Manna Meal

Charleston, WV

Flower

Pesto makin’ day & more

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.

today's flower harvest

today’s flower harvest

some of today's harvest

some of today’s harvest

ornamental squash pretty as a picture

ornamental squash pretty as a picture

Wes gathers cherry tomatoes

Wes gathers cherry tomatoes

cucumbers now growing on a vertical trellis

cucumbers now growing on a vertical trellis

 the GREAT PUMPKIN

the GREAT PUMPKIN
Paul cultivates around the   tiny cabbage plants

Paul cultivates around the tiny cabbage plants

Leila says the flowers continue to be beautiful

Leila says the flowers continue to be beautiful

Ryan masterfully stacks the tomato cages for the off-season.

Ryan masterfully stacks the tomato cages for the off-season.

there were over 100 tomato cages stacked in the lower field until next summer

there were over 100 tomato cages stacked in the lower field until next summer

little pumpkins growing here and there

little pumpkins grow here and there as we patiently await the harvest day

 

Young Lawyers & others give service

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!

Lots of attorneys at the garden this evening

Lots of attorneys at the garden this evening

doing our part for the Monarch population

doing our part for the Monarch population – munching a leaf and some aphids for dessert

"Got Eggplant?"

“Got Eggplant?”

Just look at that crew!

Just look at that crew work!

Our little pumpkin doubles every day or three

Therese says “our little pumpkin doubles every few days”

John levels the ground to prepare for the new tractor shed

John levels the ground to prepare for the new tractor shed
eggplant ready for the harvest

eggplant ready for the harvest

cucumbers harvested

cucumbers harvested

young lawyers

Patty & her dog

Patty & her dog

hurrah the shed is coming soon

hurrah the shed is coming soon

four pumpkins in the patch

four pumpkins in the patch

Martha single handedly harvests kale....and it was a hot evening!

Martha single handedly harvests kale….and it was a hot evening!
Mike is a DOW employee, so he was helping show our guests what needed to be done

Mike is a DOW employee and Master Gardner volunteer. He helped show our guests what needed to be done…then he put the shovels away! Thanks Mike.

Bob Lockhart helping prep the shed site

Bob Lockhart helping prep the shed site
Charlie Counts

Charlie Counts

Dionne helps Cass eat his pizza

Dionne helps Cass eat his pizza

Linsey and Cass Amores--a great team

Linsey and Cass Amores–a great team

Amelia, Steven and Megan

Amelia, Steven and Megan

Jean, the pepper whisperer, is listening to these peppers

Jean, the pepper whisperer, is listening to these peppers

Liz Moore

Liz Moore

Lori Counts picking the last of the tomatoes

Lori Counts picking the last of the tomatoes

Nedra checking the Jerusalem artichoke plants

Nedra checking the Jerusalem artichoke plants

 

Kitchen Helpers Wanted!

Jean pleads for help in preserving the wonderful garden bounty for winter months!

Blessings and bounty overflowing! ...but we need your help to preserve it for the cold winter ahead. Call Jean 304-345-7121.

Blessings and bounty overflowing! …but we need your help to preserve it for the cold winter ahead. Call Jean 304-345-7121.

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.

Sept 6 2014 001

Sept 6 2014 002

Those are yard long beans not garden snakes

Those are yard long beans not garden snakes

Sept 6 2014 008

Sept 6 2014 011

perhaps last-of-the-season tomato harvest

perhaps last-of-the-season tomato harvest

lower garden w still much to harvest; namely squash, pumpkins, peppers, kale and cabbage

lower garden w still much to harvest; namely squash, pumpkins, peppers, kale and cabbage

at the end of the work session, Jean feels a sense of accomplishment after mowing the field

at the end of the work session, Jean feels a sense of accomplishment after mowing the field

ring-necked squash is producing well this season

ring-necked squash is producing well this season

Robin harvests oregano and sage

Robin harvests oregano and sage

soon-to-be Monarch butterfly munching on a butterfly plant before chrysalis

soon-to-be Monarch butterfly munching on a butterfly plant before chrysalis

volunteers have finished another Sat. Time now for more growth to occur before fall's swan song

volunteers have finished another Sat. Time now for more growth to occur before fall’s swan song

volunteers have finished another Sat. Time now for more growth to occur before fall's swan song

volunteers have finished another Sat. Time now for more growth to occur before fall’s swan song

 

Jerusalem Artichoke & more Harvest Days Arrive

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.

Basil in huge quantity is harvested this evening! We see pesto in our future.

Basil in huge quantity is harvested this evening! We see pesto in our future.

Debbie displays the Jerusalem Artichoke root that was harvested

Debbie displays the Jerusalem Artichoke root that was harvested

Garlic chives were in bloom

Garlic chives were in bloom

Jane works in the cabbage patch. Many plants were transplanted to give them room to grow

Jane works in the cabbage patch. Many plants were transplanted to give them room to grow

Jerusalem artichoke in bloom. A first time growing this plant at the garden.

Jerusalem artichoke in bloom. A first time growing this plant at the garden.

Leila removes stems from the kale. Huge kale harvest this evening too.

Leila removes stems from the kale. Huge kale harvest this evening too.

Martha digging Jerusalem  artichoke

Martha digging Jerusalem artichoke

The perennial garden in all its glory

The perennial garden in all its glory

Potatoes were harvested this evening--except this one didn't fare too well.

Potatoes were harvested this evening–except this one didn’t fare too well.

We gonna have a pumpkin!

We are gonna have a pumpkin!

Little squash looks quite happy to grow in its place

Little squash looks quite happy to grow in its place

Thom dug some of the little potatoes to add to the overflowing evening harvest

Thom dug some of the little potatoes to add to the overflowing evening harvest

The Mammoth sunflower seeds will keep the goldfinch happy and the flower attracts the bumblebees.

The Mammoth sunflower seeds will keep the goldfinch happy and the flower attracts the bumblebees. A win-win situation for all.

 

Outdoor classroom at the garden

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.

Leila's harvest

Leila’s harvest [this photo by Jean Simpson]

Dennie [right] with granddaughter Taylor work under the guidance of Martha

Dennie [right] with granddaughter Taylor work under the guidance of Martha

Jean working in the peppers and artichokes

Jean working in the peppers and artichokes

Kale and peppers were harvested today

Kale and peppers were harvested today

Laura in the pepper patch

Laura in the pepper patch

Leila gathers buckets of flowers

Leila gathers buckets of flowers

Liz & Leslie gather kale. Kale has done very well this year and is a favorite in the kitchen

Liz & Leslie gather kale. Kale has done very well this year and is a favorite in the kitchen

a 'whatisit' squash....any ideas?

a ‘whatisit’ squash….any ideas?

Patricia hones kale gathering skills

Patricia hones kale gathering skills