Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thank You Muirfield

Sometimes I think it would never rain in Central Ohio but for the Muirfield Golf Club.   We can be having the driest May and then the Memorial golf tournament starts and you can bet your last dollar that it will rain during play.  Why am I thinking of that now? Because until the President’s Cup started at Muirfield this week, we’ve been having an extraordinarily dry Fall.  Between August 9 and October 2, we had only received 4.5 inches of rain at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden.  Since Thursday, we have already received two inches and are expecting about that much more over the next 36 hours.    Whoo hoo.  While that’s not particularly great for the end-of-season tomatoes (which will undoubtedly crack and burst), it’s fabulous for all of the other green things still growing in our Garden.

The kids have continued to tend their Fall crops and are excited to see that everything (peas, turnips, lettuce, spinach and carrots) have sprouted.  They wanted to water their plots yesterday, but in light of the abundant rainfall this weekend, I kyboshed that idea and tried to get them to weed and help me tidy the Garden.  Only Tim took my advice and weeded his plot.  He and Travyon also harvested some tomatoes and peppers from their plot.  The girls focused on searching for sunflower seeds in the spent sunflower plants I was cutting back.   They brought some girls with them from South of Main (a first).   I’m still growing zucchini, but the squash bugs found one of the plants and I sent it to the growing plot in the sky. Like Neal, I also started cutting out and pulling out neglected tomato plants and harvesting for Faith Mission.   I also weeded the small food pantry plot and thinned the turnips.
Barb and Frank have been MIA for a few weeks because they are busy with their new jobs.  However, a very tired-looking Barb stopped by to mow the Block Watch lot across the street and pull some spent flowers.  She told me to help myself to her overgrown beans and tomatoes.  I pulled all of the pole beans I could, saved seeds from the ones that had gone to seed and donated the rest to Faith Mission.  Antoinette and Mihayla also helped by pulling some of the tomatoes.  
We're still being regularly visited by thieves who have been stealing much of my kale as well as peppers, and who knows what else.  I'm positively furious.  I had thought that Hope's freakishly large birdhouse gourd plant was making it easier for them to enter because it protected the thieves from the raspberry bush thorns.  However, after she removed her plant, there was very little raspberry bush underneath it.  (I then transplanted some bushes in that corner to stop that from being an issue next year).  In any event, Hope ended up having an abundant gourd harvest.  Sabrina and I each got one that had been growing into Chelsea's old plot.  This is a pictures of the rest of the gourds Hope harvested.  Her mother, Cathy, has no idea what they will do with them.  It will another six months before they have cured enough to use in an art or birdhouse project. 
In the better late than never category, I have an update on the raised beds built at the Ohio Avenue Elementary School.  Faithful readers may recall that we obtained some donated cedar (which I cut down) from Trudeau Fencing for a raised Garden project at the School.  Our Board member Cathy (from Urban Connections) built and filled the beds.  The teacher and her students planted them during the final week of school last May.  When school re-opened in August, the teacher sent Cathy a picture of their Garden project in all of its glory.  Neat, huh.
Newly built bed in May

We’re expecting cooler nighttime  temperatures this week, which will not be good for our basil.  I may harvest most of the rest of it tomorrow for Bexley Pizza Plus.   This has not been a particularly great year for some of our basil.  Our abundant sunflowers provided too much shade over herb garden this year and that reduced our yield.  And then our recent drought and cool nights have wrecked its havoc as well. 

I’ve been busy cooking to make use of all of my produce.  Last night I made a Rick Bayless recipe for shrimp with passilla peppers and a recipe for green rice (with poblano peppers and cilantro).    Yum Yum.  Tonight will be hippie –stuffed eggplant and maybe fennel chicken with mushrooms.  Later this week, I’ll have sausage stuffed peppers.   Gardening’s not all work.

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