How about that snow? Holy Cow! You know spring is on its way when you get snow, ice, sleet and sunshine in one hour!
I know you are all excited about planting. Many of you have commented on all the seeds you are ordering and the planning you are doing. That is exciting. Speaking of seeds, on Saturday, March 19th from 9am to 11am, the garden will be hosting a seed exchange in the library of the high school. You can bring your unwanted seeds and hopefully trade for seeds you do want with other gardeners. I have yet to plant a whole package of zucchini seeds, but I always could use more bean seeds in my personal garden. This is a great opportunity to rectify your seed imbalances.
The Rapid Rabbit Run is also taking place that day so you could run a few miles first and then trade seeds or come at nine and trade seeds first then run at ten. It is a win win situation.
After the cross pollinating that went on with last yearʼs corn, everyone will need to grow the same kind this year. I will have corn seeds there for you to buy. The early variety of sweet corn is the most popular and so that is what will be available for purchase. I am not sure of the price yet, but it will be inexpensive.
This get together will also allow you to ask questions and talk more about where you would like to garden. Some of you are undecided about using a raised bed or venturing out into the field. That is ok! One thing to think about; if you use your space wisely you can grow quite a lot in one raised bed plot. If you want to preserve your harvested crops, then you really ought to think about planting in a field plot. In the fall, we will be having a few clinics on freezing and canning your produce. The field plots will be 30ʻx30ʼ or 15ʻx30ʼ.
The Tri Community Grange has donated seeds to the farm and garden. They have been so wonderful and we are looking forward to having them out at the garden helping our students. The annual Spring Grange Spaghetti Feed is scheduled for March 11th from 4-8pm. Letʼs support our Grange and pig out on spaghetti. Prices are: Adults-$7, Kids-$4 and under 5-free!
Thatʼs all for now! I look forward to seeing you all on the 19th if not sooner!
Planting time will be here before we know it. After the committee meeting last week I have some changes to report. Please be diligent and read the whole letter; this will avoid unnecessary confusion later.
The first change will be to add gardening plots out in the field. Families will be able to grow their crops in a traditional garden space much like in the raised beds, only bigger! Each plot will be 30 feet by 30 feet and can of course be divided if that is too much space. I'm sure we will have folks that only want half that space or even a quarter of that. Gardeners in the field plots will mark off their plots much the same way as we did in the beds. Be creative! Keep in mind: if you plan on gardening out in the field and you want to use your tiller, you don*t want to use rocks to outline your space. Rocks are tough on tillers--just ask my husband as he will have to fix our tiller after using it in the
field last year! Irrigation for the field garden plots will have their own in ground valves like we have at the raised beds. You will be responsible for your hose, watering, weeding, etc. Make life easy on yourselves and get to know the people gardening around you. This
year all phone numbers provided will be given out so that people can contact other gardeners and share trade days for watering duties. That way, not everyone has to water everyday and if you go out of town, your plants can get watered by a neighboring gardener.
We had some great volunteers come and plow the garden up for us many times last year. The diesel alone for their tractors was a large expense as was the water for the added irrigation at the garden. We are asking that each participant who can comfortably give a donation do so to help offset these costs. We understand that there will be some that will not be able to donate money. We appreciate your circumstances and want you to know that this is not a mandatory donation. It is a suggestion; please don't make this into a hardship for your family or let it keep you from joining in on the gardening experience.
Last year we had several people sign up to have a raised bed and then did nothing with it. We have many people wanting space this year and I think we can accommodate them, but if I turn people away and end up having abandoned beds mid June or July,
then those people responsible for those beds will be put at the bottom of the reservation list for the following year. Please be thoughtful about how much time you will really have to devote to your gardening and then reserve your space accordingly.
With all the lovely weeds we had last year we are going to add incentive and a little fun to the chore of weeding. Every so often we will have a class of students judge the garden plots. They will award the top garden with a beautiful garden stake that proudly announces the winner. There will also be a stick of shame awarded; I'm sure you can guess what the winner of this award*s plot looks like. Some of you had produce go
unharvested. There could have been lots of reasons for that, but we would like to see less wasted produce this year. If you are unsure about what is ready to harvest, a google search can show you what your crop looks like when it is mature, our Master Gardeners can check your crop and help you decide or a stake will be placed by crops that are ready yet haven't been harvested.
If you grew corn at the garden, I hope it turned out better than a few of the pieces I had. The corn was cross pollinated as there were too many varieties planted too close to each other. To avoid this from happening, there will be only one kind of corn allowed to be grown in the garden and seeds for corn can be purchased from me (Lynette). We will grow a sugar enhanced corn that seems to be the most popular. We will also have
one corn patch this year, like last year, so that the growing corn doesn't cause shade for other crops in it's shadow. The corn will be irrigated for you with the main irrigation lines.
The wonderful shed that is being built by East Valley students will have a covered patio. This patio will serve as a resting spot for tired and hot gardeners and also as a gathering place for our community members enjoying the garden. There will also be a
big box for extra veggies that you don*t want. Last year we had the center bench as the drop spot. This year we will go crazy and get a box on the patio!
Speaking of extra veggies...Did you know that Second Harvest has a whole program for just that? It is called Plant A Row for the Hungry. Basically you plant an extra row or two and donate any surplus veggies you harvest to your local food bank outlet. It is a great program that brings in thousands of pounds to help feed our hungry neighbors in Spokane County. The goal that Second Harvest has set to bring in for 2011 is 200,000 pounds! I think our community could really contribute to this goal!
We are always looking for groups to help us out. If you have any connection to boy scouts, girl scouts, church groups, co workers; any group at all that is willing to help, please pass on my contact information to them. We are doubling the size of the field this year and can use all the help we can get.
Well, I think this novel should come to a great ending! It is going to be a marvelous year!
See you at the garden!
The garden planning is continuing and by mid February new information will be posted to our website, facebook and emailed to let you know about the new changes and opportunities we are working to make a reality! Be patient...it will be worth the wait!
See you at the garden!
East Valley Alternative Middle Schoolers were hard at work Tuesday building trusses for the district shed. Thanks Kids!
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