We had this lovely Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) in the garden sipping nectar from the zinnias.
You can’t miss this one when it flutters by as the wingspan ranges from four to six and a half inches.
Every Saturday since June, children have been attending a reading and garden/craft program in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens we called the Sunflower Hour. Today was the last session of the season.
It has been wonderful with dozens of children coming over the summer to hear stories told by Faye Mihuta, a retired teacher, and experience life in the garden. Children sat in the sunflower house, which is just now beginning bloom and listened to books being read.
Over the last eight weeks the crafts they made with artist Jess Clauser included a fluttering butterfly, bee bracelets, and cards made with vegetable stamps. Other weeks, the children learned about sowing flower seeds, how vegetables grow, the importance of honeybees and the butterfly habitat we have to support Monarch butterflies. Jay Epstein came one Saturday to talk about worms and the children made worm farms from recycled bottles to take home.
Today, the project was to make a clay medallion by pressing the leaf of the herb sage into wet clay. The clay was trimmed with a round cookie cutter and set out to dry. Once dry, they can be painted. Each one was very pretty and the children were please to take home several each.
Next, we harvested onions. Each child had a chance to pull the onions from the ground and take one home.
Afterwards, we all tasted zucchini bread and basil lemonade. Both were delicious.
It was a great morning in the garden.
Special thank you to Faye and Jess for all the effort put into making Sunflower Hour a memorable experience for young community members. You are deeply appreciated.
This tiny Monarch caterpillar is now in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, a gift from Dawn, the owner of Wildthings Rescue Nursery. Dawn is one of the vendors at the Saratoga Farmers Market and gave us this little treasure for our butterfly garden.
We carefully tucked it into its new home on a milkweed plant in the butterfly garden and protected it from predators with a special butterfly netting donated by gardener, Kay S. In the next two weeks, we will watch it grow and become a chrysalis and after that a magnificent Monarch.
Thank you all. BTW – Dawn’s Nursery specializes in native plants. You can check it out here: http://www.dawnswildthings.com
The Girls Scouts have been working in the gardens the last two seasons and we are delighted to have them!
They have grown food for the pantries, created a fairy garden, earned art and outdoor experience and so much more.
Now, the scouts will be able to earn a badge for their work in the community gardens.
This is the patch that troop leader Jess Clauser designed. Note the Pitney Farm barn and silo.
Green thumbs up to all the troops!
Annabelle Shuck from Girl Scout troop #3359 harvested 19 pounds of fresh produce from plots the scouts tend at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens. All summer, the Girl Scouts have watered and weeded and yesterday the organically grown vegetables were delivered to Franklin Community Center’s food pantry. Kudos to the girls and to troop leaders Carolina Mitchell and Jess Clauser for a job well done.
Check it out: Saratogian August 8, 2018 article written by Joe Phelan.
This morning we were able to donate 8.8 pounds of freshly harvested, organically grown tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and herbs including tarragon, basil and dill to the Franklin Community Center.
Thank you to all the Pitney Meadows Community Gardeners for your generosity.
Natalie Walsh, Garden Director
P.S. I added a few flowers. They are food for the soul. 🙂