Community Garden History 2006 to 2012

2013: Follow the continuing activities of the Cascabel Community Garden in its new location at Baicatcan. Here's a link to the garden blog at the Cascabel Conservation Association website.

May 8, 2012: Garden workday, Friday, May 11. Hi all, we missed our workday last week, but will be meeting again this week at Erik's at 8 AM to see what's left to harvest, and make sure the weeding is up to date. See you, Pearl

April 24, 2012: Garden workday, Friday, April 27. Hello all, our garden workday this week will be on Friday, meeting at Erik's at the usual 8 AM. There are still lots of veggies to harvest, plus there is weeding to be done again. See you, Pearl

April 17, 2012: Garden workday, Friday, April 20. Hi all, the garden workday will be on Friday again this week, meeting at 8 AM at Erik's place. Come and share in the abundance. Cheers, Pearl

April 11, 2012: Garden workday, Friday, April 13. Hi all, join us for fun harvesting in the garden on April 13, 8 AM. We'll meet at Erik's as usual, then go down to the garden. See you, Pearl

April 5, 2012: No official garden workday this week. Hi all, there will be no regular garden workday this week. There are still lots of veggies available though, so feel free to go to the garden and harvest if you know which are Community Garden beds. Thanks, Pearl

March 28, 2012: Garden workday Thursday, 8 AM. Hi all, our regular workday will take place on Thursday, March 29, meeting at Erik's at 8 AM. There are still lots of greens available, so come and enjoy some. Pearl

March 21, 2012: Hi all, Garden workday, Friday morning (March 23) at 8 AM, starting at Erik's as usual. Still lots of veggies, so if you can't make it on Friday and know where our beds are, come and help yourself when you can. Thanks, Pearl

March 12, 2012: Hi all, Here's trying to get a timely announcement out that our workday this week will be on Thursday, March 15, starting as usual at Erik's house at 8 AM. There are lots of salad and cooking greens, and some root veggies. Come and partake. We also want to put in another succession planting of lettuce. See you, Pearl

March 8, 2012: Hi all, We have missed a few weeks of working in the garden, so come if you can tomorrow morning to help harvest greens and carrots and pull weeds. We'll meet by Erik's (I haven't checked with him to see if it suits for us to gather inside) at around 8 AM, and proceed down to his garden area. See you there, Pearl

February 8, 2012: Hello all, This week's Garden workday will be tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 9) morning at 8 AM, meeting at Erik's house. We'll do the usual weeding and harvesting greens. Thanks, Pearl

February 1, 2012: Hi all, We'll have the Garden workday tomorrow at 8 AM as planned. It doesn't suit to meet at Erik's place for snacks, so let's gather at his bridge and go down immediately to the garden. See you there, Pearl

January 26, 2012: Sorry for the late notice, but we won't be having a workday this week. Erik says to remind you that you are always welcome to come down and harvest veggies for your use though. Next week we expect to have the workday on Thursday. I'll try to get the reminder out in a timely way. Thanks, Pearl

January 19, 2012: Hi all, Sorry for the late reminder, but we do plan to have a garden workday tomorrow, Friday, Jan 20, meeting at Erik's at 8 AM. I'll bring a snack, with Erik providing tea. We'll harvest greens and probably plant more spinach. See you there, Pearl

January 12, 2012: Hi all, Sorry for the late notice, but we finally settled on no workday this week. There isn't much to do, and too many of the regulars are otherwise occupied. See you next week, Pearl. PS: Looks like the workday will need to be on Friday next week.

January 3, 2012: Gardeners, We'll have our usual workday this Friday, Jan 6, meeting at Erik's at 8 AM. Hopefully there will be salad greens to harvest by this time (and with these warm temps!), and maybe some succession planting to do. Anyone for providing treats? See you, Pearl

December 29, 2011: Gardeners, After conferring with a few of you, we've decided to cancel the garden workday for this week since weeding is pretty much caught up and the greens are growing very slowly with the short days and cold nights. There is a matter that we need to consider though. Linda Beasley took some of the asparagus crowns that we dispersed last year. Now, since she has to move, she is re-offering them to us. It's a bed of about 8' X 12'. We would need to dig them fairly quickly--probably by early next week. Let us know if you have ideas about where they might be planted and when we could dig them. Thanks,Pearl

December 22, 2011: Gardeners, Garden workday is on Thursday this week. We'll gather at Erik's at 8 AM, have a treat (chai from Gail and maybe something baked from me), then head on down to plant garlic and do the usual harvesting of greens. See you, Pearl

December 13, 2011: We will have our weekly garden workday on Friday December 16, meeting at Erik's place at 8 AM. Bob will be providing treats. Harvesting and general weeding and maintenance is on the work agenda. Thanks, Pearl

December 6, 2011: Gardeners, Because of the CWG meeting on Friday, we will meet on Thursday (Dec 8) again this week. Meet at Erik's at 8 AM, and we'll proceed down to the garden from there. Dave Shreeve will provide the snacks either at Erik's or later in the garden. Work-wise, we'll be planting more garlic, and possibly more of the succession crops. Happy harvesting, Pearl

November 30, 2011: Gardeners There will be a garden workday this Thursday, Dec 1. Meet at Erik's at 8 AM to walk or carpool down together. There should be some salad greens to harvest, as well as the usual thinning/ weeding. See you, Pearl ... Hello Pearl, Evie has agreed to make some Yummy snack and warm beverage for the pre-garden work party. Erik

November 23, 2011: Hi all, With Thanksgiving this week, we won't have a regular garden workday. However on Sunday morning at 9 AM we will be roasting and processing the chiles we harvested a couple weeks ago. We're meeting around the firepit at Lynn and Miller's "clubhouse." Bring a bundle of small diameter mesquite wood if you can. Cheers, Pearl

November 8, 2011: Hello Gardeners, Lynn and I harvested all remaining watermelons, chiles and eggplants from the Mesa garden site yesterday morning and this freezing morning I'm glad we did. This Thursday (Nov 10) we will be meeting at Erik's at 8 AM for a brief meeting regarding plans for further planting, etc. with hot drinks and treats offered by Erik. Then we will proceed down to the Hot Springs Canyon site in Erik's garden to prepare some new beds for succession plantings of winter greens and radishes. We should be done by 10 AM or so. Join us if you can! Pearl

October 16, 2011: Hi Cascabel Community Gardeners, Monday, Oct. 17, 7AM we'll meet at Erik's house for treats (something warm and sweet). Please stop by for this social get together and to chat about the garden. Jim will drive Lynn and Miller's jeep down to the community garden for anyone who wants to do some planting. We'll be planting live onion plants that need to get in the ground. Last week we planted 3 rows of veggies (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards and peas). The previous week we planted lettuce, spinach and carrots. Looking forward to seeing you, Gail

October 12, 2011: Hi Cascabel Community Gardeners, Friday, Oct. 14, 7AM we'll meet at the Mesa garden and check if there are any watermelon or peppers to harvest and then go down to Erik's. We'll be planting again in the community garden at Erik's. Last week thanks to Miller who smoothed out the high spots in the road with his Kubota starting at Hot Springs Wash to Erik's garden. Then Bob drove us to the garden. There we planted and put on row covers for the cooler weather garden. See you in the garden. Gail

October 5, 2011: Hi Cascabel Community Gardeners, Friday, Oct. 7, 7AM we'll meet at the Mesa garden and check if there are any watermelon to harvest and then go down to Erik's. We'll be planting in the community garden at Erik's. Erik turned the soil and we're ready to stretch out the irrigation tape lines and put in seeds. hope to see you there, Gail

August 23, 2011: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Mesa Garden at 7AM Thursday (Aug. 25th) and then go down to the Community Garden at Erik's. hope to see you there, Gail

August 4, 2011: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Mesa Garden at 7AM Friday (Aug, 5) and then go down to the Community Garden at Erik's. hope to see you there, Gail

July 26, 2011: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Mesa Garden at 7AM Thursday (July 28th) and then go down to the Community Garden at Erik's. hope to see you there, Gail

July 10, 2011: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Mesa Garden at 7AM Thursday (July 14) and then go down to the Community Garden at Erik's. hope to see you there, Gail

July 4, 2011: We'll meet Wednesday 7:00 AM July 6th At the Mesa site to check on the garden, then down to Erik's garden for some light weeding. Gail

June 21, 2011: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Mesa site at 7AM this Thursday and then walk down to the Community garden in Erik's garden. See you in the garden, Gail

May 18, 2011: Hi Gardeners, Please join us at our community gardens. We'll start off at 8 AM in the Mesa garden to plant watermelon and bury irrigation line. Then we'll go to our garden at Erik's to plant more watermelon and harvest veggies. See you in the garden. Gail

May 8, 2011: We'll meet Wednesday at 8 AM at Erik's Garden. Planting Watermelons and harvesting. Gail

May 3, 2011: Hi. Please come to the community garden in Erik's garden this Thursday at 8AM. We'll do some harvesting. And later we'll come up to the community test plots in the Mesa garden. see you in the garden, Gail

April 24, 2011: Hi all, We will be planting in the test beds at the Mesa site on Tuesday morning (April 26) at 8 AM, as well as finishing up the temporary fence. And again, we'll hope for some folks willing to harvest from the current garden to bring veggies to everyone. Also, we could use some additional funds to cover the plant starts, seeds, and plumbing supplies we needed to get the test beds going. Checks should be made to CHA. Address: 6146 N Canyon Rd, Benson AZ 85602. Thanks for considering this. See you, Pearl

April 10, 2011: Gardeners, We're planning a big workday for Wednesday morning at the Mesa site to ready the test beds for summer planting. We could also use a couple folks to do some harvesting in the garden at Erik's, but let's meet at the mesa site first. See you then! -Pearl

April 6, 2011: Hi all, Very sorry for the last minute notice, but just decided that we would do a garden workday tomorrow at 8 AM. We'll harvest veggies from the Canyon garden, and some folks may be needed at the Mesa site as well to help with making the test bed. Thanks so much, Pearl

March 29, 2011: Hi all, There will be garden workday on Friday, 8 AM. We'll do some long-delayed weeding in the current active garden (at Erik's garden) and of course harvest. So if you want some of those fresh veggies, come on out. Meet at Erik's to walk down at 8:00. Thanks, Pearl

March 15, 2011: Hello all, We are planning a big workday for this Friday morning at 8 AM. We will be moving everything out of the garden shed at the Thomas site, ferrying it up to the Mesa site, then putting the whole shed on a flatbed trailer and moving it up to the Mesa site, and then putting everything back inside that needs protection from the sun. We can use a lot of help, so thanks for considering lending a hand. If there are any extra hands, we have plenty to do down at the current garden site. Thanks, Pearl

March 9, 2011: There will be a garden workday on Thursday, March 10, at 9 AM to harvest and weed at the community garden site in Erik's garden. Let's meet promptly at 9 at Erik's house to walk down to the garden. Thanks, Pearl

March 1, 2011: Hi all, We will have a garden workday on Friday, starting at 9 AM at the Thomas site. We will try to get some more work done on the fence dismantling. The next wire to come off is barbed, so if anyone has very heavy leather gloves (like welding gloves) please bring them. We'll work for an hour or so, and then head up the canyon to harvest things from the current site. See you then, Pearl

February 17, 2011: Hi all, There will a garden workday at the Thomas site, this Thursday, Feb 17, starting at 9 AM. We'll continue dismantling the fence. Hope to see many of you there. --Pearl

December 30, 2011: Hi Gardeners, Join us this Thursday 9:30AM in the Community Garden space in Erik's garden to thin out plants, weed and plant some barley. Hope to see you in the garden. Gail

November 17, 2010: Hi Gardeners, We will meet a Erik's house at 8AM Monday. We'll discuss the land opportunities for the garden. Then go down to the Community Garden space in Erik's garden to plant some more veggies. Hope to see you Monday. Gail

October 26, 2010: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet this Thursday at 8:00 AM at our community garden space at Erik's garden. We'll weed. This should be a short workday. Please plan on meeting again the following Thursday morning. See you in the garden, Gail

October 13, 2010: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at 7:30 AM down at the community garden space at Erik's garden. We'll weed and maybe more planting. This should be a short work day--hoping to finish up around 9AM. Sorry for the short notice, it's looking like Thursday mornings may continue to be our work time. See you in the garden, Gail

October 5, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Were planting some more cool weather veggies down at the community garden space at Erik's garden. See you in the garden, Gail

September 26, 2010: Hi Gardeners, We'll meet at the Community Garden to harvest veggies and do any necessary weeding and path clearing. And from there we'll go to our winter garden area in Erik's garden. Last Thursday at Erik's garden we planted two 50' rows of an assortment of cooler weather veggies and covered them. While planting we heard noise outside the garden and spotted a black bear moving away from us. That was quite a thrill. See you in the garden, Gail

