Thanks to everyone for a great block party this year! The weather wasn't as nasty as we had been expecting, the food was great and the karaoke was priceless. And happy birthday to Lora, who can be seen here doing her birthday dance!
Didn't get a lot of pics, but I've posted all of them here if you want to check them out!
Come learn to draw using the magical power of the Sun! This Thursday afternoon (exact time coming soon).
[image: Inline image 1]
Don’t curse the darkness; draw with the sun.
Join visiting artist Damien Noll as he gives you a shiny, new reason for celebrating the season of light.
Children and adults alike are invited to join Damien for this unique land-art installation. Learn to harness the power of the sun. Focus. Find beautiful ways to leave your creative mark. Gain a new lens on the material possibilities provided by nature from the destruction wrought by both drought and flood. And settle into the quiet exploration of your own pin-point precision.
Come on your own, or as a family, and discover a beautiful way to come out of the shadows and plant yourself firmly in the light.
*Damien Noll was born and raised in New Jersey. For the past 12 years he has worked as an artist and itinerant wage earner in the sun drenched vineyards in the South of France. Catch him here in Chicago while you can.*
(Class will be rescheduled in case of rain or even clouds.)
[image: Inline image 2] -- Lora
Check out this stunning new gate made by our talented neighbor, Dennis Callahan (and thanks to the Callahan boys for installing it!)
Fresh picked salad greens from the garden! Yum!
Just added another couple workdays for this Saturday and next Wednesday (24th and 28th). Noticing that those weeds are coming up in a lot of places! If you are able to come out and pitch in for any amount of time -- 15 minutes (or more), that would be great. Bob will be out there from 10am to 11am and also next Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30. There's bindweed coming up in lots of places plus a couple of our other common weeds (many baby 'trees of heaven').
[image: Inline image 1][image: Inline image 2] bindweed (it wasn't flowering today; look for pointy leaves and a plant that is starting to 'vine'). we have a lot of this in the perennial beds. You want to try to get all of the plant (roots) before it flowers (which means it will re-seed and it re-seeds aggressively).
One tray down--several more ahead (lettuce next up)
Hi All, * * Some updates: * * *Block Party Save-the-Date: *Saturday, August 24 * * Next workdays this week:
Thursday evening 6:30pm (short workday if heat continues) -- mainly harvesting
Saturday morning 10:30am -- harvesting; watering; weeding
Harvest Update * * What's ready now?
Check out some photos below. Cukes (regular, suyo long seedless, pickling), beans cool beans, beets, collard greens, dill, basil (genovese + thai), parsley, thyme. Those beans need picking! The purple pole beans are beautiful and tasty (but change color when cooked!)
We also re-seeded lots more beets and some lettuces that are supposed to be heat tolerant. The lettuces in the heat are not so happy, so we may not have the bounty that we saw in May/June until Sept/Oct, but we did plant a few varieties; we'll see...
We discussed making signs w/ basic rules for the garden. Draft of sign language will be sent to the google group soon.
Possible movie night combined with toast for the recently hitched on the block (Forrest-Megan / Tyler-Anders) -- maybe July 27 ?
Just a reminder that there will be a garden workday tomorrow from 10:30 to 11:30 (ish). We need to do some weeding and should also start more beets and greens.
There is a lot of kale, chard and collards that can all be picked. Beets are ready (most of them) and radishes are as well. I haven't checked on carrots, but it's possible there could be some baby carrots that are okay to pick.
The lock for the scale has changed because the first one did work out. The combo is 2350 (and that number is also on a sticker (very small) on top left corner of the the white board closest to the back of the garden).
Much thanks to Noah for keeping the grass mowed this summer! You rock Noah!
Hope to see you out there!
-- -- Monticello Community Garden website: http://monticellocommunitygarden.com/
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Some new items are ready to harvest and then there are some that are really really ready to harvest. Also, the harvest study signs are getting tidied up a bit, so you should be able to record everything this week using the signs and a dry erase pen (it's a bit easier to use and to erase).
The upcoming workdays are posted herehttp://monticellocommunitygarden.com/participate/. (This Saturday June 22, 10:30-11:30a & next Thursday June 27, 6:30-7:30p)
Here's a new item ready to pick (cherry belle and french breakfast RADISH). You can generally tell which ones are ready just by looking at their tops under the leafy green part -- a lot of them are a good size, some are still a bit small. Also up next: PEAS! (if you want the pods they are ready; if you want the peas might have to wait a bit). GREENS are so so ready (chard, kale, collards for cooked greens and all of the lettuces are ready for salad -- really good). Just remember for the greens just cut them at the base and leave the roots intact.
Remember there's a way to post recipes if you'd like share some by sending to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Garden News (June 10)
Great new website for the garden that Anders put together -- hope you all have had a chance to take a look. Gigantic thank you for that!
Now that we have a calendar, I think it would be great if workdays for the upcoming month were posted -- let me know what you think about that. I'm going to go ahead and post workdays for the rest of June. I'll also try to include details on each calendar date for what type of work needs to be done. Hopefully that will be helpful in case you can't make the specific time for that workday, but might like to do something in the garden at some other time. I think I'll also try to incorporate putting some harvest dates up (these will likely be an approximation, but should give some idea of when each crop is about ready to harvest). Let me know if you have any other ideas for how we can use the calendar. We can include other things like the block party or if we decide to do a yard sale this year.
