Wednesday, June 9, 2021

June 2021


Successful Work Party!


Thank you to all the Community Gardeners who came out to the Work Party on Saturday, June 10th. It was very hot and humid, but we were able to get the entire old fence line along Stadium Road cleared of weeds, brambles, and trees. Jessica Stephens brought a car-full of cardboard which was spread out to suppress the weeds. Then, Liz Callan used the tractor to bring up 4 loads of wood chips which were spread on top of the cardboard. Great work, everyone!


The next Work Party will be on July 10. Mark your calendars!


Work Party June10 - Jessica Stephens,Melissa Cole, Dee Zarnowski, Barbara Arnold, Will McElfresh, Eric Whightman. Not pictured - Doug Garrou, Marsha Maisey, Bill Hassenger.




Cleared fence line.


Word of the Month


Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch!


As the heat increases heading into summer, a layer of leaves (even better, with a layer of newspaper underneath) will (1)keep the roots of your plants cool, (2) hold moisture so you can water less frequently, (3) suppress weeds so you don’t have to weed as frequently, and (4) decompose over the season and add nutrients to your soil. Win, win, win, win.


Caught the rabbit!

Here is the cute little varmint who has been eating us out of house and home in the plots near Stadium Road. At least, we HOPE this is the one. He has been safely relocated to Melissa Cole’s bunny sanctuary where he is loving the clover fields, but probably missing dining on Bill Wallace’s succulent bean sprouts. We will keep the trap baited in case there are more.

 




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FERTILIZERS:  WHAT IS N-P-K all about?

by Carol Fryer



Fertilizers are valued for supplying nutrients for plants. 

Plants utilize the nutrients for plant growth.

Fertilizers can be organic or inorganic. Organic fertilizers contain only plant- or animal-based materials that are either a byproduct or end product of naturally occurring processes, such as manures, leaves, and compost. Inorganic fertilizer, also referred to as synthetic fertilizer, is manufactured artificially and contains minerals or synthetic chemicals.


The primary nutrients that plants must have in the soil are N-P-K, otherwise known as:

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P)  and Potassium (K).  

Most fertilizers that you buy at a store are labeled with three numbers corresponding to N , P and K, such as 10-10-10. 

A fertilizer with all three main nutrients in about equal quantities is a balanced fertilizer.


 The numbers tell you what percentage of the net weight is composed of these three numbers.

For example, a 50 lb. bag of 10-6-4 will contain 5 lbs. of  nitrogen 

(10% of 50 lbs = 5 lbs.), 3 lbs. of phosphate, and 2 lbs. of  potash. 

( Phosphate and potash are the available forms of phosphorus and potassium.)


The secondary nutrients are: calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, plus small amounts of the 

micronutrients – boron, copper, chlorine, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. 


Feed the Soil First :  The best way to improve plant growth is by regular addition of organic matter such as compost to your soil.  Organic matter improves soil structure, releases nutrients slowly, and increases good microbial activity in the soil. 


Inorganic  (chemical) fertilizers are usually less expensive and more readily available for plant growth than organic fertilizers.  However, organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly over the growing season and often are also soil conditioners, aiding the microbial activity in the soil.


Some fertilizers, such as Osmocote are slow-release fertilizers, and make nutrients available in small quantities over an extended period.  Starter fertilizers are specially formulated for seedlings and transplants, and are high in phosphorus to aid in root growth. Garden-Tone is an organic fertilizer specifically formulated for veggies.


How to apply fertilizer -Fertilizer can be applied in a number of ways. Most often a dry fertilizer will be applied as a top dressing (scattering the fertilizer around your plant) or as side dressing (placed in a furrow on the side of your plants). Liquid fertilizers are generally poured on the root area of your plant. Foliar fertilizers are sprayed onto upper and lower leaf surfaces. They are good for seedlings and transplants.


Know your soil - Most garden plants perform best in soils with high organic matter – more than 3% in the topsoil - and a near-neutral pH. If your soil’s pH is high or low, your plants will not be able to uptake the nutrients you have provided for them.


To learn more about your soil structure and nutrient needs, a Soil Test every 3-4 yrs. is worthwhile to have.  You will receive information about your soil levels of N-P-K, the percentage of compost in your soil, the pH of your soil, and information about nutrients you may need to add to your soil. Soil Test packets are available at the JCC Extension Office on Forge Rd. and are also available at the Community Garden from a Garden Committee member. Once you take your sample you send it to the Soil Test Lab at Virginia Tech (it costs around $10) and they will return it to you soon, depending on their workload at the time.