September 20, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please come to Erik's garden this Thursday 7:30AM to plant the Community Garden's Fall/Winter crop. See you in the garden, Gail

September 15, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join the fun fighting back the weeds in the garden this Thursday 7AM. And there's harvesting to do. See you in the garden, Gail

September 7, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us Thursday, 7AM to cut down weeds and harvest veggies. If you have a scythe please bring it. Last week, Sept. 1st, in the garden we had a short meeting where we discussed the possibility of the Community Garden's involvement in the Christmas Fair. Two or more representatives of the garden group will go to the Fair's planning meeting tomorrow in the Community Center. We also agreed to have our fall/winter garden in Erik's garden in a designated area for the Community Garden. I'll let you know when we will begin working at Erik's garden. Attendees at the meeting were: Linda M., Bob E., Lisa V., Erik, Jim F. and Gail. See you in the garden, Gail

August 29: Hi Gardeners, Please join the fun fighting back the weeds in the garden this Wednesday 7AM. And there's harvesting to do. We'll start chatting about future plans. See you in the garden, Gail

August 19: Hi Gardeners, Come help harvest sweet corn and watermelon at 7AM this Wednesday in the garden. If you have any 5 gallon buckets, please bring them to harvest the corn. We'll deliver corn and melon to the Community Center for the party that evening. Later that day at 5PM join the fun setting up for the party, husking corn, cutting watermelon etc. Below is the message that will be sent out on the Cascabel List. See you in the garden, Gail, Cascabel Community Gardener Subject: Summer Party, Corn & Melon, 6PM Wed. Aug. 25 Sweet Corn & Watermelon Party 6 PM this Wednesday, August 25th At the Cascabel Community Center Come enjoy fresh sweet corn and melon from the Community Garden. This is an annual summer event when the Community Gardeners get to share the abundance in the garden. If you missed it last year be sure to come this year to the party. If you have any questions contact Gail or Jim, email <> or call 212-7827. PS: If you want to help shucking the corn come at 5:30 (any help will speed up that task) and serving around 6PM.

August 16, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Wednesday 7AM. We'll be weeding and checking on the veggies. See you in the garden, Gail

August 9, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Wednesday 7AM or earlier if you wish. We'll be weeding and checking on the veggies. See you in the garden, Gail

August 2, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Wednesday 6:30AM to weed. The weeds are still growing and we'll be mowing some areas. The watermelons and corn are looking great. With all the rain and cooler temps the garden is looking succulent. See you in the garden, Gail

July 27, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Tuesday 6:30AM to weed. The weeds are Still growing and we need to make sure the veggies, WATERMELON and Corn have enough room to keep growing. See you in the garden, Gail

July 16, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Tuesday 6:30AM to weed. We did a great job on the weeds last Tuesday. And the summer veggies are looking good. Be sure to harvest some basil. Tuesdays are working out well. I'll check in with you for the following week if it will be Tuesday or Wednesday. See you in the garden, Gail

July 10, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Tuesday 6:30AM to weed. The weeds are Still growing and we need to make sure the veggies have enough room to keep growing. We changed the garden work day this week to Tuesday, Next week we should be back to Wensday. Last week we weeded and cleaned all the Garlic. See you in the garden, Gail

July 6, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us in the garden this Wednesday 6:30AM to clean garlic and weed. If we get lots of folks we'll stomp wheat too. However, the weeds are growing gloriously and we need to make sure the veggies have enough room to keep growing. Last Wednesday we stomped oats and weeded. Wednesday mornings are for now our garden work day. We work a couple of hours in the morning while enjoying our chats together. See you in the garden, Gail

June 21, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Come this Wednesday morning at 6:30AM to stump on oats and harvest the wheat-- so bring your hedge clippers. We need your help to stay ahead of the monsoon rains. If stomping oats or harvesting wheat is not for you we have tending and weeding around the veggies and cleaning up the garlic. It's amazing how much got done in a couple of hours last Tuesday morning. It was a fun time harvesting all the oats, putting them in a cloth tarp and hanging that bundle up. See you in the Community Garden, Gail

PS: Don't forget the Breakfast Sunday morning June 27th at Cascabel Community Center. Donations will go to the Community Garden and Cascabel Working Group.

June 14, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Help harvest oats this Tuesday morning at 6:30AM. Bring hedge clippers and wide pail--that would be useful if you have them. see you in the Cascabel Community garden, Gail

June 10, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Join us this Friday morn, 7:30AM to weed and harvest elephant garlic. See you in the garden, Gail

May 28, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Friday morning at 8AM to harvest garlic and weed. See you there, Gail

May 16, 2010: Gardeners, We're planning a garden workday on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 AM. (Yes, we're at that time of year again!) We hope to plant--at least watermelons and perhaps some corn as well. Do come out and help, and take home some beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, cabbage, parsley, spinach, lettuce, kale, onions, garlic, or broccoli. See you there, Pearl

May 5, 2010: Gardeners, We're planning a workday in the garden for Friday, May 7. Let's try for 8 AM, since we have quite a bit to do. The chiles need weeding, and all around the circles needs cutting down and... Hope to see you there, Pearl

April 27, 2010: Gardeners, We have some sad news to share. The Thomases informed us this morning that the community garden lease will be terminated as of August 31, 2011. They would like us to have the infrastructure removed by that date. The reasons given for the termination include their desire to disencumber the property so it would be ready to sell in a couple years if that should be necessary, and continuing stress the garden is causing them. Obviously we have a lot of decisions to make, including planting in the coming year, where to store materials, etc. Meanwhile, the summer garden is started, so we?ll continue tending that. The garden has been a source of much joy for gardeners during the past 5 years. Hopefully we can find a new location so that the joy, community building and good food will continue. David and Pearl

April 22, 2010: Gardeners, Sorry for the late notice, but we would like to have a workday tomorrow morning at 9 AM. There is hoeing needed, weeding, harvesting, etc. Thanks, Pearl

April 6, 2010: Gardeners, As some of us discussed recently in the garden, I placed a notebook in the garden so that we can sign in and track volunteer time, which could be useful to us if we apply for grants. It is inside a bucket by the garden gate, and I think it's self-explanatory. Also, I think we need a workday again on Friday. It looks to me like the most urgent need is to harvest greens and freeze them. If you have clean 5-gallon buckets they could be helpful. I have baggies. Let's try to start by 8:30 AM. See you then, Pearl

March 25, 2010: Gardeners, Let's have a workday tomorrow, March 26, starting at 9 AM, with the intent of finishing up by 11 AM, since I know some of us have plans for early afternoon. We'll do the usual maintenance of the veggie beds, harvesting, plus maybe some work on the shed, and whatever else needs doing. Thanks, Pearl

March 11, 2010: Gardeners, We're having another workday tomorrow, March 12, starting at 10 AM. We'll prepare the little circles for chiles, do some weeding, harvesting, etc. See you there, Pearl

March 2, 2010: Gardeners, We'll have a garden workday this Friday at 9 AM. We want to harvest some stuff, weed, and if there's wind we'll try to get to the winnowing that has been waiting so long--if not maybe we'll even have a chance to do a little freezing. Come and be prepared to take home some of the bounty of greens, onions, and maybe some root crops. See you, Pearl

February 9, 2010: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 9AM. We'll replant and weed in the veggie circle; and mow, till and plant grains in another circle. There's lots to do, so please come and join the fun. See you in the garden, Gail

January 15, 2010: Hi Gardeners, The Garden Group will have a table at the Rummage Sale this Sunday at the Community Center starting at 9:30 AM, January 17th. Linda McLean will be handling this for the Community Garden. Please see Linda at the Community Center with your things you want sold for the Community Garden's benefit. (You'll then have room to purchase someone else's treasures.) Thanks, Gail

December 10, 2009: Gardeners, We are planning a workday tomorrow at 9 AM. If there is wind and we have enough people we may decide to do the winnowing of the grain and beans. Otherwise the vegetable beds need touch-up weeding, and thinning, and the row covers need attention as well. We'll meet in the garden, and then decide if we'll adjourn elsewhere to winnow or work on-site. Thanks, Pearl

November 18, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning 8AM to do some tilling and weeding. See you in the garden, Gail

ovember 11, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning 8AM to do some planting. If we have time we'll thresh the harvested pinto beans. There's also some weeding to do around the young seedlings. See you in the garden, Gail

November 5, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning 8AM to harvest pinto beans. There's also some weeding to do around the young seedlings. See you in the garden, Gail

October 29, 2009: Hi Folks, The garden is in good shape so we'll be taking break this week. Our Next work day will next Friday November 6th, we'll put out a reminder next week. See you at the garden, Gail

October 21, 2009: Gardeners, We will have the usual workday on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 AM. We have garlic to finish planting and probably will harvest squash. Also, be aware that there are now some cows in the pasture where the garden is located, so be extra careful about securing both the gate to the pasture from the lane and the garden gate. Thank you! Pearl

October 17, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Charlie Thomas needs some help. He wrote: "We are also in need of folks to help dig mesquite out of pasture. Lots of little ones but also a few that really need to come out to make moving side roll irrigator movement possible. Tom O will be coordinating." "I will be looking for help loading and hauling animals next week... will coordinate with Tom Orum, but likely there will be something on Tuesday at least." Please contact Charlie or Tom if you are available to help out. Gail

October 14, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 8AM. We'll be finishing up the planting. It's fun and light work. See you in the garden, Gail

October 7, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 8AM. We'll be planting. It's fun and light work. See you in the garden, Gail

September 29, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 8AM. We'll spread compost/mulch, and till it in Circle 3 (making ready for planting). There's corn stalks to cut down. So if you have a lopper or some tool good for that please bring it. See you in the garden, Gail

September 21, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Join us this Friday, 7:30AM.We'll be planting earlier this year to take advantage of not having many grasshoppers. Join us to help that happen. We'll be planting among what is still growing. We have kale growing; chard is coming back; and broccoli has been cut back to refruit. Harvest corn at 4:30PM Thursday: COME HELP HARVEST AND PREPARE CORN FOR FREEZING

September 21, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please help us out processing the corn for freezing at the Community Center this Thursday evening. We'll harvest corn at 4:30PM Thursday and then go up to the Community Center to chuck husks, blanch, cut corn off ears and package corn. Come and celebrate the garden's bounty by eating corn and watermelon, too. Things we will need: 5 gallon buckets, knives, and freezer bags (quart or smaller size). Questions: contact Gail 212-7827 <> PS: We'll be harvesting ALL the sweet corn; so if you haven't eaten any yet go pick some before this Thursday. The sweet corn is in circle 1 closest to the gate.

September 15, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Sunday morning at 7:30AM. We'll weed and harvest.
We'll be harvesting sweet corn. So if you're unable to be there Sunday pick some corn for yourself before Sunday. The sweet corn is planted closest to the gate in circle 1 (the other corn in circle 1 is native flour/drying corn). We've been keeping up with the weeding but could always use more help. Come and check out what's growing. See you in the garden, Gail

September 10, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us tomorrow Friday morning at 7:30AM. We'll be weeding and harvesting. We'll check out what else needs to be done. See you in the garden, Gail

September 1, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Wednesday morning at 7:30AM. We'll weed and harvest. There is kale in circle 3 still. In circle 1 there is watermelon, IMPORTANT: it is ready to harvest when the tendrils near the stem are brown and dried.

In the community center in the computer room there are 2 cans of garlic. Please take what you need. Remember in the community frig there may be veggies from the garden. After this week, we'll go back to a Friday work time on September 11th. See you in the garden. Gail

August 23, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Wednesday morning at 7:30AM. We'll weed, mulch and harvest. After this week, we'll go back to a Friday work time on September 4th. Also an update on the donations for our "community owned orchard/garden land": we received $185 at the Movie Smoothie Night. See you in the garden. Gail

August 17, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Wednesday morning at 7:30AM. We'll weed, mulch and harvest. Hope you can join the fun. See you in the garden, Gail

August 12, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 7:30AM. We'll weed, mulch and harvest. Hope you can help us keep those weeds from taking over. See you in the garden, Gail

July 27,2009: Hi Gardeners, Come out and enjoy an event brought to you by some of your Cascabel orchard enthusiasts. "Live Music and Cold Drinks on the Porch of the Cascabel Community Center"Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at 5:30PM

Bring your friends and neighbors to the Cascabel Community Center for a late afternoon milkshake and smoothie PARTY-ON-THE-PORCH. We will have all the ingredients for the most fantastic cold made-to-order concoctions you could ever want. Gaze up Page Canyon and catch the day come to a close with a smile on your face, a cold drink in hand and ears delighted by LIVE MUSIC provided by Miller and friends.

