Jammin at the Farm

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Blueberry Jam, that is, at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens in Saratoga Springs

Diane Whitten, Cornell Cooperative extension nutritionist, came to the farm and taught everyone how to make blueberry freezer jam.

Children arrived at 9:30 for the Sunflower Hour reading program and heard Faye Mihuta, a community gardener and teacher, read “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey complete with sound effects such as the berries going “plink” into a bucket.

After story time, children and adults had the opportunity to make a freezer jam which was delicious.

 

Diane teaches many different classes on food preservation and nutrition including classes on fermentation, making jerky, canning salsa and tomatoes. Go to Cornell Cooperative Extension’s website  to register.

She has offered to teach a class on pickling vegetables in the community gardens. If you might be interested, let me know and we will see what can be arranged.

Natalie Walsh, Garden Director – Natalie.Walsh@pitneymeadows.org

Girl Scouts Grow Food for Franklin Community Center Pantry

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 10.55.38 AM.pngBrownie troop 3031 has a plot in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens and recently donated green beans to the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry.

Troop leader Jen Kirchhnerr has found that recycled plastic containers are a great way to deliver the beans and other vegetables to the pantry.

These are the sort of container that strawberries, blueberries and the like are typically sold in at the supermarket.

Kirchhnerr cleans and washes the containers and reuses them when harvesting for the food pantry.

“They are a convenient size for handing out to a family,” she said.

It’s a good tip. If any gardeners have containers like these and would like to share them, you can leave the cleaned containers in the garden shed. We will use them when harvesting and sharing.

Thanks Jen for your tip!Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 10.55.19 AM

Preregistration Required for Jam Making Class

On July 14, the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens Sunflower Reading and Activity will be books about jam and then a jam making class.

Community Gardener and Teacher Faye Mihuta will read two books starting at 9:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m., there will be a Children’s Freezer Jam Making Program with Diane Whitten, from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Children must be between 5 and 12 years old to participate.

Due to the anticipated popularity of this class, pre-registration is required.

If you are interested, please sign up your children up before July 7. Cost is $5. per child and space is limited.

We also need 5 adult volunteers. One per table to work with the children. These volunteers will need to be in the garden at 9:30 a.m. for a brief training session.

If you’re interested, sign up in the garden shed and leave contact information.

Children will be taking home a container of blueberry jam.

You can also register by contacting Natalie Walsh, Garden Director at natalie.walsh@pitneymeadows.org before July 7.

Reading and Gardening Program for Children Starts Saturday

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That’s George W. hammering in the sign I made for the potato garden. Children who participate in the reading and garden activity program will be planting and growing potatoes, flowers and sunflowers at various times through the summer. They will also be learning about worms and the role of bees and butterflies in the garden.

If your children would like to listen to picture books about gardening and nature, come to the Saturday program.  The first session is this Saturday, June 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Natalie

Fashions Fit For the Fairies

fairyfashion2.jpgI’m working on a proposal and needed to make something related to the fairy gardens, that would use materials grown in the gardens and be suitable for children 7 to 12 years-old on their own. Or, younger children with the help of a creative, older friend.

This fashionable frill is made with cosmos petals with a toadflax sash.

What shoes would you wear with this?

 

Sunflower Contest Results, Fairy Garden, and Art Show in the Gardens

 

Wondering who won the Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest?

It was three-year-old Carter M. with a Mammoth sunflower the reached a height of 95 and one-quarter inches. Congratulations, Carter, who can be seen above wearing a striped shirt.

In the photos, you can also see the crowd that gathered as our tall Sunflower Judges Rich Torkelson and Barbara Glaser, both PMCF board members, went flower by flower precisely measuring each for height and for the largest sunflower head from petal tip to petal tip.

It was close and there were moments of tense anticipation, but Carter’s sunflower ended up winning by three and three-quarter inches.

The award for the largest sunflower head went to Kaitlyn W., whose 85-inch -tall sunflower had a bloom that measured 16 and three-eighths inches across from petal tip to petal tip.  She took her mammoth flower home with her. (See the photo above).

Both Carter and Kaitlyn won sunflower kites.

Thank you to all those that participated. It was a great turnout.

Fairy Village

Enchanting and charming are two good words to describe the 20 houses made by the Girl Scouts for the fairy village, which was tucked between a colorful border of cosmos and zinnias.

The girls, under the direction of Girl Scout badge coordinator Jess Clauser, created the houses using natural materials. Early Saturday they placed their houses in the fairy village and embellish the village by adding twigs, pebbles, acorn caps, moss, shells, log slices and more.

Some of the girl scouts earned the brownie outdoor art creator badge and the junior outdoor art explorer badge doing this project, which is one of several that they have completed in the Community Gardens this season.  Many more are planned including a Spring fairy garden with mini daffodils and tulips.

 

Art Show

Another project the Girl Scouts and other children from the community did this summer was draw and paint in the garden classes led by gardener Martel Catalano and Judy Brunner.

In August, young artists created paper sunflowers. On another Saturday, they went into the garden to decide what they would draw and paint.Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 6.55.42 PM

Some drew the flowers. Others focused on vegetables and still others did studies of the insects they found.

More than 30 paintings were created. And, for the art show the artworks were displayed clothesline style in front of the sunflowers.

The following painting of sunflowers by Girl Scout Mae Austin took first place and in addition to winning a medal, will be used on the Community Gardens greeting cards and T-shirt.  Congratulations to all three winners. Second place: Aurora Davis and Third Place: Lucy Ploss.

sunflower

 

 

Fairy Garden, Photo Exhibit and Art Show Today from 2 to 4 pm

Sun2There is a lot happening today at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, 223 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

Local photographer Tom Stock has an exhibit of Pitney Farm photos exhibited in the barn.  The Girl Scouts have created an extensive fairy village within a colorful border of flowers with little houses, pathways and treasures sure to delight.

And the children who experience the garden through art will have their art work on display in front of the sunflowers. Prizes will be awarded.

We will also have organically grown, dried sunflower heads that can be used to feed the birds or for flower arrangements and fall centerpieces on sale as a fundraiser for future events including a Spring fairy garden with mini-daffodils.  Treat your birds to this protein and mineral rich food and help support the gardens.

Contest

The Mammoth sunflowers grown as part of the Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest will be measured and prizes award. That happens at 2:15 this afternoon.

Come join the fun today from 2 to 4 in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens and see what has been accomplished the first season.

I hope to see you in the garden.

Natalie Walsh, Garden Director