post covers the harvest totals for 2011- with some great harvest photos
(be sure to scroll to the bottom for the gallery), an update on the
Great Monroe Leaf Drive, and a link to our ever-evolving wish-list.
Harvest Totals and new distribution partners
|Striped German - an Heirloom tomato - one of our favorites.|
week we had three volunteer sessions. On harvest days, people would
gather the ripe produce and bring it to be washed, weighed and boxed for
distribution. Volunteers would take a break shortly before the Food
Bank opened and do their "shopping", taking home all they could use. The
rest was wheel-barrowed over to the Food Bank - 50 yards away.
|Harvest on display for volunteers to "shop". No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown.|
First the totals from 2010 to give some perspective:
Our big producers in 2010 were:
Beans: 225 pounds
Cucumbers: 653 pounds
Tomatoes: 1,285 pounds
Total pounds: 3,533
Market value of total harvest: $9,950
2011, we expanded into using the full Monroe/Crowson garden plot (last
year we only used about half of it). Even though we didn't plant the
back half, Steve Rose had tilled it in the Spring of 2010 and we mulched
it quite deeply with hay/straw. The garden was very fertile.
Here are the highlights of the 2011 harvests:
Lettuce: 877 heads
Potatoes: 910 pounds
Winter Squash: 291 pounds
Tomatoes: 2101 pounds
Market value of total harvest: $14,504
|Genny with lettuce harvest.|
We have made some new partnerships this year in
distributing the surplus food. In 2010, we often found ourselves at the
end of the Food Bank time, running around and trying to get people to
take home more produce. We just didn't want to see any of it go to
waste. This year we added a second harvest day in Monroe (the bigger of
the two gardens). That mid-week harvest mostly went to the South Benton
Nutrition Program - for their bi-weekly lunch for Seniors. When there
was enough, we sent along vegetables for the Seniors themselves to take
We've made a great connection with Betty Briggs
who, with her husband, Pat, oversees the Harrisburg Gleaners. The
Gleaners group has many able-bodied members who glean fruits and
vegetables from local farmers and share the harvest with "adopted"
families and people in need in the Harrisburg area. Betty's group has
many people who still "can" and store food so they were able to
distribute our surplus to those who would make good use of it. Towards
the end of the season, Betty began to come help in the gardens as well.
We anticipate deepening the connection between our two groups next
Spring - either they will come volunteer more in the Monroe garden
and/or we'll help them get a Sharing Garden started closer to where they
live. (If anyone has a lead on some land we could use to start a
Harrisburg garden, let us know).
|Peppers from 2010|
Linn/Benton Food Share has also helped us
with our surplus. They deliver food to the Monroe Food Bank every other
week. Often we just boxed up what wasn't taken by Food Bank customers
and they would transport it to a soup-kitchen/food bank in Corvallis to
Chris and I also had fun playing
"Santa" some weeks and drove around Monroe to friends and local
businesses passing out beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and whatever else was
ripe, off the tailgate of our trusty 1968 GMC pick-up truck!
The Great Monroe Leaf Drive
it was supposed to happen on November the 5th but the weather was lousy
and frankly, there aren't that many leaves that have fallen yet. We've
postponed it till further notice but we still welcome any leaves brought
to either garden. LOCATIONS
Please no trash, dog-doo or walnut leaves (they're toxic to plant growth.)
Our Ever-Evolving Wish-list:
it's the same old stuff: garden supplies and building materials that
need a new home/second life. There are a few new specifics though we'd
appreciate you keeping an eye out for...
We're going to build another greenhouse! We'd
like to make it from two steel-tube carports attached end-to-end. If you
know of a used one (or two) that need a new purpose, please let us
know. Here's a picture of what we're looking for (or something similar).
We'll need two that are the same. We don't need the tarp covering.
Please bring us your leaves for garden mulch.
|We need two carport canopies to build a greenhouse with. |
Bring them to either garden.
Fruit and nuts:
If you have windfall fruit or nuts that
you'd like to donate, please bring them to the food bank so they can be
shared with those in need. If you are physically unable to harvest them
yourselves contact us and we will do our best to arrange for volunteers
to assist. Link to Food Bank Hours
We need a mechanic who's good with small-engine repair
roto-tillers and lawn mowers get quite a work-out! The gardens would
really benefit from someone who likes to tinker and tune up small
engines to keep them running well. We'll keep you supplied with lots of
fresh, organic produce! For the full Wish-List - GO TO
is always such a delight to see Nature's abundance and beauty as we
harvest the gardens. Here is a gallery showing some of this year's
Lettuce, Beans and Apples:
|Red Iceberg Lettuce|
|Never eat anything bigger than your head!|
|A beautiful mix of greens and reds.|
|Scarlet Runner Beans|
|"Winter Bananas" - a great storage apple|
Sunflowers: Beauty, food for us and the birds!
|Gleaned apples. |
It's great to see these apples going to feed people and not just rot on the ground.
|Saving seeds to grow sprouts (winter greens) and next year's crop.|
Squash, Cukes and Potatoes:
|We saved gallons of seed this year.|
|Pickling cucumbers in the hay.|
|Delicata Squash - sweet, golden meat and tender skin.|
|Buttercup Squash - hearty, orange/golden meat.|
|This potato weighed three pounds!|
|Another "Striped German" - low acid. All yumm!|
|These are called "Long Toms" - a delicious paste tomato|
|A whole tray of "Long Toms" - the river that runs close by our garden is called the "Long Tom" too!|
|"Hillbilly Potato Leaf"Tomatoes|
|A succulent "Brandywine" tomato|
|Close-up of a "Striped German"|
If you are receiving this email as a "forward" and would like to see our full Sharing Gardens
website/blog, GO TO