Bring a few bucks to offset ingredient costs and, if you like, a few more to donate to the Community Orchard Fund.

This refreshing event will start at 5:30 PM on Saturday, August 1st. After the sun goes down stay on board and enjoy a screening of Wallace and Grommit short films (the shorts will start at 8PM).

Questions! Contact Jim or Gail at 212-7827 ( or Erik at 212-7625

July 27, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Please join us this Friday morning at 7:30AM. We'll mow circle 2, weed and mulch circle 1. We'll assess circle 3 as to what to do next there. We are harvesting summer squash in circle 1 and want to keep it producing more by keeping up on harvesting. If you are harvesting and there is more than you need that needs to be picked (we don't want large squash left unharvested), please pass it on or put it in CCC frig with a note on it. We've been keeping up with the weeding but could always use more help. See you in the garden, Gail

July 16, 2008: Hi Gardeners, We'll have a garden work day this week: Friday morning at 7:30AM. We'll be weeding, Trying to give our new crops a good start in life. See you in the garden, Gail

July 8, 2009: Hi Gardeners, We'll have 1 garden work day this week: Friday morning at 7:30AM. We'll plant circle 4, mulch, clean garlic, and there's always weeding that could be done. Last Thursday we weeded and planted some sweet corn in circle one. See you in the garden, Gail

June 30, 2009: Hi Gardeners, We'll have 1 garden work day this week: Thursday evening at 4:30PM. We'll plant circle 4 with dry corn and beans, plant some sweet corn in circle one, thresh wheat if it is dry (it wasn't last Friday), mulch, clean garlic, and there's always weeding that could be done.

Last Wednesday and Friday we threshed wheat, tilled in compost in 1/4 of circle one (Ginny and Linda are planting it this week with native seeds), mowed, weeded, harvested elephant garlic, moved out metal and rock that had held down covers in circle 3.

Yesterday Linda, Ginny, Elna, Sue and Jeannine worked out a place for the chicks. They'll be at Linda and Ginny's until they're big enough to go to the garden. This was a group effort thanks to everyone (If I missed acknowledging anyone else who helped out --I regret that and thank you.) See you in the garden, Gail

June 21, 2009: Hi Gardeners, We'll have 2 garden work days this coming week: Wednesday evening at 5PM and Friday at 7:30 AM. There's lots to do before the monsoon rains. We hope to finish harvesting grain before the rain. Thanks everyone for all the work the garden is looking great. Wednesday evening we'll harvest garlic, do another tilling of circle 4. We also need to harvest and process wheat, finish mulching circle one and there's always weeding that could be done in the asparagus bed.

Friday morning we'll plant circle 4 and finish any tasks we didn't complete on Wednesday evening. Last Friday we threshed wheat, weeded and mulched circle one, tilled circle 4 and tilled 1/4 of circle one (we had harvested wheat in this 1/4 and now tilled in compost). See you in the garden, Gail

June 18, 2009: Greetings all, Charlie and I planted native grasses and 4-winged salt bush in the grass plots this morning. We also made a note of it in the garden book in the garden shed.

We planted two beds each of green sprangletop, cane beardgrass, Arizona cottontop, and 4-winged salt bush, and one bed of side-oats grama. We turned on valve three in the new timer box and adjusted the timer for watering to get the soil profile wetted up. We also decided to lightly mulch about 1/3 of each of the grass beds to see if that makes any difference in the outcome. Here’s hoping for good germination.

Here’s a map of what we planted for those who are interested in tracking along:


Sideoats Grama

Green Sprangletop Green Sprangletop Arizona Cottontop

4-winged salt bush Cane Beardgrass Cane Beardgrass Arizona Cottontop 4-winged salt bush


Hope the work party goes well tomorrow, Take care, Tom

June 9, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Friday at 7:30 AM we'll be at the garden final tilling and planting cover crop in circle 4, processing and harvesting more wheat, weeding asparagus, finish mulching circle one, etc. Last Friday we threshed oats and wheat (finished the oats), caged tomatoes, weeded asparagus, mulched circle one. Last week the hen was moved to Sue's chicken coop. And the little chickens arrived and Erik has kept and cared for them. See you in the garden, Gail

June 9, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Friday at 7:30 AM we'll be at the garden final tilling and plant cover crop in circle 4, processing oats, harvesting more wheat. If anyone can pick up old hay at Pat Corbet's (she is donating this for garden mulch), please let me know. Last week the hen was fenced in to prevent her from eating the young plants that are coming up in circle 1. We also harvested wheat and garlic, tilled circle 4 and planted sweet corn. We had a great turn out and hope you can join us in the garden. This is the time of year people go away-- 4 of our summer gardeners will be away.

Yes, we are down to one chicken in the garden. And since Charlie offered to help us with locking up chickens in the coop each night and letting them out in the morning; it was decided to go ahead and not cancel the order of baby chicks. The baby chicks are due this week. See you in the garden, Gail

June 4, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Friday at 7:30 AM we'll be at the garden planting corn and harvesting wheat. While Pearl and David are away this summer I'll be announcing the garden work days. Also another 2 of are gardeners have just gone away for the next couple of weeks; so your help at the garden work day will be especially appreciated. See you in the garden, Gail

May 29, 2009: Gardeners, Yesterday we got the oats harvested and drying, plus we got the irrigation system in place for the smaller growing plots, including the Native Grass Garden. For those who plan to work with that project, Gail is familiar with the irrigation/timer system and can show you which is the correct valve and how to set the timer. David and I are off for northern parts today, so we'll see you in late September/early October. Have a happy and productive summer, Pearl

May 26, 2009: Gardeners, The oats are ready for harvest, and we plan to do it on Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 AM. If you have a pair of pruning shears you could bring, that would be helpful. Also, if you have an extra garbage can lying around, we can always use more of those. We got a lot done on Sunday: much of the summer planting was done and the electric fence beefed up, so that now the chickens are not being closed in at night. We can go back to the once-a-day schedule of checking again. We still have some planting for Thursday, as well as the oat harvest. All hands on deck! Pearl

May 20, 2009: Gardeners, There will be a Community Garden dinner meeting at the Cascabel Community Center at 5 PM on Friday, May 22. I will provide a pasta main dish and vegetable and bread from the community stash. One thing we will need to discuss is the chick order. There is ALSO a workday scheduled for that morning at 7:30 AM. David and I won't be able to come until a bit later, but will try to be there by 9. Thanks to all who got so much done at the last workday. Pearl

May 13, 2009: Gardeners, We have a lot that needs doing in the Garden: weeding asparagus, preparation of Circle 1 for planting by mowing and tilling, more harvesting, etc. Erik will be leading, as David and I won't be available. Come on out and support local food, and enjoy the beautiful morning. Can't wait to see what gets accomplished, Pearl

May 6, 2009: Gardeners, I hope the earlier time is OK with everyone--Friday is predicted to be a scorcher. I hope to get the chickens either set up in their pasture (in which case we need lots of help to move the coop) or let out to roam the garden--we'll have to decide. There are still tons of greens, so I'd like to give major effort to freezing again. Bring 5-gallon buckets if you have clean ones, colanders, and small plastic bags. Come if you can, Pearl

April 30, 2009: Hi Gardeners, Since it's getting warmer we'll start at 8:30AM. There's mustard to get out of the wheat and cutting off flowers from any veggies. It should be lighter work and we can enjoy May Day in the garden. See you in the garden, Gail

April 23, 2009: Gardeners, Sorry for the late notice--I've been in Tucson. I would like to have a work session tomorrow, if nothing else to get the netting for the chickens around Circle 4. Thanks, Pearl

April 8, 2009: Gardeners, There will be a Garden Meeting on Friday, April 10, 2:30 PM under the Thomases' mesquites. Bring a chair if you can. Jeannine just called and invited us to stay for Red Beans and Rice after the Garden meeting on Friday. Thanks Jeannine. Pearl

April 6, 2009: Gardeners, Today it's potpourri. Lettuce: Let's stop picking the MIDDLE row of lettuce. We're letting it go to seed to save. Freezing: There are spinach, collards, and kale to freeze. Anyone interested in freezing for themselves or for the community freezer?--or organizing a group freezing activity? Grain reminder: There are labeled metal trash cans of oats and wheat in Elna's barn. Also, in the Community freezer (the middle one in Elna's barn) are corn, coarsely ground or fine corn flour, and coarsely ground wheat for cereal. Please enjoy the fruits of your harvest.

Chicken checking schedule:

Sunday-Linda & Ginny
Monday-Ginny & Linda

Of course this will have to change somewhat in the summer. Charlie and Elna and Jimmy have all offered to serve as back-up, so if you can't check the hens on your day, you can ask one of them. Directions are posted in the shed and in the can of feed. Thanks to each of you, Pearl

April 2, 2009: Gardeners. Let's get together a little earlier tomorrow and maybe we can beat the heavy wind. Things are in fairly good shape, but I want to uncover all the beds and do hope to still plant a couple of summer type greens in hopes we're not too late to get a bit of a harvest. And as always there is weeding and harvesting. should be a light and quick workday. Pearl

March 30, 2009: Pearl and David, I really appreciate the effort gardeners are making to keep me posted when they are bringing guests! I have had calls and have been able to meet some of the people who visit. It also means that I get to see what is growing! Makes me feel more included in the process.
Chickens: If there is a need for someone to water or feed chickens you may call on me as I do pass the garden I could easily water if needed to back up people. maybe you would forward to the garden list? -- Peace ... Hoa binh charlie

March 26, 2009: Gardeners, Let's meet as we have been, tomorrow morning about 10 AM. We'll harvest and hoe, and maybe someone can clean up and organize in the shed. I'd also like to talk about chicken duties with those you are willing to take a turn. Thanks, Pearl

March 19, 2009: Gardeners, David and I and Jim and Gail will all be away this Friday (tomorrow), so won't be able to participate in a garden workday. There isn't a lot of urgent stuff to do, but the lettuce is getting quite big again, and it would be good to harvest a lot of it. Just be sure to leave enough leafy material that it can grow out again. If some of you have time to do that it would be great. There are turnips that need using as well, and of course other greens like spinach, kale, and collards. There are also quite a few London rocket growing in the margins around the circles, so someone could hoe around there if so inclined. And...the recently-planted asparagus should be watered with the hose, since we don't have the irrigation system quite operational yet.

In other news, the cover crop/chicken pasture in Circle 4 is showing a sheen of new green, and so is the recent planting of wheat. Sorry to miss out, but hope to see you next week. Pearl

March 11, 2009: There will be a garden meeting this Friday, March 13 at 2:30 PM under the Thomases' mesquites. Bring a chair if you can. Tom Orum

March 4, 2009: Gardeners, We're planning the usual workday on Friday morning. We plan to till and hopefully plant the rest of the wheat circle and Circle 4. As always there will also be work in the veggie beds and some stuff to harvest. Hope to see you then, Pearl

February 26, 2009: Gardeners, We will have a gathering on Friday morning at 10 AM in the garden to do some harvesting, some weeding and checking for gopher activity. Please bring bags and knife/scissor with you to harvest lettuce. Of course we'll feed and talk to the chickens, too. This is a real light and easy time in the garden. See you in the garden, Gail PS: Erik, Pearl and David will not be able to join us.