How often to fertilize- The answer to this question, as is often the case in gardening, is “it depends”. If you have healthy soil and microbes that are continually decomposing organic matter in your soil to release nutrients, fertilizing is not as important. Also some types of plants, like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash, are heavy feeders and supplemental nutrients are more important for them than for light feeders like beans, peas, and turnips. And, plants need nutrients the most when their roots are getting established and during flowering and fruiting.


A rule of thumb on frequency is to fertilize throughout the growing season (until early fall) once every 4 to 6 weeks.  Heavy feeders could benefit from a shorter cycle. Gardens with poor soil may need more frequent fertilization. 


Remember, sometimes more is not necessarily better. If you over-fertilize your plants, especially with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, you can find you produce lovely, green, leafy plants that will not produce fruit. If you apply fertilizer at higher rates or in a higher concentration than recommended, you risk burning your plants. 


Always read and follow the directions on the label.


Reference and more info:  Fertilizing Vegetables








Spotlight on emerging Pests


The Harlequin Bug



              


Already this season, harlequin bugs have been spotted in the Garden. These bugs prefer plants in the Brassica family, so you will find them on your broccoli and cabbages. The harlequin bug damages plants by inserting its beak-like mouthpart into plant tissue and sucking out fluids, which destroys plant tissue and potentially kills plants, particularly young plants. Damage appears as stippling or light-colored cloudy spots. Young plants will have larger areas of plant tissue with dead patches, wilting, deformed growth, and possibly plant death. 

 

What are they?

The adult Harlequin bug, a shield-shaped bug with bright red, orange, and black markings, is generally about 3/8"-1/2" in length.

Nymphs look similar to the adults, but they are more roundish in shape and do not have wings.

Eggs are barrel-like in shape and are light yellow or gray. The eggs are deposited in clusters on the leaves of crucifers.

How do they reproduce?

Harlequin bugs spend the winter hidden under plant debris, then, after emerging in the spring, females will lay their eggs. Eggs are laid in two-row clusters on the underneath parts of leaves. When she has finished, the female will have laid about 150 eggs. The female will fiercely defend her eggs from predators.

Within three weeks, the eggs will hatch and the emerging nymphs will begin feeding on the host plant. Nymphs feed for about two months and progress through five instars until they become adults. There are anywhere from 1 to 4 generations per year depending on the climate of a particular region

The impact may seem slight, but each female can produce 164 offspring. Without any control measures, her 82 female offspring can produce over 13,000 offspring in the second generation, and so on. So interrupting the cycle can really help control the population.

 

How to control them?

An effective way to kill harlequin bugs organically is with a simple combination of a 1-percent insecticidal soap solution, which penetrates their hard shells, plus neem (0.9 percent) or pyrethrin (0.012 percent). This combination is a contact-insecticide, so you'll have to squirt the eggs, nymphs and adults directly. These 3 insecticides are effective on a variety of insects in the garden. The Safer line of products includes a combination of insecticidal soap and pyrethrin in one bottle. (Pyrethrins are derived from chrysanthemums.) This can be purchased online or at some of the big box stores.

 As always, read and follow the instructions on the label when applying.

Other control measures?

  • Clean up garden at season’s end. Remove all crop debris to eliminate overwintering sites

  • Search out and manually crush eggs, nymphs, and adults

  • Use floating row cover to exclude the pest

  • Grow Cleome flowers as a trap crop. Spray infested cleome with insecticide or pull plants up and dispose of in black trash bags

  • Check catalogs for resistant varieties of many cruciferous plants

 

Garden Growers


People in the Garden



Meet Community Garden Coordinator Barbara Arnold


I came to horticulture later in life, though my father was one of the earlier adopters of organic gardening at our home in upstate New York. He had the best soil after years of adding a truck load of NY leaves every autumn! I learned alot from him.  


I studied psychology at SUNY Oswego (fellow CG’er Eric Wightman is also an alum!) then got a Masters in Industrial Relations at Cornell, where I met my husband. I worked in Human Resources for 15 years, then was lucky enough to be able to stay home with my two children.


