Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 15 and Week 16, June 15, 2019

If a garden require it, now trench it ye may,
one trench not a yard, from another go lay;
Which being well filled with muck by and by,
to cover with mould, for a season to lie.
           

-Thomas Tusser, 1557

The task for the last two sessions of the garden season required some demanding but essential work. Although there is a certain amount of regret when it’s time to “put the garden to sleep” for the summer, knowing that the next season will reap the rewards of these efforts is a silver lining on the last days of the session.

Even our ancestors understood COMPOST HAPPENS but properly managed compost demands some physical exertion:

compost paradeVolunteers and parents trundled loads of plant material to perpetuate the compost pile.

Composting reduces the amount of waste in the city landfills but even more benefits are derived from a well tended compost pile.  When used as a soil amendment, finished compost (or humus) enhances soil structure and improves the soil’s capacity to hold water.

 An abundance of produce was still to be found before relinquishing the last of the vegetable plants:

rootballGrande Jalapenos were thoroughly harvested.  A few of the plants were left for the SABOT summer camps as well as banana peppers, eggplant and tomatillos.  Sweet and hot pepper  varieties thrive equally well over the hot south Texas summers.

As usual, the purple martins were on hand to keep a vigilant eye on the young gardeners:

purple martins 2Mid-January through early February is the typical arrival time for purple martins in south Texas.

One weary gardener took a well-deserved break on the sidelines:

weary gardenerClearing the paths of weeds, particularly palm seedlings was a top priority.  This link is useful for identification of other pernicious garden weeds.

Evidence of a promising fall session was already in place with the appearance of newly constructed gardening beds and containers:

veg trugThis handsome vegetable trug is a perfect container for tender lettuces.
veg bedsNew raised beds with an undisclosed purpose sprouted in front of the Sunday House.

The day finally wrapped up without a hitch.  Many eager families were ready to re-enroll for the upcoming fall session.  Anyone interested can register via SABOT (San Antonio Botanical Garden).

Many more adventures await us in the garden…….

Until the fall,

Anne Marie S.

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 14, June 1, 2019

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”               

– Doug Larson

Well, hmmmm, I guess so.  However the vegetable line up for the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Contest and Picnic was ample and appealing without the fat:

ample veggiesNever eat anything bigger than your head………

Prior to contest submission vegetable entries were gently washed to remove any soil:

washing veggiesBasic tips on the importance of washing fresh produce can be found on Dinner Tonight.

Gardeners carefully evaluated each entry for uniformity in size, shape and color:

Evaluating eggplant Ichiban eggplant passed inspection for contest entry and later destinations in the culinary arena.

 

uniform veggiesJudging criteria required yellow squash and zucchini to be crisp, firm and free of damage, 1.5-2 inches in diameter and 5-6 inches long.

After critically selecting the prime specimens for submission, vegetables were neatly displayed in trays for review by the Quality Control Team:

veg sub 2An entry card was completed for each category of vegetable submitted.  

Seasoned Bexar County Master Gardeners were on hand to serve as Quality Control for approval of each entry:

veggie QCEntries were submitted no later than 10:20 am at the QC table in front of the Sunday House.

After judging all entries, County Extension Agent David Rodriguez was on hand to award ribbons to the winners:

dhr ribbon awarding

A fulfilling day was rewarded with the excellent culinary efforts of the hot dog team on the South End:

hot dog teamPropane included……

Many thanks to the efforts of all the volunteers, parents and patient, lavishly tended vegetables……

 

 

 

 Eat healthy, stay tuned,

Anne Marie S.