February 16, 2009: Dear folks, The next community garden meeting will be this coming Friday, February 20th, at 2:30PM under the mesquite at Charlie and Jeannine’s. There will be red beans and rice at Charlie and Jeannine’s after the meeting. Many thanks, Tom

February 12, 2009: Gardeners, We will have our usual gathering on Friday morning at 10 AM. There is still weeding, hoeing, and thinning (or replanting) to do, and most importantly, harvesting, so bring bags with you. This will be a fairly relaxed session, but come and join us if you can. Thanks, Pearl

February 2, 2009: Gardeners, On Friday, February 6 at 1:30 PM there will be an important meeting of gardeners with the Food, Wildlands and Community Support Group, a joint effort of Saguaro-Juniper and the Cascabel Hermitage Association, which initiated the Community Garden. The meeting will be in the Garden, so bring a chair if you wish.Thank you, Pearl

January 29, 2009: Gardeners, There is a work day planned tomorrow morning at 10 AM. We still have winnowing to do, so if there is enough breeze we may work on that. Otherwise we'll hoe vegetable beds and harvest. Either way, we'll meet at the garden at the appointed time. Thanks, Pearl

January 23, 2009: Gardeners, I went to the garden this evening, and found it quite muddy. We've decided to postpone the workday. We'll keep you posted when we decide when will be best for more work. Thanks, Pearl

January 22, 2009: Gardeners, We have planned another workday for Friday morning, DEPENDING on weather. If it's raining we will postpone, and if you have a question give us a call. We'll be working on tree holes again, so bring SHOVELS, WHEELBARROWS (for hauling compost), and RAKES. And thank you, Pearl

January 14, 2009: Gardeners, We've made great progress toward our latest projects, but there's still lots to be done--more holes to dig, irrigation lines to put in, etc., so if you can, come prepared with shovels and energy at 10 AM on Friday, Jan. 16. Thanks, Pearl

January 8, 2009: Gardeners, Just a reminder that we are planning a major work party tomorrow (Friday) at 10 AM. I'll bring a soup lunch again. We plan to haul manure and leaves, dig out the holes for the fruit trees, and other prep work for the new additions, plus some ongoing weeding and maintenance. SHOVELS will be needed, both regular rounded ones and the flat-edged ones. Our pick-up and Jim Flood's pick-up are both available, but if anyone else can come with a truck to help haul the manure that would be helpful. Hope to see many of you there, Pearl

December 31, 2008: "If one moves confidently in the direction of his dreams...he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." --Thoreau in Walden

This quote from Walden expresses how I feel as we implement our plans for the Community Garden. When we started several years ago, I was not even dreaming of an orchard , but as we've moved forward, new dreams have sprung up, and we see those coming to fruition as well. So...I wanted to report that we have the asparagus bed almost ready, and are preparing to order the plants. We have Circle 4 laid out, and the stakes in, and the trench dug for the irrigation line to it. We have laid out the design for the fruit trees, and in fact, started digging the holes for them at our last work party. At one of our recent workdays we took a poll and decided on the following fruit trees:
2 apples
2 peaches
2 plums
4 pears (1 to be an Asian pear, Karen)
2 apricots
2 cherries
1 fig
The apricots have already been ordered and the rest are to be ordered soon.

The hens are still doing well, and we have plans to let them roam on cover crop in Circle 4 when we get that completed to test if we can raise some of their food in the winter in that way.

There is still much work to do to finish all these projects, as well as the usual maintenance. We are not planning a regular workday this week, but do plan a major one for Friday, January 9.

The vegetable beds in Circle 3 are doing well. In fact, I picked a large salad 2 days ago. There is lettuce ready to pick. It is in the covered bed farthest to the left. We are leaving it planted very thickly, so you will want to cut it off as we did last year. As a reminder, you can gather the leaves upward in one hand, and then take a knife or scissors and cut the whole plant off about 2 inches above the soil level. It grows back beautifully and that way we always have baby greens. There is some spinach ready in the 2nd bed from the left, though it will have to be harvested a bit sparingly for a couple weeks yet. There are also radishes and some green onions.

At year's end, I would also like to thank all of you who have worked and contributed in so many ways. It's been a true community effort. Thanks to those who contributed money, as well as many things that we needed, like straw for mulch, a beautiful new wheelbarrow, fertility, electricity to run the water pump, a trencher, and again, the never ending work a garden of this size requires.

Most gratefully and looking forward to developments in 2009,

December 26, 2008: Gardeners, We made excellent progress in the asparagus bed, and now would like to complete it. We will probably be hauling manure from Charlie Ffolliett's, and hope to bring leaves in as well. So shovels and wheelbarrows would be helpful. We may also start digging holes for fruit trees. It's predicted to be a cool day, so come prepared. Thank you much, Pearl

December 20, 2008: Gardeners, This week we decided to try a Sunday afternoon work session. Let's start at 2:00 PM. That should give us time to get a couple hours of work in before it cools off. Last week we got a lot done thanks to Linda's trencher and a lot of shovels! Thanks to everyone. This time we hope to finish excavating the asparagus bed, some prep work in Circle 4, and probably some hoeing in vegetable beds. See you tomorrow, Pearl

December 10, 2008: Gardeners, The time has come to start implementing the plans we've been making. Friday morning at 9 AM we want to start making the trenches to extend the irrigation system to Circle 4 and to the areas between the circles, including to the new asparagus bed, and to areas of fruit trees within the garden fence. Linda McClean has offered the use of her trencher, but we will also need hand digging done in some areas. So bring your favorite shovel, especially if you have one of the narrow ones made for trenching. We also still have digging to do in the asparagus bed, and the vegetable beds can always use hoeing if nothing else appeals. We figure there will be a full morning of work, and then we will serve a lunch of soup and a roll. Does that sound familiar? Yes, the soup will be Anna's delicious vegetarian minestrone left from the Christmas Fair, and those crusty rolls from La Baguette Bakery. We hope to see as many of you as possible, and as always thanks for your support, Pearl

December 3, 2008: Gardeners, We hope to plant some wheat and cover crop, and start weeding the veggie beds (and enjoy the hens!) on Friday morning at 9AM. Let's be prompt (message to self) so that those who help with Fair prep will not be delayed too much. We also still have some compost to transfer, so rakes and pitchforks could be helpful. Thanks, Pearl

November 20, 2008: Gardeners, We're planning an abbreviated planting session starting at 8 AM on Sunday morning to get the rest of the vegetables planted, and maybe even some wheat, and some cover crop. It will be a bit cool that early (we're accommodating the Friend's meeting which meets at 10 AM), so come prepared wearing layers. I just checked the garden, and was excited to find there is quite a bit up from our previous planting. See you there, Pearl

November 12, 2008: Gardeners, We plan to work in the garden again this Friday morning, 8:30. We have a little planting to finish, plus lots of other activities for everyone--raking up mulch, tilling, digging, transferring compost, etc. Thanks for your help! Pearl

November 5, 2008: Gardeners, we will be planting the vegetable beds on Friday morning, starting at around 8:30. Planting is always enjoyable, and even more so if we have a lot of help! Come if you can. Pearl

October 30, 2008: Gardeners, We want to harvest the dry corn tomorrow, plus we need to start preparing for planting, since grasshoppers numbers have sharply declined. There is actually quite a bit of work to be done, including general clean-up, moving some soil from the new asparagus bed to holes that have formed, tilling, moving the compost piles, and more. So the more who can come the better. If you can bring rakes and/or forks that would be good. There are a number of shovels already there, but if you have a favorite, bring that too. Start time: 8:30-9:00 AM. Good news items: ~The retired hens from Sitting Tree Community are doing well, and seem to be enjoying life in the garden. ~David got the Troybilt tiller running (with a lot of work, but not too much expense), so now it will be available for tilling the garden. Hope to see a lot of you tomorrow, Pearl

October 22, 2008: Hi Gardeners, This past Wednesday, Oct.15 evening we met at the CCC talked and enjoyed a potluck meal together. Meeting attendees: Erik, Gail, Jim F., Pearl, David O. and Jess. Here are some of the plans that came from our talk.

-CHICKENS/GRASSHOPPERS. First we will experiment with chickens in the garden to help rid us of plant eating insects, especially grasshoppers. There is no point in planting till we get rid of the grasshoppers. Sitting Tree Community (in Tucson) is donating their coop and 5 chickens. Saturday the coop and chickens were placed in garden. Monday morning the chickens' primary wing feathers were clipped (this does not harm birds and done to keep birds from flying out of 6' electrified fence) and their coop door opened for them to come in and out of and to begin eating and scratching in the garden.

-COMPOSTING. We plan to move composting piles to centers of each of the 3 Planting Circles. This will solve the problem of compost piles staying moist enough to break down. Erik will be sure ABS pipe will be slipped over the irrigation pipe in center of each circle to prevent rusting of irrigation pipe.

-TILLER. David O. is repairing the large Troybuilt tiller and a part is on order. I'm amazed he got the wheel off. This was only possible after getting some heavy heavy metal stuff from Dave Parsons "resource yard" to help pull it off.

-IRRIGATION (summary). David O. to draw irrigation plan for new areas in garden: asparagus, fruit trees, herb bed and circle 4. David O. is lead person on irrigation installation.

-WINTER PLANTING. In Circle 1 plant a cover crop. In Circle 2 plant grain. In Circle 3 plant half or more in veggies and rest cover crop.

-ASPARAGUS BED. Move out extra soil and use it to fill in sink holes. Erik has some plants to donate and we will purchase additional plants.

-SHADE. Put in a ramada in the center of garden.

-PLANT PROTECTION. If chickens prove useful for grasshhopper control, try a removable perimeter fence of poly net around one circle to protect emerging plants from chickens.

-HERBS. Prepare another triangular bed for herbs and other perennials.

-FRUIT TREES. Put in irrigation for 6-12 trees. These trees will help provide shade in the garden and give us some fruit.

-ORCHARD. (previous notes and concerns from Sept.'08 CCC Board Mtg.) There has been discussion for an orchard on CCC property. If we decide to pursue this further an overall plan still needs to be developed for an orchard with a whole system approach including: defining orchard group/responsible entity (CHA); time line plans/phases; Barbara Clark checking out borders of CCC land; expense plan; roof water/water shed havesting; integrate plan with existing native plants; make orchard a recreational asset (ramada, seats, paths, etc.); seek resources available through NRCD, USDA, etc.

garden circle 1

(Above: Circle 1, August 13, 2007 Photo by Karen McKelvey)

October 9, 2008: Gardeners, please join us this Wednesday 10/15 5PM at the CCC to share a pot luck meal and conversation about the Garden/Orchard. Some exciting ideas have been bubbling up and by coming together we'll talk things through into what to do next. I hope you can come--don't think you need to bring anything. I know Erik, Pearl and David will be there. You are what make it a Community Garden--your support has kept the garden going year after year. You're part of the bigger picture of this community project. Help us continue creating. Looking forward to seeing you then, Gail

October 3, 2008: Gardeners, It was great to read about the garden happenings while we were away, and to hear about all the food that was harvested. Thanks to all who helped, especially to Gail and Jim for jumping in and coordinating. The grasshoppers are still very thick in the garden, so we won't be planting just yet, but we would like to continue preparations, so that when the time is right we'll be ready. Tomorrow we'd like to work on the new asparagus bed, moving soil aside to make room for manure, perhaps move the compost piles, also sort through the row covers and other "stuff" in the shed, and do general clean-up. Since the weather is cooling somewhat, we'd like to accommodate the yoga class, by starting at 10 AM, so those folks can come over after the class. Looking forward to seeing you then, Pearl

September 19, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Sunday morning to prepare for an asparagus bed by moving some soil out of the bed to holes in the garden area. And need help in tilling Circle 2 for couple of hours. Jim will be there at 6:30AM to get the tilling started. Remember there is a party for Arlo and Bob at noon. Reminder, outstanding garden activities: winnowing wheat and oats; and harvesting corn. Last Sunday we provided care to corn ears to prevent worm damage, started tilling Circle 2 and marked out location for asparagus bed. See you in the garden. Gail

September 1, 2008: Hi Gardeners,Come join us this Wednesday evening around 5pm to do corn care and weed and harvest from circle 2. And if there is the appetite for watermelon we'll cut one open. This past Sunday morning we weeded and harvested from Circle 2. See you in the garden. Gail

August 28, 2005 Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Sunday morning to finish mulching Circle 3. We could use pumpkin seeds to replant Circle 1 with pumpkin. We'll also weed Circle 2 and harvest watermelon and any winter squash that's ready. See you in the garden. Gail

August 25, 2008: Hi Gardeners, We mulched some 6-7 bales of straw Thursday morning and then feasted on the most delicious watermelon that was 3 feet long. Please go to the garden and pick a watermelon (if the tendrils near the melon are dried and brown it is ripe). There are lots of ripe ones. However do not wear green the swarms of insects may chew on you. That is what they are doing with all the squash plants and they are starting to chew on the fruit. Please pick the squash from any of the dead plants, those squash aren't growing anymore. The delicata squash plants are near dead and there are other winter squash plants that are dead and their fruit needs to be harvested. The winter squash harvested last some 3 weeks at room temperature. Something has been eating our new little pumpkin plants only six have made it so far. It looks like we'll need to replant pumpkins in Circle 1. We're still watching for pinto bean plants in Circle 1. This week we'll be getting more mulch to finish mulching the Circle 3. Circle 3 has the latest planting of pumpkin and pinto beans. I'll put out a message when we get the mulch for help putting it down. See you in the garden. Gail

August 20, 2008: Hi Gardeners, We will have straw to mulch on the garden tomorrow morning. We will be unloading straw from Linda's truck by the garden and carting it into the garden. We will need strong backs to get it off the truck over the fence. Jim will need to move gently since he hurt his back last week. So those of you with hardy backs would be much appreciated. Be sure to bring an appetite for some watermelon since we'll be cutting one open in the morning. See you in the garden. Gail