I have lived in 11 states, but when we moved to Illinois, our house came with a garden! This was when I started gardening in earnest and joined the Master Gardener (MG) program there. I also began studying Landscape Design at the community college. Classes in Woodys, perennials, shrubs, insects, etc. gave me a lot of information that I was able to apply to the MG program in Illinois and later in Northern Virginia, where we spent 15 years. My favorite jobs in the MG program were working the Help Desk, where I researched and answered gardening questions from the public, and the Speakers Bureau, where I was able to create and present programs for community groups. For 10 years I was also in charge of managing the Plant Sale, our major fundraiser, producing thousands of vegetable seedlings in the homes of MG’ers for sale at the Leesburg Flower and Garden Show. Sound familiar?


I am so happy to have found the WCG and this community of fellow gardeners. I am trying hard in my first year as Coordinator of the Community Garden to keep things organized, keep the communications flowing, and keep everybody happy and gardening successfully. Let me know when it is TMI!

 







Sunday, May 16, 2021

May 2021






Following the cold-season plant sale, the sale for warm-season plants was a huge success! We offered a large variety of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant and a couple varieties of herbs. We appreciate the support of our Community Gardeners and the public. Let us know how your plants are growing!


What to Plant When?


Hurray! It is finally time to plant tomatoes! Or plant them again if you were an eager gardener and the last frost got you, sorry. Now is the time to plant any of the warm-season crops, including cucumbers, beans, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and watermelon. It is now going to get too warm for planting any more cool-season vegetables, like lettuces, broccoli, beets, and radishes. Save the seed, though, for planting again in August for a fall garden.


Wildlife Control Efforts

As some of you may know (some more than others, Bill!) we have had a marauding bunny in the garden who has been helping himself to tasty morsels from our gardens. We have trapped him twice but he has escaped both times. If you were with us last year, you know the pests-du-jour then were rats (Yuck, but luckily, not this year since we moved the compost bins outside the fence). So, what is the Garden Committee doing to reduce the presence of wildlife pests?


You will notice that the second leg of the new fence on Stadium Road has been installed. The rabbit’s burrow was found on that side of the garden by the Wildlife Control expert who consulted with us. And as all the damage has been to plots near there, we are hoping that this will help. We will also be increasing our mowing of the area near the fence to provide a “no fly zone” to make it perilous for animals to cross without getting picked off by our hawks and osprey. Maybe the perch that has been installed at the south end of the Garden will welcome more raptors.


Of course, there may be other spots where wildlife can gain entry if we are not diligent in maintaining the fence. We have made concerted efforts to secure the remaining fence until such time as we can get funding to continue the permanent fence. Expanding the permanent fence is a major priority and we are hoping we can find resources to continue it this season. We have placed additional sandbags on the base of the plastic fencing near the back gate and ask your help in putting them back when you leave the garden. And we will be developing a program for wildlife control that will include regular inspections of the perimeter fence and improved control of weeds around the fence.


The Garden Committee hopes that our efforts will result in a more secure garden.




Pruning Tomatoes

Advice from Craig LeHoullier, the NC Tomato Guy

From his book “Epic Tomatoes”


Now that we all have our tomatoes planted, here is some advice on maintaining them as they grow with judicious removal of some of the “suckers”.



What are “suckers”? Suckers or side shoots are additional fruiting stems that emerge all along the plant at the junction of the main stem and leaf stems. Suckers will be at a 45-degree angle from the main stem. Suckers go on to produce more suckers and a plant can become densely complex and crowded by midseason.


What do suckers provide? Each sucker allowed to grow provides additional flower clusters and hence additional chances for fruit set. If, during the season, the majority of flower clusters open at times when the temperature and/or humidity is not suitable for pollination, the blossoms will drop and no fruit will be produced. Allowing suckers to grow on increases the probability of successful fruit set and increased yield. Suckers also provide additional foliage cover to reduce the risk of sunscald of the tomatoes.


When to snip suckers? An indeterminate tomato plant can grow out of control in a hurry due to the formation of suckers and then suckers from those suckers. Disciplined removal of suckers in order to provide a plant with a finite number of fruiting stems or branches leads to more control over growth and a far easier support task. Pruning to one or two stems will allow for more air circulation between plants and a way to maintain order in what could otherwise become a tangled mass of vines.


