Happy belated Monday

Happy Thursday everyone,

Again we succeeded in dancing between the raindrops. Betwixt rain showers we accomplished so much last week. Last week we had help from familiar and new faces from the families of Global Leadership Initiative for Youth (GLIFY), EKAM (Sanskrit for Oneness), Boy’s Team Charity (BTC), Foothill High School, and Windemere Ranch Middle School (WoRMS) teams. With the help of so many young hands we literally got tons done. Also a special shout out to RB, we wish you a full and speedy recovery and hope to see you back in the garden soon.

We were able to share sweet potatoes, winter squash, box ripened tomatoes with 35 pounds of freshly harvested kale, collards, broccoli plus our first carrots and beets with our neighbors. YUM!

Weeding out oat sprouts was the big focus of the week, we removed oat sprouts from 1,479 sq feet of beds. Many thanks to all you VERY patient weeders for sorting those sprouts out from the vegetables plants they were growing with. We moved most of the oat sprouts out into the new expansion beds as green mulch and to see how many would re-root. Those sprouts that do re-root will help loosen the clayey soil of the new beds with their diffuse roots and complement the nitrogen supplementation of all the fava beans we already planted there. Thanks to ZC for hoeing the weeds in the driveway too! We will add more wood chip there when we get more chips in.

Folks also worked on the newest 774 square feet of expansion by adding an additional 4” of topsoil ( about 15,776 pounds of new soil to be exactish) to the lasagna mulching layer and broadcasting about three pounds of ‘plow down’, a pre made mixture of bell beans, field peas, oats and vetch from Peaceful Valley, into this new soil. This mixture will also fix nitrogen and loosen the native soil beneath the cardboard lasagna layer. For you history buffs, the planting of legumes (beans) and Poaceae (grasses and grains) to improve the soil and the nutrition of pastured animals has been around since at least since the early 1900’s and nature has probably been doing it a lot longer.

The sunflowers are harvested and their bed weeded. We will expand the bunching onions that are growing in the South end of that bed. The onions were a gift from Jenna of GLIFY, back in July and they are growing beautifully in that bed and we would love to have more of them there. Thanks Jenna!

We also put out the last of the bulb onions sets scattering about 150 of them throughout the chard and broccoli beds. We also transplanted the last of the Willis collards and the first 48 of our Chinese lettuce, aka celtuce, qingsun or wosun. We planted the celtuce at the recommendation of ZL and I am very excited to try this new vegetable. Right now we are trialing it as a winter crop but will also trial it this spring to see how it does as a summer crop.

Beyond soil work a lot got done last week too, the compost bins got some much needed loving. Another batch of compost went in and the air ducts to the bins got rebuilt! Many thanks to AW and his helpers!

Many thanks to DB for pruning the fruit trees around the fire pit! They look a little bare right now but I know they will be beautiful come spring. Speaking of bare, JH and his crew got all 113 holes dug for the bare root trees we will be planting when they arrive in January! Thanks guys!

As always, I am indebted to all of you and send you all my sincere gratitude. Fertile GroundWorks could not do all we do without wonderful volunteers like you. You are all truly amazing human beings. THANK YOU!!! for enabling us to TEACH, GROW, and GIVE.

I do hope that you all will be able to come back and see how your efforts helped the garden to grow and change with the seasons.

I hope everyone gets to enjoy a couple lazy days after finals and throughout the holidays and that everyone’s holidays are full of love, good company and great food!!

Happy gardening everyone.

With sincere gratitude and hugs