August 18, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Thursday morning to hoe in Circle 3. We haven't gotten straw to put in Circle 3 yet and hoeing should help out till we get the mulch. We'll also check the watermelon and winter squash to see what can be harvested. Per "Extreme Gardening" book, winter squash is mature when it passes the fingernail test. If your fingernail cannot puncture the rind, it's ripe. Cut (don't pull) it off the vine, leaving 5-6 inches of stem. Let it cure in a dry place for 10 days before storing in a cool, dry place.Is anyone interested in getting straw for mulch? let me know (the garden group has funds to reimburse for it).This past Sunday we finished planting pinto beans in Circle 3 and did some harvesting of cucumbers. A 6 foot extension was put on Circle one's overhead sprinkler. We needed to water the corn this week and the corn is over 6 foot now and still growing. See you in the garden. Gail

August 11, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Tuesday morning to mulch between the rows planted with pumpkin and pinto beans in Circle 1 and we'll give a final till to Circle 3 and add soil sulphur. Jim and I won't be able to be there so we'll check in with Erik to find out if the tilling and mulching were finished Tuesday morning. If not we'll call another gardening time for Wednesday morning for folks who would like to help then. We hope to be ready to plant pinto beans and pumpkin/squash this Sunday morning using the seeder in Circle 3. In Circle 1 there is only about 3/10s of the circle planted with pumpkin and 2/10s pinto beans. Half the circle is corn which is almost 6 feet tall now. Reminder get your elephant garlic at the Community Center. And check the frig for some veggies. This past Sunday morning we tilled Circle 3 and weeded Circle 2 and harvested cucumber. See you in the garden. Gail

August 5, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Wednesday morning to plant pumpkins seeds and clean up the harvested garlic. And of course there is always weeding, some mulching and harvesting veggies. The grasshoppers are here and have eaten up the green pepper plants, eggplant, basil, and beans. The good news is we have summer squash and cucumber (slicing, pickling and Armenian) to harvest now. And still growing and looking good are winter squash and melons. And there is a chili plant and some okra that may survive the grasshoppers. This past Sunday morning we chopped and tilled in old veggies in circle 1 prepping it for planting pumpkin, weeded, mulched, and harvested onions (they're in the shed drying), squash and cucumber. See you in the garden. Gail

August 1, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Sunday morning to clean up the harvested garlic, mow, till and plant pumpkin seeds. And of course there is always weeding, mulching and harvesting veggies. GO TO THE CCC there's some summer squash in the Community Center frig please help yourself to it. I'm sure there is more squash in the garden ready to harvest, too. (The summer squash is in the West quadrant of Circle 2.) We still haven't seen any rattlers since the first and second sighting but still be on the alert. This past Thursday morning we weeded, mulched, mowed and harvested squash and cucumber. See you in the garden. Gail

July 28, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Thursday morning to weed, mulch and harvesting veggies. Maybe we will do some tilling too. There's a question if we will be planting pinto beans, since we are needing more help in the garden. The pinto bean process requires more people power like the wheat. But we plan on tilling in Circle 1 to plant pumpkins (the pumpkins don't require much people power for harvesting). In Circle 1 we are still harvesting: onions, kale, chard and broccoli. Please come to the garden and harvest summer squash. (The summer squash is in the West quadrant of Circle 2.) Still be on the alert in the garden even though we did not see any rattlers this past Sunday morning. This past Sunday morning we weeded, mulched, mowed and harvested squash, eggplant and cucumber. See you in the garden. Gail

July 22, 2008: Hi Gardeners, To keep up with the weeding we'll meet this coming Sunday morning. We'll also mulch and maybe till. If you get the urge to weed before Sunday please do and harvest some summer squash. The summer squash is in the West quadrant of Circle 2. Be alert in the garden we do have a resident rattler who was not seen this morning. Hopefully he is hanging out in some gopher tunnel. Threshed wheat was screened and next is winnowing. The winnowing will be a last minute call dependent on the wind. Bob Evans has offered his hilltop to winnow from. Something else we will be doing is some tilling in Circle 1. In Circle 1 we are still harvesting: onions, kale, chard and broccoli(there's also some lettuce if you enjoy it's bitterness). After tilling we'll be planting pumpkins. This morning we weeded and mulched. And did more wheat work. Some folks harvested squash. The rain gage indicated 3/10" of rain on Tuesday. See you in the garden. Gail

July 22, 2008: Dear Folks, Three kinds of summer squash are sarting to come in (yellow, zucchini and that round, flat light green kind). I picked two bags full on Sunday and Monday mornings...and took only the biggest ones. We should try to keep them harvested so that they'll keep producing, so don't be shy about harvesting baby veggies. I grilled some that tasted great, and made a onion/cheese/egg casserole out of some others. Passed on about 20 more to Erik and Allen to spread around...... Gail says the young ones are great with a light marinade. I've been using them instead of chips for guacomole. Come to the garden party on Tuesday morning and pick some little, tender ones..... Cheers, Lynn

July 21, 2008: Hi All, Below is the recordings from the rain gage located by the garden irrigation control box. If anyone happens to drop by the garden after a rain it would be much appreciated if you note the reading, dump the water, and forward on the info to Gail or Jim. We are trying to keep a running tally on the measurable rain in the garden and will post the info.

Rain report from the garden.

7/10: 1.6"
7/12: .1"
7/13: .3" (Woody)
7/16: .1"
7/20: .6" (Lynn) Total for July so far: 2.7" (?)

July 20, 2008: Hi Gardeners, This Tuesday morning come to the garden for threshing wheat. If you prefer to do something else there is weeding, mulching and tilling to do. We would like to finish threshing wheat. If it's too damp for threshing wheat on Tuesday or we haven't finished threshing we probably will meet the next morning, Wednesday, to thresh then. The rain gage in the garden showed 6/10" this Sunday morning (thanks Lynn for checking it). This past Saturday morning we harvested most of the wheat left in Circle 3. And we did some stumping of wheat heads. See you in the garden. Gail

July 17, 2008: Hi Gardeners, We put a good dent in thrashing the wheat this evening. This Saturday morning we hope to finish up thrashing wheat. There's a tarp in the shed that contains thrashed wheat that needs to be screened. And the final 10% of wheat remaining in the circle needs to be cut and thrashed. There's some tilling to be done in circle one. Mulching around the rest of the corn plants is needed. And of course there is always weeding to do. See you in the garden.

July 16, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Our wheat thrashing was so successful tonight that we hope to finish up tomorrow starting at 5pm. We have a window of dry weather and if we have a good turn out we hope to finish up on the wheat. The straw from the wheat is being put around the corn plants. In the evening moon light the green corn plants pop out from the gold straw. See you in the garden. Gail

July 13, 2008: Hi Gardeners, There's a forecast of drier weather this Wednesday. So we'll be aiming to thrash wheat then. In the morning we'll pull out the bundles of wheat from the shed to dry it out unless it's raining. Join us 5 PM to thrash and /or come in the morning to help pull out the wheat (some weeding also could be done then if you have the urge). Really it's the thrashing we need help with. Thrashing/threshing is a group effort. This past gardening day Sunday morning we weeded Circle 1 where the corn is planted, mulched some, and mowed around the circles. We started preparing the other half of circle 1 for planting pumpkin. In this half we collected lettuce seeds (the beet seeds will be collected when ready later) and pulled some weeds. In this half we are still harvesting some veggies: kale, onions, cabbage and broccoli. This morning, Sunday, no rain in the garden; however it rained later this afternoon. If anyone goes to the garden today or tomorrow, please let us know what the gage reads. See you in the garden.

July 12, 2008: Dear Gardeners, We have now had almost 2 in of 'gentle' rain since July 1 , I am wondering if the automatic irrigation can be shut off? The effect of rain v. irrigation water may be stronger if no irrigation is added at least for a week maybe more? Any discussion?? Charlie Thomas. Dear Charlie, The irrigation system has been turned off since Thursday when we received 1 6/10ths'' of rain at the garden. We've placed a rain gage next to the irrigation control box. With Erik's input we've been monitoring the water requirements on a regular basis and making adjustments as needed. Thank you for your observation, Gail. Hi Gardeners, Join us in the garden this Sunday morning to keep up with the weeding in the garden. If by chance it's dry enough we'll thrash wheat The corn is doing well and we need to weed the half circle where it is growing. Other things that could be done are: mulching; mowing the weeds around the circles and setting some gopher traps. This past garden day Thursday around 5 PM it was still too damp to thrash wheat so we did some weeding. This morning, Saturday, the rain gage indicated 1/10" of rain. See you in the garden. Gail

July 7, 2008: Hi Gardeners, We're aiming for Thursday at the end of the day around 5 PM to thrash wheat. If it's still too damp to thrash wheat we'll do some weeding and more mulching. If you want to enjoy the garden before Thursday and do some weeding, check out where the corn is growing little weeds are starting to come up there. And Circle 2 will always have some weeds to be pulled. Our plan is that some of us will go down to the garden on Thursday around 2PM and pull out the wheat bundled in the shed and bring it out to thoroughly dry. Of course this is dependent on it being sunny and dry. This past garden day, Sunday morning, since the wheat was not dry enough to thrash; we weeded all of Circle 2 and mulched it more. We had a great turn out and had a great time chatting and weeding our way around the circle. The plants are looking real good. See you in the garden. Gail

July 2, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Help us thrash wheat this Sunday morning. We were unable to do any stumping (thrashing) this morning since the wheat needed to dry out after the Tuesday rain. We're gambling with the weather that we will be able to finish up the thrashing between this Sunday and one more thrashing morning. We've dwindled down to a small few who are available to do this summer gardening, so what we can get done is very precious.

This morning, we harvested all the garlic it's drying in the shed. We have a mighty heap of garlic and it looks great.

The corn has started popping up out of the ground. And we're still keeping ahead of the weeds in Circle 2 where the veggies are growing. The mulching that has been done is making it easier to pull out those weeds. But more weeding and mulching is always much appreciated. I'm starting to dream of water melon, sweet and juicy. There are a lot of other beautiful plants growing here and home grown sure tastes best to me.

Don't forget put on your stumping shoes and come on down to the garden this Sunday. See you in the garden.

June 28, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Come join us this Wednesday morning to harvest the wheat. There is still an urgency to finish up before the rains. We have so much wheat yet to harvest. We have filled almost all the 35 gallon metal cans so we'll be going to large black garbage bags and storing them in Bob Evan's storage shed where the mice can't get at them. And also his place on the hill will be a great place to be winnowing the grains. In Circle 2 veggie garden where we have such delicious plants coming up (watermelon, eggplant, peppers, squash, cucumber, okra, etc) is being well weeded. I understand we're ahead of the weeds this summer. You know what a race that is. We always have weeding and more mulching to do here. So come on down any time to keep ahead of those weeds. There's a map in the shed to locate what's there. All the plants are growing in the trenches that circle round. In Circle 1 we have garlic to harvest (please use a shovel to keep the garlic together). We'll be harvesting Wednesday and drying them in the shed. The corn has been thoroughly watered. Now we need to be on the lookout when the plants break through the ground. Let me know if you see them and then they'll get another thorough watering. They're in half of Circle 1. If you haven't done any wheat stumping come on down Wednesday morning wearing your stumping shoes and join the party. Looking forward to seeing you in the garden. Gail

June 26, 2008 Hi Gardeners, This Sunday morning come join us to finish up harvesting the wheat. There is still an urgency to finish up before the rains. There are such wonderful ways to enjoy our wheat berries. Both Pearl and I cook them like rice and fix a delicious warm cereal. That may not sound enticing in this warm weather but I enjoy it on cool Fall and Winter mornings. Sprouting the wheat berries is what I want to try in this warmer weather. If you have any favorite wheat berry recipes I'd liked to hear about them.

Wednesday morning was another wonderful time in the garden with a dark cloudy sky, cool time and chatting while gathering wheat. We harvested 3/4's of the wheat. Andy worked his scythe to line up the cut wheat which we then bundled and stacked in shooks for drying. The wheat that was missed for bundling was raked and gathered into cloth tarps and hung to dry. The remainder of the oats that were drying from Monday were separated from stalks and collected for final winnowing.

The corn that was planted Monday still needs a thorough watering which I hope it gets this early Thursday morning. Jim and I will be checking this out tomorrow morning (Thursday morning) and Lynn said she was going to go to the garden to weed then. So we may not have a cafe in Cascabel, but the garden may be a place to gather. It sure is beautiful in the morning there.

Looking forward to seeing you in the garden. Gail

June 24, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Monday morning the garden was tilled a final time before the corn was planted. The harvested oats were whacked to remove grain (we still have more to do on Wednesday, then we will winnow, my terms may be all wrong but I'm sure having fun). Circle 2 was weeded and more mulch was put down.

