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Garden Plann(t)ing 2015

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Today was the real beginning of the gardening season up at our community garden plots.

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All of our plots are full again this year. Eighteen new gardeners joined us. We had our row cover sale today, and a work session cleaning out and preparing our 900 square foot food bank plots.

garden planning 004

Sharps Farm provides us with row cover to sell to our gardeners. We pay the bulk prices to buy the cover then sell it at a very small markup to pay for our seedlings and seeds for the food bank plots. In other words, we round up the per foot price slightly. Still, 12 food wide row cover for 70 cents a foot is a tremendous bargain. They were doing a brisk business. We also held a “barn” sale on those items the food bank plots have accumulated as donations over the years from past gardeners. Mesh screens. Tomato cages. Trellis pieces. The extra “Surround” we bought last year. All told, it will help us finance our efforts to provide fresh vegetables to the Howard County Food Bank.

Today the food bank plots looked like this.

garden planning 005

Weeding. Moving the hoops and changing where we will plant tomatoes. In July, it should look like this again.

food bank volunteers and gardens 008

We now train the tomatoes to grow between the rebar rows, as the cages just aren’t heavy enough to hold them. We plant vegetables that produce well, and that are easily prepared by those with limited resources. We have learned that rare and exotic vegetables don’t lend themselves to simple preparations. We grow huge amounts of carrots, beets, collards, kale, spinach, lettuces, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers. Last year we donated 1679 pounds of vegetables to the food bank. We were lucky to have an extra plot when someone had to give up theirs. This year, we are back to the original 900 square feet.

It’s good to see the weather changing, and to see all our gardening friends out there today. Here’s to another great harvest year.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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