Year #2 at the F.L.A.G.G. Garden

Last year saw an abrupt end to my garden and my blogging. I was diagnosed with tongue cancer and my life got put on hold. After a long tough winter in many respects, I am doing well and happy to be out in the garden again.

This year our plots are larger but am excited to say, well plowed and tilled. I took a plot and a half. The half plot I am sharing with my co worker Courtney Albon and we have planted different types of sunflowers in that half of her plot.

I got a late start due to the rain and cold so it should be interesting to see how my plants fare this year. Maybe we will have a great summer and a fall that stays warm.

I will be shooting many photos and hope to get to know all you fellow gardeners.

Happy gardening and hope some of you add comments as summer progresses.



August in the FLAGG Garden

The first week in August found us at our plots at the garden for inspection. Those who signed up for a free freezer had plots inspected, journals turned in and a question and answer session with Ev from United Way and Al from Town and Country.  Most everyone’s plots looked great. Almost all of us have suffered from groundhogs, some sort of vine disease or bugs but we have also all had our successes. Everyone wants to be a part of this next year and I agree! I want a larger plot next year. You certainly learn from your successes and failures.

Val Smith, master gardener, was on hand with more great info on how to have more from our plots and what we can plant now for fall crops. She is going to have more input into next year’s garden. One new item will be a compost area so we will have a place to put our garden waste and then have the benefit of compost when it breaks down.

I was very happy to see all the people come and show off their garden plots and what they are growing.

A party here at the garden will be planned for later and I think it will be time for a true celebration!

Our garden; the first of many for Al!

wow, fellow gardeners, I have cool news to share. Monday, Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture secretary met with 16th District US Congressman, John Boccieri in Wooster to tour the OSU Tech Institute and discuss America’s need for farmers. They did a roundtable with farmers and our very own Al Holdren CEO of Town and Country Co-Op) talked about our garden and how it came to be and how successful it has been!! I guess this caught Vilsack’s attention!!

I have emailed John Boccieri’s assistant today to offer up photos and invited John to check out our blog. Would love to see some more comments posted. We are doing good work and I hope many of you are enjoying the fruits (veggies) of your labors.

And hope you all come next Monday to learn more about putting up food. Pat Shenberger did a great job on Monday talking about freezing. I have been putting food up for decades and still I learned new info from her.

We will also on Monday find out about a possible party when Ev comes to share the evening with us.

I have to say that aside from enjoying my plot and what I have harvested so far; I am also enjoying getting to know some new people. I hope each of you will be part of this garden next year and that we can bring new folks into our group also.


Canning Classes

Canning classes will be held July 19 (Monday) and July 26 (also Monday) at 6:00 p.m. at Ashland’s Kroc Center. For those who signed up for FLAGG and are wanting a free freezer, these two classes are part of the requirement to receive said freezer.

These classes are not repeats so you need to attend both. I want to go to see if there are any new methods or things maybe I can glean to give me a better product.

See you there on Monday!

Veggie Recipes

For any of you that have vegetable recipes to share; please stop down to the garden and access the submission instructions that are in a large ziplock bag taped to the backside of the sign (sounds like Russian spy stuff doesn’t it?

I was at the garden today, July 5th and see Al has the water tank back for us (Thanks Al). I harvested my very first Sungold tomato (yea!) and saw I have peppers, beans and snow peas all coming along nicely.

If everyone keeps watering we should have a bumper crop.  Stay cool this hot week and see everyone soon.

Info, Info, Info (thanks Val!)

Master Gardener Val Smith

The dreaded Groundhog hole

Some of the FLAGG Garden Gang

June 23 saw the afternoon bring us a deluge of rain, wind and even a tornado siren as storms ripped through Ashland County. Come 6:00 and our meeting with Val Smith, master gardener, the skies had cleared and the sun even came out. The gardens were soggy but we were happy we didn’t have to think about watering for another day.

Val walked each of our plots and complimented all on such beautiful gardens. She looked for pests and diseases that may be bothering our efforts. The main culprit so far is rabbits and a pesky groundhog or two. Al is going to be contacted and we will leave the trapping or killing to him since he owns the land. I wonder if he will be like the character Bill Murray played in Caddyshack?

Val’s advice for bugs is to hand pick or use Neem which is non toxic (that is the route I will take). She advised that you can use Sevin but to be sure and read the label carefully and to be sure to WASH all produce before ingesting and not to over use. She has bees at her place so she does not use any chemicals anymore (yea! Val).

Val also said not to kill ladybugs, Asian bugs or lightning bugs and to remember if you do use a pesticide that it will kill the beneficial bugs along with the bad bugs (something to think about).

She talked weed control and the easiest method is to mulch. Paper down  and then covered with thick straw is the easiest. Val can be contacted for straw and she has a wonderful neighbor who is donating straw at NO COST as he believes in what we are doing ( we have been fortunate to have such great people helping us out, haven’t we)? Mulching the plots helps with keeping the moisture in (less watering) and keeping dirt off the plants also which keeps them healthier. My plot is heavily mulched and virtually no weeds.

Val also advised that it is not to late to plant more in our existing plots or we can take the plots by those who opted out of the program and use them. We were given tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant and pepper plants by John and Deb Boyer at Honey Haven when they closed their greenhouse last week for our gardens. It is still ok to plant broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce (you can plant all summer long), spinach, swiss chard and brussel sprouts. End of July you can get these in for a fall crop. She did advise against corn and pumpkins (not enough time now here in Ohio).

Each of us were given a vegetable gardening book put out by the Ohio State University extension office and for anyone needing paper for their beds, please contact me, Nancy, at 419-651-2357 and I can hook you up with paper!

Ev also gave us the schedule for the canning and freezing sessions which will be open to the public. The first one is Monday July 19 at 6 at the Kroc Center and the 2nd class is Monday July 26 also at the Kroc and at 6. Even tho I have canned for years I plan on going to see if they have any new tips or ideas.

I am constantly pleased to see how well each garden is coming along and happy to meet my fellow gardeners. 

Now we need someone to post some comments here!

June 23rd meeting

come one and all on Wednesday June 23rd to the garden for some great gardening tips from the great gardener Val Smith. She will share her wisdom of how to beat the bugs, keep the weeds at bay and grow a better garden.

We will also have available for free, end rolls of newspaper to lay between your rows to help keep the weeds to a minimum.

I was at the garden after work today and everything is looking dandy. I would imagine Al will be getting the water truck back to the garden soon since the rain should be coming to an end for awhile. Most gardens looked well watered and healthy but a few looked ready for a drink. Keep up with them and you will be rewarded in not that long a time with veggies galore!

Happy gardening and see you all on Wednesday.

Courtney tending her garden

Nancy at the new arbor and fence