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

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Sharing Gardens" Potpourri

Liz Hayler at the greenhouse.
The community support for the "Sharing Gardens" is growing. We send out thanks to Warren and Laurie Halsey for donating two, unopened 5-gallon buckets of house paint. We can spruce up the bathroom at the Alpine Garden--inside and out and use it for other garden projects as well. Our continued gratitude goes to the Canters and Haylers who are hosting the greenhouse on their property in Monroe.

A big thanks goes out to Bud Hardin of Monroe. He has donated the funds to cover the cost of renting a portable toilet for a full year! This has been placed between the Monroe Garden site and the Food Bank. Since the closest public bathroom to the site is several blocks away, there are many volunteers in both programs who will be very glad of this donation.

Linda with a Mason Bee house.
Linda Zielinski has given us a "starter" batch of Mason Bees (Osmia Ribifloris). These industrious pollinators do not build hives but lay eggs in tubes which they seal off with a daub of mud (hence their name). Since they have no queen or honey to defend they are easy-going and will not sting unless you step on them or squish them in some way. For this reason they are ideal to keep in your garden if you have children nearby. They have a fascinating life-cycle which Linda is going to write about and post to this blog in the coming months.

As we were sending off the final draft of our Wish List to our local weekly paper (Tri-County Tribune) for publication last week we added, almost as an after-thought, our need for a small utility trailer. Over the weekend we got a call from Dick and Jan Skirvin, life-long residents of the Tri-County area. They had a trailer they could donate! They had found it decades ago, when they first took over the family homestead. It was lost and buried amongst a wall of Oregon's famous blackberries. Dick and his son resurrected the trailer and it served their family for many years. They no longer have use for it and so now, with a stiff wire-brushing and a fresh coat of paint it will join the ranks of refurbished garden-equipment at the "Sharing Gardens" and along with the wheelbarrow just donated by Brigitte Goetze will serve for many more years to come.

Dick and Jan Skirvin with their donated trailer.
We are happy to say our wish list is dwindling. Our main need at this time is for some bailed hay or straw that we can put down on the floor of the greenhouse. Even though it is fully covered and sealed, the ground below is wicking moisture from the surrounding field and the paths are really mucky. We realize that most people with livestock wait until the new hay is coming in before they get rid of the old so we'll probably just buy some bails. If you do have some moldy bails to donate, we can come pick them up. Just let us know.

Something else to keep on your radar screen: Next fall we're going to have a volunteer team of leaf-rakers go around the area and bag up leaves to mulch the garden. We'd like to sew a few dozen re-usable leaf bags out of drapes or other sturdy material. So, if you have fabric you think would be appropriate and/or you are a seamstress and would be willing to sew a few of these bags to help out the project, let us know. Our current Wish List

Mason Bee
If you have sprouting potatoes and don't wish to grow them yourself, we'd be happy to grow them in the "Sharing Gardens". if you'd like to plant them in your own garden, follow this link to learn how.
Why grow your own. How to "chit" potatoes

Sunflower seeds are a great crop to grow; the seeds can be harvested and sprouted for winter greens, they make great bird food for our wild friends and they are a beautiful border on the north side of any garden.
How to Grow Sunflower Sprouts

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