What has been -
Green bean harvest! We have had three consecutive weeks of big bushels of green beans harvested. I keep forgetting to get pictures of them to post here, but trust me, they look like green beans and there are a lot of them.
The green bean plants are a bush variety that I forget the name of, but I think I remember that they were a Burpee’s proprietary variety. Whatever their name, they were bred (not genetically engineered, everyone calm down!) to produce early and heavily and without regard of their own well being. When the plants were only eight inches high they were already producing beans that were six inches long. You have to be careful snapping the beans off or you’ll uproot the entire plant, which, only thinking of making your beans, never bothered to put down a big root system either. I’ve never seen naught like it.
Also, tomatoes are up and making fruit. None is red, yet. But we have faith, to go with our works.
And praise God for the rain! Wonderful stuff, that.
What is Yet to Be -
The awesome (it’s a core value!) McAlister / Chilton small group is coming out this Saturday to work and will be doing some or all of the following -
- pray! for those we serve, for those who serve, in thanks (also feel free to add any other prayers as they feel led. We are that kind of laid back group at the garden)
- harvesting green beans
- maybe start the harvesting of tomatoes (any that are better than 1/2 red)
- run soaker hoses (two, now. Thanks, Seth!)
- hand water the melon seedlings around the fence
- weed! – the bermuda grass and tree shoots and assorted what-not are out in force. They must be dealt with.
- fertilize with the water soluble fertilizer on all plants
The garden as it looked last Saturday.
The garden is growing well. We have tomatoes going strong, green beans blooming and cucumber seedlings coming up. No sign of watermelon or musk melon seedlings, but the garden is good at teaching faith and patience. Ok, less garden metaphor and more pictures -
Cucumber Seedlings, with Seth Henry’s irrigation system
‘maters, with sign
The garden as it looks this week. Please note the new beds outside the west fence.
1st green bean of the year!
As requested by
all who read it, no haiku
today. Oh. Sorry.
The Gorman group was out and accomplished all of their task, as we all knew they would, as they are awesome. There is a rumor of garden pictures from them to be posted here soon. Including one photograph of a very striking earthworm. We can all look forward to that.
This week in the garden will just be light maintenance as needed. If anyone would like to join me there, email me and we can work out a time. Probably 9 or 10 am or so.
I promised (threatened) some added ridiculousness, so, a haiku -
it Has; recEntly
rained here in, our, Fair city -
we are thankful !YeS!
(please note random capitalization, incorrect punctuation. This is art, people.)
I keep waiting to post until I can up load all the garden photos / write an exhaustive history of what the garden has been up to, but that has not been happening. So how about a whirlwind mid spring update -
- the winter veg is gone! It was awesome (a core value, mind you) but it had given it’s all and the youth group ripped it out to make room for …
- Spring planting! – bush green beans are in and up (including in three new beds on the west side of the fence started by the McAlisters and finished by the youth). Also, tomatoes are in now, too. Small cherry / plum variety only this year. Easier to grow, more of the them, easier to beat the birds to harvest, better for out of hand eating. Just better, then. Thanks to the Mazuelos for giving us a natural gardener gift card to use to buy our spring plants.
- Seth Henry replaced our sagging drip system that was wont to blow apart at inopportune times with a soaker hose system of his own design. Just to let you know, Seth, we are all counting on you.
- The garden is mulched. Thanks to the Mays’ son for getting the good people of his neighborhood to donate mulch to us as part of his boy scout fundraiser!
- The Whip In is still the place to be while you wait for the garden to be well soaked.
The Gorman Group will be out this Saturday. No doubt they will accomplish their entire to-do list and then some -
- Fertilize with the liquid fertilizer on the leaves and soil of all plants
- Weed any Bermuda grass you see
- Reorganize any mulch washed out by the rain
- Put new twine up on the cedar post in the second tomato bed, copy the twine on metal post in the first bed
- Plant cucumber seeds in the empty bed and in among the green bean plants (move the mulch and leave the soil exposed about 2 inches around where you plant the seeds)
- Plant alternating watermelon and cantaloupe (musk melon) seeds along the entire fence (outside, but directly adjacent to the fence) We’ve already prepped the soil some there but add some of the granular fertilizer (white bag) and greensand (black bag) then till some more around each planting – about two/three seeds every two feet
- No watering, that garden was taken care of by actual rain this week!
That is all for now. Maybe pictures or an essay or haiku or two later or next week. Let us all hope so.
What has been -
Sorry, I’ve been busy (and lazy. What a dreadful combination) and this is a two week update -
I went out with the family and ran the drip and made a harvest the past two weeks. Special thanks (again, always) to Seth Henry for taking the harvest to MLF.
The garden continues to rock along but we are almost done with our fall / winter season.
What is yet to be -
The youth group is coming out this Saturday afternoon! Yes!
