Tag Archives: community garden

I love the smell of parsnips in the afternoon

It smells like victory.

Last fall's parsnip harvest

Last fall’s parsnip harvest

At the end of the season last fall, I dug up about two dozen well-formed parsnips, almost six pounds worth. Also the usual tomato, eggplant, and chile pepper.  This was the biggest surprise, as I had never had any luck before growing carrots or parsnips. But last winter, I had enough parsnips to last me until April!

Over the winter, I tallied up which plants were more successful and which weren’t. On the worth it list:  Tomato plants, Parsnip seeds, Shallot sets, Eggplant plants, Carrot seeds, Pepper plants, and Squash seeds. Not worth it: Broccoli plants, Potato sets, Parsley plant, Snap pea plant & seed, and Lettuce plants. The mushroom kit was a nearly complete waste of money, and the raspberries & strawberries that I planted years ago continue to pay off.

Community garden plot full of greenery

Community garden plot full of greenery

This spring I renewed my resolution to avoid buying plants, and to trust my seeds to sprout. I resolved do better at growing greens. I have done better at planting my community garden plot to square foot grids. I marked out paths inside the plot.

Bags and bags of greens

Bags and bags of greens

Today was my first harvest. I picked several ounces of pea tendrils, a pound of flowering yu choy, and three pounds of turnip greens! Smells like victory!

So I celebrated by planting more parsnips.

Penultimate Harvest

A frost warning sent me out to my community garden plot yesterday to gather all the green tomatoes that were never going to get ripe.

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I picked a heavy bagful of tomatoes, a few from my Butter Bush, a lot from the Rutgers, plus four more huge tomatoes from a volunteer tomato plant in my home garden. It was so many, it felt like more than all the ripe red tomatoes I’ve picked put together.

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I grew some food!

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Because of all the rain, it’s been about a week since I visited my community garden plot. I was startled by all the changes.

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Don’t give up on lettuces

A bowl of lettuce, complete with dirt it grew in.

I went to water my community garden plot today. After a hot, dry weekend that I spent hiding in the freezing air conditioning at Readercon, I feared everything would be all crispy. Instead, the plants looked fine.

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Compost fixes everything

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Finally, finally one of my compost tumblers finished cooking the leaves and weeds, and finally I emptied it. So today I brought over a couple more bags of compost to my community garden plot, and the most important “finally” is that the whole plot has a layer of compost on it. The best part is already the swath of vermicompost is helping.

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Our community garden has hawks!

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The sky was grey when I visited my community garden plot today. It was still hot, but a bit of a relief from the blazing sun of the last three days. The wind rising provided more relief and a promise of thunderstorms later tonight. But I had a couple things to do before the rain fell.

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I don’t think I’ll be harvesting much lettuce

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The plants in my community garden plot are kind of a mixed bag. On the plus side, the soil is a really good starting medium. I’ve got lots of tiny turnip sprouts and cilantro sprouts, and burgeoning daikon sprouts. I sowed some old parsnip and carrot seed, not expecting anything to come up (those are reputed not to last more than a few years) and lots of parsnips and some carrots have sprouted. I even have some identifiable squash sprouts, (Zephry and Cousa) as opposed to the various mystery squash I have harbored. The tomatoes are setting fruit, as well as a pepper plant, and the eggplants are flowering in purple.

On the downside, some of the plants seem to be struggling. The turnip sprouts remain tiny. The tomatoes look scraggly. Lots of plants have yellow leaves, suggesting that they’re not getting enough nutrition from the soil. I brought in some compost from home and that seems to be helping, but there’s a big problem that’s not so easily fixed: woodchucks.

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Found some pollinators in the chives

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Sunday was a beautiful sunny day to go visit the Pollinator plot at the community garden. The chives have been flowering for some days, and I was looking forward to seeing the bees. Sure enough, the chives were hosting a bee party.

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Opening Day at Watertown Community Gardens Grove Street

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Today we held the official opening ceremony for the community garden at Grove Street. As the people gathered, we milled about and admired each other’s plots.

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Planted my garden plot today

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Well, I’m finally recovered from NERAX, and plots are ready in the Watertown Community Garden, so today I went over to plant mine.  Besides, Earth Day is a day to spend in the garden.

Things are looking pretty spartan still at the community garden, and I had to circle around a few times to find my number amid the mostly bare plots. At first I thought 5 feet by 6 feet was pretty big, but I managed to fill it up.

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