First of all, check out the fantastic growth on our cover crops at the Eastside Community Gardens:
In other news: our community gardeners who have been participating in our workshop series and small-scale season extension projects have been busily harvesting away, even in these past two months after most other gardens around here are already over and done with. Since April of this year, our participating gardeners have harvested over 3000 lbs of produce from their nine small-to-mid-sized gardens across Athens and Vinton Counties! And all of that even after some considerable damage in multiple gardens from some unfortunately all-too-common four-legged nuisances…
Even with winter nearly upon us (it snowed a bit this weekend!), our gardeners are still happily harvesting turnips, beets, radishes, herbs, lettuce, kale, chard, mixed greens, and even some green beans from their gardens. It should be a tasty, fresh, healthy produce-filled Thanksgiving season for our gardeners. They’re all VERY grateful for these new season extension materials and training!
More Garden Improvements:
We’ve been hard at work utilizing as much of the donated lumber, mulch, and compost from earlier this year to make some lasting improvements to our gardens:
We recently added four new raised beds to The Chauncey Community Garden. What started as 5 beds this spring is now up to 11. There’s also still plenty of room to add up to 14 more beds in the future as community interest and usage of the location continues to increase!
Another handy use for our lumber has been to create a sizable raised bed pollinator garden all along the north and west edges of the Southside Community Garden. We’ve tilled up and installed permanent 3′ wide raised beds running the entire length of two sides of the garden. Roughly 1/3 of that area was already planted with several different annual and perennial flower and herb crops that attract beneficial pollinating and predatory insects with their bright colors and nectar/pollen-rich flowers. Now that the border bed is complete, we hope to have the entire space similarly planted next season.
Also at the Southside Community Garden, we’ve successfully re-gridded the whole location to be more effectively and evenly split up into a larger number of clearly marked plots and walkways. Next year we will have sixteen 10×12′ plots, plus an approximately 70×30′ space at the previously underutilized south end of the garden. The large space will be planted with some low-maintenance/high-output vegetable crops and maintained by volunteer gardeners to be 100% donated to food pantries in the area through CFI’s Donation Station. A similarly-sized and equally underutilized space in the center of the Nelsonville Community Garden will also be used to the same effect. Both spaces are currently planted with the same cover crop mix as the Donation Station plot at the Eastside Community Garden in preparation for next spring.