A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

May 9 - Alpine Park Clean-up Day

Alpine Garden site - before the fence.
There's going to be an Alpine Park clean-up/garden day on Saturday May 9 from 9:00 to 12:00 followed by a potluck picnic.

There are some tools already at the park but it would be helpful if you bring gloves and hand tools:

Weeding tools

Potluck item

Come for all or part of the event and get involved!

For info, email us at AlpineCoGarden@gmail.com

This is what the garden looked like a few days ago.

The Scoop on Poop

Rabbit manure is a prized fertilizer for gardeners. They "double digest" their food and because of this ultra-digestion, the fertilizer isn't as "hot" and so you can put it directly into the soil without concern for burning seedlings. Also, unlike horses, which only digest their food once, rabbits (and ruminants: cows, llamas, deer...) thoroughly digest any grass-seeds they eat making the seeds sterile so they won't sprout in your garden beds. This saves a huge amount of energy later in the season by reducing the amount of weeding necessary.

We are grateful to Julia Sunkler of "My Pharm", who has donated a load of rabbit manure to our cause. Chris and I shoveled it and unshoveled it last Friday (boy is my back getting strong!) We hope that people will support her stand at the Corvallis Farmer's Market on Weds. and Saturdays. She has meat rabbits, chicken, pork, lamb and beef (in season) and a variety of home grown vegies. You can order her fresh butchered rabbits and chickens directly by calling 424-2233.

If there's anyone else out there who'd like to build up their back strength and shovel a second load of manure for the garden (Chris and I don't want to have ALL the fun!), Julia has donated a second load that's just waiting for us to go pick it up. Let us know if you'd like to help: alpinecogarden@gmail.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Got fence posts? Yes we do!

Due to the great generosity of Mylrea and Ray on Kyle Rd. we have all the ten-foot metal "T"-posts that we need to put up the fence at the Alpine Community Garden. We still need the pressure-treated wooden posts (probably a dozen of them) so if you have any lying around that are just gathering blackberry vines, just let us know and we'll come liberate them before the vines get too nasty.

Chris and I planted a whole bunch of seeds today in our greenhouse (note the re-used tofu containers in the picture below. and "no", the seedlings didn't just pop-up today ). These are plants that need a longer growing season than they would get if we waited to direct-sow them: melons, squash, cucumbers, a few herbs and flowers.

Tofu containers "re-purposed" for seed-starting.

We've planted strictly "heirloom" varieties. These are non-hybrid seeds, or "open-pollinated" varieties that have been created through generations by farmers who selected the best fruits and vegetables and preserved their seed for planting in subsequent seasons. For example, last year we saved the seed from the first tomato that ripened on the vine with the hope that its offspring will also be early bloomers.

Hybrid seeds are created by the big seed companies by purposely crossing two types of plants to give one generation of plants with certain qualities. If you save seeds from hybrid plants and try to grow them out in later years, you will not have any guarantee that the seeds will grow "true" and have the same qualities as the original seeds, or they might not even sprout at all.

If you are interested in following along and learning how to save seeds for your own future gardens, keep your eyes out for good seed-saving containers: they should ideally be glass or plastic and seal air-tight. Zip-lock bags work well too. We like re-using materials as much as possible to keep them out of the waste stream.