Thursday, August 8, 2013

These Shoes Were Made for Walking By Bean Freaks

There are four reasons for this mid-week post by the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden.  First, we are having a little mini-fundraiser this week.  Back by popular demand are our fairy garden baby shoe planters at $8/pair.   These cute baby shoes were worn by real babies, including our own Zephyr, and are filled with hardy perennials that will come back year after year with minimal care (i.e., they will need sun and water from time to time).   I have neglected the plants badly this summer on my patio and you can see that they are still alive.  Grandparent’s Day is still more than a month away, but there’s no time like this Saturday morning to stop by the SACG and pick up a pair for yourself and your grandmothers.

We will also be having a bake sale this Saturday morning of beet red velvet cupcakes and zucchini bread cupcakes at 50 cents each. The beets and zucchini used in the cupcakes were, of course, grown at the SACG.   Cathy has also made a couple dozen strawberry cupcakes from the strawberries we picked at Hann's Farm in June.

To kick off Local Foods Week, Local Matters is co-hosting an Urban Garden bike tour (with Yay Bikes!) on Saturday morning.   They will be starting at 9 a.m. at the new raised bed Community Garden behind the Aetna Building on Parsons Avenue, and will pop by Ganther’s Place CG, Kossuth Street CG, the SACG and Growing Hearts and Hands CG, -- as well as some backyard gardens supported by Growing Matters -- before stopping for lunch at the new Near East Side Cooperative Market.  

This is the second official year for the Local Matters/Yay Bikes! community garden bike tour.  We anticipate them stopping by the SACG between 11 and 11:30.   We will have free water refills for any bikers who stop by the SACG on Saturday morning.   This is a fundraiser for Yay Bikes! and Local Matters, and all of the registration fees are being divided between those organizations, not with the SACG or other community gardens being visited. (They did, after all, organize it and promote it among their members).

(BTW, Trish has recently left Local Matters to focus full time on growing food and otherwise working at the Crest pub in Clintonville.  Good luck Trish!  And good luck to Jesse Hickman, who is trying to fill her large Growing Matters gardening gloves for the rest of the growing season:-)

To get ready for the bike tour, the SACG gardeners have been busily weeding their plots and tidying up the Garden in general.  I’ve even pruned back some of the sunflowers to make it easier to walk through the garden paths unmolested.  Indeed, we would have pulled out some of our diseased squash plants last weekend to make room for planting our Fall crops, but we didn’t want to leave so many empty spaces.  Barb and Frank have also been busying tidying up the Block Watch lot across the street.  On Sunday, Frank showed me a tree wrench.  It looks like a giant wrench (i.e., as tall as me), but you use it to wrench small tree stumps out of the ground.  Because they have been cutting down the weed trees across the street, they have lots of these small tree stumps to wrench out.  Of course, they’d appreciate some help if you have time . . . .

Finally, I’ve been having fun over the past 10 days harvesting my dried bean crop.  I didn’t plant as many rows this year, which I’m now starting to regret.   I always plant two rows of black beans, but this year, I only planted one (and, IMHO, planted way too much kale).  (Each 10-foot row of bush beans will get you about a cup of dried beans).   My half-row of red peanut beans was, as usual, very productive because it is a half-runner plant (i.e., twice as tall and twice as productive as a regular bush bean plant).  This was my first year for the heirloom black-and-white speckled bean called Vasqueros a/k/a orca beans a/k/a black calypso beans.  Aren’t they pretty?  They were a gift from Mary in Louisville.  I’m definitely going to have to plant two rows of these next year.  Otherwise, they are only available by mail order.   I could probably part with a few of these seeds to interested gardeners (who want to plant a row next year) for a generous donation to the SACG . . . . .   My pole beans are also starting to produce, which makes me happy, too.

Unless it rains a lot this afternoon (which is not expected), I’ll be at the SACG tonight to water.  We always appreciate help . . . . .

[Editor's Note:  It's clear that I underestimated the ability of a good summer storm.  At 6:12, it's been raining steadily for almost two hours now.  Another chore checked off the list . . . ]

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