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.

Picture Perfect Sunday in the Gardens

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The day was dawning, the air was calm with a bit of a chill foreshadowing what is to come as we approach September.

As the sun rose, the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens were a peaceful sanctuary abundant with vegetables and rows upon rows of blooming sunflowers.

I watered the spinach seeds planted yesterday for a fall harvest, tidied up the pathways and looked over the crops being grown in every plot. There is so much variety including kale, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, watermelons, zinnias and herbs.  The gardens look amazing, the harvest has been wonderful, and the butterflies breathtaking.

Thank you great gardeners who grow here for your helpfulness and your attention to your plots.

I am grateful, Natalie

Navy Volunteers in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens

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The Navy has consistently been a big help in the community gardens and we thank them for all that they do.

Today, we painted the barn, raked the pathways. edged the grandmother’s gardens, weeded and artistically painted a monarch face-cut-out-board for the Fairy Gathering on Sept. 22.  There’s no challenge they can’t take on.

Note in the photo above how they wore their sunflower yellow shirts.  It doesn’t get better. Thank you.

 

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

 

Mom Visiting From Out of Town

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Mom, who is 90 years-old, has been hearing about the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens for months now with telephone updates on the progress of the crops, the  butterfly garden, the sunflowers and the activities. This week she came to see for herself.

Here she is harvesting basil for Franklin Community Center’s food pantry. She was a happy camper enjoying being outdoors, moving the chair a little at a time to work around the trough, and meeting the gardeners who came by.

She kept saying how peaceful she felt.  “It’s a healing sanctuary,” she said. “I don’t want to leave.”

And when we dropped the basil off at FCC she said how happy it made her feel to be part of the sharing.

It was a sweet morning in the gardens.

Natalie

Sunflower Contest Has Almost 60 Participants

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June 14th is the last day to plant for the sunflower contest. So far we have 58 participants who have planted a seed and who will tend the plants all summer.

The person that grows the tallest sunflower and the person who grows the biggest flower head will each receive a prize. Plants will be measured in the fall. Details to follow.

Want to enter the contest?

Come to the garden Wednesday afternoon between 4 and 7 p.m. or Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m..

Hope to see you there, Natalie

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

Great Sunflower Wreath Making Class with Suzanne Balet-Haight

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.56.40 PM Suzanne Balet-Haight taught a wreath making class in her greenhouse on Nelson Avenue Extension this morning using the sunflowers grown in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

It was great fun and each person’s wreath came out very different.  There were Adirondack style wreaths, country cottage wreaths, and even a very elegant wreath.

What did they all had in common? Sunflowers and lots of them.

Suzanne, an excellent teacher, showed everyone the proper way to attach the sunflowers using 22 gauge wire. She demonstrated making bows with grasses and how to secure different flowers she had on hand to the grapevine wreaths. Participants used marigolds, amaranths, Dallas blue grass, cedar, statice, sedums and more.

Lots of Fun and Beautiful, Too

She began by demonstrating how to make floral sprays to attach to the wreath.  Everyone in the class heard the same instructions, but the results were an individual as the participants.  A truly creative experience.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.55.30 PM

Suzanne teaches floral decorating and wreath making throughout our area. She has taught classes on creating Christmas and hydrangea wreaths, and boxwood tree centerpieces.  If you’d like to try your hand at one, contact her through her website,  Balet Flowers and Greenhouse. She is a talented artist and knowledgeable teacher.

Also, a generous one.  The proceeds of the class today were donated to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to put towards the Spring fairy gardens the girl scouts are creating. Thank you, Suzanne for sharing your time and talents.