Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone,

What a wonderful week! We seemed to be dancing between the raindrops, with rain storms starting just after we finished and beautiful rainbows to brighten our time in the garden. So much got done in the garden with tons of hard work by regular volunteers, teams of folks from Kaiser, Essex, Stanford Health Care and their families, the Girl Scouts and students from Amador, Dublin and San Ramon High Schools. These week we say goodbye to Mari, as she heads off to start her graduate studies in Urban Planning, and welcome to Zane who started work on Friday. He has some big shoes to fill.

We were able to share sweet potatoes, winter squash, box ripened tomatoes with 27 pounds of freshly harvested kale and our first heads of broccoli. YEAH BROCCOLI!

I thought we had all our old beds pretty well planted until we pulled the agribond off the beds that had been directly sown and found that a couple of them where we used older seeds ( 2yr old parsnips and carrots mostly) had really poor germination rates so we transplanted 180 arugula and 147 other greens like bokchoy, cabbages and tyfon out into those beds. We also sowed seeds for about 880 radishes, daikon, and NEW carrots into a couple of the beds. We bought and started 384 new parsnip seeds in the green house-the soil in the beds is a bit too cold for them to germinate and they take 21 days to germinate at the right temperatures, persnickety parsnips.

Throughout the beds that are planted in greens we scattered about 300 onion sets and garlic cloves. We are hopeful that reports indicating these alliums will deter the insects that like to eat greens, aphids and cabbage moths, are correct. Fingers crossed.

After Saturday’s shift I had to just stand in awe of all the work we got done this week . Over 6,500 sq feet of weeds pulled, the dumpster filled. About 7 cubic yards of wood chips put out around the sinks. The summer pumpkin patch is now planted in about 2,800 fava beans and a mess of oats. The fava beans will help fix nitrogen and the oat roots will help loosen the soil in these beds. The next 744 sq foot section of the southern expansion beds were lasagna mulched with cardboard and almost 33,000 pounds (13.5 cu yds) of new soil/compost mix on top of the cardboard. We will be planting this area in a mix of legumes (beans, peas and vetch) and oats to start those beds out with some extra nitrogen and nice structure next spring, AND the Native Pollinator bed got a weeding to remove weed seeds that sprouted in our recent rains, leveled and planted with literally thousands of California native wildflowers. I can hardly wait to see all the beautiful flowers this spring, WAHOOO!

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 lazy rainy day before the holidays and that your holidays are full of love, good company and great food!!

Happy gardening everyone.

With sincere gratitude and hugs