Monday, May 25, 2009

Two Season Gardening

Have bad luck with your early spring veges? What are you going to do with your garden after harvesting your early spring crops? The Dispatch ran an interesting graphic on Sunday about what crops you can plant after the early Spring harvest has been completed. Double click on the image to enlarge it to full-screen size.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stoddart Avenue Community Garden's First Compost Bin

After working some more this morning on the raised bed "turrets" for the north side pumpkin patch, I turned to building our first compost bin on the northwest corner of our lot. I received help from neighborhood cousins, Prince and Jamal (pictured), in sawing the boards down to size. (The lumber had been previously donated by Trudeau Fence Company and Bowden Fence Company). My battery died as I began drilling holes in the corners (through which I will run rebars to hold the bin together), so the bin will fall apart quickly if anyone bumps into it. However, it's a start!

I'll probably use a different style for the second bin simply to give the neighbors an idea of their options (and to use what's left of the chicken wire I'll be buying to connect the gates to the fence).

We've already begun using our new compost bin by putting grass clippings into it.

Hard work has its rewards. Ms. Anthony -- from Build a Bridge of Ohio, Inc. -- saw us working hard in the hot sun and shared with us some fabulous BBQ chicken, hotdogs, beans, green beans, potato salad and sodas which she and her volunteeers had made for the Cookout they were holding for their clients. THANKS Ms. Anthony.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stoddart Garden's Thorny and Edible Fence Has Been Born

Last week, I was delighted when Rayna showed up with about 20 rasberry bush seedlings from her parents' farm and promptly began putting them in the ground on the south side of the Garden's fence. I loved black and red rasberries when I was growing up. She and her mother dug them out of the woods near her parents' farm and some had longer roots than others. Rayna indicated that she might be able to bring even more bushes when they find the time to dig them up. Although we might not get any fruit this year, the bushes which survive should give us berries next year. In addition, the bushes will spread and create an extremely effective barrier to any vandals, etc.

Since this has been a very dry week, the bushes will need extra TLC from the gardeners and I'd appreciate gardeners taking the time to also water in the bushes along with their own vegetables. Right now, the bushes just look like weeds to the untrained eye, and I've already seen one visitor just step right on top of a baby bush and didn't believe me when I explained it was a rasberry bush.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stoddart Garden Gates Look Great!

We are extremely blessed that neighbors Frank and Barb volunteered to construct gates for our garden on Stoddart Avenue. They add so much class to our wire fences and we are so grateful to them for this hard work. Because we cannot sink cement into the ground (per our lease), they were creative in digging and using cement blocks to stabilize the fence. I think that the gates will also go a long way to discouraging the local groundhog family from dining in our garden.
It was wonderful that we were able to construct gates from the lumber donated by Trudeau Fence Company (near Hilliard) and Bowden Fence Company (on the south side of Columbus).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Girl Scouts Scare Crows at Stoddart Avenue Community Garden With Herb Family Scare Crows.

On Saturday, the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden welcomed a new family: the Herb Family (i.e., Rose, Rosemary and Basil). Without any prompting or invitation, Girl Scout Troop # 1661 constructed the life-sized Herb Family of Scarecrows. The Herbs are likely to scare both human and bird visitors due to their large size. We hope that they will also deter a nearby family of groundhogs. Despite their size, the Herb Family is very well dressed and well stuffed (with straw).

Gardener Dwain was on hand to construct the Herb Family’s new guard stations at the SACG. Herb welcomes all visitors through the front entrance, while Rosemary protects the south beds and Rose protects the north beds.

While the local birds may not be too thrilled with the Herb Family, the SACG thanks Girl Scout Troop #1661 for their thoughtfulness and creativity.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stoddart Avenue Community Garden Was Extra Blessed on Saturday

We have been extremely blessed on Stoddart Avenue with donations, volunteers good wishes and good weather. However, on Saturday, we were extra blessed when Pastor Tim Iseringhausen from Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley presided over a brief blessing ceremony at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden. The Lutheran “green book” even has a dedication service for gardens, including a reading from the Book of Deuteronomy. Half of the gardeners attended and enjoyed some light refreshments after the ceremony.

Happily, the Girl Scouts had also provided three scarecrows for the Garden and Dwain immediately planted them in their new homes following the ceremony.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rain Brothers Rock

During Friday’s tornado warning – and a driving rain, Rain Brothers delivered the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden's long anticipated rain barrels (which they donated). It was only during a rain storm that I could have discovered that the downspout dedicated to our rain barrels was completely blocked and two inches of rain were flowing over the gutters. We left fixing the blocked downspout to the next morning. However, with the help of a trusty and wide flower pot, I was able to catch enough rain during the storm from the gutter overflow to fill one of the barrels.

The next morning, we discovered that there was just a single piece of errant shingle blocking the downspout and the water came pouring out as soon as it was removed. I added some extra downspout to bridge the gap.

Between Mike, Mari, Alysha and I, we were able to re-configure the rain barrel platform and the rain barrels so that they could fill up from the same downspout. Rain Brothers put two outflow holes on the lead barrel and we had hoses going from it to two other barrels and then another hose from the third barrel to the fourth barrel (as shown in the picture).

Alas, since the barrel I filled with the flower pot turned out to be the lead barrel and we had to lift it to the highest position on the platform, Alysha and I had to empty it in order to lift it. Dwain helped us salvage some of the rain water with a siphon to the second barrel and we tipped some of the water to the third barrel. You can tell from the muddy handprints that it was not a tidy job.

In addition, my rain barrel on the west side of the BTBO offices, was completely full from the downpour and can be used until another rain fills the four new barrels.

Remember to only get water from the rain barrels after 5:00 p.m. during the week and any time during the weekends.