Manna Meal

Charleston, WV

Flower

July 1, 2015 Rock Lake Garden Report

Report by Beth McClintock. No photos taken at this session. Photo below is from the photo album of Jean Simpson.

These folks know how to garden

These folks know how to garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were 7 of us at the Rock Lake garden yesterday.  It was lovely to meet two new volunteers, Jane Rasak and Tonja Parsons; we hope that they will return.  The dedicated and wonderful gardening couple, Nedra and Thom Porter were there along with the totally organized Martha Ballman and just back from Florida ready to work, Janie Bowling. Thom said that we should have planted rice because the garden had standing water between the rows.  We might see some tadpoles soon!

So, we did not traipse into the mud puddles but worked on the raised beds and cleaning out the tool shed.

We relocated our gardening items from the patio to the tool shed (except for the tiller).  Martha coordinated the shed reorganization with Jane; they removed almost everything, swept, and then Tonja and Janie helped them to sort and categorize tools into perfect order.  So, the tool shed is now very tidy and we hope to keep it that way!

I’m sorry that we do not have photos.  I just bought a new camera that arrived on Tuesday, but have not taken it out of the box yet to try it out.

The forecast is for rain, rain, and more rain.  At least we are not having a drought!

Double header for gardening

Manna Meal Garden Blog by Therese Cox for June 24 and June 25. Photos by Therese Cox

This week is a fitting example of the act of balancing two garden locations.

On Wednesday evening we worked at Rock Lake, switching to Rutledge Road Thursday morning.

Here’s what we did: On a sweltering Wednesday afternoon, Bob Lockhart, Patricia Paul, Mike Burgess, Jim Kinnison, plus lead gardeners Beth McClintock and Therese Cox sweated it out spreading mulch over the future perennial flower garden, next to the community center building. I must say, it looks good.  The volunteer team also weeded and watered the tomatoes and watered the flowers (thanks, Beth).

Special guest for the evening was Jackson Pollock (the Newfoundland dog). He bolstered our spirits by lounging in the shade near the raised beds and lapping up copious amounts of water.

Henrietta (aka Little Red hen)

Little Red, AKA Henrietta, struts about Rock Lake.

Little Red, AKA Henrietta, struts about Rock Lake & makes messes on the patio.

gave us no problems except the mess she made on the patio (where’s the litter box?). Do you suppose she is laying eggs in the green pepper patch? The wind and rain had tipped over Rockelle but she (and her muddied LL Bean dress) was righted during the late afternoon. We decided not to water the big garden due to the buckets of rain that had fallen earlier in the week.

Scene two, the next day…

On a comparatively cool a.m., nine gardeners remembered their ways to the now “old” garden to relieve the earth of beaucoup vegetables. While Gary Brown cut the meadow and Paul S. eliminated the proliferating weeds, lead gardener Ann Garcelon worked in and among the remaining flower beds.

Harvesting kale, lettuce and onions were Donna Walker, Thom and Nedra Porter, Bob Lockhart and Therese Cox.

Our role on Rutledge Road is shrinking while the opportunities at Rock Lake Community Garden are expanding. Still, there’s much to be done at both dear places.

As a Medieval fair is to take place at Rock Lake over the weekend, we next will gather for gardening on Wednesday, July 1. Look for emails from Coach Jean Simpson soon.

From left, Jim, Patricia and Bob rake mulch around I. The future flower garden.

From left, Jim, Patricia and Bob rake mulch around I. The future flower garden.

J, Beth, Bob, Patricia and Mike got lots done for their all number. Special guest in front (with lots of black fur) is Jackson Pollock, the Newfoundland of Woodland Avenue.

Jim, Beth, Bob, Patricia and Mike got lots done for their all number. Special guest in front (with lots of black fur) is Jackson Pollock, the Newfoundland of Woodland Avenue.

Rockelle is the fulltime scarecrow watching over the Rock Lake garden patch.

Rockelle is the full-time scarecrow watching over the Rock Lake garden patch from her high and lofty perch….er pole.

Pepper plants are growing happily in the sun.

Pepper plants are growing happily in the sun.

WPerennials

The transplanted perennials are doing splendidly in the flower bed at Rock Lake.

 

 

Mike placing the mulch in just the right places to benefit the garden space.

Mike placing the mulch in just the right places to benefit the garden space.

