Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Week In The Gardens

This week in the gardens was hectic to the say least . Over the last couple weeks some of the local garden centers have been donating the left over plants. So we have been trying to get what we can in the ground. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but it is about feeding people. So needless to say I gave myself a deadline, get it all in before the weekend. So it’s been in the LaSalle Square Garden early 6:30 am, and home late 7 or 8, lots of tilling, lots of planting.
I also had lots of visitors and volunteers at The Garden this week. Several families came out to harvest, and learn about the garden. One of the most exciting things is when the kids learn about eating the Peas right off the vine. Others came out to get the green tomatoes, and talk about how their mothers and grandmothers taught them how to make fried green tomatoes. Many come for the Mustard Greens which have been pretty well picked over, but not to worry we have planted more for round two of Mustard Greens coming soon! We are also harvesting Cucumbers, Zucchini, Kale, Peas, Lettuce, Kolarabi, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peppers, and Green Tomatoes. The LaSalle Square Garden is looking good we are having a big weeding and clean-up day on Sat, then we will pace it back a little, and start thing about planting fall crops.
A lot of the gardens are getting overrun by weeds. It seems to be a great year for weeds.. Rain & heat. Everyone is keeping up pretty well persistent weeding, and mulch spell success.
We added more plants at LaSalle Academy; Green Beans, and peppers. They are starting to get more volunteers to show up, and the garden is looking good.
Southpaw called on us to come harvest, and deliver veggies to anyone who needs fresh veggies. The Garden at Southpaw is coming along fine . Dennis is keeping the weeds under control . He did request a Raccoon trap & some tomato cages which we dropped off when we harvested. Six gallons of lettuce were donated to Memorial Hospital's cafeteria so the guests could enjoy free "Unity Salad"!
Courtney had a volunteer group out at the Center for the Homeless . They weeded , and harvested green beans and peas. She served peas in the pods, green beans and ranch dip.
Monroe Park Garden was getting a little over run by weeds , but they got on it and its looking good . I noticed a nice yellow Squash , and some tomatoes coming on .
Keller Park is still having neighborhood kids deliver food from the garden, and they are overwhelmed with Swiss chard which they plan to deliver to maybe to Hope Ministries
The South Bend Juvenile Unity Garden is growing well . They are planning on giving their food to LaCasa , The Northern Indiana Food Bank , and The Catholic workers house .
Logan Center Unity garden is looking very good the raised beds working out very well due to the Organic Resources compost. It is like rocket fuel for the veggies!

Memorial’s Unity garden is growing great . They may have one of the first red tomatoes . They are also having lots of foot traffic past the garden , with lot of posititive comments. One physician mentioned how nice it is to see the garden with healthy food rather than a smoking area!

The Helping Hands Unity Garden (housing authority) is planted and mulched thanks to residents and the children who live nearby. One 10 year old is training to be a Unity Garden leader there already!

The Salvation Army Unity Garden also finished planting, ending with the 3 sisters (corn, squash, and beans) in the last area. Their tomatoes are caged and growing well.

The Unity Garden at Zion was the last one to have plants added! We have a new garden leader who is very excited to see the garden looking weed free; thanks Laura! Herbs, tomatoes, cauliflower, and squashes were planted Friday. We had 4 or 5 visitors stop by to compliment the garden. It is very visable; on Jefferson and St Peter!

We also have a new garden leader at the South East Salsa Unity garden on Indiana St. Welcome and thanks Kim! The corn behind all the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and cilantro make this garden look like it came out of a picture!

The PCM Unity Garden had more than it's share of weeds, so it was retilled in back and a large pumpkin patch was planted. Hopefully we will have a great harvest there in time for Halloween! The tomatoes and peppers there are doing well, and cucmbers are ready for harvesting. The watermelon is also creeping all over!

Squash, tomatoes, and corn are all growing at The Catholic Workers Unity Garden. They had extra marigolds from the Girl Scouts which they donated to Monroe Park Unity Garden. It is good to see the Unity sharing among gardens in addition to with harvesters.

Broadway Unity Garden keeps needing more produce for their food pantry! Lizz was out to get additional plants, but extra produce will be sent there as other gardens enjoy abundance. It seems like everyone is valuing the fresh, healthy food!

We also enjoyed a phone call from Saint Vincent's asking for additional brochures. It seems they are getting alot of requests for food, and they can not keep up with demand. Their customers come from throughout the city, so they thought the Unity Gardens was a perfect fit to help keep our community fed. It was another Unity lesson of gratitude to hear we were making a difference for them. Its nice to see that folks come out looking for something they need a Cucumber , or some peas for dinner , and find it at the garden !!

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