Manna Meal

Charleston, WV

Flower

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

 

A grand evening for garden weeding

The volunteer crew’s work was documented by photographer & blog writer Therese Cox.

Jean shows Sharon how to turn the squash

Jean shows Sharon how to turn the squash

Ann working at weeding

Ann working at weeding

John takes on the grass-cutting chores

John takes on the grass-cutting chores

Nedra preparing to pull weeds. 80% of gardening seems to be pulling weeds.

Nedra preparing to pull weeds. 80% of gardening seems to be pulling weeds.

Paula removing weeds beneath the squash vines

Paula removing weeds beneath the squash vines

Thom and Cindy provide weed control using newspapers

Thom and Cindy provide weed control using newspapers

 

Veggie freezing day at the soup kitchen

Service is the only thing that brings real joy. Whether it be in our own family or in the families of our friends.

A crew of volunteers spend the afternoon at the soup kitchen thinking of others while prepping tomatoes from our own Manna Meal garden and corn from the gardens of others. The produce will used throughout the winter to put wholesome meals on the table for Charleston’s hungry–no questions asked. Come join us!

I did not weigh all the food please don’t ask why…I always do…

Great job ladies & Thom…. Thank you all so much: Nedra Porter, Katie Nesselrodt, & Joan Burns, Samantha Snodgrass, Robin O’Brien, Laura Rhodes, Dixie Hill, Pat Force, Amy Ricketts, Liz Hereford, Denys Snodgrass, Lisa Lopinsky, Thom Porter, Carolee Felber,  Julie Kuyk. Not pictured Barbie Sadolf.

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Liz, Pat, Lisa & Joan….The ‘corn ladies’

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Katie, Carolee & Rita these ladies were the’pepper people’

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Amy & Laura transformed the tomatoes to juice

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Mother daughter team Samantha & Denys

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THE HARVEST PROCESSING CREW! Thank you all!

THE HARVEST PROCESSING CREW! Thank you all!

First row starting right to left: Nedra Porter, Katie Nesselrodt, & Joan Burns, Samantha Snodgrass, Robin O’Brien, Laura Rhodes, Dixie Hill, Pat Force, Amy Ricketts, Liz Hereford, Denys Snodgrass, Lisa Lopinsky, Thom Porter, Carolee Felber, & Julie Kuyk

Liz prepping the corn

Liz prepping the corn

Nedra prepping tomatoes

Nedra prepping tomatoes

There was even time to stock the cereal closet with newly donated cereal

There was even time to stock the cereal closet with newly donated cereal Denys & Samantha Snodgrass

the crew in action

the crew in action

 

Tomato processing day begins in the garden

basil leaf makes a nice resting place for this little butterfly

basil leaf makes a nice resting place for this little butterfly

Sunday, August 24th from 3 till 5  we ask for volunteers to join us in the soup kitchen as we process our fresh garden tomatoes for winter use.

blog by Therese Cox

It started as a drizzle at 72 degrees but the day brightened as we focused our attention on the produce at hand.

Knowing a good crew would gather in the kitchen the following day, we picked every red and even pink tomato for processing. That made a bundle. To make sure the plants remained healthy, gardeners also cleaned up the wilted and browned tomato limbs.

With Jean Simpson at the helm, we also picked yard-long beans, peppers, squash – and oodles of basil for flavoring the tomatoes for roasting. Flower lady Leila Martin scouted out the choicest selections of flowers for her Sunday arrangements.

Meanwhile, the male contingent, or 80 percent of that species in attendance, were necessary for the upkeep of the John Deere (some call it the Jean Deere). They cleaned and greased and serviced our new workhorse after the rigors of the summer. Thanks, Thom Porter for sticking with wife Nedra and the other sisters in the vegetable patch. The basil needed you.

These volunteer sisters and brothers not aforementioned were Myra Dolan, Patricia Paul, Martha Ballman, Cindy McGhee, Therese Cox, Bob Sylvester, Jim Kinneson, Tom Larkin and Isaac Forman.

