|Llyn with biggest sunflower yet!|
Hello dear people, It's been another summer of bounty at the Sharing Gardens and we hope this finds you thriving as well. Though things are still going strong, the first autumn rains and cooler nights have begun and it's clear that we're past the peak of garden production. This has been a wonderful season with our Share-givers (volunteers
), many who are multi-year participants with some beautiful new faces as well. Often, after a morning session with our garden "family", Chris and I just lay on our bed feeling full of smiles and gratitude for the richness of community that has developed around the project.
|Chris, early in the season.|
This year has been our first year offering CSA/memberships
as a fund-raiser. We've had seven "share-holders" who each receive a weekly box of produce. Though at times we've felt a bit stressed to keep up with planting, weeding and harvesting, the excellent support of our share-givers has made it - mostly- a real pleasure. Our help has been so good that, for two seasons in a row (summer and autumn) we've declined receiving volunteer students from OSU's service-learning programs. We just don't have enough to do to keep six students busy for four hours. Now that's what we call a "high-quality problem"!
Here is a photo gallery of many of this summer's share-givers. Thanks so much,
friends; we couldn't do it without you.
|Sabine and Cindy - our champion bean-pickers. We grew green beans on a trellis this year (instead of as bushes) and it worked great. High productivity and we only had to pick once per week.|
We had some great group-sessions; several weeks with ten or eleven adults. It's challenging to keep everyone busy but we sure get a lot done and have fun in the process!
|Thorin, Eliza and Adri harvesting cabbage. Adri's been coming to the gardens since she was born and is a great help!|
|Eliza, Rook and Thorin harvesting kidney beans which we dried in the greenhouse and shelled for winter-use.|
|Our blackberry patches were wonderfully productive this year. We picked enough berries to make several large cobblers, about a gallon of juice and sent baskets of them home in the CSA boxes too!|
A great year for potatoes! We keep experimenting with different methods. We have heavy, clay soil which is hard for potatoes to grow in.
|To extend our season we tried growing potatoes in our greenhouses with fair results. Here are Chris and Rook, mixing compost into a potato-patch early in the season.|
As the soil warmed, we began planting potatoes outside. We planted the potatoes about 6" in the ground with a bulb-planting tool
and then covered with soil, compost, grass-clippings and straw (whatever mulch we had a lot of). This method worked very
|Rook, planting potatoes with a bulb-planter.|
|Here's a group of potato-planters. That's Caleb and Tyrell (Caleb's Dad) at the cart. |
|...and here's the other end of the process - harvesting potatoes. Kids love to help with this as finding the potatoes is a bit like hunting for eggs on Easter!|
|Rod, a man of many talents, "logging" the sunflower stalks after harvesting the heads|
|Here's Eliza, our new neighbor in Monroe, picking tomatoes. She's creating an organic orchard and veggie farm. Great to have people with similar values moving to our town.|
|Llyn's uncle Craig with little Jace, examining the pepper plants.|
Garlic provides many opportunities for group efforts.
|Here are Rook and Sabine separating the garlic bulbs for this year's planting. |
|For two sessions we had these wonderful Taiwanese young men come help.
Wayne, Li Hung and Song Yu. Here they are planting garlic in September
for next year's harvest.|
Llyn spent much of the time on share-giver days in the garden-shed bagging produce and filling boxes.
|Here she is with Kailyn bagging kale. Kailyn is another of Cindy's many grand-kids and jumps at the chance to be helpful. What a delight!|
Aside from catalyzing Chris and me to a new level of focus and
productivity with the farm, an added bonus of having the CSA has been
the loving feedback and support we receive from our members. Though we
know that our donations to the Food Pantries are very much appreciated
(and we continue to supply Local Aid and the South Benton Food Pantry
with our surplus), the comments from our members are nice to hear
because we know they especially value the high quality of the food we're
growing and want to be supportive of the project's charitable work. Here are a few samples:
"I've been enjoying delicious salads and soups made with these fresh ingredients! Everything is delightful!
Made a brown rice cabbage casserole with our remaining cabbage a few days ago and it was such a big hit with the family ~yum!
Thank you!" Diane
"Sending deep appreciation for this bounty, it has been most wonderful! Thanks Llyn and Chris, you are keeping us so healthy and nourished, love it!!!!" Cordy and Bodhi
" Everything looks lovely. Thanks so much to Llyn and Chris and all the workers." Karen and Peter
"What a nice variety of things we have gotten from our CSA boxes and we feel privileged to have helped you launch your first year. Thank you for all the communication about our boxes each week; that is a nice added feature we didn't have when we got CSA boxes a few years back." Marilyn and Don
"We have loved the weekly bounty, a variety of nutrients
& colors. How nice to not have to shop for produce weekly! We love
supporting our local veganic farmers who serve this community, who
bring us hope! Dr. Kyle (LINK to his fantastic site)
And lastly, we must bid a fond fare-the-well to dear Sabine. Sabine has been volunteering at the Sharing Gardens for three seasons but is moving back to Germany (her home) with her husband Tyrell and son, Caleb. (We'll also miss seeing her wonderful parents Yvonne and Manfred since
they won't be coming to visit her but we know they are so happy to have her moving back close to home.) Sabine's soft, warm and generous nature will be missed but we wish her well. Maybe she'll start a new Sharing Garden in Kressbronn am Bodensee!
|We love you, Sabine!|
|...and your beautiful boy Caleb. (Thanks for the picture, Thorin!) |
And to you, our fine readers, we also bid a fond farewell. Give Long and Prosper!
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