This Wednesday morning Andy will do a scythe demonstration and as a result we will get the wheat harvested and stacked to dry. Will finish up processing the oats, this is if the wind cooperates and helps us winnow the oats. More weeding and mulching is also needed in Circle 2. Oh I goofed and didn't get the corn watered Tuesday morning. Instead it will get it's first long watering Wednesday morning and not watered again until we see the corn plants poking through. Circle 3 where the wheat is hasn't been getting water, making it ready to harvest. And Circle 2 is being watered every night to keep those little plants growing. Hope to see you tomorrow in the garden. Gail

June 20, 2008: Hi Gardeners, Here's the latest plan for next week:
Monday, 6/23, 6AM: working with our harvested oats; mulching and weeding.
Wednesday, 6/25, 6AM: Andy's scythe demonstration; harvesting wheat; and planting corn.

If everything falls into place the garden will sure be looking pretty for when the rains come. I look forward to seeing everyone in the cool cool garden.

We need to get the wheat harvested before the monsoon starts. So we really, really need your help. Your help is needed in planting corn and pumpkins in Circle 1. We've been preparing Circle 1 for this planting. This morning we mowed in where the oats where harvested. Tilling didn't happen because the tiller refused to work. However, Jimmy is going to work some magic on the tiller and do tilling on Sunday.

Circle 2's seeds are growing into plants. The circle has been mulched almost completely. More mulching and weeding is always appreciated by the plants. Be sure and check Pearl's map hanging in the shed to find out where your favorite veggies are growing. Candy planted more eggplants (for you eggplant lovers) this morning.

The garden is a happening place even the rabbits are wanting to be there. Come join the fence patrol to fill in where they are sneaking in. See you in the garden. Gail

June 15, 2008: Hi Gardeners, The oats were harvested today and are now drying. More straw was put on the 2nd circle as mulch to keep the weeds down. And in Circle 1 the center was mowed and tilled. This Wednesday morning at 6:30 AM come join us. There's mowing, tilling and planting to be done. And don't forget to check out the new little plants growing. You can see Pearl's Plant map of Circle 2 hanging in the shed. It's beautiful in the garden early in morning with cool breezes and birds singing. I look forward to seeing you there. Gail

June 3, 2008: Hello gardeners, Garden Work Party this Saturday, June 7th, 6AM. Don't let the 6AM start prevent you from coming when you can. Erik, Jim and I will be there at 6AM to get things started. We'll be mulching the newly planted garden to hold back the weeds and retain moisture.

STRAW? If you have some, we could use more straw for mulching. We'll also be mowing and tilling at the garden this Saturday morning. I look forward to seeing you at the garden. Gail PS: I'll be sending out the Garden messages while Pearl is away.

May 25, 2008: Hello gardeners, As many of you know, there is a lot of food in the garden at this time, so let's make good use of it.

It is also high time to be planting summer veggies. Several people are working on tilling Circle 2 for that purpose, and it should be ready by this weekend. It looks like the best time for Erik and us to coordinate the planting would be Sunday late afternoon. So we have scheduled a work party for then--Sunday, June 1 at 4 PM. Yes, it's an odd time, but it seemed the best we could do.

We have seeds on hand for watermelon, beans, green beans, and some squash, plus variety of flowers, but we still need seeds for Armenian cucumbers, Kubocha squash, your favorite winter squash, other vegetables you might want, plus plants of eggplant (6-12) and chiles (a dozen?) and tomatillos (6). If any of you could pick up these seeds and plants when you are in town, please let me know so I can coordinate, and then we can reimburse you.

Hope to see many of you on Sunday afternoon. Pearl

March 9, 2008: Gardeners, Gail and Jim and I spent some time in the garden on Saturday. We harvested a lot of greens: lettuce mix (a perfect mix of baby salad greens), kale, collards, and turnip greens from thinnings. Gail and I washed them up and there are still some available at my place, so stop by if you want some, or go directly to the garden. It's definitely time to stop buying greens and use our own supply. We also harvested a whole row of radishes, and we have a lot on hand here as well. There is still more work to do, so we are tentatively planning a garden workday for this coming Saturday, March 15 at 10 AM. When you come you will see that David, with assistance from Jim and Gail, put up a lovely shed for tools and supplies--just what we've all been saying we need for quite a while. It did require some money for materials, as did the seeds for fall planting, so if you've been thinking you would like to make a monetary contribution to the community garden, now would be a good time. Checks should be made to Cascabel Hermitage Association. Thanks. I'm also forwarding an email from Erik regarding the prospect of an orchard in the garden area. As he notes, there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for an orchard, and Erik has some suggestions for how to move ahead with that. Please read it carefully, and send feedback as a reply to all if possible. Again, thanks to all, and let's start making full use of the bounty. Pearl

February 19, 2008: Gardeners, We had a good planting day last Saturday. The 3 circles are fully planted at this point. The first radishes are ready. For those unfamiliar with veggie lay-out, they are in the covered bed to the far left as you enter the gate. The arugula is also big enough to start harvesting (at end of pea row, 2nd bed from left), and even the first lettuce and spinach could provide a small salad at this point (3rd bed from left).

Now, for the real question of the week. Erik has proposed dedicating the area of the garden that could have been developed into a 4th circle as an orchard instead. He figures we could put approximately 25 trees in that space. We talked about this idea at the last garden workday, and everyone present seemed enthusiastic. Charlie and Jeannine have expressed support. What do the rest of you think? We haven't figured the cost of trees and irrigation system, etc., but obviously it would require a fairly substantial investment. I proposed that we might have a "sponsor a tree" program to help cover the cost if we agree this is something we would like to pursue. Let me know what you think, and I'll send a report out in a week or so.

January 15, 2008: Most of what we planted the last time is up and looking good despite the cold nights! We do have quite a few more seeds available now, and Nikki and Brenda donated 18 broccoli plants that are impatiently waiting for planting day. We are planning to do that this Saturday afternoon at 1 PM. Some of the stuff that's up needs thinning, so that will be the other main task. Weeds aren't too much of a problem yet.

Elna has let many of you know, but I'll repeat here...we reorganized the freezers in Elna's barn. The small freezer in the middle is the one that has the frozen veggies from last year's garden, plus other food that folks have donated for sharing with others in the community. There are pecans (in the shell) and some dumpstered bread in addition to the vegetables. Beside that freezer are a couple 5-gallon buckets that have the wheat and the beans that have been grown in the garden as well. Help yourself (within reason of course) and thank Elna for making this space available. See you Saturday, Pearl

November 25, 2007: Gardeners, It's past time to get started on the fall/winter/spring garden. David and I been away or occupied with other projects, but now we're available, so let's do it! We talked with several of you recently, and decided on the Monday after the Cascabel Christmas Fair to have a work party. That's December 3, starting at 9 AM.

What we hope to do is clean up the vines and other plant matter from Circle 1, put that on the compost pile, and dig bermuda out of Circle 3. That will prepare for tilling, and then planting of course. If you can't come to the work party on that day, feel free to go over and work on clean-up in Circle 1 or digging up bermuda in Circle 3.

We're thinking to plant vegetables in Circle 1, cover crop in Circle 2 and wheat in Circle 3. I'll be going through the seeds we have on hand this week, and making a list of what else we might need. Jimmy and Elna want more spinach this year, I want more salad greens so that we can cut them off as baby greens, Lynn wants to try edamame...let me know what your desires are.

In other news...
We were feeling the need for a mower dedicated for community garden use. David and I looked around at used ones, and also at the possibility of buying a really heavy-duty walk-behind bushhog type mower. It turned out that the latter cost several thousand dollars, so that was out of the question. Then we looked at new lawn mowers and found one at Sears that is heavier duty than the one we have been using, and it was on sale for around $200. We made an executive decision to go ahead and buy it. It starts easily every time and David has already used it to do all the mowing around the garden.

We also took Elna's small rototiller that we've been using to Mescal Outdoor Power, a nice local mom-and-pop repair business that does good work. So it has new metal wheels, starts easily and works well. In addition we took in Pat's heavy-duty Troy-bilt tiller and they will be giving us an estimate soon on how much it would cost to have it refurbished.

Debbie Hawkins and friends went over to the garden during the mesquite milling and harvested the squash and pumpkins. We put them out at the community center to be taken for a donation as desired, and they all were taken, with donations of about $40.

There are still quite a few greens in the community freezer at Elna's barn (the third chest freezer back from the door), so come and partake.

Looking forward to getting back out in the soil. Pearl

(Below: Circle 1, September 2007 -- full of ripening melons, squash, et al. Innumerable grasshoppers feasting on the old foliage. Unidentified intruder caught on film having seized a ripe Butternut Squash.)

garden main circle

[Below, Karen's photos from August 13, 2007 (Click on each image to enlarge it):]


September 10, 2007: Hello gardeners, The garden continues to produce an abundance of watermelon and squash, some okra, beans, cucumbers, muskmelon, cantaloupe and eggplant (yuck). We harvested seven watermelons, one large squash, twenty butternut squash and five delicata squash to donate to the CWG fund raiser. I did not keep exact records of the amount that this helped the group raise, but I think it was just under $100. Our garden is amazing in so many ways.

If you have not had a watermelon or other melon yet, you are in for a surprise when you do. There are at least six watermelons ready at this time, so eat away.

Evie and I finished harvesting the pinto beans and checked on the drying of the ones that we harvested before. They are ready! Anyone that wants to meet at the garden on Wednesday, at around eight in the morning, can join in on the flailing (stomping) and sifting fun. We will even have music to dance to (requests being taken now {seriously}). Also to come will be a winnowing party, but we will have to wait until an evenly briskly windy day.

I hope that everyone is doing well this fine summer. Be well, Erik

September 3, 2007: Yesterday and today, Candy, Evie and I worked in the garden, pulling at > the inexhaustable supply of weeds and harvesting beans. We cut off most of the pinto plants and put the vines in two big bundles which we hung from the tripods to dry further. I think it will be about a two weeks until they finish drying then we can stomp or flail, sift and winnow them. Looks like it will be a good harvest. Erik

August 19, 2007: Hello all, Just wanted to write a bit about watermelons and when to harvest them. Hopefuly I'll be able to get to Cascabel for a few days next week and meet up with some folks in the garden but until then perhaps this will do. If you have your eye on a particular watermelon and think that it may be ready to harvest then conduct the following test.

First, locate the stem of the watermelon, follow the stem the two inches or so to the main vine where you will see a set of leaves and a tendril. Often the end of the tendril will be eaten off or dried off or damaged, so don't expect to see the whole thing. If you do find the tendril or part of it, and it is ENTIRELY brown, right down to the vine, then the watermelon should be ready for harvest. If that tendril is missing entirely, you can go to the next set of leaves up or down the vine and examine those tendrils. If they are all brown then the watermelon should be ready to harvest. I am guessing that some watermelon are close to being harvestable. Hope you are all well, Erik

Hello all again, I hope to meet up with some folks in the garden this coming week to discuss harvesting and what to do with all those pintos (and other stuff). I should know a bit more of my schedule after a meeting with Aeyn's doctors. Karen, I think that doubling the time and not-quite halving the frequency would be a good idea for the watering. Lets look at it this following week. Cheers, Erik

August 15, 2007: Gardeners -- Jimmy and I and Woody all had dinner from the garden tonight. Cucumber salad, delicada squash, string beans. That's not all that's ready. See Karen's note above. We need eaters at this point. Some judgement is still required about what's ready and what's not quite -- but I haven't had anything bad yet. We have a TON of pintos. Not quite ready, but we need to do something about them. Maybe just finding out more from Erik. Cheers!~ and bon apetit. Elna

August 13, 2007: I resumed the watering schedule today, though shortened the time to only one hour. Irrigation set for M/W/F and Sun so best days for weeding are Tues/Thurs/Sat Perhaps we should water longer, less frequently but I don't know about these things. Anyone? Also, I'm still hopeful that the moonsoon will provide supplemental water.
Most of the pictured items [see above] are not ready to harvest, (we novices are relying on Erik to know when things are ready) but I have been harvesting Japenese cucumbers, eggplant, burgundy beans, and sunflowers. The sunflowers are great as cut flowers, and they sure brighten up a room! The pinto beans look great, the garbanzos are iffy, and the peanuts are pretty sad looking. Bugs are munching the corn pretty heavily.
Pumpkins need weeding. The tiller needs some repairs and Jimmy will try to get it fixed this week. There is room to till between the pumpkin ROWS but not between the plants so I have focused my weeding between and close to the plants. The plants are quite big and no trouble distinguishing them from everything else. If anyone can get there this week and weed it would be helpful. I will be back in the garden on Friday.
The watermelon is rampant and I was pretty ruthless about curbing it where it had overgrown the eggplant and pumpkins. Karen

July 28, 2007: [Karen] I suspended the water in the garden this morning. Too wet to weed, but I weed whacked some of the waist high salt weed around Circle 3. The squash is starting to fruit. Pumpkins, corn, and zinnias coming up. Sunflowers about to blossom. The effort to salvage garbanzos and peanuts may well pay off.
Showed Jimmy how to resume the watering and he and Elna will gauge when to do that depending on rain.
I talked to Pearl yesterday and she sends greetings. She has been experimenting with "baby greens" in the Oregon garden.

