|Rob with kale "raab" (pronounced "rob").|
Spring is in full bloom here in the Pacific NW. We have most of the spring vegetables planted: broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, kale and chard. About half of our onions and potatoes are in the ground and we still have a lot of celery to plant but we're over the first big hump of spring-planting and now all the plants can get busy and grow! We've begun to harvest our first edible-pod peas (planted in one of our greenhouses Dec. 22nd! - see picture below) and the lettuce is growing faster than we can keep up with so soon we'll have enough to share with our volunteers (share-givers) and the local food pantries.
|Plant give-away on a rainy day.|
We've done it again!
|Llyn with some of this year's tomato plants.|
The Gardens just had they're sixth anniversary! We originally broke ground in Alpine (with the help of Steve Rose and his tractor) on tax-day, 2009. Something ironically beautiful about giving birth to a project that will never yield any tax revenues on the day most Americans dread because of what they "owe". There are definitely some advantages to giving it all away!
|Alpine Sharing Garden - July 2009. Ten weeks after breaking ground!|
In the early days of the project, there were many times that Chris and I felt very alone. Each month was a test of our faith: would we have the resources, both financial and in terms of "man-power" to accomplish all that needed to get done? Often I'd turn to Chris for encouragement and he'd say, "Think of this project as if you were pushing a heavy boulder up a hill. It's always going to be most difficult before you reach the top but at some point, the boulder will reach the top and once it crests it will begin to roll down the other side, gaining momentum as it goes." Well, it seems like our "boulder" has finally crested!
|Our newest greenhouse, the Ark, under a spring rainbow.|
|Llyn and Chris - under the blessing of the rainbow!|
Many hands make light work
As most of our readers know, we've begun to host four groups of college students each term. This brings in dynamic, eager assistance to our project every other week for eight weeks, fall, winter and spring! Our core group of volunteers has held steady through the winter and our ranks are slowly growing too. We consistently have seven or eight adults who've made a weekly commitment. In fact, we have so much help that, on weeks that the college students are scheduled, we often ask our "regulars" to take a break so we're sure to have enough for the students to do! This is what we call "a high-quality problem"!
Some of our many student helpers from OSU
Aubree in the greenhouse.
|Llyn and Amy plant onions.|
|Ross with mint-straw mulch.|
|Caitlen loves kale!|
|Those bales are heavy but no problem for Anthony who grew up on a farm!|
|Such beautiful concentration...Ross was a 'natural' at transplanting.|
|Preparing the potato-patch.|
|Digging and grinning!|
|Shallots in the ground. (They're about 8" tall now. We took our first harvest to the Food Pantry today.)|
|Heather-our summer intern.|
Acting locally, reaching a global audience
Our Sharing Gardens website has become a popular resource for organic gardening information on a global scale. Currently we are receiving over 8,200 site-visits a month. The majority of these are from English-speaking countries although people from Russia and the Ukraine come to our site daily as well as France, Germany and other European countries. South Korea and China are regular visitors as well. Once a week or so we get a visit from a country we've never even heard of!
The main topic people are interested in is:
Other hot topics are:
"Scarlet Runner Beans-Growing Your Own Protein",
"Using Grass and Leaves to Increase Soil Fertility" and "Deep-Mulch Gardening",
"Organic Solutions to Slug Control",
"Carport-Frame Greenhouse Design" and "Saving Tomato Seeds".
In addition to our informational/"how-to" posts, people are also reading about
"Tom Sawyer in the Sharing Gardens" and "Real People Doing Real Things".
Thanks for helping us spread the word about generosity, community-building and gardening in cooperation with Nature by continuing to forward our posts.
|Preparing kidney beans we grew for the cooking pot!|
|Eat your vegetables for a healthy life!|
|Healthy soil, healthy worms, healthy garden!|
Greenhouse dis-assembly (we'll be re-assembling this one in the fall).
|This 30'x50' greenhouse was donated by Les and Susan Koltavary in Alpine. Much thanks!!|
|Kathy unscrewing poles.|
|Rann removes electrical conduit.|
|Chris and Kathy loading tables.|
|Danny salvages greenhouse lumber for re-use.|
|Planting spring crops - the "kids" just about out-numbered the "grown-ups"!|
|Adri distributes milk-carton sleeves for plant protection. Ricardo pulls last year's carrots to take home and feed his bunnies.|
|A manure sifting party!|
|Picnic after a morning planting cabbage and lettuce.|
And now some smiles and happy scenes from our garden to you...
|Grandpa Jim and Adri shell dried beans.|
|Sabine, our new share-giver from Germany, transplants peppers.|
|Abel pets the worm.|
|Adri fills pots with soil. Doesn't she look peaceful?|
|Cindi sifting soil.|
|Doreen and Rob planting onions.|
|Pea-picking Sara, April 23, 2015. Peas were planted Dec. 22, 2014 in one of our greenhouses. We're now picking a quart every two days!|
We hope this spring update finds you happy and healthy and able to find where your gifts and 'bliss' intersect with the world's need.
|Onell - a very gentle farmer.|