Anathoth.
Hoophouse greens.Mixing compost at the workshop at Anathoth.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In the news.....

Today's edition of the local newspaper, the Courier-Tribune, ran an article about our garden. The article was in reference to a grant we received from Fiskar's, and a presentation to the Seagrove town council by garden committee member Venetia Smith. Images and more about the Fiskars grant coming soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Storing compost starter.....

Because this particular starter is time sensitive it must be stored in a cool dark environment. Spragnum peat moss is dampened and spread in the bottom of the box made of untreated lumber. The lid is also filled with the dampened moss and sealed. The starter is stored in small amounts in clean baby food jars, small holes in the lids allow the starter to breathe. The jars are nestled into the moss, set 3 inches apart on all sides and held in place with boards that have holes cut in them. The lid is set and the whole unit is stored in a cool, dark, dry place.

Why so much attention to storage? Biodynamic gardening views the soil (and the whole earth) as a living organism. I viewed this starter as an entire civilization. If not handled properly it will be rendered useless. The civilization will die. In a homeopathic sense the starter we have is a healing agent. What we have here will balance and heal the soil in our garden. At least that is my understanding of it. One of our hopes for this garden is that it be healing ground.

Surrender to surprise.
God is good, all the time, God is good.