Should I “top” my plants? Since more flowers form than will pollinate and ripen before the end of the season, topping also ensures that a plant does not put energy into developing tomatoes that would never get a chance to properly ripen. Pick a plant height equal to the length of the supporting stake and pinch the stem just above a leaf stem that sits close to the final flower cluster. This prevents plants from becoming so top heavy that they topple in storms or develop kinks in branches.





WATERING YOUR GARDEN


By Sally Hewitt 

Our soil is particularly sandy and this results in water draining through the soil quickly. Adding  organic matter to the soil helps it retain water longer. One of the easiest ways to add organic  matter is by mulching, for example, with the leaves we have at the Garden. Mulching your garden has many benefits and saving water is an  important one. Below is a list of some of the many benefits to mulching. 

Reduces water loss 

Reduces weed growth 

Moderates soil temperature- keeping it warmer during cold nights and cooler on hot days Reduces soil fungal and bacterial diseases by keeping the soil from splashing up on your  plants when you water and when it rains 

Breaks down and feeds your soil


Covering the soil with newspaper before mulching also helps to suppress weed growth and hold in moisture. The newspapers will degrade through the season and add to the soil. 

When to water is also important. Watering early in the day or in the evening reduces  evaporation loss.Windy days also increase evaporation- and it is often windy at our garden, so  take that into consideration when planning your watering schedule. 

To keep your plants healthy, watering the roots deeply is important. Watering just the surface  allows your plants to grow roots close to the surface and shallow roots dry out much quicker.  So, watering deeply is better than frequently watering just the surface soil. To see how far  down your water has reached go ahead and stick your finger in the soil and see how far down  it’s moist. If it’s dry an inch down then you need to water some more. Once your plants are deeply watered, they should not need to be watered for as much as a week, if properly mulched. The general rule is that plants need 1 inch of water per week, with some exceptions.

Plants also need water at  specific times in their growth cycle. Newly planted seeds and new transplants need to be kept  moist. Newly planted transplants can also benefit from shade if they continue to be droopy.The  old Farmer's Almanac website has a nice chart detailing critical times to water for different  vegetables. It also shows if vegetables need a lot of water during dry spells, needs water at  critical stages of development, and plants that do not need frequent watering.This chart can  be found at:

Almanac.com>when to water



Living Together - Companion Plants for Your Vegetable Garden

By Kay Clapp

 

Companion planting in our region traces its roots to Native Americans planting the “three sisters” of corn, pole beans, and squash in one mound. The corn provided support, beans provided additional nitrogen, and squash provided living mulch that shaded the soil and prevented weeds.

While their “gardens” were much larger than our plots, there is ample opportunity for you to improve productivity by controlling insects and improving pollination. Companion plants also support other plants, improve soil quality, shade small plants, and suppress weeds. An overlooked advantage is that plant diversity provides a more visually pleasing landscape.  

Control Insects: One of the first things passed down to me was to plant marigolds in the garden because the smell repelled insects such as leaf hoppers, worms, bean beetles, and nematodes. The scents and bright colors of herbs and flowers confuse harmful pests and attract beneficial insects.

You can plant tomato plants with parsley to attract insects and with basil about 10 inches away to increase yield. Radishes and tomatoes together encourage insects to eat the lower radish leaves first rather than the tomato leaves. Sage repels cabbage moths and carrot flies. Cilantro and dill are natural repellants of insects and also help to attract ladybugs which prey on harmful insects.

Improve Pollination: Flowering plants attract bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators to your vegetable plants. Some examples are marigolds and Calendula, which is used throughout the Colonial Williamsburg vegetable gardens. If the marigolds grow too big and start to crowd your companion vegetable, you can prune them back. Nasturtiums attract bumble bees and moths and also serve to “trap” aphids - but you will want to wash the aphids off with a blast of water.

Another cultural practice is to place deep rooting plants next to shallow rooting plants to take advantage of different root zones. A good mix is carrots with peas, strawberries with bush beans, and cabbage with herbs.

Mother Nature is a complex environment that we are just beginning to understand. Don’t worry about trying to grow a perfect garden with the perfect companion plants. Use guidance from the experts and also experiment with some companion mixes of your own. Have fun and keep gardening.

Here are a few references to help.

GARDEN WISDOM: Companion Planting Chart for Vegetables (windowbox.com)

Why Diversity Is an Advantage in a Vegetable Plot - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Companion Planting and the Green Thumb - University of Tennessee (slideshare.net) 


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Recipes from the Garden

Chive Blossom Vinegar

By Carol Fryer

 

There are two ways to make chive blossom vinegar. You can pour warm vinegar over the blossoms and steep for 1-2 weeks, or you can infuse the blossoms in room-temperature vinegar for two weeks. 

