And so starts the 2017 planting season! Gardeners from St.Nick's put in the first of our cold crops: green lettuce. About 100 romaine and green lettuce seedlings were planted, and a dozen or so parsley plants, too. Also lots of marigolds to keep smaller garden pests like mice and voles away and cosmos to attract pollinators.
Check out these two annual plant sales! They are sponsored by friends of our garden! We get lots of help and good advice from the Scarborough Garden Club and we are a recipient of "Seed Grants" from the Master Gardeners. We hope you'll support them, because they've been supporting us since we planted our first crops.
May 20 at the Barron Center - Cumberland County Master Gardeners
June 3 at the Hunnewell House - Scarborough Garden Club
Our friends at Keller Williams volunteered for the garden as part of their annual "RED Days". We are glad Keller Williams' Cash Wiseman called Project GRACE to ask how they could help their neighbors on May 11th, a day of giving back nationwide for the realty group. To help us get the garden ready for growing season, they moved a mountain of lovely organic compost from Jordan's Farm, and laid the pathways, too. THANK YOU!
To this... in about 2 hours! Wow!
Project GRACE has been applying for grants for the garden, and we're very pleased to be awarded a "Seed Grant" from the Cumberland County Master Gardeners. It's one of several that help us put the green into our garden efforts.Thank you!
We hope you'll stop by ACE Hardware at Oak Hill on Wednesday, April 26th (4pm-7pm) for the 5th annual garden party! We're sharing a table with the Scarborough Garden Club and the Cumberland County Master Gardeners. Stop by for soil test kits and some planting advice, too! Click here for more info, coupons.
The snow's barely melted, but we're planning our 2017 growing season! First task on the list is to roto-till the leaves and compost added last fall as we put the garden to bed. Then we'll be ready for our first work day to spread compost, lay paths, and plot our planting plan.
Save the Date: Thursday, May 11th 2pm
Our friends at Keller-Williams will be volunteering for the garden as part of their annual "RED Days". Keller-Williams' Cash Wiseman called Project GRACE to ask how they could help their neighbors on May 11th, a day of giving back nationwide for the realty group, and we were happy to respond with an invitation to have them help us get the garden ready for season!
Maine Harvest for Hunger is a program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension that encourages gardeners to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to hungry people in Maine. The Scarborough Community Garden weighs our harvests each week and reports the totals to Maine Harvest to Hunger. Did you know, nearly 1 in every 4 Maine children, are food insecure. To learn more about Harvest for Hunger, click here!
Where is all that food going?
To our neighbors at the Scarborough Food Pantry!
Recently Overheard at the Pantry:
"I haven't had these in such a long time, they are so expensive." (talking about just-picked fresh green beans)
"Wow, that all looks really nice. It's great for someone like me - I'm a vegetarian."
"Thank you, gardeners, you keep on growing. It's wonderful what you are doing. I'm diabetic, and I'm trying to eat right."
"The kids really love these." (talking about cucumbers)
"Having a recipe is really helpful. I haven't tried that before." (talking about kale)
"This must be really fresh; it still has some dirt on it!" (talking about beets just pulled from the garden)
OCTOBER TOTAL: 22 pounds
WEEK TWENTY-TWO: October 20
WEEK TWENTY-ONE: October 11 & 13
WEEK TWENTY: October 4 & 6
SEPTEMBER TOTAL: 121 pounds
AUGUST TOTAL: 113 1/4 pounds
WEEK EIGHTEEN: September 20 & 22
WEEK SEVENTEEN: September 15
WEEK SIXTEEN: September 6 & 8, 2016
WEEK FIFTEEN: August 30 & September 1, 2016
WEEK FOURTEEN: August 25, 2016
WEEK THIRTEEN: August 16 & 18, 2016
WEEK TWELVE: August 9 & 11, 2016
WEEK ELEVEN: August 2, 2016
JULY TOTAL: 101 POUNDS
WEEK TEN July 26 & 28, 2016
WEEK NINE: July 19 & 21, 2016
WEEK EIGHT: July 14, 2016
WEEK SEVEN: July 7, 2016
Counting the pounds at each harvest is fun, but we'd rather pick the squashes and zucchinis when they are small - they just taste better that way.
