|New friends in the Sharing Gardens|
Mostly the weather in Oregon has been ideal for gardening this year. We have had warmer weather than usual and the Spring rains were spaced so we got just enough to keep the plants from drying out and needing supplemental watering until very recently. We're entering a drier/hotter phase now but our crops are all in the ground and well-mulched so things look good for the rest of the season.
As things shut down due to Covid-19 and people had fewer and fewer options for places they could go and practice "social distancing", we've had steady requests from folks offering to help with garden-tasks. In the beginning we were strict about keeping groups of people separate who came from different families, but have had very little incidence of the virus in our county so now, on volunteer days, we're not as strict about this. Being outside, in the fresh air, it's easy for those who come from different families to stay safe and socially-distanced.
|Our only group of service-learning students from Oregon State University before COV-19 closed schools to in-person classes. (Feb 22, 2020)|
|OSU students - shoveling compost into buckets.|
|A bucket brigade of compost!|
|Each stake got a quart of coffee, a tablespoon of wood-ash and a whole bucket of compost (Feb. 22). In May we planted a winter-squash plant in each mound. Now, in mid-July, the plants are already forming fruit!|
|Here's the same bed of winter squash in Mid-July (pole beans in the foreground).|
|Lunch - July 2020 - All, fresh from the garden: lettuce, grated beets and carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, arugula, basil, nasturtium flowers and scarlet runner beans.|
|We replaced the system of chains that were holding up the slatted shelves with saw-horses (seen here). It's a much more secure solution and also, we can remove the shelves and saw-horses if we ever want to plant directly in the beds below. Here we are laying out onions to cure. Our best year for onions yet! (These onions were grown from our own seed!)|
|Delicious "Tall Top" beets - the 'greens' are as yummy as the roots.|
Our core-group of volunteers continue to come on a weekly basis and, as some of them have been with us for many years, they know the routines and can be trusted to take on the tasks at hand with confidence, joy and capability. We've also had a few new people join our share-giver family. Here is a gallery of pictures showing many of the volunteers who have been helping this season so far:
|Early in the season, Chris and Donn - planting broccoli. The black collars are made by cutting the bottoms out of pots. We use them to keep the mulch from covering the plants, and to protect from cold winds. Snails and slugs can be a problem so we use an organic product called 'Sluggo' (iron phosphate pellets) to keep them under control.|
|Adri removes chive-flowers before we bundle them to share. Adri's been coming to the gardens since she was born!|
|Early May - Cindy thins the beets while Chris bunches chives. Carrots grow along the right-hand side.|
|Here, in late April, Chris and Rook plant a variety of sorghum known for its sweet, nutty flour - (we have our own grain-grinding mill and have been baking with store-bought, gluten-free sorghum flour for the past year.) Yummy!|
|Here are the same sorghum plants in mid-July! Variety shown: Ba Ye Qi (LINK: Varieties of Sorghum)|
|Cindy and Jim put collars and grass-mulch around cabbage plants - early Spring.|
|Andrea, Peter and Chris weed the winter squash patch.|
|Christine is a graduate student at OSU and found us through an on-line search for volunteer opportunities in our area.|
|Christine (at center, in back) then invited her sister, Amy and Amy's girls - Sadie and Marley to join in the fun. Here, they're distributing grass-clippings where summer squash will be planted.|
|Amy and her girls picking edible nasturtium flowers - delicious in salads!|
|Along with helping weekly with gardening tasks, Donn has been a big help with equipment maintenance (center - in green shirt)...|
|...and his wife Marilyn has a passion for mowing! A great combo :-).|
|Elephant garlic! Lots to share.|
|Grant, with red cabbage 'starts'.|
|Ba Ye Qi Sorghum heads. |
Unfortunately, as farmers harvest grass-hay to feed cattle, the skies are getting a bit dustier than they were but hopefully, with reductions in so many polluting human-habits (due to the Covid-19 shut-downs) we can resist the urge to return to "business as usual" and be more mindful of which polluting habits we re-adopt as society opens again.
|Jim and Chris, pouring compost tea. Love that blue sky!|
|Chris and Cindy, weeding. May 23, 2020|
|Wildlife has been thriving in the gardens this Spring! Swallowtail butterfly on lavender - Sharing Gardens - Spring 2020|
We send love to all of you in our garden-community. May this post find you healthy and happy and finding ways to make the world just a little bit better place to live - every day.