Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crimson and Clover at PAR Davies

Wait!  That would be a great song!

Hi Everyone,

TOTAL YTD 1296 lbs

Martha's trunk and back seat were loaded down
Today was definitely drier than last Wednesday, and temps were tolerable. Our dedicated gardeners were Susan, Mary Elizabeth, G.A., Martha, Maxine, Ann and myself. The biggest producers today were tomatoes, bell peppers, squash and cucumbers, followed by purple hull peas, watermelon, okra, butter beans, specialty peppers, tomatillos, eggplant, basil, pole beans and potatoes. Most of the time this morning was spent picking, weighing and packaging. Martha once again delivered the produce. She mentioned to me that last week she met the lady in charge of the women's shelter, and she wanted us to know how much they appreciated all the wonderful veggies we are sending them. It is always good to get feedback.

Strange little 'Collier' cukes
There was no evidence of raccoons in the garden when we got there, and even ripening tomatoes on the vines that hadn't been touched. We were able to wrap up the Minn. Midgets in the containers with bird netting, hoping it will keep out whatever wants them. Mary Elizabeth brought rat traps, and G.A. set them out around the hugelkultur beds. I found one slightly misshapen watermelon and was delighted when I turned it over and saw it hadn't been eaten. Then, tragically, it snapped off the vine as I tried to lay it back down!! Dang. We were sure it wasn't ripe yet, and decided to cut into it rather than send it in the delivery. To our surprise, it was ripe and we all had a taste….quite good actually. Maybe we will still be able to salvage a melon or two from our ravaged bed.

Mutant melon with a good flavor
The sweet potatoes were growing out into the walkways and over into the neighboring beds. Maxine cut back all the wayward vines to keep from smothering other veggies and to give us a place to walk… much better….and the vines were put in the compost. I can't wait until we harvest those taters.

I will be getting seeds for a cover crop soon. We are thinking of planting Crimson Clover and Hairy Vetch. Russell's in Collierville should have both in this week, and I plan on getting some of each soon in case there is a chance that they will run out. The man at Russell's told me that we could start planting the Crimson Clover any time but the Hairy Vetch would be for Oct/Nov planting.  I will get a smaller amount of the clover, since most of our beds will start to empty out later on in the fall. We will also have to keep in mind that there is a long list of things we want to plant for our cool weather garden. There will have to be some creative planting in order to get everything in and do the cover crops too. We have one empty bed right now and it won't be long and the squash bed will be cleaned out. There are also some half empty beds by the tomatoes. Let's start talking about our fall garden next week.

A small crop from a big tower
The last potato tower was tipped over and netted 4.5 lbs. It was decided that we would only do one tower next year as a 'demo,' since these cost more to put together than justifies the yield, and stick with planting them in the ground.

Our zinnias are beautiful and with all this rain aren't getting the usual powdery mildew they are subject to. I have been picking a bouquet for the ladies in the Davies office every week. These are seeds I saved from my garden last year. Apparently I was 'into pink' because that is the only color that is blooming. What was I thinking?!

Pink zinnias!
SHALLOW CARDBOARD BOXES: We have run out of the great shallow boxes that we have now come to rely on. They keep the tomatoes from getting bruised and smashed and are great for so many other things. A great way to safely transport our precious veggies. If you can, please save these for us. At present, we don't need any more bags. Using the containers and boxes makes our produce look so much more appealing.

Thank you volunteers….come when you can. Your presence is always appreciated.

'Til later,

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