I am going to put them to work pulling out all of our winter plantings. I think we are going to try to sneak in a crop of beets that we will then pickle and can with the MLF genesis gardens team. Maybe a big canning party! More on that to come as the plans are solidified.
What Has Been -
As promised, the D/M group was out and was awesome. They reported a big harvest, including one of the purple cauliflowers. Purple cauliflower? Crazy stuff, kids, crazy stuff.
They did not photograph much besides this shot of the snap peas -
They noted that the peas were kind of going crazy and pulling each other down. Maybe their time has passed? I am debating leaving them in until spring planting (tomatoes, cucumbers, et al) as a cover crop, even if they are done producing peas. My question is, as always, is that the best use of the space? Are they still fixing nitrogen (you have to love those legumes!) even as they play out? These are questions I should pose to Steven Hebbard. I’ll let everyone know his ruling on the question.
What is yet to be -
This weekend Seth Henry and I will meet up and work the garden in the morning and then, after making sure the Whip In is still in good form, we will be playing pitch and put at Butler Park. I can not say enough good things about Butler Park. Centrally located, laid back, well manicured greens. OK, the last one is not true. But if you haven’t played there you should. Also, if you think golf course reviews are out of the purview of a church garden blog, think again. Butler Park slips in under “generalized awesomeness”.
In short, if you would like to, please join me and Seth at the garden, or the course, or both this Saturday.
A brief update -
I went by the garden and harvested. It was a good harvest -
Doesn’t that look good? If you are confused, let me assure you, yes, it does look good.
I didn’t water because it rained a ton over the last week, praise God! We love rain!
What is yet to be -
The Denning / McAlisters will be the first group to work the garden this spring when they come out this Saturday. I may have already mentioned it, but it bears repeating – they are awesome (a core value of the garden). They come out and serve and bond and bless. Jealous? You needn’t be. You can come out and be awesome, too. Check out the spring schedule, pick a day, let me know, come and let the awesome flow.
Now is a time to look back on last year’s highs and lows, and to look forward to this year’s plans, right?
No? I’m too late for that? Thank goodness, I hate those gushy end of year wrap-ups. We just did that, do we have to re-live it already? How nostalgic are you?!
Maybe I go too far. It’s good to look back at where you’ve been. This year, the garden went from an idea to a groundbreaking to actually producing vegetables for the homeless of Austin. Right on!
What’s up for this year? Hopefully more of the same. Community building, food producing, good-work doing garden love. Who can’t get behind that?
Here are some pictures of the garden and it’s bounty from this past month -
What has been -
Much has been! Since our last update the Denning/McAlister small group members, those return champions of garden awesomeness, were back out the week before Thanksgiving. Then Thanksgiving weekend Seth Henry, that’s right, “Detroit” Henry himself, came out and tended. It was an all-star two weeks for the garden and it shows. The garden is in great shape and we are starting our harvest.
This week Eric and Cheryl Kaufman’s small group had a great turn out in the garden. Eric, like many of you I’m sure, ran a large scale garden in Switzerland for several years, so he was immediately appointed garden supervisor for the day.
The group harvested radishes and snap peas. They added granular fertilizer, compost and mulch to all the beds as well as the usual – weeding, watering, liquid fertilizer application. They planted more radishes where a line of previously planted carrots mysteriously disappeared (part of the Christ Church Carrot Relocation Program? We may never know.) The seed packet said the radishes will be ready to harvest in 24 days! That is ridiculous.
What is yet to be -
I think the Denning/McAlister group will be back out soon. Special thanks to them for their consistent garden love. Also, Sharon Perry will be leading a group of honor society students for a work day on the 15th. I think they will be planting strawberries and am excited to see how that works out.
While I was away in Seattle (where it was sunny and not raining. What do I have to do to see some rain?) the Coelho small group came out to the garden. They had had a good turn out and got lots of work done. Below is Peter’s report on the garden, with my commentary where necessary -
Garden was fun! duh I don’t think we killed anything that’s surprising….We fertilized, weeded a bit, and squared off the garden extension.Great! We were only able to put down compost to a depth of about 3 or 4 inches though. Our shoveling crew may have not gotten all they could have out of the compost pile, but they seemed to think that was about what they could get. Sounds dubious. We’re going to need the names of this “shoveling crew” I totally meant to take photos but forgot! No worries, we can totally go back in time and record this monumental day in our garden’s history. Oh no, we can’t. We all lunched at the Whip In afterward and enjoyed good food and live music. Ok, now we are getting back on track. Having a teacher on staff with City School (Blair Wellen) was helpful as it meant we could wash up and use the school’s bathrooms, great! We were all wondering how you managed to use the restroom this was especially important after some fertilizer spillage. What!
So, thanks Coelho small group and thanks Peter for the wrap up! Of course all my comments are in jest. Except for me wondering about the spilled fertilizer. And I will still need those shoveling crew names.