Saturday, June 22, 2013
It’s Been A Berry Good Week at the SACG
Ah. Our black raspberries have again been abundant this year at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden. Speaking just for myself and just for the past week, the berries have been eaten, frozen, donated and baked into a pie (which I ate by myself in 24 hours). Sabrina has been freezing some as well. Of course, my arms are completely scratched up. This year, the neighborhood kids have decided to collect the berries, smash them and drink the resulting smoothies. They cleaned us out of berries on Tuesday evening, but more continue to ripen every hour. Unlike last year, the kids have been bringing their own bowls this year. They're learning . . . So, it's days like this when I'm thankful that the mother of our Board President went out into the woods near her farm to dig up 20 baby raspberry bushes for us in 2009 and that her daughter planted them in the wood chips surrounding our fence so that we could have abundant berries every June.
Sadly, we’re in for another hot and dry week, which will not help our peppers or tomatoes set fruit. Our abundant lettuce is wilting and bolting. Sabrina has raised the nicest and largest lettuce I’ve ever seen and this is her first year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for our beans.
I think the deer have finally found our Garden as well. I know that they come as far east on Main Street as Cup O’Joe’s and now they seem to be coming west from the railroad tracks. I think this because something (or maybe someone) has cut the unbloomed flower off almost every single bee-balm flower in our front flower bed. Maybe a surreptitious tea maker cut them off for home-made Earl Grey tea. But I’m betting on deer. They also seem to like our Russian sage.
After some light weeding and watering on Tuesday, I took a flat of impatiens donated by Straders and planted flowers in front of the rental house of one of the youth gardeners. She was very much into pulling the weeds out of what had once been a landscaped flower bed. However, flowers haven’t grown there in years. Someone laid down plastic to keep the weeds down, but that didn’t work. We then took turns digging holes in the plastic to reach the dirt and then planting the flowers. She then watered them in with her mother’s pitcher and turned to pulling weeds out of an abandoned flower bed next to the house. Since it was getting dark, I had to call it a night. I need to go back to fertilize, put down some mulch and plant in the side flower bed. I’m hoping other neighbors will let us plant flowers in their front yards to cheer up the area. (Or maybe I should engage in some guerilla gardening in front of some of the boarded up houses. Just kidding. That would be illegal.). Unfortunately, I only have impatiens at this point.
Urban Connections had a work day for the kids on Tuesday evening. Barb came by to help, too, and then turned to dead-heading and weeding the Block Watch flower garden (when she was supposed to be studying for her medical coding certification exam). Cathy was able to get some more of the flowers planted in front of the ministry house that Straders had donated. Several of the kids came and weeded and watered their plots. However, I was not able to help any of them as much as they wanted because there is only one of me and many of them. As it was, I left Sabrina there by herself to keep an eye on the kids while I planted flowers down the street even though she had come to the Garden for some respite from her own child . . .
On Thursday evening, I watered quite a bit. This morning, I arrived early (at 8:30) in an attempt to beat the heat. I weeded, pruned spent daisies and roses, and harvested. Rose came by and gave me the best strawberry popsicle I’ve ever had. Ever. I engaged in some one-handed gardening (i.e., deadheading the tickseed) while I enjoyed it. I pulled my peas to replace them with asparagus beans. Sabrina and Tom came by and helped to water the front flower bed and the cherry and peach trees. Kenaya came with Antoinette to water Antoinette’s bed and pick a few berries before disappearing with other small children and a wagon. Neal stopped by to water his plot and take a picture of his plot’s progress. I showed him our abundant berry crop. Then, we discussed how to keep his cucumbers from taking over his peppers and new lima beans. Next week, I’ll help him create a trellis for his overwhelming tomato plants and teach him how to harvest greens and turnips so that he can help me in the future.
Sabrina and Tom saw World War Z last night and loved it. It reminded me that I need to ask the Board to approve an amendment to our Garden Rules to include zombies in the following:
. . .. For that matter, you probably should not leave anything in the Garden which you cannot live without. Because the Garden is cheap, there is no budget item to pay for Blackwater or other security guards to keep out vandals, raccoons, terrorists, or space aliens. . . .
I guess I could also add “white walkers” for our Game of Thrones fans.
We’ve had some unusual guests this month. A reporter and photographer from The Dispatch have come by a couple of times and spoken with some neighbors and some gardeners. They brought rain with them the first time. I hear that an article should appear (with pictures) on Sunday or Monday. We’re excited to have some positive news about the neighborhood, but a little nervous about which of our many weaknesses might also be highlighted for the entire world to see. . . .
Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 10. We’ve been invited to participate as a tour stop on the second annual community garden bike tour sponsored by Yay Bikes! and Local Matters.
Finally, I arrived at the LSS food pantry around 2 this afternoon. So far, we’ve donated four times as much produce as we had this time last year. Now if it would just rain again . . . . .
at 7:57 PM