Look What Kim Did!

 

Kim F. decorated this chair as a throne for the Fairy Queen who will arrive at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens Fairy Gathering this Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Queen will lead children though the gardens weaving her tale sure to delight. She will be followed by Paula, our fairy dance mother, who will dance a fairy dance with everyone who wants to participate.

Surely the queen will love all the preparations the fairy godmothers have done. There will be flower fairy crowns, wings and wands available for purchase. And children will have many hand crafted houses on display.

Raffles of hand-made fairy houses and a centerpiece, a fairy doll, a fairy garden and fairy inspired art works and a beautiful scarf.

Festivities start at noon and run to three p.m.  There will be field games, more games, a food truck from Nine Miles East,  free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while supplies last and live music for all to enjoy.

The sunflowers in the sunflower contest will be measured at 2 p.m. and prizes awarded.

Come to the fairy gathering and be enchanted!

Pitney Meadows Community Farm is at 223 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Flyers Ready for Fairy Gathering, Please Share

Come see dozens of fairy houses and cheer for the biggest sunflowers in the contest in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Admission to the farm is free. Donations are welcome. Visitors can buy lunch at the Nine Miles East Farm’s Food Truck, and enjoy ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s, play fairy games, listen to music, and follow the fairy queen as she tells a story and more.

If you want to wear your fairy attire, please do.

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Children’s Sunflower Hour Program Had a Successful First Season

onion harvestEvery 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.cly2

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.

onionfayeNext, 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.

Natalie

 

Girl Scouts Create Pitney Meadows Patch

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 9.48.37 AMThe 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!

Reading and Art Program in the Community Gardens Well Received

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 12.23.35 PMIt was a lovely morning in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens with about a dozen children attending the Sunflower Hour reading program.  At 9:30 children listened to stories about vegetables read by Faye Mihuta, a retired teacher and a community gardener.

After the stories, the children searched the garden for different vegetables and earned stickers as they found them and matched them to a game sheet that had simple drawings of tomatoes, corn, beans, cabbage and other vegetables.

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At 10 a.m., those that were interested created cards, books and bags using stamps made from potatoes, the stalks of celery, apples, melons, mushrooms and more.  The roses above were made by cutting the stems off a celery and using the base as a stamp. The leaves were carved from the raw potato.

Next Saturday, August 11, is the last day for the Sunflower Hour program. The reading program is free. The activity costs $5. per child to cover the cost of supplies.

Hope to see you there, Natalie Walsh, Garden Director. Natalie.Walsh@pitneymeadows.org

Jammin at the Farm

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Blueberry Jam, that is, at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens in Saratoga Springs

Diane Whitten, Cornell Cooperative extension nutritionist, came to the farm and taught everyone how to make blueberry freezer jam.

Children arrived at 9:30 for the Sunflower Hour reading program and heard Faye Mihuta, a community gardener and teacher, read “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey complete with sound effects such as the berries going “plink” into a bucket.

After story time, children and adults had the opportunity to make a freezer jam which was delicious.

 

Diane teaches many different classes on food preservation and nutrition including classes on fermentation, making jerky, canning salsa and tomatoes. Go to Cornell Cooperative Extension’s website  to register.

She has offered to teach a class on pickling vegetables in the community gardens. If you might be interested, let me know and we will see what can be arranged.

Natalie Walsh, Garden Director – Natalie.Walsh@pitneymeadows.org

Children Make Worm Farms at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 2.35.57 PMSunflower Hour at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens this morning began with story time and ended with children making worm farms to take home.

After the stories children held wriggler worms and set some free in the gardens. Those children who wanted made farms from empty soda bottles and layers of sand and soil.

Watermelon was added as worm food and dark construction paper wrapped the bottles to simulate underground conditions. Later this week, children can remove the paper and study the underground tunnels made by the worms.

