Monday, November 29, 2010

Growing Smart II

One of the purposes of the organic garden was to present the opportunity for our residents to gain new skills.  Along the way I've gained a new skill or two as well.  Over the holiday weekend my son-in-law taught me how to lay out and install our irrigation system.  I should have done this long ago but I found all the parts and pieces daunting. Though I had printed the entire instruction booklet I would open the box, look at all the parts and close it again.

Now I know what I'm doing and I'm so excited!  I can't wait for the sun to come back out so I can set the rather stiff tubing in the sunshine and warm it up.  This will make watering this spring a real snap.  Plus, I can teach this skill to the women here and they will be more knowledgeable, too.    An added bonus is that once I have the organic garden done I can also do the meditation garden and the juniper hill.  Watering with hoses is such a heavy task and now I find out how unnecessary it is!  All one needs is a bit of relatively inexpensive tubing and a bit of knowledge.  

Between this irrigation system and our rain barrels we'll have the whole watering thing kicked!

Oh!  This has nothing to do with our garden, but I participated in NaNoWriMo 2010 and finished so I thought I'd mention this here.  If you don't know what National Novel Writing Month is, it's simply a challenge one undertakes to write a complete novel in 30 days during November. It must be 50,000 words.  So I did it! I did make one of my main characters a serious organic gardener ;-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The garden work day went well.  We put in a new bed and thinned out one of the others which was over-planted with collards.  We even scraped together enough dirt for yet another bed!

The mild weather has meant that the ladies have been eating lettuce from their garden for weeks as well as at least one early meal of collards.  They just couldn't wait.

I cleaned up the greenhouse shed this past weekend and have herbs merrily growing inside, just in case it freezes, which it doesn't look like right now.  So all's well.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I feel a garden work day coming on!

The garden is in great shape and everything looks really good but I want to scrape together the last of the dirt for the final bed and plant some more collards.  The ladies love 'em.  More importantly, I want to whip our greenhouse into shape for the winter.  It is part shed and part greenhouse.  We'll be using it all year but during the winter we will have our plants growing inside.  We already have pots of oregano, sage, dill, parsley and cilantro that can go in larger pots and move inside.  This year we will use it to grow our own seedlings for our summer garden.  Getting a head start inside really helps discourage insects.

Pictured here is our garlic bed.  I mulched it well with peat for the winter.  By June we should have lots of garlic to harvest!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Switching gears: An invitation

Today I believe we will harvest the last of the prolific basil for the ladies lunch of pesto. They are anxious to eat the collards they have grown but I am encouraging them to wait until first frost so the leaves will be more tender. My garlic has sprouted and hopefully will die back soon.  My ginger has produced a graceful stalk and has a single bud, which I hope will produce the lovely flower known for its fragrance and color.  My potted herbs need bigger pots for the winter. And the broccoli and Brussels sprouts looks healthy under their curtains.

So, switching gears a little here, those of you who are local to Augusta are invited to come to First Friday tomorrow night.  Our friends at Garden City Organics are allowing us to set up a table outside their shop at 1034 Broad St. in downtown Augusta.  In addition to our gardening club, "The Green Team," Hope House also has some talented knitters and crocheters.  We'll have scarves, trivets/potholders, hats and bags galore.  The really lovely felted wool purses are just $20 and everything else is even less.  These would make great gifts - even for yourself!  Come out and support the ladies of Hope House!  All proceeds will go toward resident activities such as the knitting circle, garden and field trips.