It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

As I look outside just before Halloween and see the flakes of our first real snowfall of the year I thought it would be nice to reflect on the season that was, now that the beds are all prepped for winter.

This year started early, with temperatures reaching the high 20s in the first week of May, allowing for some extra weeks of growing.

From all accounts, there was some exceptional harvests in the garden, some of which were unfortunately not purposely shared with people from the community.  The subject of theft is one we will try to address over the winter.

But back to the good things:

Here’s a picture of the garden just prior to the start of harvest season.  Seeing everything so full always gives my heart a lift.

garden glorious Sep 2013

Thanks to the efforts of Joan, the communal herb garden did extremely well. I know I used enough herbs from here that I never had to buy any during the summer. i hope everyone knows that they are allowed to take from the two herb beds, being respectful to leave some for your fellow gardeners.
the herbs are ready to eat!

Perhaps one of the most telling things that showed how well things were this year were some of the sunflowers. The heads on these were some of the biggest I’ve ever seen.

'Mammoth' sunflowers!

Of course, as is our mandate, there was a lot that went to the food bank. The proceeds of the donation bed and other contributions from individual gardeners went towards 2 separate food bank trips. resulting in approximately 30 lbs. of food.

photo

donation bed tomato harvest

Thanks to all the Garden Angels that tended the donation bed and all the gardeners that contributed from their own beds, Well done. After the flood, the food bank was desperate for donations.

Towards the end of September, the garden hosted a “Mingle & Munch” event, where everyone was encouraged to bring a dish from their harvest or cook something on the BBQ to share. All in attendance had a great time talking about what worked (or didn’t) in their garden beds and what their plan for next year was going to be.

fun and food at the Sept Mingle&Munch!

The mingle & much events are held twice a year, in spring and in fall. i look forward to seeing everyone at these events. It’s a great low-key way to get to know your fellow gardeners and tap into their knowledge.

To sum up, I hope everyone had an enjoyable time gardening this year, and I look forward to seeing everyone in the garden next year.

Over the winter, we will be having a few meetings to handle some of the administration, bed renewals and society elections, but we are also going to try and host a couple of educational classes if we can. Watch for the e-mails in your inbox.

Thanks to Joan and Betty Jean for the pictures

A few links that you might find useful:

http://bonnieplants.com/library/articles/preserving-your-harvest/
http://www.almanac.com/content/putting-garden-bed

Encana Gardens in the spotlight

A month ago, the CPL video dept. filmed a piece on the two library gardens, at Forest Lawn and Southwood. Here is the result, featuring our very own D’arcy, Peter and Betty Jean; with Miranda and Gerri from the library.

A quick note #2

A reminder about the Mingle & Munch event at the garden this Wednesday, July 10th.

All garden members are invited to our first Mingle and Munch gathering on Wednesday,July 10th at 6 pm in the garden. Let’s visit and trade notes on what is growing well and how our gardens are doing.

If you wish, bring a small appy to share. The bbq will be up and running if anyone wishes to use it.

Hope to see you !

A quick note…

Stopped by the garden this evening and several of the gardens are looking fantastic.  I noticed that most everything has enjoyed all this rain after the heat last week.  I would suggest that people start thinking about harvesting their lettuce and spinach before it bolts(goes to seed, making it bitter), as more heat is expected this week.  Harvesting now will allow enough time to plant a second crop.

The Garden Mantra

This is a revisit of something D’Arcy submitted last year, but it is a great mantra for gardeners to remember that gardening is supposed to be fun, relaxing and a great source of community.  Have a great growing season.

Growing Fond of the Common Ground

Ten tips for ‘getting a little dirt on your hands’….

1.  Relax!

2.  If you are new to gardening, you have made a fine choice. You now have over 30 fellow gardeners sharing this experience with you. If something is not growing or you are confused about some basic gardening logic….just ask!

3.  Whether you are a newbie, or a weathered veteran gardener…you share the same desire to have the satisfaction of becoming a little more ‘grounded’ by the hands-on interaction with a little piece of nature. Fresh Salads!

4.   Be sociable….ask questions, visit, talk garden, bring a picnic lunch, (see: tip #1), enjoy admiring how the Common Ground is alive with people, growth & energy.

5.  Garden Angels are like gods from another planet. We come back to our plots & find them moist & happy…you never even know a few weeds have disappeared. Ignored plots are a weary, dry sight. Share your own inner angel….

6.  As you are encouraging your garden to grow, remember that includes talking to your plants. A loved garden is a happy garden and a fine meal hangs in the balance!

7.   Express your love by slowing down (see: tip #1), putting the hose on low & letting get a good watering throughout. Don’t splash water on your leaves during the heat of the day…concentrate on watering the roots and let your plants do their thing. (You’ll find it easier to weed when the roots are moist.)

8.  Now that you are in the swing of things….remember that there are a few shared beds (the bench areas & charity bed (#43)). Take a peek & see if they’re happy.

9.  Your fellow gardeners are happy to share seeds, bulbs, a hand & advice. It’s ‘the nature’ of the common ground you share.  A 4’ x 8’ plot only takes so much work.

10. Smile if your hands are a little dirty…..you know where they’ve been!

Page outage

Sorry about the website outage. I got busy and forgot to renew. Apologies and looking forward to another great gardening season filled with great tips and pictures.

Growing App available

Came across this post on the CalHort Facebook page.

It’s an app for the Iphone, designed in Australia, but apparently generic enough by plant species. Here’s the description from somebody that I am assuming is one of the creators:

this app was designed to be as versatile as possible. The nutrient deficiency ID tool is applicable to almost any plant or crop, as is the information on individual nutrients in plants and includes some crop specific information. The soil pH nutrient availability guide is also application to any field-grown situation. The app also includes foliar fert application rates for broadacre crops, tree crops and field veg, and also includes a range of crop specific fertigation rates.

Can someone with an iphone comment on whether this work for local plants and gardens?

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/plant-tool/id623201936?mt=8

Looking forward to a bountiful growing season  (once the snow stops!)

Additional Weekend attraction

From our garden member Lisa who is also involved in the local school garden:

Come see the Haysboro School Dream Catcher Garden at the Garden Show… The Community Garden Resource Network are showcasing us in their area this year. Yeah for growing little gardeners! See you all at the show or on the 20th for the work party.

 

 

Let’s support the  efforts of our fellow gardeners in their endeavours.  Stop by and say hi to Lisa.