A.  Heated method:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup chive flower blossoms  (fresh, not faded blossoms)

  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar (white or champagne vinegar) 

1. Rinse the blossoms in water to remove any dirt, then let them dry.

   Lightly crush the blossoms with your hands to release their scent and flavor and loosely pack the flowers into a clean glass pint jar. 

2. Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until just warm.

  Pour the vinegar over the chive blossoms . Push the chives down into  the vinegar with a spoon. Be sure there is a small space between the liquid  and jar cover, so the metal is not in contact with the vinegar. 

3. Let the vinegar cool, then place a piece of parchment paper over the jar opening and screw on the top.  Label the jar with the date and store the bottle in a dark, cool spot for 1 to 2 weeks minimum. 

4. When you are happy with the chive-strength of the brew, strain the vinegar in a clean glass bottle, and discard the blossoms.

 

B. Unheated method:

Ingredients:

* 1 cup chive blossoms

* 1 ½ cup vinegar

* Optional:  ¼ cup chopped chive leaves

 

1. Rinse and dry the blossoms; slightly crush the blossoms and loosely pack into a glass pint jar.

2. Pour the vinegar over the blossoms until they are completely immersed in the liquid.

3. Tightly cover the jar and label with the date. Store at room temperature away from direct lightfor from heat for 2 weeks.

4. Strain the vinegar into a clean glass bottle.  Discard the blossoms.

 Note: If you use garlic chive blossoms instead of regular chive, there will be a strong garlic-y flavor to the vinegar. 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

April 2021

 Plant Sale - Warm Season Crops



May 1, 2021 at the Gate of the Community Garden


Save room in your garden for the wonderful plants you will find on Saturday, May 1st at the front gate of the Garden! The public is invited from 10-12 to choose from 50 different varieties, almost 1,000 plants - tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and herbs-  grown from seed in our basements and in the greenhouse.

 

We have a wonderful selection of heirloom and specialty plants you can't find at the store and at better prices!  Support our garden and  the Williamsburg Community Growers mission to provide food to our local community by purchasing your plants from us on May 1st. Check out the Plant Description document below for thumbnail pictures and descriptions of our products.

 

We will be trying out our new Square device for credit card sales, but cash or checks are preferred.

 

Please bring a box or tray - or a wagon! - to carry your purchases away. 

 

We would love to recycle our pots once you have planted. Just leave them in the shelter.

 

Looking forward to seeing you all!


Click here for Plant Descriptions

 


What do I Plant When?

 

The Extension at Virginia Tech advises that the average last killing frost for our area, Hardiness Zone 7b, is April 5 - April 15. This is an average based on past history. Please remember that we had a late frost last year in our Garden, which is quite exposed. So plant your crops but keep an eye on the weather and protect your tender crops if a frost is forecast.

 

The following crops can be planted by mid- to late-April, early May:

 

Bush and pole bean seeds 

Cucumber, seeds or transplants 

Eggplant transplants

Muskmelon seeds

Okra

Pepper transplants

Potatoes

Pumpkins, seeds or transplants

Summer squash, seeds or transplants

Winter squash, seeds or transplants

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes, transplants

Watermelon, seeds or transplants

Sweet corn seeds

 

***Warning - Basil should not be planted outside until low nightly temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees.

 

As the weather warms, several crops have reached the point where they will not prosper if planted now. So it is almost too late to plant: cabbage, beets, broccoli, carrots, chard, collards, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radish, spinach, and turnips. Consider planting these again later for a fall harvest. See article on Succession Planting from Elvin Clapp below.

 

 

 

 

 

Succession Planting 

by Master Gardener Elvin Clapp

Often, we are tempted by those early flashy tomato plants displayed in colorful pots at the store or garden center.  Who can pass by and not purchase beautiful 20 inch tomato plants bearing fruit and just begging to be placed in our plots in March? Those tender plants probably will not survive Jack Frost and may be too mature to adapt to a new location in the great outdoors. So how can we get the best bang for our buck with a 10’ x10’ or 10’ x 20’ plot? One key is succession planting.

