Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Volunteering for the donation garden, but not sure what to do?  Bobbi MacCalllum will be there Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 10.  If you want to work at another time, call Karyn at 781-8249 and she can suggest a project for you.

Also, we finished the perimeter plantings--blueberries, elderberries, quince and cherry shrubs.  In a few years it should be spectacular!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012 Garden Season Begins

Clearly this is NOT a good weekend for gardening.  It is a good weekend for catching up on things like my first blog entry for the season.  

There has been a lot of work to prep the gardens for planting at Twinbrook.  The fence is up and the garden has been rototilled and amended with compost.  This year, the back of the garden will include a children's section and the donation garden.  The front includes about a dozen 3 x 33 rental lots that residents have taken on for the season.  There may be a few rental lots left.  Get in touch with Karyn if you are interested.

Luckily Friday was a fabulous day to garden, so Karyn, Kathryn and I planted potatoes, sweet potatoes and a few tomato plants in the donation garden.  Clearly, we will not need to water any time soon.

Last year, we donated over 1200 pounds of produce to area food pantries.  We are aiming for 3,000 pounds this year.  Of course there are plenty of things that we can't control -- like the weather. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Butternut squash, anyone?

Just a quick update.  920 pounds of produce is the year to date tally!  Mind boggling.  Equally mind boggling - how to figure out who needs what and when.  Karyn is now sitting with a large quantity of butternut squash just harvested.  The pantries we've been contributing to don't have storage space.  So now we need to solve another problem.  How do we get the harvest to the people who need it?  Ideas?  

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Garden that Keeps Giving

Who would have thought that just three months after breaking ground we would be able to harvest hundreds of pounds of fresh, organic produce?  Last week, Karyn reported that she had to pull the back seats out of her mini-van to make room for the tomatoes, beans, squash and potatoes.   Everything has been delivered to the grateful recipients at the Cumberland and Freeport Community Services and Portland's Preble Street.  Here are some pictures of the produce and the Cumberland Girl Scouts who participated in harvesting veggies a few weeks ago:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Harvest!!!

August has been quite rewarding for our garden.  As we are in our first year, we keep reminding ourselves that this is a trial year and ANY produce would be fabulous.  The hard work is paying off.  We have been able to harvest and donate buckets and bags of produce to the Cumberland Food Pantry, Freeport Community Services and Preble Street Resource Center.  Tomatoes, summer squash, beans, potatoes, greens, etc. have been delivered to the appreciative folks working to help neighbors who, for whatever reason, would not have the resources to obtain fresh, healthy produce.

As Hurricane Irene swirls around us, and hopefully passes Maine without too much damage, it's a good time to catch up on the blog.  I was looking at some photos I snapped about a month ago and then another group yesterday, and it's amazing to see the changes that have taken place in this short time.

Not only is the field full of produce, but it is surrounded by a very happy looking perimeter of sunflowers!  For weeks, it seemed like those sunflowers were going to remain about 6 inches tall and never flower, but they have really taken off.  I only hope that their sturdy stems will hold up.

This past Friday, some local girl scouts with their leader helped with the harvest--picture to arrive shortly.  On Saturday, we picked up anything that could become a projectile in the storm -- our sign, buckets, row covers, etc. Fingers crossed that all will be well when we get back to the garden tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bugs - the bad and the ugly!

It's been too long since the last post, but we've been busy!  The good news is that we have started to harvest zucchini (ok, you probably have too many!) and beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cukes and other veggies should be ready soon.  By the way, the peanut experiment didn't work, but it was fun to try.

Happily the dogs (and their owners) are now accustomed to the garden, and we have had far fewer fence mending episodes.  The latest battle is with tomato horn worms--they look like something out of a cheap horror flick--big, fat and bright green.  Horn worms camouflage themselves superbly;  they are the color of the tomato plant, AND, they will put up a huge fight to not get picked off the plant.  They devour the tomato leaves, and left unchecked, would decimate all of our plants.  However, after lots of picking, and not too many tomato stems stripped, we think we got 'em for now.  P.S.  Karyn is offering 50 cents for each horn worm picked and destroyed--I think her kids are getting rich!

The other battle of the garden is in the cucumber and squash families which are being snacked on by the cucumber beetle.  We have picked hundreds (maybe more) of these nasty creatures, but they seem to reproduce at a rapid speed.  Hopefully we can eliminate them and save our produce.

It is interesting (and frustrating) to experience these pests that don't typically appear in a small home garden--but when planting a large plot, they call in all their family members for the big feast!

Speaking of things that are interesting, how about the weather this summer?  Brutally hot July, followed by a wet and cool (so far) August.  Never a dull moment for gardeners!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Updates, thank yous and a plea

It's been another busy week.  Red, white and blue corn, beans and flowers have been planted.

We get so many questions about the garden, so the basic information was posted on this sign:  This is a trial garden with all produce going to local food pantries.  Volunteer hours are 8 - 10 am on Tues. and Sat.

Thanks to the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Lions Club for the $100 donation.  Also to Greg Fowler for bringing us a load of hay mulch--the plants are growing, but so are the weeds, so we'll be getting the mulch down as soon as possible.

Finally, a plea from our hard working volunteers. . .We encourage everyone to visit the garden, but PLEASE do your best to keep your dog from coming into the garden.  While we are looking into better solutions, we ask that everyone try to keep their dogs from breaking through the fence.  We love seeing dogs romp through the park, but not trampling plants.  THANK YOU!