Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Cukes

While watering with Yvonne yesterday, we gave away two more cucumbers--one to Dorothy, who helped us plant the garden in July, and another to a family whose kids go to the same school as my kids. There are a few squash and lemon apple cucumbers starting to show fruit now, though they're still very small. We talked with lots of passersby about the project.

Looks like we're supposed to get a tropical storm this weekend, so nature will handle the watering while I'm out of town.

Next week I have a meeting with Donna, the property manager, to talk more about next year and what sort of things we might plant. Once I know what's permissible, I also need to give some thought to how much labor all of this will require and try assess how many volunteers we'll need (and if we can get enough). There's lots of additional potential for this little spot of ground.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Give-Away

This morning Noah and I were over at the garden taking photos, when a dad and his two daughters, Hannah and Julia, walked up and told me how much they enjoyed the garden. They've been closely watching the progress of the plants (and the dad said he's going to try to get the girls to join him in a little weeding). I told them a bit about what we're growing and hunted around under the leaves for a cucumber. I found a pretty good-sized one and gave it to them. They were delighted, and I was glad to find something readily available to share.

The whole fence row is full of blossoms, and we'll have plenty for passersby.

Friday, August 21, 2009

First Cucumber

The garden is continuing to thrive. There are tons of bean, cucumber, and squash blossoms. Tons of tiny little cucumbers are starting to grow. And even a few round fruit--either Tatume Squash or Lemon Apple Cucumbers--are starting to from. In poking through the leaves, I found one cucumber that was a few inches long and ready to pick. So I did. (And it was delicious.)

I'm not counting on harvesting much for our family out of the 200 Foot Garden. The idea is share all of this with everyone. But I won't complain if we do end up getting a few things to taste (and cook).

I need to look for a basket to attach to the fence for excess vegetables that should be picked but we still want to share with passersby. Though I'd prefer for people to pick their own. Part of the fun of a garden like this searching through the wide leaves of these plants and finding a surprise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Work Night and Mystery Manure

Last night we had a brief work sessions. Besides me, we had Luralee, Jose Pablo, Yvonne, and Ilana. Thanks very much to all of them for helping weed and water. We ran out of daylight, so we didn't get to finish all of the weeding, but we got off to a good start.

There were also three half-full 40lb bags of composted cow manure waiting for us. I'm not sure who they were from, but thanks! I laid the organic matter down as top dressing at the start and end of the garden, where the plants are having the most trouble. We finally got about 15 minutes of heavy rain today, so that'll help work the nutrients into the soil (and give us all a day off from watering).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Work Night Tonight--7pm

Tonight (Wednesday) we're meeting at 7pm to weed and water as a group. Anyone interested is welcome to show up. I think with even a small core of volunteers, it'll go quickly.

With the current heat wave, we've been watering at least once a day, and that seems to have helped. The heat is supposed to last for a few more days. Even tonight at 7pm, it'll still be hot. Still, as long as they're not drying out, the plants are happy with the heat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our First Donation!

The little donation button on our blog (look to the right) actually works. Last night we got our first donation from Robert Jay Kaufman, who was walking by and was impressed with what we've been doing. Robert is a fellow author, and a guy who actually wrote a whole book about coming across things while walking around neighborhoods. At Turning Corners Press, he publishes his book Blockology, an offbeat walking guide to lower Manhattan (he's walked every single block below 14th Street).

Thanks, Robert! (It's all going into the fall soil amendment fund. Think compost and mulch.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yes, We Have Sharing (of Tomatoes)

The 200 Foot Garden has shared its first vegetables already! I got this e-mail today from a woman who stopped by the garden with her ten-year-old daughter.

I read the Tab article a few weeks ago and my daughter and I have driven past a few times on our way home.

Sunday, we went for a bike ride and she was excited to be able to stop and check out each plant! She picked 2 red tomatoes (well, almost red, but they ripened a few days later!) and tried her best to re tie the tomato plant and get it through the fence as it was sagging a bit!

Thanks for the interactive garden and we look forward to checking it out some more this summer!


One thing I like about this project is the way it can involve young gardeners in a low-key way. I'm thrilled that we're already sharing garden produce with people passing by as part of their normal day. (Thanks to Cathy Neal of Bountiful Brookline for donating those tomato plants on our planting day.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back in Brookline--the garden is thriving

We're back after our long summer vacation (we didn't do any gardening while on our trip, but did get to a farmer's market and an alpaca ranch in Estes Park, Colorado). I checked out the garden yesterday--it looks great! Thanks very much to Yvonne, Alexis, Caroline, Shelly, Sarah, Maeve, and perhaps a few others, who all helped weed and water while we were gone.

Despite our fairly poor soil quality, the heat and careful watering have helped the plants grow well. The cucumbers, especially the Marketmore 76, are already flowering. Some of the pole beans have reached the top of the fence, and the Tatume squash have leafed out nicely. I think we'll have cucumbers in just about two weeks. We'll see how the rest of the plants perform. If the weather continues to cooperate, I think it'll turn out well.

We're seeing a few weeds sprouting, since the mulch we have isn't very thick, but it's nothing a few hands can't handle in 30-60 minutes.

I watered yesterday, with bucket and watering can. Doing it by hand makes it easier for passersby to approach me with questions or comments. People are still extremely enthusiastic, about both the concept and the aesthetic transformation that's already occurring on this piece of ground. It'll be even prettier once we see more blossoms all along the fence line. Last night's rain provided a good soaking that will really help boost things along when the hot, sunny weather returns.

(on the right above, you can see the Tatume Squash has large leaves after just 3 1/2 weeks in the ground and is starting to vine into fence.)

And here is a cucumber starting to bloom. I think it looks healthier than my cucumber plants in our community garden plot, which had some beetle problems.