Do you see the Eye?

I’m doing a project to hone my skills for a bigger project I will tell you about later that will involve merging a photo from the 1800s with a present day image.

My current project is practice in merging two images in Photoshop. In honor of Halloween, I did something mildly creepy.

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Haven’t you ever felt that something or someone was watching?

Tucking in the Community Garden for Winter

mcg10The sky was clear. The temperature perfect for working and many gardeners turned out today for the cleaning of the beds at the Moreau Community Garden and a harvest lunch to celebrate our successes.

It’s true the many hands make light work and there were many helpful people on deck to clear out what remained from this season’s garden and amended the soil with cow manure to prepare the beds for next year.

Thank you to everyone who participated and to Town Board Member Todd Kusnierz, who raises cows and saw to it that we had plenty of manure to spread on the beds. This will really enrich the soil and make our garden healthier.

And to Town Board member Gina LeClair who went above and beyond to support this garden all season long. We couldn’t have done this without her.

Again…Thank you to all the gardeners and everyone else who made this season a success.

Here are some photos from today to enjoy.MCG44

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If you are interested in gardening at the community garden next year, sign up by filling out an application available at Town Hall.

Tomorrow’s Garden Plans

I will be in the garden tomorrow morning cleaning up and tending to Family Gardening Program plots.

Anyone who hasn’t been able to come during the week and who would like to talk about what is happening in their plots is welcome to join me starting at 10 a.m., ask questions and get assistance. If it is your home garden that has an issue, bring a sample of the insect or diseased plant in a plastic bag.

Disinfecting Tools

If you have Early Blight remember to clean your tools in a solution of bleach and water to disinfect them. And, after you handle your diseased plants wash your hands to avoid spreading the problem.

How I disinfect my clippers, trowels, etc. Start by putting on old clothes.

Then: mix 2 gallons of water with 4 cups of bleach in a five-gallon bucket. I place the tools into the water/bleach solution for 15 minutes. Don’t rush it, just let them soak.

If you only have a few tools to clean, the formula is 1/2 cup bleach to a quart of water. I like the bucket because I can place shovels next to trowels, etc.

After 15 minutes, I use rubber gloves and take the tools out of the bucket. Rinse them in water and dry them with a cloth. Then I let them sit in the sun for a while before rubbing the tools with a drop of oil on a cloth to keep them from rusting.

I recycle the bleach water by: going after mildew and algae with a scrub brush, washing down plastic lawn furniture, and cleaning the trash cans.

See you in the garden.

Natalie

The Garden in October

 

Most of the beds have been cleaned now, but there are still a few plots with vegetables being tended by gardeners who are enjoying the last of the season.

On a walk about the garden today, I saw kale, Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, parsley and a few other herbs still growing.  I also met a group of visitors who commented on how much they looked forward to walking through the garden when they came to visit a family member at Wesley.

It’s nice to be part of a garden that brings joy to so many and on so many levels.

 

 

 

Wintering the Saxton Daylilies

I was on my way to the garden today when I noticed Peter Saxton working in his field of daylilies.

Naturally, I pulled over to say hello. Peter generously donated daylilies hybridized by his father, the late Stanley E. Saxton, to the community garden. If you want to see images of the flowers click on the Saxton daylilies tab at the top of this page.

During our conversation, I asked Peter the best way to prepare the daylily bed for winter. The bed is located at the entrance to the garden below the sign. He said to let the leaves yellow and die down. And don’t remove them until Spring. The leaves will act as a mulch and protect the daylilies until consistently warm weather returns.

So, that’s what I will do. Today I weeded around the day lilies and cleaned the paths on either side of stray grasses.

The rest will stay as it is until Spring.

Good Weather Predicted for Thursday

The weatherman predicts a nice day tomorrow, so you can guess where I will be!

I need to clean the daylily bed and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

All plots must be cleared and cleaned by October 30th.

And remember to rake clean the paths around your plot as well. Any non-plant trash must be carried out by the gardener this includes plastic garden labels, ties, towels, sticks, bags, etc.

Any structures placed in plots to aid in gardening (tomato cages, etc.) must be removed.

The goal is to leave the plot as neat and tidy as you found it in June.

As per the community garden guidelines, those gardeners who fail to clean their plots will not be eligible to garden in the community garden next season.

A Killing Frost

Last night it went down to the 20s and the season came to an end for tomatoes and other temperature sensitive crops like the squash pictured below.  Sigh.

On a bright note, it was a good first year for our community garden and gardeners.

That’s my hero pulling out three sunflower root systems that were too tough for me to wrestle out of the ground.

It was a satisfying season.

Freeze Warning for Tonight

The National Weather Service in Albany has issued a freeze warning for tonight indicating that there will be significant frost and an end to the growing season.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m.

If you have frost sensitive herbs and vegetables still growing in the garden, today would be the day to harvest.

 

Cleaning the Garden

Like some of you, I have started the process of fall cleanup.

Plot 41 is the community herb garden. Herbs that will overwinter will be left in place. The intention is that next season any gardener can pick herbs from this communal plot. This should free space in the individual plots.

So far,  perennial herbs planted there include oregano, sage and thyme. If you have a non-invasive herb to share, let me know by leaving a comment below. We could use marjoram and tarragon.

I have another afternoon to spend cleaning the plots…maybe I will see you there.

All plots must be cleaned by Oct. 30th.

Compost Bin Use

I’ve gotten some questions on how to use the compost bin.

Here are a few guidelines.

Put plant debris that is diseased in the trash, not the compost.

There are three sections in the compost bin. Plant material can be put in the two end sections. In time, the piles will decay enough and decrease in volume allowing both piles to be turned into the middle section.  About six months from now, that combined pile will be turned back into an end section as finished compost.

The goal of using both end sections is to turn more of our plant debris this fall into compost for next season.

What can go into the compost? A combination of greens and browns in layers.  We want greens such as garden debris, food scraps, grass clippings that haven’t been treated with herbicides. And browns such as dried leaves, straw, paper including newspaper but not colored sections, sawdust and wood chips.

The following can be added to the compost pile:

Garden waste, egg shells, fruit, vegetables, grass clippings, leaves, saw dust, straw, wood ash in moderation, manure from cows, horses, poultry and rabbits, wood chips.

The following should not be added to the compost pile:

Diseased plant materials, dog or cat waste, scraps or bones from chicken, fish or beef, fatty substances such as oils, peanut butter or milk products including butter, sour cream, cheese.

For more information on composting visit: www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/orgmatter/index.html#paper