Friday, May 7, 2010

SACG’s Tomatoes, Seeds and Lumber– Oh My!

In the past two weeks, the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden has received many blessings. Several of them have already been described here. But there are always more.

Last year, we were especially blessed when Livingston Seeds donated two boxes of hundreds of seeds of an almost infinite variety. We were especially successful with the lettuce and tomatoes, but it also gave us the opportunity to experiment with varieties of vegetables and flowers we never would have purchased on our own. Livingston Seeds was so generous last year, it was almost embarrassing to ask if they might remember us again in some small way this year. When Ken called, he explained that he had been on the road a lot this year and was just now turning to our request. (Livingston Seeds is a wholesaler and does not generally sell seeds directly to the public). Because we had already finished our early Spring planting and I hadn't been expecting his call, I asked for corn, tomatoes, spinach and beans. I completely forgot to ask about cucumbers and zucchini. Duh! However, Ken had everything ready for me to pick up later the same day. I've already started some of the Early Oregon tomatoes for me and other SACG gardeners and planted some of the bush beans. They are 2010 seeds.

Then, Lisa – my church's administrative assistant – emailed me out of the blue about donating approximately 70 organically grown cherry and beefstake tomatoes to the SACG. Was that thoughtful or what? I picked them up on Sunday and transplanted them into individual containers later that afternoon in my garage (while it rained outside). We'll use some of them for BTBO's new gardening program and let the SACG gardeners help themselves when they get a little bigger and the night-time temperatures a little warmer.

On Tuesday, I assembled the new reel mower which we purchased for the Garden with funds from the Scotts-Miracle Gro Fund at the Columbus Foundation and then tried to mow – for the first time this season – the northern part of our lawn. It took a while. The grass was almost a foot tall. I must have looked rather pathetic because several people walked by and asked me if I needed help. I then took a stab at the rest of the lawn (which was only six inches tall), but it was getting late and I left the rest for Charlie. When I returned on Wednesday evening to plant bean seeds, eggplant seedlings, and herb seedlings, I discovered to my delight that someone had visited the Garden in the last 20 hours and mowed our entire lawn with a power mower – short and even. I just love random acts of kindness. It set the tone for a lovely evening – almost a Girls' Night Out – as Rayna, Barb, Keyante, Nykkel & I gardened until dusk. Danielle even stopped by with bottled water for the adults and popsicles for the kids. [Editor's Note: Dwain took credit on Friday evening for mowing the grass. However, the BTBO folks bought a brand new mower from The Cougar Group and used it to mow our neighbor's 18 inch grass on the south side of the Garden and put the grass clippings in our compost bin.]

Finally, yesterday Mike & I drove to the far, far west side to pick up some lumber being donated by Trudeaus' Fence Company. We ran short of tomato stakes last year and we could save expenses for the BTBO gardening project by using donated cedar. We had lots to chose from and then Russell Trudeau also found some green metal fence stakes which we could use to replace some of the cedar stakes currently holding up our fence. The metal stakes will certainly be sturdier, last longer and free up more cedar stakes to use as tomato stakes. This project also gave Mike an excuse to buy a new miter saw this afternoon (so that he could cut down the wood for us). Happiness all the way around:)

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