Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
21 August 2013
We often have new gardeners who are new to gardening. We're looking for seasoned gardeners who wish to share their expertise and gardening wisdom with the newbies or with people on the wait list. Mentoring can take as little or as much time as you want. Mentoring might involve showing them your plot and talking about how you do things to having them help you maintain your plot. If you're interested in being a mentor, please contact Kay McMurry at email@example.com.
Winter Transplant Sale at TSBVI
All Transplant Sale at TSBVI
A Heads up - Start thinking cool and get your plots ready. The TSBVI Horticultural Program under the direction of Michael Mobley is going to have a fall transplant sale the first weekend in Oct. They will have a wonderful assortment of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, etc. for sale. More information later.
Meet the Gardeners
Randy Thompson is the person most people at Sunshine associate with the wide selection of tomatoes and peppers in the spring plant sale. He has been gardening at Sunshine for twenty years. He started gardening in inner city Pittsburgh when he was eight years old and began helping his father with the family vegetable plot. His family grew beans, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. All the plants were grown from seed saved by the older gardeners in the neighborhood. The plants had no names and were referred to by the name of the seed saver, Tony's tomatoes, Bill's peppers, etc. It wasn't possible to have a winter garden because it was too cold.
The person who inspired a love of gardening was Randy's father. Most of his neighbors and extended family in Pittsburgh gardened. Many grew grapes and his mother's family grew fruit trees, plums, apricots, peaches and pears.
Randy gardens at Sunshine because he has too much shade at home. When he was rented his present plot at Sunshine it was covered in weeds so he put plastic over the whole plot for several months. When he removed the plastic the center was weed free but the edges were still infested. So the first season he only gardened the center but kept the edges empty and continually weeded for the first season. After that he finally had access to the whole plot. He advises new gardeners to spend plenty of time preparing the soil before beginning to garden, it should be a priority. He remarked that what has helped his garden the most is "Large amounts of organic matter, I put on about six inches a year. It makes weeding easier, improves the texture of the soil and helps the garden retain moisture".
He believes that his garden has taught him patience and a willingness to continually learn. He would like to try growing potatoes and apples some time and is trying Cape Gooseberries (Physalis peruviance) this year. One of his biggest disappointments was when he grew some beautiful cantaloupes and just before he harvested them the rats ate them. He also tried to grow beans, the dry kind not the green kind, but when he got them out of the pod they were shrivelled up like raisins. It would have taken a tremendous amount of water to keep them plump in this climate. The pests that cause the most problems in his garden are birds and rodents. He doesn't use any pesticides as he works on a managed eco-system. He does sometimes hand crush insects or use a jet of water to blast them off the plants. He's tried companion planting but mostly he just lets things happen naturally. If he has aphids he knows that ladybugs will show up and get the garden back in balance. One thing he does hate is Khaki weed which is presently trying to take over the garden.
Randy comes from a background of Peace Corps experience in El Salvador and a degree in horticulture specializing in entomology . He enjoys being a member of a community garden for several reasons, one is learning from others, making friends, and learning from other people. He would definitely recommend Sunshine to friends and his wife's boss has just taken a plot because she heard so much about it.
Virtual Green Binder
Good news for gardeners entering their work hours or checking their work hours.
You can now check your hours without entering hours in. Go to the tab "Virtual Green Binder" on the website and a dropdown list will show on hover:
- > Hours Worked
- > Enter Hours Worked
Each gardener is expected to contribute an hour a month to Sunshine, if you're unsure what to do check with your zone coordinator and watch this space. In addition one hour per six months per plot is required to be completed for projects for Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Austin garden survives on sweat, entrepreneurship, and generosity
Check out this link for a short history of Sunshine and an overview of what the gardens stand for: http://www.thephilanthropicenterprise.org/the-garden-that-gives-together/
The Austin Cactus and Succulent Society's Fall 2013 Show and Sale
Saturday, Aug 31, 10am to 5pm
The 2-day event is free and open to the public with paid admission to Zilker Botanical Garden. It is very popular with gardeners of all ages. The show offers visitors a chance to see rare and beautiful cacti and succulent species from around the world. Vendors from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico will sell native and exotic cacti and succulents, and hand-made pottery at reasonable prices. There will be a daily silent auction and hourly plant raffle of rare and collectible cacti and succulents. Educational information, literature, and expert advice will be available. Come and bring a friend. For more information about the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society and its programs, please visit www.AustinCSS.com
Thought for the week
A garden is not made in a year; indeed it is never made in the sense of finality. It grows, and with the labour of love should go on growing.
Frederick Eden, 1903
Things to do in August
All month: plant Cucumber and Summer Squash
Early to mid month: plant Corn, Eggplant, Pepper, Southern Pea, Tomato, Winter Squash
Fertilize (with organic fertilizers) after first fruit set for higher productivity.
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-President - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Secretary - Berk Bettis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Jack Reynolds email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Emily Tisinger 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 Kaducova firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Cheryl Hazeltine email@example.com
- Zone 10, Emily Tisinger firstname.lastname@example.org
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall email@example.com
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry 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