This is our second season of growing for the community, and we're pleased to report that thanks to an abundance of great compost, helping hands, and an earlier start, we were able to harvest before Memorial Day, a full month earlier than last season.
We've had a few ups and downs along the way: we had just spread about six yards of locally made 'surf'n'turf" compost, laid down some paths, and planted our early cold crops of spinach, kale, and peas...then oh, no! Snow! A few weeks later, we were celebrating the awesomeness of our spinach and lettuce harvests. What do they say about pride? Just as we were anticipating a second crop of lettuce, a wiley invader snuck in and ate it all up. All of it. Every. Single. Head.
But on the whole things have been good in the garden. There are more herbs, which do a lot to wake up a meal that starts from a box or can. We've added new crops like bok choy, leeks, and garlic - the scapes are fantastically artful as well as tasty. It's now mid-July, and we're at week 9 with a dozen or so harvest days. Cold crops like spinach are giving way to summer treats like basil, peppers, and just-picked-can't-getter-better-than-that green beans. There is joy, too. Lots of joy.
We think Master Gardeners are awesome -- they helped us get our garden ready to plant last year, and this year awarded a seed grant to help us keep growing. Thank you!
MAY & JUNE TOTAL: 125 1/2 pounds
WEEK SIX: JUNE 30 & 28, 2016
WEEK FIVE: JUNE 21 & 23, 2016
WEEK FOUR: June 14, 2016
WEEK THREE: June 7, 2016
WEEK TWO: May 31, 2016
WEEK ONE: May 24 & 26, 2016
Would you like to lend a hand in the garden? We're looking for help with planting, harvesting, and other garden tasks. No experience necessary, all skill levels welcome. Commitments range from one-time activities like helping to spread compost when the garden starts up in the Spring, putting the garden to bed in the fall, or special events like Touch-A-Truck, the ACE Garden Party, or Harvest Fest. Other options include helping to plant in early Spring and off and on throughout the season for successional harvests, or periodic "Weeding Wednesdays", or weekly during peak Summer and Fall harvest times.
CURRENT VOLUNTEER NEEDS
HARVEST VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TUESDAY MORNINGS (8:15 - 9:15 a.m. weekly)
HARVEST FEST VOLUNTEERS NEEDED SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016
WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED WEDNESDAYS
The Higgins Beach Association recently held their 'welcome back' auction and supper for its members, a time to catch up on what's been happening here and away. The annual event included a silent auction for which members of the neighborhood association collected great prizes from local artists and businesses. With good-natured and spirited bidding, members of the HBA raised a very generous donation for Project GRACE. While much of the gift is designated for fuel assistance, once again, a portion of the gift will also be used to help the Community Garden grow. Thank you, neighbors!
The Cumberland County Master Gardeners, Walmart Foundation and Sibley-Saltonstall Foundation awarded Project GRACE grants in support of its community nutrition work, including the Community Garden. Thanks to this key support, we can plant and grow. Thank you!
St. Nicholas Episcopal Church also renewed their support for the garden, pledging to cover the water bill again. Thank you!
We also appreciate the gifts in kind and discounts that allowed us to get supplies, seedlings, and compost for the garden. Thank you: Jordan's Farm, Green Spark Farm, Highland Avenue Greenhouses, Broadway Gardens, Flaherty Farm, O'Donal's, and Scarborough's ACE Hardware.
We had a great time at the Scarborough Rotary's annual "Touch a Truck" at the Scarborough Downs. Lots of kids stopped by our booth to plant seeds (put earth in the cup, poke the seeds into the planting mix, pinch some compost on top, and pour a spoonful of water to moisten). Garden enthusiasts - of all ages! - planted beans and nasturtium to take home.
Scarborough Community Garden at St. Nick's