Blog by Therese Cox. Photos by Jean Simpson.
Manna Meal Garden Blog for July 29
Talk about roasting, baking, broiling – all those words one attributes to a hot oven, describe the day.
But we not only survived Wednesday’s drippy, humid work session, we celebrated. (I bet you thought I was going to say “thrived.”)
Thanks to Gary Brown, Martha Ballman, Patricia Paul, Mike Burgess, Ann Garcelon, John Maier, Trey Snow, Beth McClintock, Jean Simpson and Therese Cox, who spent the late afternoon and evening at Rock Lake.
Jean and Beth oversaw very much weeding. Previous rains were still evident in the soil in the main garden, but our sump pump is working hard to lower the level. So the weeds were big and very plentiful, especially surrounding the carrots. As a shadow developed in the western side of the garden, because of the rock cliff, we found ourselves heading that way, eager for a little cooler air.
Volunteers weeded also around the tomatoes, peppers and squash. The garden is recovering from the constant rain and is looking very promising.
On the other hand, the tomatoes and peppers in the raised patio gardens were very thirsty. Ann took care of those. Also watered were the iris gardens and all the potted plants, waiting patiently to be replanted in the perennial garden.
Speaking of perennials, Beth continues to prepare and amend the soil for the eventual move from the “hospital” mound near the main garden. This Wednesday, she de-rocked the area and blended topsoil.
The heirloom tomatoes Jerry Engles started from seed on his dining room table are lush and huge. We’ve harvested a few ripe ones but there are many more to come.
On Thursday of this week, volunteers again gathered at the Rutledge Road site to remove rebar, pegs and other remnants of the garden. They also dug up more perennials for the move to South Charleston. Soon, we’ll have just one focus – the one guarded by the beautiful and effervescent Ms. Rockelle Lake.
Blog by Therese Cox [Saturday work]. Photos by Therese Cox & Jean Simpson
The transfer from Rutledge Road to Rock Lake is nearly complete.
On Saturday, the work crew dug up numerous irises, including Siberian and water, labeled and stashed them in plastic bags for the eight-mile move to the Spring Hill area of South Charleston. Meanwhile, Jim and Paul began disassembling the netting fence surrounding the last standing garden at Rutledge Road.
Two days before, a hard-working crew from the City of South Charleston arrived with a big truck, ready to load. Strong volunteers heaved our two sheds onto the truck, plus all the tools and garden supplies that had been removed from the sheds. Looking more like Beverly Hillbillies than soup kitchen, the overstuffed truck did indeed survive Greenbrier Street, Interstate 64 and Kanawha Turnpike, retaining all aboard.
The two sets of volunteers met up later Saturday morning at the new garden, combining efforts to finish the day’s work. It was a very hot day (up to 90 degrees) but not as humid as the previous two weeks.
Volunteers at Rock Lake already had flown through a work list – hauling and spreading soil on the future perennial garden, watering and weeding the tomatoes in the raised beds, the bell peppers, tomatoes, mint and strawberries in the patio raised beds and weeding the eggplant, peppers, peas, squash, beans and peppers in the main garden area.
John tilled the remainder of the perennial garden while other volunteers replanted the irises from Rutledge.
The sump pump continues to do its job, slowly transforming a swamp into a garden.
Thank you, Manna Meal volunteers and City of South Charleston crew: Matt Crabtree, Bob Sylvester, Angela Sims, Judy Nottingham, Patricia Paul, Jim Kinnison, Paul Schrecongost, Lakin Cook, Therese Cox and lead gardeners Beth McClintock and Jean Simpson.
Photo on the left: The Manna Meal (aka Beverly Hillibillies) truck saunters down Rutledge Road on its way to Rock Lake
Thanks big time to the City of South Charleston for transporting our two garden sheds plus much more from Rutledge Road to Rock Lake.
The work crew quickly constructed a solid footing for the little shed.
Blog by Therese Cox with photos by Therese Cox & Jean Simpson
Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sat., July 18th, & Wed., July 15th
The sump pump is pumping away, lowering the moisture level in the garden due to days and days of rain. All is almost well.
Thank you volunteers for your dedicated work this hot and humid Saturday – lead gardeners Beth McClintock and Jean Simpson, Bob Sylvester, Patricia Paul, Jim Kinnison, John Maier, David Rubrecht, Gerald Burgy, Angela Simms, Paul Schrecongost and Therese Cox.
Cleaning up was the first order of the day, even before weeding and hoeing. Volunteers moved an entire pile of lumber, probably left over from the building of the raised beds. The old file cabinets – minus the dirt and pop bottles at the bottom – were driven out to the parking lot in John’s trusty truck.
David, John, Patricia, Jean and Bob whacked away the weeds next to the rock wall and around the garden. Others cleaned up the squash garden, pulling weeds and spreading potting soil over the mud and close to the plants.
Paul scooped up the dried dirt on the edges of the long, concrete sidewalk while Beth disassembled the frame surrounding the strawberry plants. She then carefully moved them to the flower garden. Soon, two trellises will frame entrances to the garden, located just to the left of the main gate.
The potted plants were watered, as were the peppers, tomatoes and mint, growing profusely from the planters just under the overhang of the community building.
Wednesday’s efforts centered on removing grass from the soon-to-be-developed flower garden. Lots of basil was harvested and tomato plant limbs were threaded into their cages for safe-keeping. From tiny to plump, the fruit is growing nicely. Those heirloom plants started by Jerry Engles must be very happy, indeed.
Gardeners also transplanted flowers from holding plots to the perennial garden; weeded the mint and hooked the sump pump to electricity. It is working like a dream, directing the overabundant ground water into the city sewer system.
Thank you, Tonja Parsons, Jim Kinnison, Jean Simpson, Martha Ballman, Paul Schrecongost, Angela Simms, Gerald Burgy and lead gardeners Beth McClintock and Therese Cox.
[click on photo to enlarge for viewing]
Scheduled gardening sessions this week included plenty of puddles to jump.
Blog by Therese Cox with photos by Jean Simpson and Therese Cox
Rock Lake’s Manna Meal garden might have reverted back to a swimming pool, judging from the standing water this Saturday morning. Good thing we had placed many of our bean and tomato plants on the high rows.
But we’re hopeful the omnipresent rain will slack off very soon (almost too much of a good thing). At least we didn’t have to water with the hose.
Instead, we focused on preparing the future flower garden to the left of the main gate for accepting a slew of transplants. Volunteers removed grass from the area. In the coming days, we’ll amend the soil with the rich topsoil delivered this day by Green’s Feed and Seed.
While the weeds were relatively few, we plucked them up from around the raised beds of tomatoes and from the main garden. We also used the weed-whacker to cut grass behind the raised beds and surrounding the flower garden area.
The strawberry plants were cleaned up as they await replanting elsewhere.
The heirloom tomatoes started from seed by Jerry Engles are bushy and tall! To improve the area, we mulched some more, making it easier to access the beds.
The warm but overcast day proved perfect for gardening (though it would again rain later in the day).
Beth McClintock served as lead gardener, assisted by Martha Ballman, Midge Schrader, Ann Garcelon, Patricia Paul, Donna Walker, Carolee Felber, Jim Kinnison, Jean Simpson, Paul Schrecongost, Tonja Parsons, Elizabeth Dorsey and Therese Cox.
[click on photos to enlarge for viewing]
Report by Beth McClintock. No photos taken at this session. Photo below is from the photo album of Jean Simpson.
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!