You don't have to be a gardener to be Hero of the Day at the SACG. Neighbor Ron doesn't want to garden, but still helps us out from time to time. This morning while I was picking beans in my plot, he showed up with a lawn mower and mowed our grass. And Ron is one of those guys that if there's a job to do, it's worth doing right. He didn't just mow our grass, he mowed the portion our neighbor's lot, too, and mowed the weeds growing in the curb and then trimmed the rest of the weeds growing in the curb and near the light pole. Needless to say to our loyal readers: it was very hot again today ladies and gentlemen. So, my gardening hat's off to Ron today.
Ron's mother, Mrs. D, also helps us out. She keeps an eye on the garden (and the neighborhood children), has her own plot in the back of her apartment, and protected our two lone pumpkins last year from near certain destruction. Every year, several gardeners request to have the plot next to her. Her husband, last year's Volunteer of the Year, Dwain, is one of the handiest guys I know when you need something done in a pinch.
Brianna came by to check on her plot and found several ripe tomatoes and even more green beans to pick. Brianna took over an abandoned plot near our front gate. Her mother came and hoed it back into submission in 92 degree heat. I wasn't sure that the beans would recover from being overrun with weeds, but they came back with a vengeance this week. There were so many, we couldn't fit them all into Brianna's shirt.
We were supposed to go pick peaches at Legend Hills Orchard this morning. However, I think the freakish heat has intimidated people from climbing ladders and fighting bugs (not to mention the two-hour car ride). So, Beth, Cozy and I cheated and drove to Lynd's this afternoon to buy yellow peaches from its farmer's market. They're on sale: $12.50/peck. How many pecks of peaches will we buy? I'll make fuzzy naval marmalade this evening and can the rest of the peaches to eat with oatmeal (or by themselves) this winter. I have no doubt that Beth will bake a peach pie. Afterwards, I gave Cozy a tour of the Garden.
We had also planned to have a canning demonstration this afternoon, but scheduling conflicts have lead this to be postponed by two weeks (assuming we still have a bumper tomato crop then). Contact me if you're interested in learning to can tomatoes on Saturday, August 28.
BTBO was having another brunch for its Moms on the Move program today. I stopped by to give them a garden tour, but they were too excited going to through the clothes which BTBO had collected for them and it was too hot outside to tempt people to leave the air conditioning. I was also too dirty to stay for lunch. If you didn't know, Mrs. Anthony is one of the best cooks I know. She fed us some outstandingly memorable chicken, beans, etc. Memorial Day 2009. Even Orlando stopped by this morning with his very cute nephew to say hey today.
Our Plant a Row program has really picked up steam this year. I think we're actually ahead of where we were in donations this time last year (not including Maxcine's donation of 50 pounds of zucchini one night in 2009). Betty came by this morning to put ice in the cooler she keeps in our shed and there were already two bags of tomatoes which had been put there this morning before I arrived around 9 a.m. We collectively donated over 25 pounds last weekend. I collect what I can from the abandoned plots (and my own plot) and Betty collects what folks put in the cooler over the weekend and then she delivers it on Monday to the Lutheran Social Services food pantry on Champion Avenue. It's a team effort.
Speaking of abandoned plots: We have three this year. They all have tomatoes in them and some have lots of other goodies as well (like beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, etc.). If you still want to garden, we have a plot for you! All you have to do is weed it, water when necessary, harvest what's ripe and plant something new if the spirit moves you. (Yes, there's still time to plant bush beans, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, etc. We also still have lots of seeds to share with new and existing gardeners.) A new family stopped by just as Cozy and I were leaving this afternoon and may be interested in one of the plots. . . . . . Let's keep our fingers crossed about adding a new family.
Finally, on a completely unrelated note, there is a new radio station at 103.5 which plays my favorite music from my wayward youth and is commercial free for the next few weeks. Check it out.