Manna Meal

Charleston, WV

Flower

Heat index around 100 & it was hot, hot, hot

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.

Gary & Beth landscaping

Gary & Beth landscaping

Butterfly bush brought back to life!

Butterfly bush brought back to life! It you click on the image to enlarge it, you will see the butterflies love this plant.

Wednesday brought the Kanawha Valley bake oven temps

Wednesday brought the Kanawha Valley bake oven temps. We celebrated the summer & worked right through it.

The crew. Those that work together, sweat together.

The crew. Those that work together, sweat together… and celebrate summer together.

Still UN-gardening at Rutledge Rd. Trey & Paul took down fences.

Still UN-gardening at Rutledge Rd. Trey & Paul and crew took down fence posts.

Paul, Trey & Crew tackled the task of fence removal.

Paul, Trey & crew tackled the task of fence removal. This is Paul proving it can be done.

Found a little bird nest as cool and serene as can be.

Found a little bird nest as cool and serene as can be.

Bob lifting all those beloved Greenbrier River stones that used to be the entry threshold at Rutledge Rd Garden.

Bob lifting all those beloved Greenbrier River stones that used to form the entry threshold to garden #1 at the Rutledge Rd Garden.

Kathy & Jim removing rebar stakes that once secured the raised beds at Rutledge Rd garden

Kathy & Jim removing rebar stakes that once secured the sides of the raised beds at Rutledge Rd garden.

Thirteen volunteers from an Ohio Presby Church worked all week at Manna Meal Garden. Thank you crew!

Thirteen volunteers from an Ohio Presby Church worked all week at Manna Meal Garden. Thank you crew!

 

Transplanting the garden operations

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.

Transporting the tool shed to Rock Lake Garden

Transporting the tool shed to Rock Lake Garden

 

 

Photo on the left: The Manna Meal (aka Beverly Hillibillies) truck saunters down Rutledge Road on its way to Rock Lake

Shed is unloaded at its new location at 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.

Job accomplished!

Job accomplished!

 

The work crew quickly constructed a solid footing for the little shed.

Change is a comin'

Change is a comin’

Newly installed iris bed along the former high dive and slide--who knew

Newly installed iris bed along the former high dive and slide–who knew

Lifting iris from the Rutledge Rd garden

Lifting iris from the Rutledge Rd garden Therese and Lakin were slaphappy after digging up scores of irises.

Lakin, Patricia & Jean

Lakin, Patricia & Jean

Patricia unload a cart full of soil for the perennial garden

Patricia unload a cart full of soil for the perennial garden

Patricia, Matt and Therese share experiences from both garden locations.

Patricia, Matt and Therese share experiences from both garden locations.

Therese & Bob

Therese & Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant ONE sump pump & just add sunshine

Blog by Therese Cox with photos by Therese Cox & Jean Simpson

Manna Meal Garden Blog for Sat., July 18th, & Wed., July 15th 

Jean and Gerald check out the sump pump used to drain the garden of excess water.

Jean and Gerald check out the sump pump used to drain the garden of excess water.

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]

Beth, Jean, Tonja, Martha, Bianca, Jim and Gerald put two hours into the Rock Lake garden Wednesday evening.

Beth, Jean, Tonja, Martha, Bianca, Jim and Gerald put two hours into the Rock Lake garden Wednesday evening.

Beth transfers strawberry plants to another spot in our flower garden

Beth transfers strawberry plants to another spot in our flower garden

Beth, Therese, Bob

Beth, Therese, Bob keep one nostril above water while gardening this week

Bob weed whacks in the squash garden.

Bob weed whacks in the squash garden.

 

 

 

Bob & Trey dug the daffodils. Are they lost in Jean's trunk?

Bob & Trey dug the daffodils. Are they lost in Jean’s trunk?

 

Eight volunteers worked a mushy but growing garden Saturday morning.

Eight volunteers worked a mushy but growing garden Saturday morning.

Jean untangles the guide twine for the squash plants.

Jean untangles the guide twine for the squash plants.

John & therese loading up trash

John & Therese loading up old file cabinets retiring to the dump.

John trims the weeds near the main garden.

John trims the weeds near the main garden.

Trey, Gary, Jim, & Bob our Thursday Rutledge Rd crew... we took down tressle and the raised beds

Trey, Gary, Jim, & Bob our Thursday Rutledge Rd crew… we took down the trestle and raised beds.

digging up daffodils at the Rutledge Rd garden....transporting to Rock Lake garden site.

digging up daffodils at the Rutledge Rd garden….transporting to Rock Lake garden site.

Un-gardening the Rutledge Rd garden site. We loved you so well.

Un-gardening the Rutledge Rd garden site. We loved you so well.

El Niño weather

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]

presenting beautiful raised bed gardens at Rock Lake

presenting beautiful raised bed gardens at Rock Lake

soil delivery

soil delivery

Come join the gardening fun...there is a place to rest just for you

Come join the gardening fun…there is a place to rest just for you

Carolee was happy to see how well the tomato plants were doing.

Carolee was happy to see how well the tomato plants were doing.

Jim knocked the grass down a few notches

Jim knocked the grass down a few notches

Martha checks tomato cages

Martha checks tomato cages

Patricia weeds the raised beds

Patricia weeds the raised beds

Our heirloom tomatoes are healthy and pretty.

Our heirloom tomatoes are healthy and pretty.

Pools at the pool

Pools at the pool

Tonja enjoys first day of gardening at Rock Lake

Tonja enjoys first day of gardening at Rock Lake

Come sit a while & relax

Come sit a while & relax

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!