|Our Ark greenhouse with tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and kale - May, 2023.|
|Sunship greenhouse - early June - onions, potatoes and scarlet runner beans. So much food!|
|Tremendous Imperator carrots (from seed we saved ourselves)|
|Waltham broccoli. After cutting the first, large, center head, the plant will continue to produce side-shoots for several months.|
|Our third, smallest greenhouse - with lettuce and celery in the center and potatoes down the sides. The flowers are nasturtiums - both the leaves and flowers are edible and the bees love them!|
We have finally, successfully transitioned away from using any manures or animal by-products and commercial fertilizers! This year, we made all our own potting soil out of the compost generated in the paths of our greenhouses (made from leaves and grass), wood-ash, coffee grounds and perlite (our only purchased amendment. It comes from volcanoes and aids in water-retention and lightening up the soil). Making Your Own "Veganic" Potting Soil in Your Greenhouse Paths - Using Worms
Our seedlings/starts were robust and healthy (grown almost entirely from seeds we saved ourselves). We grew enough to share extensively with our volunteers (and their families), Luckiamute Valley Charter School, Lilliputopia Farm and the Food Pantry that shares our parking lot. It's gratifying to see how many people are growing their own food in our area. We gave away over 450 'starts'!
|We grew 484 veggie and flower starts, shared in the community for free! Here are 72 tomato starts given to Luckiamute Valley Charter School (flanked by lettuce to the right).|
|Llyn with some of the Hooker's blue corn we grew to dry, grind and use for hot cereal and baking|
|Rook and Chris, harvesting Ba Ye Ki sorghum which we dry and grind and share with our core group for use in cereal and baking.|
|Apple blossom: we had fantastic pollination this year! We even had to thin some of the fruit.|
|Students spreading leaves in our squash patch.|
Lua Siegal, (the coordinator of the Luckiamute Valley Charter School we've been supporting this spring) brought us a full truck load of well-composted leaves on the day of the OSU Service Learning project and stuck around for much of the morning helping us unload it.
Students weeding the garlic that had over-wintered.
Lua is an amazing person...so dedicated to giving the children in her care a positive introduction to gardening, connecting with nature and healthy eating. When we visited her at one of her two campuses to deliver 'starts' we'd grown, her director shared with us that many families decided to enroll their children at LVCS specifically because of the program Lua's created there. LINK - LVCS Facebook
OSU students unloading Lua's pick-up truck full of leaf-mold (composted leaves) which she purchased and donated. Sign posted at the Luckiamute Valley Charter School. We appreciate them so musch for the values they are instilling in their children.
In late May we had a wonderful visit from Tree (and Angie, his wife, and Jocelyn, their friend). Tree is a soft-spoken man, just a few years older than Chris who paralleled Chris' time in the Bay Area in the late 60's/early 70's during the height of the idealism that characterized that time and place. Both men have continued to try to live by their ideals and leave the world a better place for them having been here. Tree is the founder, and steward of the Free Farm Stand in San Francisco (founded in 2008, the year before the Sharing Gardens was born).
"...grow as much food as we can in San Francisco and distribute it for free at our Free Farm Stand. We act as a gathering place in the Mission to encourage community growth and involvement. This effort revolves mostly around gathering surplus food from neighborhood gardens, various farmer’s markets, community gardens, public and private fruit trees, and hosting a space where this bounty can be shared with all." they also:
- Help empower people who have the space to grow their own food and become more self-reliant.
- Promote good nutrition and health.
The Free Farm Stand is powered through volunteers every Sunday in a park in the Mission District. They redistribute thousands of pounds of produce per year.
We have been in online communication with Tree since 2009 and talked once on the phone but never met in person till now. In Tree we found a kindred spirit; someone with an equal passion for growing and distributing healthy food to those in need.
Here's what Tree had to say about us: "...visiting them in person was such a thrill. Llyn and Chris are the most beautiful and generous people and doing amazing gardening work (I would say more like farming work) on 3 acres of land...Their whole scene is so inspiring and we felt a heart connection; sharing a philosophy of how to grow food and how to share it once it is harvested."
To read Tree's full post and visit The Free Farm Stand website go to: Free Farm Stand, San Francisco, CA - Garden Glamour Queens
|Free Farm Stand, in San Francisco, distributes free produce they've gleaned from gardeners, farmer's markets, public and private fruit trees and community gardens.|
Our core group of share-givers (volunteers) has returned from their winter hiatus, and we have one new friend who's joined our circle. We could probably use one or two more people if you've been thinking about joining us. We have two sessions per week: Mondays and Fridays - 9:00 to noon. We need folks who are physically capable and who can make the commitment to come once a week for most of the season. For more information, follow this LINK and drop us an email.
|Cindy, sifting compost...|
|Sandra, harvesting corn for us to dry and grind and use for cereal and baking.|
|Chris, spreading grass mulch in greenhouse paths.|
to join us for whatever needed doing in the gardens. I know that all three of us really looked forward to those Monday morning sessions as an inspiring way to begin the week.
|Donn and Chris processing firewood donated for us to share in the community.|
I try to include at least one inspiration post about other projects happening around the planet that align with our Sharing Garden principles. We have two this month and a micro-dose of cuteness from the world of moths):
|Swallowtail butterfly photographed in our garden.|
...and, closer to home, a 'sharing'-type garden in Eugene, Oregon, which grows food for a local free-pantry and herbs for herbalists to use in their practices. Enjoy! Eugene neighborhood getting a community garden
...and for those who need 36 seconds of moth cuteness...Click here.
|Llyn, smelling the tansy we let flower in certain parts of our land. it smells like buttered honey and the bees and other pollinators love it. It's also the host plant to Cinnabar moths.|