Sunflower Team

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 2.41.30 PM.pngFaye Mihuta read the books. Retired teacher, master gardener and worm composter Jay Ephraim lead the hands-on worm program for about 10 children. And the team, both of whom are community gardeners,  worked together with Jess Clauser, also a community gardener, to create the worm farms.

It was terrific. The children were delighted and eager to participate.

Blueberry jam

Next week, the reading program will focus on blueberries and  the activity will be making blueberry freezer jam with Diane Whitten from Cornell Cooperative Extension. The jam class, at 10 a.m., is $5 which covers all supplies. The story time is free and begins at 9:30 a.m.

Please let us know if you are coming to make jam. The class is open to both children and adults. We will be purchasing supplies, and need a head count by Tuesday.

Thank you, Natalie Walsh

Garden Director, Pitney Meadows Community Gardens

natalie.walsh@pitneymeadows.org

Reading and Gardening Program for Children Starts Saturday

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That’s George W. hammering in the sign I made for the potato garden. Children who participate in the reading and garden activity program will be planting and growing potatoes, flowers and sunflowers at various times through the summer. They will also be learning about worms and the role of bees and butterflies in the garden.

If your children would like to listen to picture books about gardening and nature, come to the Saturday program.  The first session is this Saturday, June 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Natalie

The Children’s Library House is Installed

Thank you Simon Ouderkirk for installing the children’s library house next to the Gardener’s Shed. Simon is one of our community gardeners and graciously offered to securely attach the little house to the shed.

It looks terrific. And, it is just the right height for children to access. Perfect.

Thank you also to Anne Curtin for donating the house and to Heather VonAllmen for the whimsical painting.

While I was there this afternoon, I put about a dozen books inside for children to enjoy.

Speaking of books, this Saturday is the first day of our Sunflower Reading and Gardening activities for children.  Faye Mihuta will read books starting at 9:30 and Jess Clauser will lead an art or gardening program beginning at 10 a.m. There is no charge for the reading program. For the art program, a donation of $5 is suggested.

Let’s us know if you plan to attend.

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Fairy Gathering a Huge Success

I left the gardens about an hour ago, but the smile on my face will likely last for days

What a wonderful day for the gardens.  We had about 125 fairies and friends of fairies participate in the fairy gathering at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Thank you to Susan Rivers, our fairy godmother, for her generous support of this event.

A big round of applause to Jess Clauser, our girl scout badge coordinator, who organized the fairy house decorating with over 30 scouts. The houses were delightful and many are still in the gardens for everyone to enjoy. I’m so fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary talent and such a kind heart in the gardens.
Thank you Charlotte. You are such a joy. Your willingness to lend a hand in so many ways is deeply appreciated.
Thank you Kim Fonda, one of the fairy village landscape architects, who worked along with Jess. You both did amazing work.  There were constant “ohhh and ahhs” by everyone as they walked along the border. Thank you for all you did from planting to planning and for selling T-shirts for the farm.
Thank you to Jan DeMeo for your help with the signs.
A big thank you to Judy B., who helped make pretzel fairy wands, decorated with a magical touch and made the treats table look enchanting. And, who with Sharon S. and Kathy R. from the Senior Center were hostesses at the treats tables. We served fairy water, cookies, enchanted eggs, pixie stix and these incredible cookies made by Heather V. that were admired by everyone. Look an the image of a fairy admiring one below. Her expression says it all.
Music for the Fairies
Thank you to Andy Roth for playing music with his guitar and harmonica for us.  Andy, the children loved it and one parent made a point of telling me how the music added to the “vibe of the day.”  So true. Thank you.
To Anne Curtin, our sunflower contest coordinator, for helping the children plant seeds for the sunflower contest.  She had many fairies lining up to plant to the delight of everyone.
And for our energetic fairies, Chris Marsh organized ball games in the field. It was a delight to see the fairies with their wings running after the ball. Siblings of fairies were out there too having fun.
What a day. I will treasure the memory. Thank you all. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
You make the community garden work. You made this a magical day.
And, I am grateful.
Natalie