strawberry joyThis quote brought back memories of my childhood.  We didn’t always have a garden but if we owned any land around us, my folks would plant something to eat.  The joy that was evident on their faces when they picked and prepared something that they grew; they planted the seed in my own soul to want to grow food too. Through the years  I, like many of you, had tried to grow in Florida…to no  avail.   Thanks to a mild growing season, the sharing of information, lots of hard work, and God’s grace of multiplying our efforts, we have all experienced the joy of accomplishing more than we thought possible for our fall garden.   Some of you are moving on to your own backyard gardens….and it’ll be a grand experience.  Most of you have signed on to garden through the spring with us.  A few of you have learned and have a better appreciation for the work involved and have chosen to not garden for many reasons.  We would love to have you back anytime.

We’re nearing the end of the fall season and there are some housekeeping rules to go over.

  1. If you are not doing a spring garden with us, please have your row cleaned out by Feb. 6th. That’s a Wednesday.  We need to have all of the vacant rows ready to be planted again by Feb. 16th. To clean a row, please:
    1. Remove all plants…take home what you’d like, discard any diseased plants at the end of your row.  any plants that are NOT diseased please put in the 2 compost bins under the shade area.
    2. Remove all weedsuse the hoe and rake and buckets to dump them at the end of your row.  the row should be weed/plant free and raked smooth.
  2. Everyone…whether you are continuing or not...please weed your rows.  We all started with a weed free garden in the fall.  Some new gardeners will be joining us on the 16th and they deserve the same weed free experience.
  3. Thanks! We rototilled between rows on Saturday…again, thank you to those that had pulled most of the weeds from the walking paths. It makes a big difference when we till.  Please keep weeds pulled from the sides of your rows and the walking path now.  spring is a season of warm temps and lots of weeds. If we keep control of them, we won’t have half the problem.
  4. As you use the wash area, put the drains in the sinks please!  They are the silver, round, metal contraption with holes….and then dump them on the grass when you are through with the sink.  They will catch all the refuse so it doesn’t clog up our system.   Rinse out the sink when you are through.
  5. At the meeting on Feb.2 at noon, we’ll have some files and the hoes.  Please volunteer to grab one and sharpen it.  It only takes about 10 minutes and they will be ready for the spring work.

Spring season officially begins Feb. 16th:  Unless you are notified, you will resume the spring garden with the row you have been growing in. If you have any concerns about the row you’ve been using please talk to me.  Otherwise, I’ll assume you are all good to start planting again.  we will meet at 8 am for preliminary instructions on how to prepare your row and how to plant and space seeds. If you feel confident with this knowledge then don’t worry about missing it.  This is primarily for the new gardeners.  if you want a review, please plan on attending.  Everyone should have purchased a bag of peat moss and a bag of black cow to work into their rows.  This is necessary because of the high demand on nutrients that the spring crop will have on the soil.  [On a side note, you’ll find that the healthier your soil is the less you will have to contend with bugs.] I would highly encourage you to buy a bag of vermiculite to work into the soil also for aeration.  Have your seeds ready to plant that day or thereafter.

FEBRUARY 2nd MEETING: We want to share your knowledge.  Come with a paper and pencil and your own few best seed varieties that you used, the best products that you used on the plants, or whatever you feel inclined to share.  You’ve been experimenting and learning for 5 months….share!  Our meeting will be at noon.  If you’d like to bring a dish of food to share, we’ll have taster cups and spoons for your use.  That is the day that the money for the spring season is due.  You may pay by check at the meeting, or get on the website and pay by PayPal.  We’ll have new catalogs from Johnny’s Seed and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for you. We will also have more copies of the planting guide if you misplaced yours.  If you’d like to order some Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, I can get them through our CSA for a reduced price.  Its not too late to order seeds at that point.

More joy forthcoming!


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