Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 3, September 22, 2018

The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds.  If  you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.

Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

Although week 2 of the CVGP was cancelled due to weather (RAIN ☔️) there was still botanical magic happening both at the children’s garden (many many thanks to John and the work party for planting the ‘Ruby Crush’ tomatoes Wednesday, September 19th) and elsewhere as evidenced by this very special phenomenon known as a Fairy Ring:

Fairy RingThis naturally occurring arc of mushrooms (known as a fairy ring) was spotted under a tree at Woodlawn Lake.

Fairy rings are a source of much myth and superstition regarding fairies, pixies and elves and appear in many folk stories, particularly in Western Europe.  Scientifically, the rings start when the mycelium (spawn) of a mushroom falls in a suitable spot and sends out an underground network of fine, tubular threads called hyphae.  They can thrive in either deep green grass or a necrotic zone (an area in which other plant life has died).

 

Unfortunately week 3 was the victim of further foul weather which forced another cancellation.

radar 9_22_18Radar kindly provided by the My Radar app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myradar-weather-radar/id322439990?mt=8

Never to be daunted – another group of valiant volunteers returned on Thursday September 27th to follow through with the plantings scheduled for the 22nd.

work party 9_27-18The abundance of volunteers made quick work of planting the south side of the garden.

‘Taishan’ Orange Mari-mums https://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/blog/2013/08/30/mari-mums-chrysanthemum-color-lasting-two-or-three-times-longer/

‘Cheers’ Cabbage https://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/homehort/archives-of-weekly-articles-davids-plant-of-the-week/cheers-cabbage/

AND

‘Multipik’ Yellow Squash seeds www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/squash/summer-squash/multipik-f1-squash-seed-2968.html

were all planted according to the instructions in Agenda 3.  Planting of Bush Beans was delayed for the next regular session of the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program.

At the end of the work party the plots were left under the watchful eyes of two scarecrows at the North End.

scarecrowsMaster Gardener badges duly noted!

 

Happy Gardening!

Anne Marie S.

 

 

 

 

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Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 1, September 8th, 2018

Anyone who has time for drama is not gardening enough.

                                                                           -anonymous

Despite the rain the first session of the Fall 2018 Children’s Vegetable Garden took off without a hitch! The eagerness and enthusiasm were contagious in both the volunteers and families.  I was especially happy to return as a volunteer after spending the last few gardening seasons bringing my own garden up to snuff.

ams gardenMy cat Opie was pleased to reclaim his spot under the artichoke.

As usual the inaugural day began with a review of the agenda (and necessary modifications to accommodate the mud after the abundant rain).  The volunteers were dispatched to their sections just as the children started to pour through the gate.  Tools, fertilizer, water and plant material were all in place.

09_09_2018_pic1Tools at the ready in Section 1.

The plant material had been delivered prior to the start of the session.  David Rodriguez our County Extension Agent selected beautiful “Dwarf Cherry Suprise’ BHN968 tomato plants.  Pre-planting chores included weeding (purslane and pigweed were abundant in the paths after the rain) and fertilizing with 8 cups of Milbergers Organic Fertilizer throughout the each plot.  Soil from the hole was mixed with an additional 2 cups of fertilizer prior to planting the tomato.

BHN dwarf cherry tomato plantBefore the fall session started our dedicated work party crew had fortified the beds by dividing them into smaller plots that measure 6’10”.

After planting, the tomato was reinforced with a burm and watered in with one quarter of a gallon Hasta-Gro liquid soluble starter mix.

tomato burmSpecial attention is needed to avoid wetting the tomato leaves with fertilizer.

The second plant was a sturdy ‘Sweet Slice’ Cucumber.  Soil for this planting was mixed with one cup fertilizer.  After planting, the cucumber was also watered in with liquid fertilizer.

sweet slice with karenMaster Gardener Karen Gardner explains the finer points of directing a cucumber to the trellis.

After scrubbing up the tools and returning them to the shed the gardeners spent time chronicling the day in their journals.

journals with layla quirozJournals were generously donated by Master Gardener Layla Quiroz.

Although it was a relatively short day everyone left happy and hopeful for a new productive season in the garden.  Later in the session we have this bounty to look forward to taking home from our BHN968 tomatoes:

New-Dwarf-Cherry-Surprise-Tomato (1)Photo courtesy of AgriLife TODAY

One easy way to preserve an excess of tomatoes is to place cut halves on a cookie sheet/sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper/bake them in a 200 degree oven until they look gelatinous and finally freeze them with just enough additional olive oil to cover the surface.  In this manner they can be stored for several months and are excellent on pasta or pizza.

Happy Gardening!

   Anne Marie S.