Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sometimes You’re the Bat; Sometimes the Ball

Yesterday was the opening day for our third growing season at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden. As in years past, we had great weather (i.e., dry). We also had great volunteers.

When Beth and I arrived with the supplies at 9, Rayna was already there pruning and transplanting raspberry bushes. She continued with that task for quite a while. As a result, we were able to plant raspberry bushes along the west fence this year and to give a few to Master Gardener Barb from the Bexley Community Garden (who came to volunteer).

  • New Gardeners Dave and Treva as well as Charter Gardener Betty picked up several bags of litter around the SACG lot.

  • New Gardener Tom flipped our three compost bins. As you can see from the picture, he was very gung-ho about this and squashed the partially decomposed stalks and vines (like grapes in a wine press) to compact it. He decided that this would be his primary assignment for the remainder of the season. You go Tom!

  • Treva, Nykell, Barb and Beth spent most of the morning harvesting, thinning and potting strawberry plants from our two plots and from where they had spread in the flower bed. Rayna then jumped in to move perennial flowers in the flower bed.

  • I reattached the rain barrels and mowed grass (when I wasn't directing traffic and answering questions).

  • Charlie, Dave and I replaced the fence in the southwest corner and replaced some aging cedar fence stakes with new steel ones.

  • Charlie started attaching a gutter to the shed (to support a rain barrel) and this project was finished by Frank.

  • Dave spread peat moss and compost in the raised beds, then Charlie and Dave spread peat moss in the plots.

Mrs. D loaned us her grill and her son got the charcoal going and cooked our hotdogs. We took a short break for lunch (hot dogs, bananas, brownies, iced tea, cookies the size of a large plate) and a group picture (minus Betty who ran away when we started lunch). While taking the group picture, a car suddenly pulled over and a father and baby jumped out to join the picture. Go figure.

We had big plans, but sometimes things just don't work out as you planned. Our big task was to spread the wood chips on the paths, around the fence and around the raised beds. However, the chips were not delivered as scheduled, so that task will have to wait until next weekend. We had planned to thin and pot strawberry plants next weekend (to celebrate Earth Day), but we did that this weekend instead. (The plan is to sell pots of 6-8 strawberry plants for $3/pot as a fundraiser for the SACG).

We had also planned to till the garden, mark the plots and start planting today. However, we injured the tiller and could not figure out how to repair it. New guy Bill aka Fred came by, joined the garden and volunteered his tiller, but it was too big to lift into Frank's truck.

Frank and Barb will reinstall the gates and signs sometime this week.

After half the volunteers had left (at the designated 1:30 p.m. quitting time), I finally remembered the seeds in my car. The remaining volunteers picked some seeds and I'll bring them back for our Earth Day celebration. We finally all packed up and moved on at 2:30 p.m.

We got a lot done, but still have a lot to get done on Saturday. Everyone is welcome to come and help on April 16. We will be spreading wood chips and picking up litter along Stoddart Avenue with the FPNBW. We have five plots left if there are other gardeners out there who would like to join us.

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