Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
5 August 2015
There will be no Weekly Weeder for August 12
October 1-3 Fall Plant Sale
If you are like me, you are getting a little tired of the hot days and sad looking veggies in the garden, not to fear, fall is coming and we will once again have a fall plant sale! The veggie plugs have been ordered and should arrive on September 2nd.
We are looking for volunteers for the following tasks:
- Labeling tags (will provide tags in bundles of 50 in the trailer - all you have to do is fill them out and return them)
- Transplanting plugs when they arrive (this includes preparing soil cups)
- Watering seedlings (schedule to be developed based on temperatures and number of volunteers)
- Advertising (website, hanging flyers, posting on neighborhood list serves, or however else!)
- Helping at the sale (cashiers, etc)
If you think you can help, please send an email to Jennifer Woertz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note to Volunteers!
Make sure you enter your volunteer hours into the virtual green binder. If you have any questions about the Virtual Green Binder contact Sharon Rempert email@example.com. Remember if you don't enter the information it didn't happen and you will be billed.
From the Sunshine Bee Yard
Our bees are doing well even in this heat. If you have been by the beehives at Sunshine lately you may have noticed large clusters of bees clinging to the outside of the hives. It's called bearding and I'd like to tell you it is a tribute to our bearded leader, Jeff, but really it's the way that bees help regulate the internal temperature of the hive. When air temps heat up in the summer, and especially when it is humid, large numbers of bees cluster outside the hive to escape the heat inside. If the inside of the hive overheats, the brood (immature bees) can die, so some of the bees move outside to help cool things off. When that happens, it looks like the hive has a beard.
Bees are also known to use their version of a swamp cooler to cool things down inside. They collect water droplets, place them in the hive and line up at the entrance, fanning their wings to evaporate the water and thus cool the hive. Inside the hive, bees are fanning as well. I can't say that I've actually witnessed this activity but I hope our bees know about it.
Since the hives at Sunshine are in full sun, we've done a few things to help them out. The raised platform on the top of each hive is intended to provide a bit of shade for the hives and recently we added boxes with screened holes in them to help with airflow. We have provided the bees with a water source near the hives, but they pretty much ignore it, taking water from the birdbath in front of the office and other water containers in the gardens. They are lucky to have a choice of water sources. In fact, they are lucky to live at Sunshine where even in the heat there is plenty for them to forage on - coral vine, basil flowers, squash, okra and everything else that is blooming in the Texas heat.
-- Jean and Michael Flahive
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose) is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 cm in height. It grows prolifically in Sunshine gardens, with very little attention. It can cover the entire garden in a season if left alone.
Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it may be eaten as a leaf vegetable.It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews. Australian Aborigines use the seeds to make seed cakes. Greeks, who call it andrakla (????????)--> or glystrida , use the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, and olive oil, add it in salads, boil it or add to casseroled chicken. In Turkey, besides being used in salads and in baked pastries, it is cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach. In Albania it is also used as a vegetable similar to spinach, mostly simmered and served in olive oil dressing, or mixed with other ingredients as a filling for dough layers of byrek. In the south of Portugal (Alentejo), "baldroegas" are used as a soup ingredient. In Pakistan, it is known as 'Qulfa' and cooked as in stews along with lentils like spinach or in a mixed green stew.
So the gardener can be the judge, is it a weed, or a vegetable? It's up to you.
Eggplant Recipe (from Ila)
The following recipe is modified from Mediterranean Cooking by Pamela Clark published in the Austin Statesman.
It is eggplant time and I suggest pick your eggplants when they are small and shiny.
Slice about 1 lb of eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds. Salt them and let them drain 10 min. Brush both sides with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment at 400 F for about 15-20 min, turning them once.
Make a vinaigrette using about 1/4 c. olive oil, 1 small red onion, 1/4 c. vinegar - sherry/or balsamic, 2 tsp. sugar and 2 Tbs. fresh marjoram. Spoon mixture over eggplant. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
What's On in Austin:
Zilker Botanical Gardens
- Sunday 9th August
- 1:00-4:00 pm
- The ancient uses and benefits of Prickly Pear Cactus.
- Monday 10th August
- 6:30 pm
- Fall Gardening with Judy Barrett.
- Guest speaker at the Austin Organic Gardeners meeting.
- Sunday 23rd August
- 1:00-4:00 pm
- Grow culinary herbs in a small space with a spiral herb garden
- Saturday 8 August 9:00 am
- Healthy Soil, Healthy Body.
- Saturday 15th August 9:00 am
- Fungi: What are they and how can we get more.
- Saturday 22nd August 9:00 am
- Monarch Butterfly, pollinator poster child.
(For more information go to the websites)
What to Plant in August:
Early to Mid Month: Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Pepper, Southern Peas, Summer Squash, Tomato, Winter Squash
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Jeff Monks firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President - Jim Willmann email@example.com
- Secretary - Vacant firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Caroline Limaye email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Shannon Posern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 1, Jody Trendler email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, Jing Li email@example.com
- Zone 8, Irina Kadukova firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Cheryl Hazeltine email@example.com
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Margaret Powis email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Compost Coordinator - Janet Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
- Compost Tea - Jennifer Woertz email@example.com
- Education Committee - Shannon Posern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry email@example.com
- Water Leak Repairs - Stewart Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter email@example.com
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert firstname.lastname@example.org
Record Service Hours Online - the Virtual Green Binder