When all the ripened vegetables were harvested, the crew then focused on yanking weeds from the cucumber and kale patches and cutting the grass in the flower garden.

butterfly on the phlox

butterfly on the phlox

multiple trays of vine ripe tomatoes were harvested today for tomorrow's processing party

multiple trays of vine ripe tomatoes were harvested today for tomorrow’s processing party

got to have fresh basil for those tomatoes

got to have fresh basil for those tomatoes

the harvest included squash, peppers, beans and flowers

the harvest included squash, peppers, beans and flowers

beautiful flowers were harvested today and will be available at St John's tomorrow for a donation of your choosing

beautiful flowers were harvested today and will be available at St John’s tomorrow for a donation of your choosing

flowers for the harvest

flowers for the harvest

the garden crew hard at work

the garden crew hard at work

Isaac, Bob & Jim

Isaac, Bob & Jim

flowers make us smile

flowers make us smile
glads, zinnia, sunflowers, daisies, sedum will go into the flower mix

glads, zinnia, sunflowers, daisies, sedum will go into the flower mix

The garden flowers help earn donations that go to the garden fund to cover our expenses..

The garden flowers help earn donations that go to the garden fund to cover our expenses.

sunflower still in bud

sunflower still in bud
Nedra planting peas

Nedra planting peas

another beautiful sunflower in bud. actually there is an entire row of them in bud!

another beautiful sunflower in bud. actually there is an entire row in bud!
razzle dazzle in bright yellow

razzle dazzle in bright yellow

Patricia planting peas

Patricia planting peas

patty pan squash growing in the lower garden

patty pan squash growing in the lower garden
Cindy & Bob harvest basil

Cindy & Bob harvest basil

Patricia and Bob harvest basil

Patricia and Bob harvest basil

Martha, Patricia & Thom prep the space to re-seed the peas

Cindy, Martha, Patricia & Thom prep the space to re-seed the peas
photo bomber Jean

photo bomber Jean

it took 5 men nearly 2 hrs to get the tractor ready for Jean's ride. sheesh Jean.

it took 5 men nearly 2 hrs to get the tractor ready for Jean’s ride. sheesh Jean.

Bob Sylvester--notice the shirt

Bob Sylvester–notice the shirt

Thom wants a pay raise. Thom and Nedra finally stop for a photo

Thom wants a pay raise. Thom and Nedra finally stop for a photo

Leila harvests the flowers

Leila harvests the flowers

Isaac weedeats and mows the perennial garden! and how beautiful it is!

Isaac weedeats and mows the perennial garden! and how beautiful it is!

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They picked a peck of peppers

photos & blog by Therese Cox

Aug. 20, 2014   Yes, it did rain buckets this week – but not on gardening afternoon!

So our modest group got to work, and work we did, under clear conditions and 82 degrees. I’m talking about fun work – picking tomatoes, peppers and ring-necked squash; kale, zinnias and basil; and, of course, weeds (so relaxing).

It wasn’t that the weeds were so very pervasive over the entire garden at this late time in the summer. Instead, they seemed to congregate around the tender, new cabbage plants in the lower area. Indeed, it was difficult to find the vegetable plants under such a heavy cover. But we did. Here’s to a plentiful fall cabbage harvest!

Volunteers clipped a few flowers so more would generate. Gary tilled the former lavender. John, Gary, Jean, Bob and Paul worked on the tractor for our next cutting spree. Plus, Jean and Paul measured off and marked out an area for our future tractor shed.

Thank you to Thom and Nedra Porter, Bob Lockhart, Paul Schrecongost, Gary Brown, Patricia Paul, John Maier, Jean Simpson and Therese Cox.

the pepper harvest

the pepper harvest

how do 3 people harvest all this kale?

how do 3 people harvest all this kale?

limber Patricia found the cabbage seedlings

limber Patricia found the cabbage seedlings

Thom & Nedra pose after the kale harvest

Thom & Nedra pose after the kale harvest

Swallowtail butterflies visit the beautiful flowers in the pollinator garden

Swallowtail butterflies visit the beautiful flowers in the pollinator garden

this crew transitioned the tractor from tiller to mowing deck--mowing time again

this crew transitioned the tractor from tiller to mowing deck–mowing time again
The crew: John, Patricia, Bob, Thom, Jean, Gary, Nedra & Therese behind the camera

The crew: John, Patricia, Bob, Thom, Jean, Gary, Nedra & Therese behind the camera

 

flowers abound at the garden

flowers abound at the garden