July 20, 2007: Hi everyone -- Garden continues to prosper. Pumpkins planted on 7/14 are starting to come up. And I counted 43 emerging corn plants on the south side of Circle 1 along the edges of the mulched path, but none yet on the west side. The kubocha squash does not seem to be faring very well but other types doing well.
Plugging along on Circle 3. Still needs mulching and weeding. Nikki and Brenda have provided more straw.
Heat is pretty daunting if not in the garden very early.
On 7/19 I planted additional pumpkins and zinnias.
Lots of butterflies and bees- seems to be a fair amount of pollinating going on, and alas, some insect damage as well. I am a very novice gardener, but have gotten some library books on desert gardening and am trying to educate myself about some of this stuff. Anyone who has time and can participate please do. Weeding and mulching Circle 3 is the current primary task. At this point it's very easy to distinguish plants (peanuts, pintos, garbanzo beans, from "weeds". I won't be in the garden again until Thursday morning. thanks to all, Karen

July 15, 2007: Dear Gardeners, We had 7 folks show up for the garden party Saturday morning and accomplished quite a bit. Squash and watermelon are rampant and lovely and we weeded and mulched in those beds in Circle 1. There are many blossoms.
The die hard gardeners continued to weed Circle 3. There is still much to be done there, however they have worked their way through the pintos and garbanzos.
Erik tilled the pumpkin area in Circle 1 and we planted about half before running out of seed. We also planted corn in the fallow areas between squash on the south and west sides of Circle 1. On the south side near the delicata squash the mulched path is where one should walk. The corn is planted along both sides of the mulched path.
On the west side there is no mulch but corn is planted so please don't tread in the empty tilled area there. (Reminder, garden diagram is in the metal garbage can near the gate.)
Also do not tread on the north side of Circle 1 in the small space between the sunflowers and the stakes, where the stakes are marked with pink surveyor ribbon. That little curved stretch is the flower garden!
Erik also wired blocks of wood to the gate on both sides to abort rabbit raids.
We harvested the 1st Ichiban eggplants.
I amended this e-mail list, adding a few people that I had missed previously. I will be in the garden this week on Thursday 7/19 at about 7:30. Join me if you can. Thanks to all, Karen

July 12, 2007: Dear Folks, Karen called and said that her address lists had gotten wiped out by an rnsmte, she asked me to remind everyone that there will be a garden work party to plant pumpkins and corn on Saturday morning. She didn't say what time, but given the heat I'd say the earlier the better. If you get there before anyone else, there's bound to be a little weeding and mulching that you could do while you wait. (I think that 7am has been mentioned before as a start time.) By Saturday, all of the garbanzos that are left should be "freed" of their weed cloaks. Hopefully, we'll have made some progress on the eanuts too. The pintos that were mulched are looking great, as are the veggies in Circle 1. See you Saturday, Lynn

July 2, 2007: Greetings Gardeners, Thanks to all who participated in the push to preserve the garden over the past week! Especially those who toiled and did not give up on Circle 3! There is still much weeding and mulching to do (though we need more straw to proceed with the mulching) but many of the plants are prospering. The shredder still awaits anyone who has time to go at the sunflower stalk pile, but once the rain starts it will have to go back under cover in Elna's barn. Anyone who provides straw can be reimbursed through CHA. You do not have to cart it in. Just kick it off a truck bed at the garden stile. The more the better. It saves hours and hours of labor. The wheat is threshed and Erik did a preliminary tilling of the "pumpkin patch." Thanks to Lynn and Elna' sleuthing the "missing" okra was discovered and liberated. (43 plants of 2 varieties!)

There will be 2 work parties coming up: SATURDAY JULY 7, and SATURDAY JULY 14 . Start time: 7am
I will be in Tucson for the next 2 weeks doing a house sitting stint but will be here for both work days.
Anyone who can get to the garden mid-week please do. The watering schedule is still Su/M/ W/F early am.
I sent some photos to the errant gardeners in Oregon. If it weren't for the record breaking heat they might actually feel like they were missing something! Carry on -- Karen

June 28, 2007: Hello there, I'll be down at the garden between five and six this evening.... looks like clouds are starting to come up the valley, reminding me that rain is near. Hopefully we can get those bundles of wheat thrashed and sifted. Regards, Erik

June 27, 2007: Hi all Nikki and I spent several hours yesterday morning weeding and mulching in Circle 1. It's starting to shape up. Thank you Erik for tilling. It made the task much less daunting. I went again this morning and weed whacked the salt weed around Circles 1 & 3 manually. It had gotten too high to mow. (Where are you Jimmy??!!) Went back this afternoon and weeded and mulched around eggplant, peppers and watermelon. Still much more to do. Thanks to everyone who harvested wheat.
Erik- I could wheat stomp with you tomorrow late afternoon/early evening, and maybe you could show me how to work the machines? Tiller and shredder.
I will be in the garden again tomorrow by around 6:30 AM as well.
Could really use some help. I believe Nikki is dropping off more straw today. Mulching is the ticket! There is lots of watermelon and squash. Still no sign of corn or okra, though not sure I'd know okra.
I have pretty much adopted only Circle 1. It is as much as one person can focus on. Don't know what to say about Circle 3. Unless the peanut and hummus lovers come on down it's going to turn into a cover crop.
Talked to Pearl this morning. She says new gardeners always tend to become more ambitious than endurance/time allow.
Started a new weed/compost pile near Circle 4 so that we are not putting new stuff on top of that which is ready to shred.
Regardless of whether one or preferably several of you rescue Circle 3, I am up for pumpkins in Circle 1, and have eyed a sight on the north side of Circle 1 between the sunflowers and the stakes in which I plan to put some zinnias. I will mark the stakes with some pink surveyors ribbon so that stretch does not get tilled. Anyone with a case of the guilties for not being available, you can redeem yourself by dropping a few bales of straw near the garden stile. Best, Karen

June 24, 2007: Hello gardening friends, Yesterday, Daniel, Maddison, Sara, Candy and I finished up harvesting the Wheat. The wheat that we harvested the past Saturday was ready to thrash (stomp into oblivion), so we did just that. After sifting (and before winnowing), we ended up with almost two garbage cans full of chaff and wheat. The new wheat we harvested we folded up into two big bundles and hung it from the two tripods that we have errected there in the garden.
This works very well and the drying process finishes real fast. In order to beat the rain, I'd like to go to the garden and thrash it before this Saturday but the only time I have to do it is in the late afternoons.
Anyone want to join me for a wheat-stomping good time? Should be about two hours for two people or less with more.

Karen is right about circle one looking like a big field of bermuda grass. This is newly sprouted grass, not the old, established hard-to-eradicate kind. However, it will be just that very soon. Candy stayed and weeded around some watermelons and spread some mulch where she weeded. I went back yesterday evening for a few hours and hula-hoed and tilled around the plants that I could. Lots of weeds and grass remain in circle one and circle two is untouched. Following are some suggestions if anyone can work at anytime.
Weed around and close to plants that you can find, leaving the weeds in between the rows. Then, mulch close to the plants. Later, we can till between the rows and spread mulch on the tilled areas. Also, that chipper/shreader just waits to lay to waste that pile of semi-composted debris.

Pumpkins! Yesterday evening I also tilled that area where more squash was going to go. This Saturday I will till the old cover crop area. This will leave about one quarter of circle one available for the Big Cascabel Pumpkin Field (if we are up to it).

So, please let me know if you want to join me to finish up the wheat, and I'll look forward to seeing some of you on Saturday morning (I get there around seven).

Be well, gentle people, Erik

June 22, 2007: Garden SOS! Dear Gardeners, Erik and I had an impromptu meeting yesterday about the garden and I agreed to send out this all points bulletin. As a group we decided to be ambitious and have 3 circles going at once, but now the weeding and the wheat harvesting have coincided at the hottest, driest time of year and we are in danger of having all our previous hard work be for nothing unless we can get more hands involved.
Erik will be at the garden Saturday by 7 to work on wheat. If that is too late for cool weather gardeners please come earlier and weed.
I spent 4 hours weeding yesterday. Even in the hot part of the day if I soaked my shirt a few times it was not particularly uncomfortable. Circles 1 and 3 both need weeding and mulching badly. I bought a couple new tools that I left at the garden that make an easier go of it. At first glance Circle 1 looks like a bermuda field but there are plenty of great plants growing there that need to be liberated. There are 2 bales of straw (thank you Brenda and Nikki ) that can be used for mulch after we get a handle on weeds.
I changed the battery on the Rainbird and in consultation with Erik set the watering days as S-M-W-F. Circle 1 waters from 1-3am, and Circle 3 from 3-5am. This means that most mornings it will not be too wet to weed somewhere.
I will be in the garden this afternoon/evening from about 5-7. Next week I have a lot more time and will be there T-W-Th for several hours each morning until we can get things under control.

Other tasks:
Mow the salt weed around Circles 1 and 2
Chip/shred the large pile of stalks. The chipper/shredder is there near the pile.
Provide more bales of STRAW (not hay) for mulch.
The good news: we have LOTS of, and a great variety of watermelon, cukes and squash in Circle 1. No sign of any corn at all (?) Everything came up great in Circle 3, but the peanuts especially will succumb to weeds soon if not given some help.
A reminder that there is nothing in the pie labeled pumpkins yet. We may just be able to till that part again, rather than weed, before planting in July.
Also be sure to identify Devil's claw. Like all devils it disguises itself as something one might want! Someone has carefully weeded around several healthy looking plants in the cuke patch above the delicato squash. It has a more tan/purple shaded leaf than the squashes and other plants. There is a lot of it and it needs to be banished!
Thanks for any effort that you can put forth.
Think ice cold watermelon in August!
Carry on, Karen

June17, 2007: Hi all, I work in Tucson Mon-Tue-Wed and so will not be in the garden until THURSDAY morning this week.(The summer solstice, a very long day for working outside!) Will try to get some STRAW out here by then. Will focus on weeding and mulching and probably thinning in Circle 1.
BE AWARE that there is a rattlesnake in the garden. Noticed originally in Circle 2, though I hardly think he recognizes our human made boundaries. Daniel put a stake near its hole. He's a biggy, reportedly large enough to devour rabbits and gophers, which means he is our friend if given a wide berth!
Anyone who knows about the chipper/shredder and wants to turn that pile of stalks into mulch, please do. (Hint, hint JIMMY!) Best

June 14, 2007: Hi all -I spent about 2 hours in the garden weeding in Circle 1 on Wed morning and feel like I barely made a dent in what needs to be done. The good news is that it is getting fairly easy to distinguish what we have planted from the weeds and to discern the actual rows. The amaranth, saltweed and Devil's claw definately want to take over. Without mulch, or many hands weeding this will definately happen.
For anyone who is not a morning person, the evening is a very pleasant time to be in the garden and it is dry enough to negotiate at that point in the day regardless of whether it was watered. For anyone who wants to contribute but lacks time/inclination to weed you could drop off a bale or 2 of hay for mulching. I don't have a vehicle conducive to hauling hay. I am enjoying all the green, growing things. I like looking up from the work to see the sturdiness of the mountains and the clarity of the sky. The sum of the experience feels like an antidote to all the death I deal with the rest of the week. Karen


June 11, 2007: Hello garden friends! Wow, that garden is looking good! Jimmy and I spent awhile on Saturday hoeing down the young amaranth and digging bermuda in circle three. After that, we went to Elna's and managed, with some small effort, to get the chipper shredder working (actually, it started up after only 20 or so pulls and some starter fluid). We think it would be nice to run that "compost" pile through it so future generatations will not have to wonder at all the sunflower stalks ending up in one place. Also, it should make a fine mulch. The yellowish peanuts do not seem to be too yellow to me. I think that part of the color alarm is their proximity to the very green pinto beans. They look moderately healthy to me now so my recomendation is to do nothing for the time being. I'm not sure what to make of the comments on the use of sulphur. Perhaps we can talk about this at a garden meeting? I reset the timers so that they will only come on for two hours Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, leaving Wednesday and Saturday mornings water-free so we can work in the circles. And on to the main purpose of this message! Thanks to the dry, windy and hot weather, the wheat is ready to harvest! I feel that we should harvest it as soon as possible so I propose that we harvest it this following Saturday (the 16th). If you plan to come, please bring what you have of the following items: clean large canvas tarp, five gallon bucket, hedge trimmers, clean shoes. If you have none of the above, please come anyway! Hope to see you all there. Warm Regards, Erik

