Garden Service Day June 2014

A day of fun in the garden:
Over 80 people from the local LDS church helped Garner Growers complete major projects to improve the look and function of the garden.
Springtime in Central Carolina was very wet this year, which made for happy weeds and grass. Cleaning and weeding and mowing were not the preferred activity, but in the spirit of the day, these hard workers dug in and tamed some of our more out of control eye sores.  Thank you a million times for mowing the back 40 and bringing out your weed eaters!
Other projects included finishing the support for chicken pasture netting, a seriously styling herb spiral, planting flowers, painting flowers (on hubcaps!), building a bean trellis, planting shrubs to add structure in the children’s garden, sunflower house, hugelkultur (look it up — it’s an awesome way to plant!), 4 new raised beds, and some way too cute ladybug houses.
The day was filled with love and grace and giving.
Although the chickens might have wished for a little less love, the humans at Garner Grows Community Garden are very grateful for all you did for us!

Garner Grows Community Garden is still here!

We are always looking for new members, and we are at the garden every week tending to our plants unless the weather prevents it (like freak snow storms that shut down the town for three days!), although obviously we have problems tending the website on a regular basis. Send me an email at mtubilleja@gmail.com if you are interested in joining. I’ll answer your questions and add you to our group mailing list so that you receive the regular workday announcements. We’d love to see you in the garden!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

I’m hoping we generated some interest in the garden with the flyers and seeds we handed out tonight at the Town of Garner Trick-or-Treat the Trails event. Next time we will put the email address on them!

So how do you learn more about  Garner Grows? Just shoot me an email and I will add you to our email list. I send out reminders before our workdays. For most of the year we meet for a couple of hours on Thursday evenings and a longer workday on Saturday mornings. During late fall and winter, we only meet on Saturday mornings at 10 am. If it rains or is too cold, I’ll send an email letting people know if the workday is cancelled.

So there is an annual fee of $20 and we ask that you work at least 4 hours a month. Send me an email: mtubilleja@gmail.com for more information.

Hope to see you in the garden!

Maggie

Saturday, June 9th Workday

Good afternoon, Garner Growers

We’ll finally get a good Saturday workday from 10am-1pm today. This will be the last Saturday before the teenagers come on the 16th, so we will mostly be cleaning up. About half of our enclosed area was mowed or whacked with the weed eater on Tuesday and it looks great (thank you, JT and Jon — and William)! We’ll continue with some of that. Another top priority tomorrow is cleaning the chicken coop. I will pick up pine shavings and bring a tarp to make it all quick and easy. I wish I could say odorless, but probably not.
Service day projects for June 16th:
sunflower house and potato condo
moving mulch
building raised beds
cleaning up the blueberry patch
repairing the drainage ditch
creating a pole bean bed next to the fence
If you know you can be in the garden at 9am next Saturday and are willing to run a project, please notify me. I need to make sure we have enough adults present to run at least 5 groups.
Hope to see you in the garden, psyched about all the great projects planned for next week and ready to get to work!

Instead of a normal workday, we will be hosting kid’s night at Chik-fil-A in the Kroger shopping center across from the garden tonight from 5pm – 7:30pm. We hope to have enough activities to interest the kids, with coloring pages and a planting project. Come help us promote the garden this evening, if you can.

We will not have a workday this weekend, as it is Memorial Day weekend. Do something fun with family and we will pick back up at the garden next week. We have lettuce, kale, snow peas, and swiss chard ready to pick, as well as several herbs down in the herb garden, and lots of planting to do next Tuesday.
Hope to see you at Chik-fil-A!

Garner Grows Needs to Grow

When we ask ourselves what we need most at Garner Grows, the answer always seems to be the same. We need more bodies. More people who enter the garden for the first time and say “I want to see this whole thing planted,” as one new member did not long ago. Right now, our membership families are carrying too much of the burden and too much of the garden lies fallow.

So the next obvious question is “How do we get more people?” There is the necessity of getting the word out, but with added emphasis on getting the word out to the right people.

So let’s carry over a dialog into the comments and brainstorm some ways to increase membership. Events? Distributing flyers and business cards? Joining Chamber of Commerce? A weekly farmstand? What other organization in the community can we enlist to help spread the word? Talk to us, gardeners!

By the way, we now have a Twitter account for you to follow: @garnergrows

Fighting the weather early this year

We can’t seem to get into the garden long enough to make a dent in the lo-o-ong list of spring tasks, things that need to get done before the heat comes (almost 90 degrees in April is frightening). Before the rain chased us away this afternoon, we did get carrots planted and cleared another bed of weeds. The chance of rain tomorrow and Friday is even greater, so it will be another soggy Saturday, but hopefully we can accomplish some of the non-sowing items on the list.

See you in the garden (I hope!)

Welcome back to the garden!

Welcome back, Garner Growers!

We’ll have the first workday of the year this Saturday, beginning at 10am. Looking at the week’s weather forecast I expect it to be soggy, so don’t wear the new white sneakers you bought to celebrate the arrival of spring. If it is too wet, we may not be able to plant, but there is plenty of other work to be done.

Here’s what I have on my list:

- spread pine shavings over the mud in the chicken pen. We let that go a little too long.

- smother more weeds with newspaper, cardboard, and mulch (if you have any newspaper or cardboard you’d like to donate to the cause, please bring it!)

- cover the corn patch to solarize weeds and prevent new ones from growing

- clean out the storage side of the chicken coop – mice made a mess with feed and egg carton Styrofoam (bonus points if you knew Styrofoam was a trademark and has to be capitalized –  I didn’t!) Kristen has caught the mice, but I guess we need to assess what containers for food would prevent a similar invasion in the future.

- if we have enough muscle, I’d like to move the chicken tractor to a spot on our future flower garden site and throw as many chickens as we can catch in there to start cleaning and fertilizing that site.

- I have wooden letters for kids to paint to label our vegetable beds so that if I can’t make a workday in the future, I can write on the white board ‘Weed Row C’ and it will magically happen in my absence.

- I’d love to get someone to measure the beds and create a new garden template to track what we plant. I’ll bring grid paper.

- William is itching to turn the compost. He had that look last night.

Please send me an email if you have any suggestions for the list.

If we can plant, I have onion and leek seedlings that need to go in the ground. I started some cabbage seedlings. We can plant those or let them grow for another week. We need to replant the lettuce bed with new seed to fill in the holes. I have a few herbs we can plant – cilantro and fennel at least, although they don’t make good companions and shouldn’t be planted near each other.

If you can’t make it Saturday, we’ll be out again Tuesday afternoon at 5pm. Good news: we won’t have to water either time!

Hope to see you in the garden…

2011 Drawing to a Close

As we wrap up our second year at the garden, we want to pause for a moment in appreciation of our members and our community supporters. Many thanks to Hudson’s Hardware, Chik-fil-A (for our green pickle buckets!), Carolina Yard Barns, Aversboro Coffee (for coffee grounds!), the Little Herb House (great place to buy herb plants!) and Dr. Raynor for his generous donation of land and water.

Here’s what we grew this year:
snow peas, corn, scarlet runner beans, watermelon, eggplant, onions, carrots, oregano, pumpkins, thyme, patty pan squash, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, sweet peppers, basil, hot peppers, Swiss chard, sunflowers, leeks, mustard, spinach, lettuce, dill, and nasturtiums.

As always, what we need most are bodies in the garden, eager to work and enthusiastic about growing food and community. We would love to see you in the garden!

While we continue to experience both successes and challenges, we look forward to beginning our third year supporting and promoting local agriculture in the great Town of Garner.