A dedicated group of garden volunteers planted, weeded, watered and harvested 2,700 pounds of fresh produce and flowers for the Soup Kitchen in 2014.
Jean Simpson sends her sincere love and thanks to each volunteer for every hour of service donated in 2014. Caring volunteers are the life-blood of Manna Meal Inc. and you, our volunteers, have made the Kanawha Valley a very special, caring community.
Manna Meal staff, Board members and volunteers wish to express thanks to the owners of the present garden site for their permission to allow us to have a garden for six years. Next year we will restore and return the property to them.
Manna Meal Garden will enter a new chapter as it relocates garden operations to a new site. It is from small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. Thank you everyone for making 2014 so great!
Love & Peace to All, Jean Simpson
blog & photos by Jean Simpson for Saturday, Nov 8, 2014
Temps for gardening started out very cold with everyone bundled up. It only took a few minutes of raking to warm everyone up. We were all shedding layers. Patricia Paul, Martha Ballman, Mike Burgess, Bob Lockhart and Jean Simpson made up the small but mighty crew. We got the lasagna garden and the lavender garden put to bed for the winter by seeding them with grass seed and applying a light cover of straw. The rest of the work will have to wait until spring. This just might have been our last day for the garden.
blog and photos by Therese Cox
Manna Meal Garden Blog for October 29, 2014
Wednesday’s garden efforts focused entirely on deconstruction in Garden # 4 – removing the black plastic covers and irrigation hoses, uprooting the posts and taking down the fence. I must say, it was a little sad to greet another end of season to our beautiful garden. The rich soil has been so bountiful for our Manna Meal customers.
We were careful to glean (we hope) all the metal pins holding down the plastic and hoses, shaking out the ground covers and folding them for winter storage.
Fortunately, we had lots of energetic help. Thank you very much to Wensdi Kreitzer and her children Josie and Kelly; Rachel Mangano, their friend; Bob Lockhart, Martha Ballman, Paul Schrecongost, Mike Burgess, John Maier, Therese Cox and lead gardener Jean Simpson.
Several flowers continued blooming in Garden # 1 and the cabbage, recently attacked by savage and ravenous deer, have made a bit of a comeback (amazingly). But we’ll see Saturday about that.
Oh, yes, we worked under partly cloudy skies with temperatures hovering in the 50s – not bad, really.
blog by Therese Cox. photos by Therese, Jean and Myra
What a beautiful morning at the Manna Meal garden! Fourteen willing workers basked in the sun and cool temperature (40s and 50s), getting lots done.
Thank you, Jean Simpson (lead gardener), Myra Dolan, Patricia Paul, Paul Schrecongost, Wes Goodwin, Donna Walker, Judy Nottingham, Robin O’Brien, Zane Franklin, Brody Franklin, Bob Lockhart, Laura Rhodes, Debbie Hanna and Therese Cox.
There still was a lot of kale and collards, free for the picking – which we did. Also harvested were green peppers, carrots, pumpkin, cayenne peppers and dill. Most exciting, however, was process of digging up the Jerusalem artichokes. We’ve waited a long time to get these babes and the wait was worth it (see photos).
We discovered that the bulbous tubers grew extensively sideways, away from the plants themselves. Every spade turned up a new bunch of edible vegetables nestled in the rich soil.
This North American member of the sunflower family produces tubers with a nutty flavor and a crisp texture similar to water chestnuts. My vegetable dictionary says that Italian gardeners called it girasole (sunflower) – which sounds a bit like Jerusalem.
To continue preparing the garden for winter, volunteers also pulled up the marigolds, removed stakes and wound up the watering hoses. Some high-stepping deer had nibbled away at the cabbages, so we won’t be serving Cole slaw in great quantities at St. John’s anytime soon.
Few garden days remain so plan to join us Oct. 29 and Nov. 1!
Blog by Therese Cox
It’s nearly November and volunteers still are harvesting goodies from the garden.
For instance, we picked about six large bags and baskets of kale and collards this Wednesday evening. That does not include a bundle of carrots and a few green bell peppers.
Mainly, however, we are beginning to put the garden to bed for the winter – pulling up spent collards and Brussels sprouts; mowing the grass one last time (we hope); and trying to decide when to pick our other four pumpkins, the Jerusalem artichokes and the rest of the bell and cayenne peppers (answer: probably Saturday, Oct. 25).
Thanks to gardeners Debbie Hanna, Martha Ballman, Mary Stanley, Thom Porter, Nedra Porter, John Maier, Paul Schrecongost, Therese Cox and lead gardener Jean Simpson (who came two hours early to cut the field with her John Deere tractor).
While the weather was gray and cold, in the 50s, hard work in the garden chased away the chill.