June 6, 2007: Hi Gardeners: I finally got around to setting up an official garden e-mail list for myself by perusing the various garden e-mail addressees. If you got this e-mail and don't want to be included in this group please let me know. Please don't feel that you have to be "working" in the garden to be on the list.
Regarding the rabbit. He/she was in the garden early this am and Daniel and I actually saw it leave by squeezing itself through the fence netting. I reattached the wooden board when I left but I'm not sure it will be much of a deterrent since there is a similar gap on the other side of the gate, and we now know there are a number of options. I set the Hav-a-Hart trap near the lettuce with bait of carrots and pine nuts.
Five of us were there this morning and we did a reasonable job of weeding Circle 3 (peanuts, garbanzos, pintos) of salt weed. Everything in Circle 3 is coming up rapidly. The peanuts look a little pale or yellow compared to the beans. I have never seen peanuts growing so don't know if this is normal or they need something nutritionally. Anyone? Water is off in Circle 2 so the wheat will dry. The kale is still looking good and was watered by hand. Erik, what about the garlic in that circle- How often should it be watered? When will we know it's ready?
There are a number of things beginning to come up in Circle 1. The Delicato squash look especially healthy. Things are not up enough to be walking around in there yet and I'm not sure I have a handle on identification, but am working on it. Those things that were put in as plants rather than seeds ( marigolds, eggplant, peppers) are holding their own but it is a struggle in this hot, windy weather. A reminder that Pearl's drawing of the garden layout is in the metal garbage can.
I was wondering if we should think about mulching, and if so with what? I think another mowing of the saltweed surrounding the circles is about due again.
I will check the garden most days when I am here, but I am in Tucson 3 days a week and the more eyes there are on the status of things the better our chances of not having any major glitches, like the javelina incursion or the Rainbird battery failure. If anyone notices anything questionable I would suggest it be run by Erik or the errant gardeners in Oregon.
No question is too stupid..this from the woman who thought the Devil's claw was okra!
I believe Erik is planning a bit of time in the garden on Saturday and I will plan on being there to work again next Wednesday June 13. Carry on, Karen

June 3, 2007: Hi Gardeners. I checked the garden Saturday AM and PM and put in 6 Black Beauty and 2 Ichiban eggplants and a couple of bell pepper plants. It's very wet in the AM but seems to need to be that way to sustain enough moisture for germination through these hot, dry days. I deadheaded the marigolds and expect that more will survive than we originally thought. The pinto beans have sprouted, but nothing else yet.
I plan to be at the garden WEDNESDAY morning by 6:30. I will check Tuesday evening and suspend the water if need be so it is not too wet to work. Watering daily for now. I took the instructions for the Rainbird for my edification but will return them Tuesday evening.
I made a copy of Pearl's schematic drawing of circles 1 and 3, put it in a plastic cover and left it in the metal garbage can.
Always plenty to do. Join me if you can. Karen

May 27, 2007: Thanks to all 15 people who showed up yesterday to help with spring planting. We got 2 circles planted with beans, garbanzos, peanuts, corn, lots of squash, beans, okra, and gobs of watermelons. Karen will be marking the beds, identifying what is where. As most of you know, David & I will be taking off for Oregon this coming week. Erik has agreed to coordinate garden work parties every other Saturday, and Karen will coordinate Wednesday mornings when she isn't working, but if someone else can help with this, please let her know (212-POET). Wish I could see the sprouting plants, but enjoy it for me, and we'll look forward to seeing you all and the garden when we return. Pearl

May 24, 2007: Gardeners, A major planting work party is shaping up for Saturday morning. David & I plan to be there by 7 or shortly thereafter. If you have seeds, this is the time to bring them, as well as receipts for reimbursement from the garden fund. Hope to see many of you there. Pearl

May 22, 2007: Gardeners, Tomorrow, Wed. 7 AM would be a regularly scheduled workday. David & I will have to be in Tucson for an appointment, so won't be available once again. Circles 1 & 3 are ready to plant, and while somewhat overgrown, the vegetables in Circle 2 are mostly still being harvested, so we don't want to pull them out yet. So I'm going to suggest that you concentrate on harvesting if you have time to show up tomorrow morning. As of yesterday when I was there, the peas needed picking quite badly, and there was broccoli and cauliflower as well. Plus, lots of kale--if someone wants to pick the outer leaves there would be enough to freeze again. We're looking at Saturday morning as a possibility for major summer planting. How does this sound for everyone? Hope to see you all soon -- Pearl

May 7, 2007: Gardeners, We've had a couple productive workdays recently. The cover crop in CIrcle 1 has been mowed and tilled in, all areas surrounding circles have been mowed, and we've marked the circles with stakes, so you can see what is in and what is out! Erik and Karen are gathering seeds and plants for the spring planting.

As most of you know, David and I will be away for 2 weeks, leaving this morning. Just a reminder--we planned work parties each Wednesday at 7 AM, and every other Saturday at 7 AM, the next one of which would be May 19. Circle 1 would be ready to plant by then (May 19). Meanwhile if in doubt about what to do, you can always dig out bermuda grass, especially around the south rim of Circle 2--or continue to harvest and freeze the greens that are still so abundant. Also, I just picked a handful of peas, so they will need picking a couple times a week, and there is cauliflower coming on as well.

Enjoy, and see you in a couple weeks,

April 17, 2007: Harvesting, and even and some clean-up, has continued. The spinach is fabulous again this year. Elna & I froze 20 packs of it last week, and are planning to do more today. Lynn, we need you to lead the way with the collards, which are becoming quite expansive. Meanwhile, spring is advancing toward summer, and it's time to talk about what we plan for the summer. I've chatted with some of you individually, but would like to get as many of us together as possible to talk it over. So, in consulting with some of you, I've concluded that this Thursday at 1 PM is the best we can do. This will coincide with Erik's and David's lunch hour, both of whom are working on projects on Canyon Rd, so we'll meet on Miller's porch, and I'll bring a big taco salad for everyone. Then some of us can go over to the garden afterward. (Pearl Mast)

For more images (the one directly above, and all these on the link that follows, taken by Karen McKelvey), click here.

[Apologies for the gap in coverage during this time -- DH]

August 30, 2006: Our garden has a good news/bad news scenario. Bad news is that with the rain and our not having tilled, we have a gigantic crop of weeds that will have to be knocked down somewhat before we can even think about tilling, and grasshoppers are in abundance. Good news is that despite this we still have a good crop of eggplants, peppers and some onions. I weeded just enough to give the peppers the room they need. I picked most of the eggplant because I love it and so many of them have gone to rot that I didn't feel I had to spare them for others. Water is still on suspend and with rain expected this week I just left it that way. Ratatouille on the menu tonight!
The garden truly is a pleasant spot and an easy walk from the ridgehouse where I now reside. Perhaps we can do something there between October and December if we put the covers back up. We need our master gardeners to return from Oregon to provide some direction and butt kicking!!
Cheers, Karen

June 26, 2006: We managed to harvest about half the circle of wheat on Sunday, leaving just a half circle to go! Unless we get more rain on Tuesday (it rained over a half inch here this afternoon), I'll be at the garden at around six on Wednesday morning to harvest more. We now have over 50 gallons of wheat and chaff mixed stored at the knoll awaiting winnowing. Anyone that wants to help out or participate is welcome at any time. There are three ways to help:
Show up as you please - there is plenty of weeding and organizing that needs to be done.
Come to a work party - harvest wheat, rototill, plant and work with your friends
Plan another day - for planting, rototilling, etc. give Karen or me a call or e-mail (Erik)

June 16, 2006: Hello Fellow Gardeners, Looks like we are going to be able to harvest some wheat! It is fairly important to harvest it at the appropriate time, when it is dry but has not sat around too long to tempt the critters. According to my best guess it should be ready in about ten days. After talking with several people, we have set a date for Sunday, June 25th and anticipate starting very early in the morning (around six). If you can come, please bring some very clean shoes to change into (old tennis shoes, freshly washed work well), and any of the following items, if you have them: big canvas tarps (or large heavy duty sheets), hedge-pruning shears (the kind with scissors-type blades that are about a foot long, not including the handles) and very big wide-mouth (2-3 feet across) containers. The process could take quite awhile so you may also want to bring lunch, if you plan to stay. We may even get around to hoeing out those nighshade plants and collecting seeds from the winter garden. So far, the late spring planting of beans looks wonderful, as do the pepper plants. Erik

May 14, 2006: There is now a railroad tie and a half waiting to be installed under the garden gate. I will get to this this week, before the planting. Jimmy and I tilled most of circle one today in preperation for Saturday's planting and Linda removed all the row covers, rocks and what remained of the hoops and hold down rods. There is still quite a bit that is harvestable and palatable - lots of onions, lettuce, spinach and some peas. Share with your friends! I would like to let the radish, spinach, broccoli and lettuce that is going to seed, go to seed so we can have fresh seeds for next year.

May 13, 2006: Here is an update on the community garden as of our last planning session that took place before David's departure at the end of April.
Erik and Jimmy will be tilling the wheat in Circle 1 (nearest the gate) Sunday May 14 beginning at 7AM. We decided to till one circle, which isn't doing as well, in order to build up the soil fertility. We will harvest the wheat in Circle 2. It is forming good seed heads and should be ready to harvest about mid June. Erik reports that there are other miscellaneous tasks to be done if you wish to join them tomorrow.

On Saturday May 20 beginning at 7AM there will be a work party for planting. We will be planting pinto beans in circle one. This first crop will be tilled under in preparation for the 2nd planting of beans which will hopefully coincide with the monsoon rains and be ready for harvesting in October.
The suggested items for planting in the beds are winter squash, pumpkins, okra, zinnias, and sunflowers. These will be planted from seed. We will also plant peppers and eggplant, but starting with small plants instead of seed. Please bring any of the above seeds (or others you have a hankering to plant) that you may have on hand and we can make decisions at the time of planting.
We have 25 lbs of organic pinto beans which were purchased at Tucson Cooperative warehouse. I will be responsible for obtaining the plants.
At Erik's suggestion we nixed trying tomatoes due to the need for more attentive care than we can provide, and a pesky fungus which we want to avoid.
We have had a bit of a problem with small critters which we have trapped in the Hav-a-hart and relocated, however this is a no win proposition, as they have access under the gate. The plan is to place several railroad ties there which will serve as a sweep. We have had no incursions of larger critters such as deer, javalina, or jack rabbits now that the new fencing is installed.
If you can't participate in the work party and would like to make a monetary contribution to the garden, that would be greatly appreciated.
An FYI for anyone going into the garden. A rattlesnake has been sighted nestled under the stile, so use caution there and elsewhere in the tall vegetation. Jeannine will be putting a snake catcher and garbage can inside the garden gate for anyone with the skill and/or fortitude to capture and relocate.
Lastly, there is still an abundance of spinach. Please come and pick! I understand that Pearl and Elna blanched and froze a lot of it and it is still coming on like gangbusters, however, the heat will soon take its toll. The watering time has been increased by about 30 minutes each scheduled day due to the heat and drought.
Hope you can join us, Karen

May 11, 2006: The gardens at this point are in states of growth and ripening. The images below give a brief indication of what's here: at left, an overview showing the two circles of wheat from a distance; in the middle, rows of Kale, lettuce, and (out of sight to the right) onions, and at right, spinach. (Click on each image to enlarge it.)


If you're interested in any of the ripe garden produce, you should stop by and pick some now, because this produce will soon go to seed. As you can see with the spinach, it is beginning this process. Last week we picked a pile of it, and it was the best spinach we've ever tasted. The wheat, as you can see, is almost waist-high.

February 22, 2006: On this day the gardens were weeded and chicken wire was run around the fence periphery to keep out the javelina. Below, from left to right: a general view; spinach; peas; bok choy. (Click on each image to enlarge it.)


Below, a view of the fenceworkers.

February 16, 2006: Gardeners, We thought we'd set up and plant a couple more tunnels tomorrow morning around the usual time of 9:00 AM (sorry for the short notice, but we got hung up and extra day in town). We purchased some more garden tools from Jane Matson, so you shouldn't need to bring any tools. We've been eating some salad greens recently and they're great, so stop by the garden and help yourself. Hope to see you tomorrow.-- Pearl and David