Saturday, October 27, 2007
We had another gorgeous sunny day at the garden on Saturday, which made for a perfect time to get together to learn about sheet mulching for the winter and to enjoy some music and good food on the back patio.
Special thanks to Brent for leading the sheet mulching demonstration.
If you missed the workshop, check out the step-by-step instructions we've posted on the blog (this link can always be found under "Garden Administration" in the top right column). Thanks to Wendy and Kelsy for helping out with the demo!
You'll find all the materials you'll need for sheet mulching back by the toolsheed and compost bin. If you are not planning on gardening during the winter, sheet mulching is a great way to keep weeds from over-running your plot while improving your soil for the springtime.
After the workshop, we took a break to enjoy a potluck lunch (including some delicious orzo salad made by Bridget and borscht by Anna as well as some yummy blackberry desserts) and then the open-mic got underway. John got us started with a poetry reading and then we heard musical performances by Rick, Zo, Kenne, Bridget, Robert, and Kim. Ian once again stole the show with "Do you know the muffin man?" Thanks to all the performers and everyone who helped out, including Gabriel for making our stylish scarecrow!
Check out more photos from the event in the photo archive.
Monday, October 22, 2007
If you're planning on taking a break from gardening during the rainy winter months, be sure to come out to this Saturday's workshop on preparing your plot for the season. We'll get started at 11am and Brent Patterson will lead a workshop on sheet mulching, cover crops, as well as some important composting reminders.
Here's the poop on Saturday's workshop: On Sunday, Brent and I drove out to a horse stable near Fort Funston and picked up some donated manure for this Saturday's workshop. We also bought a couple of bails of straw and have been collecting cardboard as well. These are the supplies you'll need to sheet mulch your plot, which is an excellent way to keep weeds in check during the winter and to improve your soil.
One important thing to keep in mind about sheet mulching is that you don't have to sheet mulch your entire plot. Brent will demonstrate how to sheet mulch around existing plants that you want to keep in place. If you are planning on sheet mulching your plot on Saturday, you should give your plot a good soaking of water beforehand.
Another option for preparing your plot for the winter is growing a cover crop. If you're interested in trying a cover crop this winter, we'll provide the seeds and show you how to get started. Cover crops add nitrogen to the soil and also produce plant material that can later be added to the compost for building more soil
Potluck and music after the workshop: At 1pm we'll finish up the workshop and take a break for a potluck. Bring a dish to share with fellow gardeners and enjoy another music open-mic event beginning at that same time.
Zo is organizing the open-mic, which goes until 4pm. If you're a musician interested in peforming or if you know someone who might want to play, please give Zo a call: 845-1489
One final note: Please remember that gardeners who aren’t actively gardening during the winter or who fail to prepare their plot for the winter by the end of the year will have to give up their plots.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Earlier this week, I picked an apple from the smaller apple tree in the front of the garden to see if the fruit had ripened yet. I was happy to find out that the apples are crisp and delicious!
All fruit at Page Street is available to members of the garden. Feel free to use the fruit picker on the long pole by the toolshed to pick an apple. Just position the padded basket of the fruit picker beneath one of the apples. Tap the branch and the apple should land in the basket. I'll also pick a few and leave them on top of the compost bin.
There aren't that many apples in the tree, so please just take one so everyone gets a chance to enjoy them.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a good crop of apples this year on the tree in the very front of the garden. The apple and plum trees tend to produce fruit in cycles, and it looks like this was an off year for the front apple tree.
I'm hoping to get the City to do some additional pruning on the apple and cherry trees again before the end of the year. I'll keep you posted about that effort.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
One of the great things about gardening in the San Francisco is being able to grow vegetables and other plants year-round. That's why gardeners at Page Street are encouraged to use their plots throughout the year. But if you are not planning on gardening during the rainy winter months, you are required by the garden agreement to prepare your plot for the season.
There are a few events coming up this month that will help you make plans for the winter. If you are interested in learning more about year-round gardening, check out a special "Fall & Winter Gardening" workshop sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension Service on Saturday, October 20, at Merritt College in Oakland. This workshop features a number of interesting topics, including "Extending Your Growing Season with Winter Crops," led by Pam Pierce, authjor of Golden Gate Gardening. The deadline for signing up for this workshop is October 12.
If you are not planning on gardening during the winter, be sure to attend our workshop on preparing your plot for the season on Saturday, October 27, from 11am-1pm. Brent Patterson, who heads up our compost team, will do a demonstration on sheet mulching. This is an excellent way of keeping weeds in check, improving nutrient content and water retention in soil, and encouraging favorable microbial activity and worms in your plot. It's also very easy to do.
In addition to the sheet mulching lesson, Brent will instruct gardeners on planting winter cover crops for their plots. Cover crops add nitrogen to the soil and also produce plant material that can later be added to the compost for building more soil.
Please keep in mind that gardeners who aren’t actively gardening during the winter or who fail to prepare their plot for the winter by the end of the year will have to give up their plots.
Music in the Garden: Saturday, October 27, 1-4pm
After the workshop is done at 1pm, we'll take a break to enjoy a potluck lunch and another open-mic music event. Music in the garden will continue until about 4pm. If you are interested in performing or know someone who might be, please call Zo at 845-1489. More details to come.