Harvest Study seems to be working okay. I need to fix up the boards just a bit to get them into a slightly higher functioning state. The grease pencil works okay, but they break a lot and are a little harder to use. Anders donated some dry erase markers and they seem to work better. I'm going to try to organize the images of the crops in order of 'ready-to-harvest'. Right now the crops ready to harvest are basically on the white corrugated plastic board, but there are some crops in the long bed running n-s (lengthwise) that are also ready but not on the board. So the kale, collard, etc. is ready, and I should have a board up there by tomorrow for those. If you pick some and the board isn't up, just email me what you picked. Next up should be peas and radish (in a week or two) and I'll post this on our calendar as well. The lock on the bin is broke, but I'm leaving it open until I get a new one. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas about the harvesting and/or data recording.
Future -- for some of the next workdays I'd like to get to the front beds. One is already cleaned up with some sedums and needs a grass (or something) in the center. The other three (outside the garden North, both inside the garden) need to be kept weed and daylily free. If you have sedum and or grass to donate, feel free to drop or bring to next workday.
Anyone have any suggestions for yard sale dates? Block party dates? After Charlie's karaoke party, we thought it would be a fun addition to hire a karaoke crew for the next block party. You'd be surprised at how UN-shy your neighbors are to sing some pretty cheesy tunes. What do you think -- maybe a bouncy house too?
Hope ya'll are enjoying some of those greens. Salads (everyday!) are off the charts! -- Lora
Wanted to fill you in on a few updates regarding what has been planted and what is ready to harvest, as well as more details on the harvest study. Next workday will be June 8 at noon. The Harvest Study people and Neighborspace will be coming to the garden for this, so I'm hoping we can get a good group out at the garden that day.
Garden Beds update:
All of the beds have been planted now and most things have signs with pictures (some are just identified with popsicle stick labels). In addition to the greens bed (which is ready to harvest) we now have:
- Beans and cucumbers (in the bean pole bed); just starting to come up
- Carrots, radish, fennel, red cabbage, celery and dill (in the north long bed that is close to and runs paralell to 2231's fence); also just coming up
- Tomatoes and basil (in the middle bed between the carrots, radish et al and the greens bed near our fence)
- Peas, some heartier greens like kale, collards, mustard, raddichio (some of which can be harvested now)
- Use scissors or knife to cut greens about an inch or two above soil line (they should continue to produce). if you notice any of them flowering, it would be a good idea to cut off the flower since we don't want to let them go to seed. If it looks like it went to full flower, it might be best to just pull the whole plant out at that point we can always re-seed the greens bed since there are plenty of seeds left. I just planted a couple new rows of spinach. Let me know if you take out a whole row.
- Either email me the quantity you harvested or write it on the sign/board with the china marker (sign will be on 2231's fence). We only need unit of measurement and the day. Bob and I will collect and enter info on Sundays, so the board will be erased each week and blank for the following Monday.
- There is a black bin with a yellow top on the table in the garden under the giant tree (of heaven). The bin has a scissors for harvesting greens, a scale, and some of the harvest study documents. The bin is locked with a combination lock that can be opened using the text combo 'grow1'. The scale was provided by the study and is pretty heavy duty (measures pounds). So if what you harvest is probably only going to be ounces, it's probably better to use the unit measurement 'bunch' (you can use .5 bunch if it's just a handful). We've been harvesting greens and find that bunch seems to be the most appropriate in measuring those. It's roughly based on what a bunch would be if you bought a bunch of spinach or kale at the grocery store. Another unit of measurement that we imagine will be useful is 'number' when things like carrots, radish, beets, tomatoes and cucumbers are ready (could also potentially use the scale for those; either will be fine).
- If you have questions about the harvest study measurements or anything about it at all, please feel free to ask me. If you are curious would like to see their database (it's not good), I can share the login and password with you, just let me know. Bob and I are keeping everything on an excel spreadsheet provided by the study which can also be shared with anyone if you want.
- The labels the Harvest Study uses are: date, crop, variety, number, weight, units (which can be bunch or pint) and destination(which we are assuming will be everyone's home; some community gardens donate to a food pantry). The crop and variety will be taken care of by the signage and should be obvious (if you see any problems with them, just let me know).
One more interesting development -- we've had to battle with some lettuce-eating birds this season. Never saw this before, but they were absolutely decimating the greens bed (mainly the milder lettuces). We saw them descending on the beds in flocks and just chomping away. First we noticed that the two whole rows of May Queen lettuce (a butterhead variety) was gone. Thought that someone picked it, but then we saw the wrens and other birds dipping in the garden and leaving with greens hanging out of their little beaks!! Strange! So we've had to put netting over the beds, which just means that you'll have to pull that back when you want to reach in to harvest some greens. A bit of a pain, but those birds got a whole lot more than the first two rows within a week!
Look forward to seeing you all next weekend. Those greens are delicious -- very nice salads await your table.