Time to Tuck in the Garden Beds for the Winter

Tucked in.jpgIt was a chilly, drizzling morning Saturday, but still we got so much done in the gardens.

Thank you all who came out and worked cleaning beds.  We stayed busy and enjoyed the homemade onion soup made from our own onions, fried dough, cookies and turmeric tea.

With the frosty temperatures forecast this week, everyone should be clearing out the last of the warm loving vegetables: basil, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, eggplants. Harvest before the freezing temperatures.

Cool season veggies like carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts do well when the weather gets nippy so – if you are a gardener in good standing – you can leave them for now.

Some gardens still need to be tended, but I trust it will be done by Oct. 22.

Our mandatory meeting is Oct. 24th at the Spring Street Gallery at 6 p.m. That is when you will be able to choose your garden beds for next season and hear about our plans for 2019.

See you in the gardens, Natalie

 

 

 

Great turnout at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens’ Fairy Gathering and Sunflower Measuring

Approximately 800 people visited the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens for the 2nd annual fall fairy gathering and measuring of the sunflowers. Many wore fairy attire and the garden was a flurry of fluttering fairies enjoying field games, live music, dance and an appearance by the fairy queen.Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 11.50.04 AM.png

 

Fairy House Construction is Underway for Gathering Next Week

 

Our Fairy Gathering at the Pitney Meadows Community Garden is Sept. 22 from noon to 3 and children were busy putting the finishing touches on their fairy houses today.

It will be a big day on the farm, located at 223 West Ave in Saratoga Springs. Some 30 tiny dwellings created by Girl Scouts will be on display. There will be field games, a fairy dance, raffle and an appearance by the Fairy Queen who will led children with a story through the community gardens.

Much more is planned including a Fairy dance, games, a Nine Miles East food truck and free ice cream cones to the first 300 children from Ben and Jerry’s. Children are encouraged to dress in fairy attire and fairy wings, wands and flower crowns will be available for sale.

It is a great chance to see in the gardens which include a butterfly garden, grandmothers’ gardens and rows upon rows of glorious sunflowers. Of course, there are also the 70 plus plots where gardeners have grown vegetables all summer long.  Also on Saturday, the 22nd, at 2 p.m. the 63 sunflowers grown by children in the second annual sunflower contest will be measured and prizes will be awarded for the tallest and the one with the biggest head.

Come and join the fun.

Girl Scouts Dig Up Potatoes for the Franklin Community Center Pantry

 

Two Girl Scouts troops, #3009 and # 3426, dug up the Adirondack Red potatoes they grew and cared for all summer at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

The troops plan to donate some of their harvest to the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry.

Good work!

In total, four different Girl Scouts troops worked in the gardens this summer and shared what they grew with the food pantry.

 

Did We Reach 100 lbs of Donated Produce? I’m Betting Yes!

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 8.58.05 AMI was in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens very early today and picked two eggplants for the Franklin Community Center food pantry from a plot with permission.

One was quite hefty and I think together they weigh at least a pound, maybe more.

It being early and Labor Day, no one was at FCC when I left them on Carolyn’s Bench outside the entrance.

But I hope they find them when they come in because I believe it will put us over the 100 pounds of donated fresh, organically grown vegetables for the season.

We are only a half pound from this milestone. Abby, Julie….let me know!

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 8.58.34 AM

 

Navy Helps with Event Preparations

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 11.58.50 AMThe Navy is good to us and willing to help in so many ways.

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 11.52.06 AMToday, volunteers painted Bill’s Barn and worked on some of the colorful face boards that will be displayed September 22 at the Fairy Gathering.

They also harvested vegetables and started scraping the horse barn.

A lot was going on. And that was all before noon!

Thank you all. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

Growing Buckwheat to Improve Soils

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 7.38.04 AM.png

This is the second crop of buckwheat growing in the area where we will likely add new garden plots next season.  Soon, this field will be blooming in white and buzzing with honeybees.

Gardeners have asked what does buckwheat do for us?

It improves it by providing quick cover and suppressing weeds, it attracts good insects,  and it makes otherwise unavailable phosphorus available.

“The roots of the plants produce mild acids that release nutrients from the soil. These acids also activate slow-releasing, organic fertilizers, such as rock phosphate. Buckwheat’s dense, fibrous roots cluster in the top 10 inches of soil, providing a large root surface area for nutrient uptake,” a publication of the Cooperative Extension system. Complete article: https://articles.extension.org/pages/18572/buckwheat-for-cover-cropping-in-organic-farming

We will be tilling the buckwheat into our soil to add organic matter. The nutrients will enrich and enhance what we have. In the meantime, honeybees and other beneficial insects  such as hover flies, predatory wasps, lady beetles visit the buckwheat and help maintain the garden’s health.

Bad News for Tomato Hornworms, Good News for Us

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 7.30.40 AMWhat are those white ovals on this tomato hornworm found in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens?

They are the pupating cocoons of braconid wasps and a welcome sight in the garden. The wasp is a beneficial parasite that lays its eggs on the hornworm.

As they grow, they feed on the hornworm. Once the wasps emerge, the hornworm dies and the wasps look for another hornworm to repeat the cycle.

It is good to see our gardens are a good habitat for the wasp, which will help us keep tomato hornworms out of the garden.