Summer Is Here!

Our wonderful new addition to the garden

I was at my plot nice and early before the heat of the day kicked in. The humidity was still high but still the temp was cool enough to get some serious work accomplished.

I was met at the gardens, by Val Smith, who just is a wealth of knowledge about growing a successful veggie garden. She was quite impressed with everyone’s plot and had some ideas and suggestions to help us get a good crop ( I will share her tips here later). We put down unimprinted newspaper strips and then covered with straw. I am excited to see my beans and peas coming along nicely. Plants are nice to buy but to me the excitement and wonderment comes from planting simple seeds in the ground. Wow, when they first poke up out of the ground it is a thrill. When they get bigger you almost burst with pride and THEN when you can harvest, you are in awe….

Here are some tips from Val: you can start planting more in your space (if you have space!) We have some unused plots and we will find out which are empty and maybe we can grow more! Veggies to plant now are beans, squash, peas and kale. Lettuce and spinach you can plant later for a fall crop. Also Val recommended putting down newspaper and straw or when Al mows again that would make a great covering over the paper. This will keep weeds to a minimum. As some weeds do poke thru, you can just pull them and add them on top of the straw. It helps keep your plants from drying out and also keeps down the splashing of dirt on your vegetables when it rains.

Now is the time to check for bugs. One plots’ squash had beetles in the blooms which Val said can be hand picked or chemicals used. Keeping out the bugs will help have a better crop when it comes time to harvest. Putting marigolds around the perimeter of your garden helps with some pests and I saw some had mothballs scattered thru their plots. I plan on making a trip to Green Valley Growers this week when their flowers are marked down to 50% off and seeing if I can’t score enough to put around my area (will look pretty too!)    

Last but not least: thanks to all involved thru Mapleton High School for the wonderful and pretty fence and arbor at the foot of our land. I can’t wait to see it all painted!!  Our community garden has come a long way since this early spring and I want to thank everyone involved who has made this a reality.  This is a wonderful thing for our community.

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Rain, rain, go away, come again another day

The first week in June has seen alot of rain dumped on our gardens. I have to say I think they are all looking spectacular. I hear some have had bunnies or something munching on cabbage, etc. I was told by a co worker that laying rose branches with those sharp thorns around the perimeter of your garden would discourage them so after a few trips to my plot, branches in hand; we shall see.

I am going to be bringing end rolls of newspapers (no print on them) for those who would like to put between your plants and cut down on the weeding. I plan on putting a thick layer of straw too as I really don’t want to spend my summer weeding. When I find out where to store the paper I will let you know so you too can take advantage of it.

I spoke with Ev today and the fence at the bottom of the land should be put up soon. I am quite proud of our garden plots and hope you are also.

Ev also said that he thinks the canning class or classes will be held sometime in August. I will post when I have more info.

Keep up the good work and enjoy our garden!!

My wild tomato cages

First Time Gardeners

Let the gardening begin…..drum roll please…

Our Sign Is Up

Monday night found most of us in attendance with the season and the grounds ready for final tilling and planting. Was a wonderful summer eve and the place was buzzing with activity.   

Our sign ( furnished by Morris Sign Co) was put up and soon we should have our fence up too. I can’t believe the changes since Ev and I first walked the ground just a few short months ago. Each plot “owner” was given a journal to fill in for the season which is a great touch and has info for help. You can email mgvashland03@yahoo.com to get assistance or ask a question of the master gardeners or you can call the Ashland Public Library to find the days and times that a Master Gardener will be on hand to help!

We took the rest of the photos of each plot family (some I took the week before) and at the end of the growing season we will take another photo of the same families with their bumper crop of veggies.

The weather looks like it will be hot for this time of year into the beginning of the weekend and some rain is forecast. I know we all hope that Mother Nature is good to us and we do get rain but our water “truck” has arrived at the site also so we have the h2o we need to keep our gardens growing.

Hope everyone is getting some sun (wear your sunscreen) and is meeting your fellow gardeners. I am bad with names, so for those of you who have a plot, please excuse me if I forget your name, just introduce yourself to me again. I am sure before long we will know each other’s names and feel like family.

In Search of Donors and Sponsors

Our gardening season is here and the plantings have begun. We met on the 24th to get plants, seeds and plenty of good help from the local master gardeners to help have successful plots for 2010.

At this time we wish to reach out to those who can help make this project successful and see if you can help reach the goal of raising $4,000. This money will buy canning supplies and 5 cubic ft. freezers for those who are at 200% of poverty level. Ev’s church held a garage sale and raised $351. last week (way to go Cornerstone Sunday School Class of Trinity Lutheran Church)  and we would love to have individuals or organizations or businesses help in our cause. For more info you can call Ev DeVaul at 419-281-5551.  All families who are part of this program have guidelines to follow to receive the above.

Ashland’s F.L.A.G.G. Garden

For those of you who have just stumbled upon this blog you may be wondering what F.L.A.G.G. is…

F.L.A.G.G stands for Families Learn and Grow Gardens and is a community garden in Ashland County brought together in a joint effort by United Way of Ashland County, Master Gardeners of Ashland, Town & Country Co-Op and Ashland Area Council for Economic Development.

Al Holdren, President of Town and County Co-Op had thought about doing this for years. He finally got together with Ev DeVaul of United Way and the idea became reality.

For those families whose income is 200 per cent or less of federal poverty level the plot, garden supplies and seeds are free. Others have paid for their plots to be a part of this exciting venture.

As this first post goes up the ground has been dug and plowed and on May 24, seeds will be given out and the planting will begin. Please stop by the blog often for updates, photos, recipes and more!  We welcome your input and hope you enjoy our endeavors.

Loving the dirt!

Ev Devaul of United Way checking out the grounds