Caterpillar Inspired?

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 6.38.31 AMI have a theory.

A Monarch caterpillar climbed up the cosmos and spotted the drawing of a chrysalis on the sign made by the students at the Waldorf School for the butterfly garden at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Inspired, he thought, “I can do that.” And transformed from caterpillar to pupa right next to the sign. What do you think?

This is our fourth Monarch chrysalis in the garden’s certified Monarch way station which is brimming with flowers planted to support the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly.

Sunflower Show at Spring Street Gallery

gallery1This evening, the Spring Street Gallery hosted a reception for a sunflower show to benefit Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

gallery2Approximately 40 works of art depicting the cheerful, exuberant sunflower were on display and attendance was strong.

Some of the art was created plein air in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, 223 West Avenue, where rows upon rows of sunflowers have been in bloom for the past month. And, many still are.

Come see.

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Thank you to Maureen Sager and Becky Zeh from the Spring Street Gallery for hosting this event.  Pictured above are images from the reception. The last photo is of Becky Zeh painting the Pitney Meadows Community Farm and a young admirer of her work.

Magical Houses on Exhibit at Fairy Gathering

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Next week, on September 22nd, more than two dozen fairy houses will be on exhibit at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens Fairy Gathering and Sunflower Measuring.

Located at 223 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs, the day’s festivities start at noon and include fairy games, face painting, the measuring of the sunflowers in the sunflower contest, food trucks, field games and more.

Fairy attire welcome. We will also have wings, flower crowns and wands available for purchase. Come join in the fun on this magical day!

We hope to see you at the farm!

Girl Scouts Dig Up Potatoes for the Franklin Community Center Pantry

 

Two Girl Scouts troops, #3009 and # 3426, dug up the Adirondack Red potatoes they grew and cared for all summer at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

The troops plan to donate some of their harvest to the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry.

Good work!

In total, four different Girl Scouts troops worked in the gardens this summer and shared what they grew with the food pantry.

 

Our First Monarch Emerged

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 1.39.24 PMWe were lucky enough to spot two Monarch butterfly caterpillars in our butterfly garden last month.

There may have been more, but we knew of two.

We nurtured them along. kept them safe and once they formed chrysalises we moved them into a netted butterfly house to watch them mature.

Yesterday, one emerged as the gorgeous butterfly you see here.  The other should follow any day now.

As many of you know, the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens became a certified Monarch Waystation last winter.  This means we provide the plants and habitat Monarch butterflies need to complete their lifecycle from egg to butterfly.

Looks like we did well.

Thank you to Judy. our butterfly foster mother who cared for them.

Did We Reach 100 lbs of Donated Produce? I’m Betting Yes!

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 8.58.05 AMI was in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens very early today and picked two eggplants for the Franklin Community Center food pantry from a plot with permission.

One was quite hefty and I think together they weigh at least a pound, maybe more.

It being early and Labor Day, no one was at FCC when I left them on Carolyn’s Bench outside the entrance.

But I hope they find them when they come in because I believe it will put us over the 100 pounds of donated fresh, organically grown vegetables for the season.

We are only a half pound from this milestone. Abby, Julie….let me know!

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WNYT News Aired a Story on Us.

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 5.11.44 AM.pngYesterday, Emily Burkhard from WNYT News Channel 13 spent the afternoon at the Pitney Meadows Community Farm and did a great segment that included our beekeeper, Jenn Dunn; the plans for the 166-acre farm and the flourishing community gardens.

If you didn’t see it, here’s the link: WNYT

Burkhard and her videographer, Josh, were at the farm interviewing and enjoying the gardens and butterflies for several hours.  During that time, Burkhard learned the process of extracting honey from bee hives, toured the community gardens, spoke with gardeners and asked great questions about plans for the farm’s future that were answered by Farm Director Ken Kleinpeter.

It was fun to be able to share what has been accomplished at Pitney Meadows in just a year.

The videography on the story captures the beauty of the farm and the continuation of its agricultural legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy from my Head To-ma-toes!

This morning, the gardeners at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens donated 22 pounds of fresh, healthy, organically grown produce to the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry.

Twenty two pounds!  That brings our total contribution this month to about 40 pounds.

I’m so glad we are able to do this!

Thank you all and especially to those gardeners who are traveling this week and gave us permission to harvest ripe vegetables from their plots.

If you won’t be about next week, please let me know if we can harvest from your plots.

Gratefully,

Natalie

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!