I want to first express my deepest gratitude for all the hard work so many of you have put into the garden this year. In my almost four years at the garden, I have never seen it so tidy and well-kept in general and this is clearly due to all your hard work. So thank you so much, truly.
Many of you were at the Harvest party the on October 20, just a bit more than a week ago now. It was a super-duper family fun time! If you weren’t there, truly, you missed out on some great music, great food and a lot of general good will. But you guys already know that; I don’t need to rub it in.
We had the KC Moaners, semi-official garden Jug Band on site. If any of you get the chance to see these guys play, please do yourself a favor and take the time to go. They’re a hodge-podge assembly of home-made musicians, including their instruments. There aren’t many bands like this around today, so I hope you have opportunity to see them at some point.
The annual harvest party and fundraiser provides us with the means to better the garden. This year we were able to acquire the materials and the green house with the funds we raised at 2010’s harvest party. It also pays for a number of smaller things like replacement locks or watering cans, new hoses, etc. I only mention it because I want you guys to know what we do with the money we raise.
I know it was a little disappointing this year to not be able to offer honey from our garden. When Angel harvested the honey in 2010, her helping crew said they’d be surprised if the bees lasted the winter because they were suffering from Colony Collapse. To move that to a more literal statement, the hive actually collapsed during a windstorm, so even if they had made it through their own disease, they didn’t survive the elements. So Angel put in a new hive. And that is why we don’t have any honey this year. The bees need a certain amount of honey for themselves first, so what little is there needs to be left for them.
On the compost front, Hannah has done an amazing job of clearing and moving the debris and turning it into usable soil. Many people at the garden have expressed their gratitude for her taking the time and effort to reconcile our sorry-when-she-started position of the compost bins. I would like to bring up a couple reminder points about the bins to keep the system moving smoothly.
1) The bins are in an order specific to their decomposition. The order moves from left to right, the same way we read. All eligible debris should be put in the leftmost bin.
2) All eligible debris should be cut into small pieces for quicker decomposition.
3) Anything with seeds should go into the drowning buckets in front of the compost bins. We need to drown the seeds so that they don’t germinate next season.
On a similar note, the city has been picking up our trash and our brown bags (ineligible debris for compost). They have expressly stated that we cannot throw entire sunflowers into the trash. Sunflowers must be cut into reasonable lengths before being composted or otherwise disposed. I think this length is between 3-6″. So please do not put any kind of plant matter into the trash bins without cutting them down. And really, beside the sunflower heads, the plant should really be composted in the leftmost bin of either compost station.
We have our next garden workday scheduled for Saturday, November 12. If you like to come earlier as opposed to later, that is fine, but be sure to mark your time/ plot# in the book located in the shed. The workday will officially begin around 10am. Poor weather date will be Sunday, November 13. I
This will be a good date to plant your garlic for next year. I will have some garlic cloves available for gardeners at the workday. Whatever is left over (if anything) I will plant in the kid’s plot to grow as seed for next year for the gardeners.
You are welcome to use the garden throughout the winter, even the greenhouse or you may build a hoop house on your plot, but please remove all dead summertime plants, tomato cages or any kind of supports for summer fruits in preparation for next season on or before the workday, Saturday, November 12.
In February we’ll be having a seed swap & renewal at the Portuguese-American Social club. This will also be the place for signing up to use the greenhouse for spring. We will not be charging any money to use the greenhouse, but first serve will be given to those at the seed swap. Any spaces that are left over will be doled out afterward. We assume that people will be fair with space and usage and will respect their neighbors on an individual basis.
The seed swap will be in the later part of February; we’ll organize it according to the public school schedule so we can make sure that the most people have access to the swap. If you were at the swap last year, you’ll remember how much fun it was and what great seeds we were able to exchange and talk about. We hope to see you there!
Over the winter, also, we’ll be collecting recipes from the gardeners to put together a Community Cookbook. More information on this project will come with the first reliable snowfall 😉 In other words, more soon.
For now, that’s all I can think of to talk about. Any other additions will be commented on the website. Please post your questions on the website as I don’t check the email all that often. I will answer questions directly on the website to provide answers for everybody in a central location.
Thank you all again for your continued hard work in our lovely community.