Thursday’s mowing chores at Rutledge Rd are managed by Gary Brown. Paul S. [out of photo] was weed-whacking for a manicured perimeter around the garden. Ann Garcelon also missed the camera while working in the flowers.

Thom harvests onions

Thom Porter harvests onions

Nedra and Donna harvest produce: onion, lettuce & kale. out of the photo were fellow harvesters Therese and Bob

Nedra Porter and Donna Walker harvest produce: onion, lettuce & kale. out of the photo were fellow harvesters Therese Cox and Bob Lockhart

WV Power & AmeriCorps join the Crew

Blog by Therese Cox. Photos by Therese Cox & Jean Simpson.

Manna Meal Garden Blog for June 17, 18 and 20

Summer is in full swing now that just about all crops are planted and most of the spring lettuce and kale has been harvested.

On Wednesday, we met at Rock Lake to finish the paths around the raised beds, lay straw on much of the big garden, plant green peppers and put up tomato cages. Much of the leftover cabbage, pepper and tomato plants were transferred to the Manna Meal dining room for our customers to grow.

Thanks to Beth McClintock, Jim Kinnison, Martha Ballman, Ginny George, Leila Martin, Gerald Burgy, Jean Simpson and Therese Cox. We should also thank our lady watch keeper – Rockelle Lake! Our lady, which some may describe as a scarecrow, presided over a cloudy sky with at least one downpour.

The next morning a few of us met at Rutledge Road to harvest lots of kale, lettuce and onions. They were plentiful and beautiful.

Saturday proved a popular day with 21 volunteers, including five from AmeriCorps and four from the West Virginia Power baseball team. Thanks, young AmeriCorps members Jim Lee, Emily Modsdon, Thiage Fernandes, Jonathan Kaiser, Danielle O’Leary and Mishell Fields. Our Power players were Kelsey Staggers (a WVU intern with the Power), Junior Lopez and Pablo Reyes from Costa Rica and Elvis Escobar from Venezuela.

Other tried and true garden volunteers were Carolee Felber, Bob Sylvester, Matthew Crabtree, Gale Lea Rubrecht, David Rubrecht, Patricia Paul, Donna Walker, Judy Nottingham, Bob Lockhart and lead gardeners Beth McClintock and Therese Cox.

A hot but cloudy morning was lots accomplished. Most of the guys (thanks to our newest faithful volunteer Gerald Burgy) erected a fence on three sides of the big garden just to keep out wayward soccer balls and running children.

Others planted two whole rows of beans, weeded the tomato plants and did a beautiful clean-up of the sidewalk leading in to the garden area. It was very overgrown and teeming with weeds. The AmeriCorps volunteers worked hard as did the strong Power players.

A crew of 21 Volunteers knock out the work on Saturday!

A crew of 21 Volunteers knock out the work on Saturday!

The West Virginia Power was represented by Junior, from left, Pablo, Kelsey and Elvis

The West Virginia Power was represented by Junior, from left, Pablo, Kelsey and Elvis

AmeriCorps volunteers Jim & Thiage weed & beautify the entrance

AmeriCorps volunteers Jim & Thiage weed & beautify the entrance.

AmeriCorp crew beautifies the entry

AmeriCorp crew beautifies the entry

Beth at the rain barrel

Beth at the rain barrel

Camellia, Tony, Therese, & Ginny waiting out the rain

Camellia, Tony, Therese, & Ginny waiting out the rain

Gale, Judy & Beth ready to work

Gale, Judy & Beth ready to work

Gerald smooths out compost

Gerald smooths out compost

Leila working with the bark mulch

Leila working with the bark mulch

Martha at the rain barrel

Martha at the rain barrel

Beth and Martha ducked out of the rain. But it felt nice.

Beth and Martha ducked out of the rain. But it felt nice.

Little Red, AKA Henrietta, struts about Rock Lake.

Little Red, AKA Henrietta, struts about Rock Lake.

 

 

City of South Charleston welcomes Manna Meal Garden!

Manna Meal Garden Blog for June 13 by Therese Cox

Photos by Therese Cox and Jean Simpson

Thanks to the great gang of volunteers who met at our new Rock Lake Community Garden in Spring Hill on Saturday. Everyone worked so diligently from 8:30 a.m. to after 11 a.m. Much was accomplished.

