Friday, August 31, 2012

SACG’s Fairy Garden Keeps Growing

As you can see from the pictures, the SACG’s Fairy Garden – tended by the infamous RootBarb – has grown much over the summer since its birth over Memorial Day. RootBarb added a new fairy statue to it on Wednesday evening and reported that she is recovering nicely, but slowly, from her February accident.

Wednesday was a busy evening and was made more hectic by the very early sunset before 8:30 p.m. I tried to hook up hoses to the tank to run water directly to the Garden, but the pump wasn’t working and there wasn’t enough water in the tank to create sufficient water pressure.

Tevon stopped by unexpectedly to examine his garden and harvest. Tevon moved away about two months ago and had been the only neighborhood boy to show passion for raising food. He recruited a number of boys to share his garden with him and then kicked them out and transferred his garden to a boy across the street so that someone would periodically water it. (We have a regular Peyton Place). During Memorial Day weekend, Tevon had begged me to build him a raised bed and helped me for a few minutes to fill it with garden soil (until, that is, he was distracted by the nearby sandbox). Tevon’s garden turned out much better than the weedy garden of his 18-year old sister even though he is only now in the third grade. To be fair, he was gardening in a raised bed (which always has fewer weeds) and she was not. He planted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, cucumbers, squash and broccoli. I also insisted that he plant collard greens and pole beans, over his objection. Last night, he was excited to harvest beans and greens, so my stubbornness paid off. He was very focused on discovering and harvesting his produce and ignored the sandbox completely. He ordered me to find and hold a bag for him while he harvested his food. I’ve created a monster. He then walked all over the neighborhood showing off his prizes.

I then turned to watering the 600+ square feet of food pantry plots, the neighbor raised beds along the alley and my plot. Luckily, Cathy came by to help me water the peppers and her daughter Hope watered her pretty flower garden. A neighbor stopped by for produce. Then a bunch of teenagers – including Charter SACG gardener Keyante – stopped by to water and harvest from Keyante’s raised bed. I gave them a tour of the various peppers and eggplants we’re raising in a nearby raised bed. The girls didn’t believe me when I explained how hot chili peppers were and wanted to see if the pepper could make them cry by rubbing their eyes with a red one and then eating part of it raw. A few screams later and they are believers now.

Then, back to harvesting the small red and orange tomatoes from the food pantry plots before they burst. And then harvesting ripe produce from my plot. Sadly, someone stole the butternut squash I had been carefully and massively watering for the past few months. Sigh.

However, for the first time ever, I still have living squash plants in my plot. I have been battling squash bugs all summer. They have destroyed all of the squash plants (including pumpkins) in the Garden except for a few in mine and Charlie’s plots. It’s been a lot of work.

Then, I put everything away, packed up the tank hoses and pumps, etc. and left for the evening before having a chance to plant our second season Fall crops (i.e., turnips, lettuce, and more greens). These early sunsets are very inconvenient.


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  2. Sweet potatoes keep well in a root cellar and I still have five of them left in my basement from last Fall's harvest. I eat them in a variety of ways: baked, roasted, pureed with squash soup, etc.galvanized fence