Sunday, November 5, 2017

November Garden Work Day

We had our final garden work day for the year yesterday. The morning was cool and overcast which was perfect for putting the garden to bed for the winter. We cleaned out all the communal beds, tamed and trimmed back the grape vines, cut back the asparagus and picked several buckets of apples. One of our gardeners taught us how to make wreaths from the grape vines. Another gardener served as a garden hose coiler. :)

Many hands make work go faster and yesterday was no exception. After only a few hours the garden was ready for winter. We still need to plant garlic to winter-over, and we'll trim back the apple trees and blackberries in January.

Our final potluck lunch consisted of garden-fresh parmesan green tomatoes and eggplant, the final garden salad (picked fresh), black bean soup, pizza, and cupcakes for dessert.

This has been a very successful year and I'd like to thank all of our gardeners, visitors and special guests throughout the season. We look forward to next spring and new adventures!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October - Children's Fall Social and Orchard Expansion!

It was a *VERY* busy day in the garden yesterday. We started the morning getting the garden cleaned up and ready for our young friends. Additionally, many volunteers helped dig holes for our orchard expansion.

The kids had fun with the corn on the cob eating contest, the sunflower seed spitting contest and decorating pumpkins. They also enjoyed hanging out in the garden and eating lunch on a *hot* October afternoon.

We had a few special groups join us too. Noah Campbell, the director of Memphis Center for Food and Faith literally rolled up his sleeves with a colleague and helped out before and after another food-based event they attended in Ferguson at St. Stephens.

Another great group that came was Gateway Greening's Giving Grove program. The program "helps at-risk communities grow, harvest and share healthy food by providing the resources needed to plant edible tree gardens..." We were lucky enough to be chosen as the first site in the St. Louis area! Our garden still has 5 out of 6 of our original apple trees. The group helped replace the 6th apple tree (Enterprise), added 2 European Pear trees (Sunrise and Harrow Delight) and added 4 Bush Cherries (Carmine Jewel). We were given a thorough lesson in planting fruit trees so they will have the best chance to succeed. We were also given a good lesson on pruning that will help our harvest next year. It's never too late to learn new things!

Many thanks to all who helped, stopped by, participated and simply enjoyed the beautiful space!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September Garden Work Day

A sunny morning greeted our smaller gardening crew. We managed to put a large dent in the weeding and harvesting before we stopped for lunch. We had several visitors at the garden today, including many butterflies in the pollinator bed.

Our potluck in the shade was the highlight of the day. We enjoyed black bean soup and spaghetti squash with butternut squash sauce and cheese. As one of our gardeners said, "there are no rules with vegetable dishes!"

Thanks to all of our gardeners, and we look forward to the Children's Fall Fun day next month!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Garden Work Day

We had a beautiful day for our work day yesterday. We tried to tame the weeds and clean the pathways up a bit. We harvested pounds of peppers and tomatoes as well as carrots, eggplant, potatoes and grapes. We never seem to be able to grow enough grapes to make wine, but we picked enough to dream about it some day. Community Garden wine sounds like a fun addition to a pot luck.

Speaking of pot lucks, we had leftovers from the community garden food booth the night before. Dessert was a refreshing key lime pie. Stuffed and tired, we hung around telling stories and laughing for a couple of hours. I can't imagine a better setting to spend with friends and neighbors. Thank you to all our gardeners, and enjoy the bounty!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July Garden Work Day

We had a smaller crew today due to summer schedules, so we agreed to end early, forgo our regular potluck and migrate to the Ferguson Farmers Market for lunch. :-)

The morning was spent trimming, weeding and harvesting. For the first time we have volunteer melon plants in the pathways! We decided to leave them there and train them in to nearby beds. We also have volunteer tomato plants and zinnias. Peppers and weeds are loving this hot weather.

On the list of harvesting was carrots, beets, potatoes, peppers, beans, tomatoes and an abundance of mint. In fact, the communal potato bed has mint growing around it. Those might be good potatoes to serve with mutton!

Thanks to all of our gardeners for continuing to grow friendships and food in our community.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June Garden Work Day

Blue skies and sunshine highlighted our garden work day today. We spent the morning weeding the beds and the paths, tilling a new communal vegetable patch, and doing some light construction. We also harvested peas, radishes, carrots, cucumbers and various lettuces.

We worked up quite an appetite! Our potluck lunch was devoured in no time. We had butternut squash lasagna, pasta salad, garden-to-table salad, pizza, macaroon brownies and ice cream cones!

Thanks to all our gardeners for all of your hard work!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May Children's Fun Day

It was a beautiful day for inviting neighborhood kids into our garden. They got to decorate a clay pot with markers, stickers and shiny gems. Then they planted a flower in the pot to give to Mom tomorrow. With so many things going on this weekend, we had a smaller turnout but we still had a lot of fun. They enjoyed lunch then hung around and played with bubbles and frisbees. We got one of the children's garden beds planted with tomatoes, broccoli, leeks and some donated seedlings that will be a surprise since I forgot what they are!

The rest of our volunteers planted the community tomato bed and the new community eggplant bed and managed to rid the paths of most of the weeds. We also harvested some spring lettuces, peas, and radishes. We were all happy to sneak into the shade during lunch to relax and share stories.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and to all the kids who spent some time with us getting their hands a little dirty!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April Garden Work Day

With picture perfect weather, and enthusiastic gardeners, we were able to unload 4 yards of mulch around the new beds we built last month. We also tidied up the garden overall and still had time to plant our individual beds. (And we managed to have a little fun along the way!) We ended with a fantastic potluck of various meat and veggie salads and desserts.

Thank you to our gardeners from all over our neighborhood. I will leave you with my favorite garden math problem: Hard work + full belly = Afternoon NAP!!

See you all next month when we host our Children's Spring Fun Day!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Snowy Garden Opening Day

After several weeks of beautiful weather, our first day in the garden this year was met with cold and flurries. The plan for the day was to rebuild the beds for the strawberries, and to rebuild some other beds throughout the garden. This is our 8th year with the raised beds, so several have seen better days. We rented the bobcat yesterday, and leveled the strip down next to the grape vines and blackberry structures. Today we built 3 large frames, and filled them with some beautiful raised bed mix. Shoveling dirt and moving wheelbarrows warmed us up pretty quickly!

We didn't finish everything on our to-do list so some of us will be back again next week to get the garden ready for spring planting. We did manage to work up a big appetite, and we all enjoyed our potluck of corn chowder, broccoli slaw, 7-cheese mac and cheese, corn bread and brownies. (Carbs taste good after several hours of hard work!)

Thank you to our brave gardeners today for all your hard work, hilarious conversations and good company for lunch. This is going to be a fantastic year in the Old Ferguson West Community Garden!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Final Garden Work Day and Harvest


We had the most beautiful day in November for our final garden work day. We spent the morning harvesting vegetables, clearing out beds, chipping larger material to feed into the compost bin and everything else needed to tuck our garden in for the winter. Since the weather has been so mild, we left a few pepper and tomato plants to see what else we get over the next couple of weeks.

In perfect field-to-table style, many of the harvested veggies went directly into the harvest soup for lunch: peas, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, carrot, onion, okra, chives and oregano. That was served up alongside Cuban black bean and rice casserole, cornbread, garden apple crumble pie and apricot bars. With our bellies full from lunch we spent another couple of hours leisurely finishing our tasks.

It's hard to say good-bye to such a beautiful place for the winter, but we'll be starting seedlings soon enough! Thank you to all of our gardeners, volunteers, kids, visitors and well-wishers this year. See you all again in the spring!