Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fair Weather Gardeners

Well, it’s pretty nippy out there today.  Three new gardeners were supposed to come today to make up missing last week’s opening work day, but none came.  So, it was just me today in mudville (literally because it was muddy from Thursday’s extensive rain).    Several community gardens asked about picking up free flower and vegetable seeds from us this morning, but not a single one of them stopped by.   I and my thermos of hot coffee waited until noon anyway.   I seem to be alone in vastly preferring nippy mornings like this to those hot and humid days of last July.

However, I was not alone all morning.  Board member Cathy (who does not garden with us) felt bad about missing last Saturday’s work day (in order to attend and help with Urban Connection’s single largest fundraiser), so she came this morning to help even though she has been nursing a hacking cough and sore throat all week.   We re-set one of the compost bins and then she moved some wood chips over to the BTBO raised beds and dug up some raspberry bushes for me to transplant.  We also confirmed there is a lot of water in our large tank.   Charlie stopped by for a few minutes to pick up some seeds.  He had planted on Wednesday and his plot looked spectacular.  Sabrina and Tom stopped by to plant.  They had weeded and prepped their bed on Tuesday, but today it was too wet to plant.   They offered to stay and help, but were not appropriately dressed for the biting wind and went home to grab a jacket before helping out at the Bexley Clean Up Event.   (I stopped by there this morning on my way to the SACG to drop off some home electronics and tease SACG co-founder Alysha, who was helping boys pick up litter along East Main Street).

As you can see from the picture, our new peach trees are about to bloom.  We planted those last Fall, courtesy of a grant from the City’s Active Living Fund at the Columbus Foundation.   I’m hoping the freezes we anticipate the next two nights will not hurt them too much.  All of our new cherry trees are starting to form buds now, too.  The tulips in the Block Watch lot across the street are in bloom.  Our corner of Stoddart Avenue should look spectacular in a few weeks, weather permitting.

I started off the morning picking up litter on our lot and the newly vacant lot next to us and then chopping some weed trees growing in the fence with my new loppers.  Then Cathy helped me with a compost bin.  From there, I transplanted raspberry bushes along the southwest corner of the fence.  We had some volunteer perennial daisies and bachelor buttons coming up in the path, herb garden, etc.  So, I dug them up and transplanted them into the front flower bed, which I also raked out because some wood chips had been mistakenly placed there by energetic volunteers. I also took the opportunity to sprinkle some daisy seeds (that the neighborhood kids and I saved from last year’s blooms) in the flower beds.   Finally, I reorganized the shed so that we see and can get things we need.       (That is trickier than it sounds).

Charlie, Tom and Sabrina are coming back next week.  That will also the last chance for our new gardeners to make up missing last Saturday.  Any other volunteers should feel free to stop by and help if they have time.  (We may sign up as an Earth Day work site to get goodies for volunteers who help out on Saturday).  We have a lot we could be doing:

1)      Build and attach a gate to the middle compost bin

2)      Tidy up the wood chip pile and place wood  chips around the BTBO raised beds

3)      Transplant more raspberry bushes along the southwestern fence

4)      Relocate cinder blocks to the western compost bin

5)      Put a second coat of wood stain on the platform raised beds

6)      Possibly dig out and surround with landscaping stones a perennial flower bed(s) along the southern fence behind our shed to make the area more attractive when viewed from East Main Street.  Yesterday, I purchased some flowering perennials at DeMonye’s annual perennial plant sale for my own home and for the SACG.

7)      Construct a stone moon and half moon in the paths by the back gate (like the one in the pictures constructed in our front paths last week by a Buckeye Pay-It-Forward college volunteer with stones donated to us last year by GreenScapes Landscaping Company)

8)      Picking up neighborhood litter

We and the Block Watch also need to make a dump delivery of waste lumber and rocks at some point.   I’m hoping that we’ll get to it this month, but we’re dependent upon someone offering their pick-up truck.   Another project I’m starting to warm up to is replacing our rocky curb along Cherry Street with tidier landscaping stones.  There is great sentimental value to our rocky curb because it consists of the large rocks and other debris we dug out of the SACG lot by hand in order to improve our soil.  Any tour I give of the SACG always includes a viewing of these stones we carried down to our make-shift curb.  However, they also harbor lots of weeds. 

On April 22, CleanTurn is again generously delivering soil donated to the SACG by Scotts Miracle-Gro.  Richard Harris from Growing Hearts and Hands Community Garden may be arranging for volunteers from Alvis House to unload the soil donation from CleanTurn’s truck.  Otherwise, we’ll need flexible volunteers that day.  Then, on Saturday, April 27, Mari and I (and hopefully others) will be topping off our raised beds.  Once those beds are topped off, the kids can start their Spring planting (and I’ll put some cold-weather crops in our neighbor plot along the alley).

So, there is still lots to do at the SACG this month and we could use all the help we can get.  Until our prospective new gardeners fulfill their work equity requirement, we still have 3 raised beds and 2 regular plots available for gardeners . . . . .  Volunteers, of course, can help themselves to our free seeds, which after May 7, will be distributed from ReBuilding Together’s Tool Library.  Until May 7, other community gardeners are welcome to share in our FREE SEEDS.  Just stop by the SACG when I’m there this or next Saturday (weather permitting).    You do not need to make an appointment:-)

Now, off to turn my own compost before it warms up. 

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