Six Kanawha Co Master Gardener volunteers came out to help the regular crew of nine at the garden on Saturday, October 3rd . . . even though the elements produced cold, rainy weather. Thank you to the brave MGs & volunteers who started the process of building raised beds!
September 26, 2015 blog & photos by Therese Cox.
The next meeting of the volunteer gardeners was on Sept. 26, a wet and cool Saturday. To be sure, the ground was just too wet to pull weeds and plant. For some reason, the sump pump was not working. But Patricia diagnosed the problem and got it going. The sound of the water collecting at the pump was practically deafening because of the damp conditions.
Work was suspended early but appreciation still goes out to lead gardener Beth McClintock, plus Patricia Paul, Martha Ballman, Carolee Felber and Therese Cox.
Blog by Therese Cox. Photos by Jean Simpson.
It may have been the first day of autumn, but this Wednesday at the garden more resembled a hot summer day. And volunteers accomplished much.
But first, let me correct an earlier report about the water main leak near the shed.
It actually took workers six days to stop the flow of water. Prolonged seepage transformed soil to a swampy sponge, which did not dry up for another six days, Jean Simpson said.
While some of our vegetables did not survive, lots did. And we’re picking them now. Again, we feel fortunate to have the sump pump.
This Wednesday, 14 gardeners busied themselves with weeding, watering and harvesting. Meanwhile, a group of garden experts, gathered by Jean, examined the property to make recommendations for next year. The agenda included the building of additional raised beds and orienting the main garden in a north/south direction rather than the current east/west one.
In the raised bed areas, volunteers picked both ripe and green (for chow chow) tomatoes, then pulled out the finished vines. The soil was turned and raked and amended with fresh, nutrient-rich soil delivered this day by Green’s Feed and Seed. Spinach and kale were planted in three beds.
Some of the wine half-barrels were emptied and renewed with soil and pansy plants. All the basil plants – and we’ve got a mighty number of them — were pinched of their blossoms. Volunteers watered everything that is still producing, including the bell peppers, Swiss chard, kale and spinach.
We had planned to plant garlic and daffodil bulbs but time got away from us.
Thank you to the irrepressible and dedicated group this evening: lead gardener Beth McClintock, Martha Ballman, Patricia Paul, Olive Meyer, Theresa Bolar, Corleen Patterson, Nedra and Thom Porter, John Maier, Midge Schrader, Debbie Hanna, Ann Garcelon, Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.
Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sept. 16 – Photos & blog by Therese Cox.
The water main leak at one end of the Rock Lake property took its toll on the vegetables still growing in the main garden.
While the water company did repair the leak, water inundated the land over several days, turning the ground into a swampy mess. Now we’ve turned to the sump pump to dry things out.
Still, on this Wednesday we were able to salvage some purple peas for shelling. We went ahead and ripped out the plants themselves after harvesting. Fortunately, the tomatoes in the raised beds were plentiful and ripe while those in the main garden tended to drop off before they were fully ready.
Back in the perennial garden, the Swiss chard is growing well and full, as it is above the flooding from the water main. Gardeners thinned out and transplanted small kale plants in the same area.
Volunteers also leveled out the gravel near the sheds, weeded, planted lilly bulbs, moved the shed back, shelled peas and organized the shelves in the tractor garage (Thanks, Midge!). Gerald gave the garden a huge boost by transporting with the backhoe the big piles of paver stones to a hidden portion of the property. Aesthetically, the community garden is shaping up very nicely.
Hot and sunny (80s), the dry weather was conducive to lots of work. Of course, no watering was necessary.
Thanks to our loyal helpers – Thom and Nedra Porter, Midge Schrader, Debbie Hanna, Martha Ballman, Mike Burgess, John Maier, Drew Burgess, Beth McClintock, Therese Cox and lead gardener Jean Simpson.
Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sept. 9 by Therese Cox. Photos by Therese Cox.
Just because the summer slowly is drawing to a close does not mean there’s no work at the garden.
Consider this: on Wednesday, volunteers picked tomatoes, peas and beans; yanked up several rows of spent beans; planted two long rows and one short row with kale seeds; covered the seeds with straw; watered the raised beds and the peppers; spruced up the perennial garden; and turned the two piles of compost in the bins so that the mixture could cook.
After that the shelling and stringing commenced — a busy evening in the hot, sticky air with temperatures hovering at about 88 degrees.
When arriving, we noticed a pool of water sitting about the sheds. Still more water bubbled up from the holes in the water main cover. Jean called Gerald Burgy, South Charleston’s public works director. He rushed over and realized the problem probably stemmed from a water main break. West Virginia-American Water got a crew over within an hour. How nice it is when public utilities work effectively!
Thanks so much to our loyal volunteers who spent another two hours making it possible to raised vegetables for Manna Meal – John Maier, Bob Lockhart, Gerald Burgy, Midge Schrader, Matha Ballman, Ann Garcelon, Patricia Paul, Terry Johnson, Thom and Nedra Porter, lead gardener Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.