Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring work day update

Chancellor and Lynn plant a protea and some succulents in a new wine barrel planter in front of the garden.

If there's one thing you can count on in San Francisco, it's that the weather forecast will be wrong.

Despite earlier concerns about rain, Saturday turned out to be nice after all and we ended up having a very productive workday. Thanks to Brent, Celeste, Chancellor, June, Kevin, Lynn, Michael L., Stephanie, and Zo for helping to get the garden in good shape. We spent the morning weeding the footpaths and some of the common area garden plots, spreading new woodchips throughout the garden, and planting some new plants in the succulent garden and in another wine barrel planter out front.

After a couple of hours of work, we took a break for lunch and to have a brief meeting. Here are a few garden reminders and updates we discussed:

Regularly weed around your plot: Gardeners are expected to keep the area around the front, back, and sides of their plots free of weeds. Be sure to keep this area weeded throughout the year, including the winter.

Keep invasive weeds out of the compost: You can compost most garden waste in our compost bins, but there are three invasive weeds that should stay put of the bins: oxallys with yellow flowers, knot weed (sometimes called "sticky weed"), and crab grass. You'll find pictures of all three weeds on top of the compost bin. These three weeds should go in the green city compost trash can instead.

Hang front lock on the trellis: To help prevent the front lock from being stolen or lost, please hang it on the trellis when you enter the garden. The lock has been stolen a number of times when it has been left unlocked by the front gate.

Check with Michael about planting in common area gardens: Over the past few years, we've spent a lot of time trying to improve the common area gardens by slecting plants that are appropriate for each location. If you have a plant that you'd like to move out of your plot, please check in with me first to see if it might be approproate for one of the common area gardens.

Respect your neighbor's plot: A few gardeners have reported that produce has been removed from their plots. Some gardeners have taken it upon themselves to weed their neighbor's plot when weeds have gotten overgrown. Please refrain from disturbing anyone else's plot unless you've made arrangements with them to help them maintain it. We'll update the garden plot map tacked on the inside toolshed door with phone numbers in case you need to contact your garden neighbor about any issues that may arise.

Clean tools before putting them away: Please remove any dirt from the tools you use before putting them away in the toolshed.

Help maintain the garden hose: Be sure the yellow valve on the hose is open when you turn off the faucet so all the water can drain out. If the valve is closed and water is left in the hose after the faucet is turned off, then the build-up can create leaks in the hose. Also, be sure you wrap the hose into the coil after using it.

New compost plans: Brent reported on a new compost bin we'd like to get for the garden. The Compost Tumbler2 is a more efficient composting system that will be easier for everyone to use. It costs around $500, so we have approached the manufacturer to see if we can get a donation or significant discount. If that effort fails, we'll consider other fundraising options.

John Muir Tree Box Project: Stephanie was recently contacted by the director of the Tse Chen Ling Buddhist Center about the possibility of collaborating with the garden on creating new planter boxes for the trees that surround John Muir Elementary School on Webster and Page Streets. Gabriel and I have since met with the director to discuss this in more detail. The hope is to raise funds for the new planter boxes from local businesses and foundations and to begin construction sometime this summer. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me.

Volunteers needed: Finally, we need volunteers to take a more active role in helping to maintain the garden. Volunteers are needed to maintain the herb garden, compost bins, plan work days, and help with the common area gardens. If you'd like to lend your time and skills to any of these projects, please let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reminder: Spring work day this Saturday, 3/29

Spring has finally arrived and that means it's time for our first work day of the year. I hope to see you at the garden work day on Saturday, March 29, from 10am and 2pm.

The current weather forecast calls for a slight chance of rain on Saturday, but we'll just have to wait and see what kind of weather we're dealing with that morning. In the event of rain, I’ll send out an email letting everyone know the work day has been cancelled and we’ll re-schedule.

You can also call me at 902-9537 on Saturday morning in case the weather is looking questionable and you want to find out whether the work day is still on. Hopefully, the weather forecasters will be wrong and we’ll have a nice sunny day to enjoy working in the garden.

We'll spend our time on Saturday weeding the footpaths and the common area gardens, planting another wine barrel planter for out front, replacing some of the rotten garden plot boards, and spreading new woodchips throughout the garden. At around noon or so, we'll take a break to enjoy a potluck lunch and have a group meeting. Please bring a snack or dish to share with your fellow gardeners.

During the meeting, we'll go over some garden reminders and make plans for the year. I'm anxious to talk to everyone about opportunities for getting more involved in the garden and a new project that is just getting underway to create new planter boxes around the trees surrounding John Muir Elementary. And I want to hear your ideas about how we can continue to improve the garden. What's on your garden wish list for this year?

I hope to see you on Saturday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Love & Lemons at the Page Street Garden

Gardener Heather O'Neill has started a blog on Hayes Valley as part of a new web site that aims to cover every ZIP code in the nation. Heather says she expects the web site will function as a nationwide Yelp, with reviews and comments about different neighborhoods.

One of her first posts was on the Page Street Garden and tells the story of how she was introduced to the garden by her new boyfriend Byron, whose been a gardener for the past few years. It's a great story with some nice photos of the garden. Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring workday: March 29, 10am to 2pm

Our first workday of the year will take place on Saturday, March 29, from 10am to 2pm. We'll spend that time working on some garden chores, like weeding the footpaths, spreading new woodchips, tending to common area plots, and re-organizing the toolshed and back work area. At around 12:30, we'll take a break for a potluck lunch and to make plans for the year.

Stay tuned for more details on our Spring workday...In the meantime, please save the date.