Succession planting is part of an intensive strategy for getting the most produce for our plots. Basically, it’s planning and planting according to our garden seasons, and planting something new in the place where previous plants have been harvested. Keep in mind that we are in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7B, so read the labels and consult planting guides published by local universities such as Virginia Tech (ext.vt.edu), N.C. State University, or the University of Maryland. For Zone 7, the average last killing frost is April 15. Keep in mind that this is just an average and Mother Nature will decide the actual date.

Spring Season: We can get an early spring start with cold hardy annuals such as carrots, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and peas. Consider planting a row or two of your favorites, then wait 2 weeks and plant another row to have a continuous harvest to enjoy. Plants like lettuce will bolt in the early summer as the temperatures rise. Once you have harvested this crop, you have a new space for warm season plants. February and early March is a good time to start seeds indoors to be transplanted later.

Late Spring and Early Summer Season:  Follow up with warm season crops such as tomatoes, beans, peppers, eggplant, okra, etc. I like to wait until a couple of weeks after the last projected frost before planting sets or plants. You can plant earlier than the last heavy frost, but be prepared to cover your plants if a frost or freeze is predicted. Our community plots are exposed to wind and an open environment, so your space may get temperatures a few degrees colder than what you record at home.

Fall: This is an excellent time to plant cold season crops such as lettuce, turnip greens, kale, collards, etc. in the space where your warm season plants are no longer productive. Plant in the late summer and add two weeks to the maturity date. If the seed packet specifies 50 days to maturity, the actual maturity date is 64 days as the amount of sunlight and temperature declines throughout the fall. 

Winter: Kale, collards, turnip greens, etc., can survive throughout a mild winter like the one we have just experienced. However, many gardeners opt to plant a cover crop to reduce soil erosion, reduce soil compaction, and provide organic matter. For more information on cover crops, consult the Piedmont Master Gardner’s article listed below.

Finally, keep a log or record of your gardening experience. Which did better, direct seeding or transplants? What varieties survived and thrived? Keep account of your watering schedule, rate and type of fertilizer, plant rotation schedule, weed control, and what you harvested. Also, walk around other plots and chat with the member who have several seasons of experience. Remember, the most productive garden is the one not only provides a “flavorable” harvest, but one where you derive pleasure in visiting and working in every week.


References:

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-335/426-335.pdf

https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/home-vegetable-gardening-a-quick-reference-guide

https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2012/03/07/how-to-succeed-at-succession/

https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/article/the-missed-opportunity-cover-crops/



Garden Etiquette/Rules


  • The Garden Agreement states that Gardeners agree to “Maintain/tend (their) plot from the time of assignment and/or start planting by May 1st.  Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of the plot fee and reassignment of the plot to someone on the waiting list. 


  • Just another reminder that the water at the Garden is a valuable resource, even though it comes from the retention ponds nearby. We are quite lucky that the irrigation system at the sports complex was turned on in time to refill our cisterns after the recent spill of over 1,000 gallons of water. Please be careful to turn the water off at the valve near your plot. As a refresher, when the toggle is aligned with the pipe, the water is on; when it is across the pipe, it is off. 



Garden Growers

People in the Garden



Meet Farm Manager Liz Callan


I am the WCG Farm Manager, and I love getting people involved in growing their own food! I'm an agronomist (I received my Masters from LSU) and I was also a Hillside Agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, and a Community Supported Agriculture farmer in Troy, NY. I also work with the WJCC Schools School Health Initiative Program (SHIP) as the Culinary Educator. Besides gardening, I love Irish step dancing, crocheting and making soap (I have a small Etsy shop called Mountain Mermaids)!


Last April WCG received a grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts which funded my part-time position for one year. This is the first time WCG has had a paid employee! I work mainly with the Teaching Farm. I love working with our volunteers, showing them how to grow veggies, and fostering their love of local food and life-long gardening skills. Our volunteers are service-learners, and we donate most of our harvest to local food pantries. You all are welcome to join us any Tuesday (5:30 - 7 pm,) or Saturday (7:30 am - 12:30 pm), or any time I'm out at the farm working! :)


To bring a bit of financial stability to WCG, last year we opened our Farm Stand (open 9 - 11 am Saturday mornings, once we have produce to pick).  


Come and visit with me any time you see me in the garden. I look forward to getting to know you all!

Liz



What's Happening!

June 2021

Successful Work Party! Thank you to all the Community Gardeners who came out to the Work Party on Saturday, June 10th. It was very hot and h...