Thursday, March 24, 2011

Catching up!

My apologies for not blogging for a while. Plenty has been going on, and I will try to give a little overview of more important happenings.

For the third year in a row STARworks Garden, with the help of Greg Bender and Hugh Martin, held Shiitake and Oyster mushroom cultivation workshops. 
Hugh first guided us through some basics via Power Point presentation.
Then it was time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

Alice Clemens here, having fun drilling the logs.

Women with power tools!

Looks like these guys could be at home in the kitchen!
Waxing the logs, after inoculation. 

It's easy enough for kids! Hugh's youngest son, Daniel helping Jeff Boothby inoculate the logs.

 I have mentioned before that Eddie and Angela, the owners of Wet Dog Glass, offered us a piece of their land to turn into a garden for STARworks. Adam named it "the East College Street Garden Complex". Adam and I went last Friday, and started to spread out the big pile of cow manure compost we had ordered from Mr. Brown.
 One wheelbarrow load at a time...
 After a few hours of shoveling and hauling we had about half of the pile spread, and decided it had been enough for the day.
 On Saturday we got going about 9 am. Eddie, Angela and Nancy all shoveled and raked.
 Santiago brought his two tillers, but we soon discovered - those were not going to help us much. Luckily Eddie has a great neighbor Kenneth, who owns a tractor (or 2) and farm equipment! Thanks Kenneth! Power tools can be very nice, when used well... and not abused. For instance - after the initial plowing and tilling, if you mulch well - you really shouldn't need to use a tractor, or a tiller again!
Being able to use a tractor really helped us to get a lot of work done at no time!

 And Andreas, who had a birthday that day - got to ride the tractor back to Kenneth's house.
 I don't have a final picture of the new garden complex yet. We ended up using up all the cardboard that needed to be recycled at Wet Dog Glass, to mulch over some of the beds. Once more cardboard piles up, we can mulch between the beds as well, and finish mulching all the beds.
Between plowing and tilling, Eddie put up a rain water catchment system with the help of Adam, Everett, Zack; and Phil helped build the platforms to raise the cisterns up.
Huge thanks to Eddie, who is always ready to lend a hand, and has great ideas of how to get things done!
This morning, for instance, he helped me prune and train the fruit trees in the garden. They ended up looking real nice!
Also Great Thanks to: Adam, Phil, Santiago, Everett, Zack, Angela, Nancy, Anna for all the help!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Plants for sale

Just a quick update to let you all know that I have a small amount of cold weather veggies plants for sale.
Here's the list:
Swiss Chard "Ruby Red" 4pack $1.20   3pack $1.-
Tatsoi                                4pack $1.20
Lettuce: Buttercrunch       4pk $1.20 
             Rouge D'Hiver    6pk $2.-
Napa Cabbage "Aichi"    4pk $1.20
Broccoli Raab                  3pk $1.-
There is also some Yarow plants in an assortment of pastel colors 2,5"pot $2.- 
Chocolate Mint in 2,5" pot $2.- and 3.5" pot $3.-

There will be more plants and varieties in coming weeks. Please make an appointment to come by the greenhouse if you wish to purchase some plants! My cell #336 653 9551.
I am usually either in the garden or in the office every weekday from 10am to 2:30pm 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On top of the world:)

This morning, when checking my email I had a nice surprise:) STARworks Garden Blog has been featured in an online article about organic gardening: Growing Green At Home: The Top 35 Organic Gardening Blogs. The blog is listed in top 5  in Farming category.

That's pretty cool! And a bit funny to me... When we first started to bounce around this idea to build a garden in the back of the STARworks building, the former sock mill, I was overall very skeptical about online presence. To tell you the truth, I wanted nothing to do with blogs, or Facebook or whatever else was out there.
 My life was already full, or so I thought, and blogging seemed like utterly too much to do on top of everything else... Plus - you sort of have to be open enough to "journal"... you know - discuss things in writing - but publicly...
I kept pushing back at first, when Nancy suggested I take up blogging about the garden.
But finally, oh so very reluctantly, I signed up for Blogger account, and started feeling my way around that whole new realm.
Little did I know I would enjoy the process so much that I currently keep up with 3 blogs, have become slightly addicted to Facebook, and have even sniffed Twitter a bit.

So - cheers to all the bloggers of this world. This new media has taken "freedom of speech" to a new level.

Now, getting back to more mundane (or muddy?) matters... Here are a few proofs that I have been busy in the garden, getting my fingers dirty, as well as clicking the keyboard keys!
The list of seedlings started in the greenhouse is pretty long. Mostly cool weather crops, as we are not out of the possible freezing time quite yet. Last few nights there has been some frost on my car window.
 A new plant I have started this spring is Sorrel - such a delightful leafy green/herb - it could go either way. In the foreground of this picture are some Chinese cabbages.

This is an Apricot (one of my most favorite fruits) branch on our dwarf "fruit medley tree" in the garden. It was the first to bloom.
Jim Joyce donated 3 fruit trees to STARworks Garden last year. We have a pear and apple tree with 3 different varieties on each, crafted on dwarf rootstock. 
And a tree with apricot, peach, nectarine and plum.
It's pretty crazy that something like this can even be done!
The apricot branch actually bore 2 delicious fruits last summer!

Just a reminder: this year's last Mushroom workshop is on SATURDAY, from 9-12.