Archive for November, 2009

And So, To Bed…

We’ll be putting the last of the straw on the beds today. Last of the cover crop was planted last Saturday – the winter wheat we planted on the last clean-up day is coming up beautifully! It promises a secure mulch for the winter, and a rich “green manure” crop for spring.

Great news! We’re negotiating a five-year agreement with the City to keep the garden going! Thanks so much to all the gardeners who worked so hard to make this a success. Thanks to you, we have a great start to what should prove to be a “beautiful friendship” with Water Works and the City.

What Next?
Put your thinking caps on… We are planning a get-together after the holidays to begin discussions of what we would like to do next in the garden. A greenhouse? Soil building? More garden beds? A City CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project? Lots of possibilities…

We’re conducting a survey about your experience in the garden this summer. Public Ally Heather Monroe is taking the lead on this, so she may be contacting you in coming days.

If you would like to apply for a garden plot for next season, please use the application form in the list of “Pages” on the right. You can request the same bed or a different one. We will be addressing the fertility issues that some of you expressed concern about.

We are also welcoming new gardeners for the 2010 season. Some of our gardeners will not be rejoining us, so we will have empty beds in our original garden. And we are looking at adding another “circle” (we’ll be talking about this at the gathering after the holidays). So apply! Tell your friends!

We’ll Keep You Posted
Now that fall work is finally done, we’ll try to do better at blog entries. Stay tuned…


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A Few Last Things…

Hi everyone,

Does anybody have a couple of hours on Saturday to help with a few final tasks in the Garden? I plan to head out there about 1PM (during the warmest part of the day) to finish planting our cover crop and finish putting straw on the beds.

We also need to pick up all the chicken wire or other wire materials that are lying on the ground and in the beds. We can’t leave them there over the winter – they will rust, and they are rather dangerous to people walking through. We can pick them up and put them away, then bring them back next year.

So if you have time…

Saturday, November 28
Pick Up Day

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Beautiful Weather!
clean up
Can you believe how beautiful it was for the clean up on Saturday?

Temperatures were around 60 degrees!

We got the bulk of the fall work done in the garden, with lots of gardeners joining in. We started by removing all the plants from the beds and disposing of the debris. We left late fall crops like Brussels sprouts or cabbage – pretty much everything that was still green. There is still some harvesting to be done.


getting hands dirty
We added fertility to our beds by top-dressing with worm castings from Tony Lambo’s Lamborganics in West Bend. Thanks to Tony and his sons for delivering the castings, and giving us a great price.

We’ll look forward to see the results of our work next spring!

Oh yeah, this was the “getting our hands dirty” part of the job!

Cover Crop
will and the boysWe planted a fall cover crop of winter wheat. This will come up yet this fall, and hold the soil over the winter. Next spring it will “green up” as soon as the frost goes out of the ground, and provide us with a nice “green manure” crop that we can dig into the soil.

We had a good crew of kids helping us this time – thanks, guys! They especially liked digging their hands into the big bag of cool, slippery wheat seeds.

Oat Straw Mulch
Finishing touch for the garden clean-up was a bright topping of oat straw. This will help hold the moisture so our wheat will sprout, and add more mulch to dig in next spring.

We didn’t have enough for oat straw on all the beds, so some have leaves that we raked up in the park – it makes for a nice contrast of different colors and textures, punctuated by the occasional bit of green still growing. The garden continues to be beautiful!

As the final harvests are finished, the gardeners will strip the last of the plants from the beds, and if it’s not too late, we will add some wheat seeds and straw.

A Good Day’s Work Done!
sweet repose
We all enjoyed the benefits of exercise in the fresh air at our garden clean up! Thanks to everyone who brought food for the pot luck. We worked hard all morning, then recharged and hit it again in the afternoon.

We did run out of materials before we quite finished, but have since gotten more. We will put together some small crews for a couple short work days in the next week or so. We’ll finish it up before the snow flies!

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