Let me mention these gardeners first off: Patricia Paul, Tammy Walker (all the way from Ripley!), Bob Sylvester, Matthew Crabtree, Martha Ballman, Lynn Brookshire, Kelli Swain, Judy Nottingham (also from the Ripley area), Carol Throckmorton, Robin O’Brien and her nephews Brody and Zane Franklin, Nancy Broyles, Leila Martin, Paul Schrecongost, newest gardeners Laura Wehrle and Barbie Sadolf; plus lead gardeners Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.

Let’s just say the day started hot and stayed hot – upwards of 85 degrees. Still, working in a rock quarry (filled in with the soil excavated from the new wing at Thomas Memorial Hospital) seemed cooler, somehow. Maybe it was Kelli, aiming that hose all around.

The biggest job proved to be laying newspapers (Thanks for bringing them, Laura.) and mulch on walkways among the raised beds filled with tomatoes. With about 12 volunteers cooperating, the potentially massive task was reduced to about an hour. We actually ran out of newspapers but will continue and finish next visit.

Tomato cages were placed over the larger plants in expectation of a large crop. We’ll probably realize later that Jean was right – only six plants per raised bed. Also, volunteers placed fresh straw in the beds to act as a mulch.

Volunteers blended compost with the unplanted portion of the main garden and raked it into even rows, ready to receive several packages of tiny carrot seeds. Brody and Zane were especially helpful here – amending the soil and removing big rocks.

The perennial flower bed was tidied up (transplants from Rutledge Road are doing quite well) and the entire garden watered well, mostly by Kelli. Of course, we predicted but did not know at the time that a cloud would burst in the afternoon, bringing an extra-large dose of H2O. All the better!

Thanks to the dedicated workers from the City of South Charleston, our new garden sports three gorgeous compost bins so we can utilize peelings, leaves and other potential fertilizers in the garden. Those guys are Eric Shelton, Jeff Canterbury, Cody Breedlove and Danny Harmon. Jean, Laura and Ann Garcelon on Friday served a healthful lunch from the soup kitchen to these workers and others from the City as a thank you.

Carol Throckmorton suckers the tomato plants

click to enlarge this view which includes the compost bins

Cody Breedlove helped build the compost bins. South Charleston workers also removed four truckloads of trash from the area and tilled the garden.

Cody Breedlove helped build the compost bins. South Charleston workers also removed four truckloads of trash from the area and tilled the garden.

Eric Shelton headed up the crew of workers from the City of South Charleston.

Eric Shelton headed up the crew of workers from the City of South Charleston.

Danny Harmon worked with Eric, Jeff and Cody on the compost bins

Danny Harmon worked with Eric, Jeff and Cody on the compost bins

Jean, Carol and Lynn celebrate the completion of Saturday's efforts

Jean, Carol and Lynn celebrate the completion of Saturday’s efforts

Jeff Canterbury prepares to place another board on a compost bin. Thanks, Mayor Frank Mullins, for your help in setting up the garden!

Jeff Canterbury prepares to place another board on a compost bin. Thanks, Mayor Frank Mullins, for your help in setting up the garden!

Using twine, Kelli strikes a straight line across the garden

Using twine, Kelli strikes a straight line across the garden

Using her strength honed from caring for horses, Laura shovels compost

Using her strength honed from caring for horses, Laura shovels compost

Kelli waters plants as others work in the garden

Kelli waters plants as others work in the garden

tada....Matthew, Martha & Bob present the awesome garden

tada!….Matthew, Martha & Bob present the awesome garden

Tammy & Laura take a breather at the raised bed gardens

Tammy & Laura take a breather at the raised bed gardens

Carol suckers the tomato plants

Carol suckers the tomato plants

Gerald Burgy, public works director for the City of South Charleston, coordinated the city's involvement with the Manna Meal garden.

Gerald Burgy, public works director for the City of South Charleston, coordinated the city’s involvement with the Manna Meal garden.

Onions & Kale

Three volunteers, Bob, Martha and Jean,  harvested 20+ pounds of onions and 7 lbs of kale on this 91 degree summery day. Guess what’s for lunch at the soup kitchen?

photos & info by Jean Simpson

Bob displays some of the onion harvest from today

Bob displays some of the onion harvest from today

Martha shows the kale harvest. All produce is grown using organic methods

Martha shows the kale harvest. All produce is grown using organic methods

panorama of the garden

panorama of the garden