We’re in the long process of putting the garden to bed for the season but there’s still a lot of gardening to do.
For instance, we are babying the new cabbage plants, expecting them to produce plump vegetables for the kitchen. Paul loosened up the soil surrounding them today, as he does so well with a hoe. Jean called it Paul’s special “wrist action.”
The pumpkins are growing fat, especially our first one (it must be 16 inches in diameter). And we continue to watch the bell peppers, squash, hot peppers and Jerusalem artichokes.
This day we broke down the last of the tomato plants, after harvesting a few big ones. Wes, Paul’s grandson, picked an entire basket of grape tomatoes. Ryan carefully placed the wire cages on top of each other in the lower property for the winter hiatus.
We pulled up all the basil for Pat, who is dutifully making pesto with it. That’s a lot of pesto for the kitchen! We also harvested ornamental squash, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, squash and one cantaloupe as Leila cut three buckets of flowers to use in her beautiful arrangements to be sold on Sunday at St. John’s.
Under a nearly clear sky, the following volunteers enjoyed temperatures in the 70s – Leila Martin, Pat Hammer, Carolee Felber, Ryan Sattler, Wes Goodwin, Paul Schrecongost, Therese Cox and lead gardener Jean Simpson.
Many attorneys from the Law Offices of Chanin W. Krivonyak, The Hartford Financial Service Group, Inc. & other volunteers came to help at the garden this evening — as well as a couple of Master Gardeners & a few of our regular loyal volunteers! Several seasoned gardeners came to help guide the work and prepare for the construction of a tractor shed. What a great job everyone did! Thank you!
Jean pleads for help in preserving the wonderful garden bounty for winter months!
blog by Therese Cox
Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sept. 6, 2014
Who’d have thought that partway through September, we’d continue to harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and more?
Now that the bothersome deer incident is behind us, the garden is doing well…except for the last of the tomatoes. Some are just dying on the vine, perhaps because of the buckets of rain lately.
Thanks to the following volunteers for reserving their Saturday mornings for Manna Meal: Bob Sylvester, Therese Cox, Leila Martin, Leslie Frame, Tom Larkin, Lynn Brookshire, Patricia Paul, Robin O’Brien, Paul Schrecongost (and his grandson, Wes) and lead gardeners Jean Simpson and Myra Dolan.
Wes planted nearly all the tiny Stonehead cabbage plants given to us by a thoughtful donor [Bill Shanklin]. Then we fertilized them with liquid nitrogen plant fertilizer to bring out the best. All the while volunteers harvested the above, plus sage and oregano, Jean caught up on the mowing of the field. For some reason, we believe sashaying about on the Jean Deere does not compute as work to our indefatigable boss.
Tom pushed the lawn mower about to trim the edges – the cutter without the automatic drive.
We all were surprised at our first pumpkin – it has doubled in size since Wednesday.
And we also gawked with fascination at the Monarch butterfly larvae on the butterfly weed. The plump caterpillars soon will form their chrysalises (or is that chrysales?) and then fly away triumphantly as the beautiful, winged insects.
Last, of course, we weeded the raised beds. Don’t we always? But even that activity proved to be, well, fulfilling (if not actual fun). As a wet and tired Myra recorded data in our log book, a lone locust serenaded her.
blog and photos by Therese Cox
Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sept. 3, 2014
We started in the lower garden this Wednesday evening to take advantage of the shade. It turned out to be the right move, as we discovered there our first pumpkin, some lovely green bell peppers, some downed Jerusalem artichoke greenery and one, small, jumpy garden snake (good work, Nedra).
Unfortunately, our amateur photographer was heading to the shed at the time and totally missed out on the last discovery.
But she returned in time to help dig up a few potatoes, hiding a few inches below their mounds and clinging to the rich, brown soil.
It was a good start to a lovely evening, as the sun slipped below the trees and enabled the air to cool a bit.
In addition to harvesting a basket of potatoes, the peppers and a handful of Jerusalem artichokes, 10 volunteers gathered tomatoes, crook-necked squash, a few yard-long beans, a huge bag of kale and another gigantic bag of basil.
The focus of the evening’s activity, however, focused on cabbage – thinning and replanting. There now are four or five additional rows of the vegetable plants. We hope there is a lot of Cole slaw in Manna Meal’s future.
One of the new cabbage rows formerly served our dilapidated bean bushes, decimated by the hungry deer several weeks ago. With a smattering of Mexican bean bugs still attached, we ripped out those plants to make way for the young cabbages.
Thanks to the dedicated gardeners who gave new meaning to work ethic – Nedra and Tom Porter, Debbie Hanna, Martha Ballman, Paul Schrecongost, Leila Martin, John Maier and Ann Morris; and lead gardeners Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.
Volunteer gardeners came out this morning before the 90 degree heat arrived.
Blog and photos by Therese Cox
Saturday was a busy day in the Kanawha Valley, with the distance run, the WVU-Alabama football game and the long Labor Day Weekend.
In spite of these and other competing activities, 12 hardy souls showed up at the garden to apply some serious muscle to both the produce and the weeds. Thank you, Martha Ballman, Liz Hereford, Leila Martin, Taylor Lilly, Debby Edmonds, Patricia Paul, Judy Nottingham, Tom Larkin, Leslie Frame, Lily Frame, Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.
While the day started with cool temperatures and a blanket of dew, the weather soon warmed up; or shall I say heated up – to nearly 90. Jean, as lead gardener, led the crew on a picking rampage (though she actually tackled the weed-whacking).
Volunteers managed to collect two big crates full of kale, from two different gardens (raised and lower). That job took a couple of hours with three or four of us. Tom tackled the tomatoes and also cleaned up the dead vines. He harvested several of Jerry Engle’s gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.
Debby and Taylor, under Martha’s tutelage, thinned out the carrots while Judy, Liz, Patricia, Leslie and Therese focused on the kale, some of which was littered with little bites removed. Lily videotaped the morning and interviewed Jean for a school project.
Volunteers also picked beans, a few squash, one pepper (most were harvested the previous Wednesday) and two big pails of flowers (thanks, Leila).
We left the beans, still hoping for some growth. Otherwise, and except for the tomatoes, squash and kale, garden action is slowing down with the near onset of autumn.