Eartheasy Article on Natalie’s Community Gardening Work

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Click to read more: Eartheasy

Thank you to all the wonderful people I met from coast to coast who are creating community gardens and orchards. I am grateful for the time and information you shared with me.

See you in the gardens, Natalie

Sometimes the Pictures Tell the Story Best





Thank you to all the volunteers who came to the garden this morning. We worked through the rain and were able to set the last long row of raised beds in place and we staked the 8x12s in ground beds on one side.

Then the skies really opened up and we ran for cover. I will be in the garden at 8 a.m. Sunday to set the other side, which means every gardener will be able to plant tomorrow. The plots will be labelled with your names.

Thank you all for your patience and your help and a special thank you to Rocco who brought us a delicious lunch and to Kim F. for those yummy brownies. Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 1.35.09 PM.png

Thank you everyone for everything. This is a great COMMUNITY GARDEN because of each of you. The talents you bring to the garden are varied and welcome.

Special shout out to Jim Gold who has been tireless in his volunteering, Heather von Allen for her continuous support and Gus, for his willingness to do anything that needs doing.  You are priceless.

I watched everyone working together, helping each other, and I realized how grateful I am for all of this and all of you.

The Navy Came Through

What a great morning.

Volunteers from the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa came to give us a hand and were able to set beds in place, lay down landscape fabric, line the pathways with fabric, then gravel, and rake it out. They also filled the raised beds with soil and the sandbox with play sand.  What they did on one hot, humid morning would have taken us a day and a half. Thank you.

And, a thank you to all those who dropped off drinks and snacks and to Barbara for bringing lunch from the Putnam Market.  Every bit was appreciated.


Community Gardens Morning Update

Saratoga Bridges came and five more folks entered the Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest.

Then volunteers arrived to install the irrigation system and to help plant.

The irrigation system took top priority this morning as it needed to be put in place before more raised beds can be installed. Paul Arnold, Bill Pitney, Rick Fenton, Jim Gold and Rich Hart were setting posts and digging a trench this morning. Thank you.Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.49.52 AM.png

And while they were doing that Isabelle and Emma planted another row of sunflowers. Then they planted morning glories around the stalks of the 10-day-old sunflowers that are the “walls” of our sunflower house.  Our hope is the morning glories will grow, climb the sunflowers and be trained along twine strung overhead to create a “roof” of blooms.

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It’s a great day and it’s only noon!

FYI: I will be in the garden again from 3 to 5 pm today and tomorrow and again on Saturday morning from 9 to noon, weather permitting, so come and enter the contest. Seeds are free thanks to a generous donation from Sue Johnson.

Rotary Club Awards Community Gardens $500 Grant

The Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs awarded $500 towards the drilling of a well for the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Thank you from all the gardeners! We appreciate your generosity.

The drilled well provides water for all the community garden beds, which this year will number around 50 and in years to come can be as many as 200 plots.

Already members of the Saratoga community are coming to the garden, planting vegetables and joining in. The Girl Scouts created markers for the community herb garden and helped to plant a sunflower playhouse, local children have come to the garden to enter the “Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest” and several community organizations have leased plots so that they can either garden alongside their members or grow food for the benefit of their members.

And, of course, there are the gardeners who rented plots in order to grow healthy, organic food for themselves and their families. The energy is amazing.

There are a few 4×8 raised beds left if you know someone who would like to grow food or flowers in the gardens. Click here for a Garden Application

Thank you again to the Rotary Club.  Please come visit us in the garden and see what your grant helped create.



Beet Seeds?

Anyone have any beet seeds they didn’t use?

The five-year-olds in the Family Gardening Program pulled up the last of the arugula and there’s a nice empty space for some beets.

I thought I had seeds but…I must have used them.

If you have seeds to spare, let me know. I’ll come by and get them. Thanks, Natalie

Blueberries by Robert Frost

“You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”

It’s good year for blueberries. My sister is bringing some berries from her garden today and some eggs from her chickens.

For lunch we are having a vegetables and pasta. The peppers, peas, beans, tomatoes, parsley, basil are all from my garden.

The tomatoes are the first of the season and fresh off the vine this morning. I held them in my hand and inhaled the aroma.

I love growing our own food.

Life is good.

What is that beetle?

Jap Beetle

For the person who put the beetles in a jar asking for identification. These are Japanese Beetles.

An easy way to battle them without pesticides – which we don’t use in our community garden – is to get a pail of soapy water and put it directly under the plant being bothered. If you tap the leaf, the beetle drops into the water and drowns.

If you do this early in the day when the beetles are the least active, you will greatly reduce the number of beetles in short order.


We Made A Scarecrow Today

You know the expression, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took a village to make this scarecrow.

Bob LeClair made the frame. The clothes came from the thrift shop. The houseplants we planted in the shoes came from my son,  Gina found the straw hat at a garage sale. The scarecrows’s stuffing was wood wool – packing material donated by Rocky Dale Nursery in Bristol, Vt.  and the buttons, felt and muslin came from the generous ladies in the craft room at the community center.  Thank you all.

The kids…about 60…  who are part of the Family Gardening Program participated in his construction.  It was a hot day but groups of kids worked hard to make him come alive. And, he looks darn good.

Here are some photos so you can see for yourself.

Here is the finished scarecrow.  That fine friendly face was made by Miss Nancy and her helpers.

Here is the finished scarecrow. That fine friendly face was made by Miss Nancy and her helpers.

We stuffed him with wood wool. It is easy to work with.

We stuffed him with wood wool. It is easy to work with.

We couldn't find boots so we laid his shoes with soil and planted two spider plants in them.

We couldn’t find boots so painted shoes purple,  filled his shoes with soil and planted two spider plants in them.

In the end he looked pretty darn happy.

In the end, he looked pretty darn happy and so did we.

Luna Moth

Luna mothI was very lucky this morning.

I was running errands and picking up groceries. Nothing special. I got talking to a friend who was checking out my purchases at the cash register.

She told me she saw something yellow in the parking lot and it turned out in was this moth. Some co-workers picked it up and moved it to a safer place behind the building, she said.

We went around to the woodsy area were it had been freed and it was still there in all its glory.

These moths live a very short time and I have only seen two in my lifetime. What a treat. Thanks Laura!