Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello all!

Today is a lovely day. The sun is out, it's a balmy 72 degrees in Gloucester, and I feel a sense of accomplishment that can only be described by these photographs of the bounty of food Lara, my garden participants, and I harvested yesterday from the Open Door garden.
 In The Open Door garden tending to the Rainbow Chard, Crinkly Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Arugula.
 A box-o-herbs we harvested yesterday, along with many greens, Radishes and Scallions.

I also think playing with bugs is important, so here's a photo of one of my garden participants at The Open Door (TOD) holding a large snail she found in the broccoli bed.

More to come,

Grace Cherubino

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer plants going in now!

Here's an example of interplanting: Rows of lettuce greens coming in around eggplant seedlings.

The tomato seedlings are in. Haven't had a chance to cage them yet.

Life on the precipice

Get these seedlings out of my driveway

The Backyard Growers Program has extra seedlings (mainly tomatoes, possibly tomatillos, peppers, eggplant, basil). 
  • If you are a current Backyard Grower WHO HASN'T PICKED UP YET I will put your seedlings on the picnic table in the backyard for you to pick up whenever you want over the next couple of days. If I'm home I can give you seeds too--just knock on the door.
  • All other current Backyard Growers or Garden Mentors please feel free to swing by, whenever, in the next couple of days to help yourself to extra seedlings as supplies last.
  • If you are a past Backyard Grower and/or a friend of the Beacon Street Farm you are welcome to buy plants for $1 a piece. Proceeds support the Backyard Growers Program. Pay by the honor system by putting money in the jar, which will be on our landing by the side door. 
I may or may not be around so everything is self service! Extra plants will be composted and/or fed to the chickens on Friday!

The Beacon Street Farm (9 Beacon St.) is "pass at your own risk" - please watch your step! Also, please do not park anywhere near my neighbor's driveway (across from us on Wells Street).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I would like to say a great big "THANK YOU" to Lara and the BYG volunteers/staff for providing me with such a wonderful garden! I have learned so much from this program, and am so excited for the opportunity to create a really amazing garden. I never would have been able to afford all of this on my own, and I am truly grateful. I have already harvested my first bowl of spinach and a side salad's worth of lettuce! I can't believe that I am able to grow 3 types of tomatoes, peas, radishes, 2 types of onions, 2 types of lettuce, carrots, basil, kale, broccoli, spinach, melon (and soon cukes and green beans) all in my own side-yard. And I live on a busy main street with little yard to boot! Thank you so much! I hope to volunteer and give back to the program next year so that other family's can have the same opportunity. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ready? Set? Plant!

Tomorrow is the big day for Backyard Growers to pick up summer seeds and seedlings. The Beacon Street Farm has turned into a temporary garden center...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Open Door Garden Project

Grace and I worked at The Open Door Garden Project today. Here are some pictures of the lovely bounty. 

Easter Egg Radish
Brassica cutting mix
Spinach bagged and ready for pick up
New spinach coming in

Monday, May 14, 2012

Salad boxes up and running!

Bart and I built salad boxes today! Our garden is starting to come together.  Its been a hard transition to a tiny container garden, but we're beginning to understand that we'll actually be able to grow a decent amount of food even with such limited space.  I can't wait for the salad boxes to start to grow :)

Kids on the farm...

Friend of the Backyard Growers Program, John Rockwell, sent me this article on farm camps for kids - good read. No one get any funny ideas about the Beacon Street Farm starting a summer camp!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's my way or the highway

Mother's Day was a fiasco, but at least I got to make this nifty path.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday morning

Got my first two hours in the garden today under my belt, and it's only 9:00 am. The knees of my jeans will never be clean again, my fingernails will most likely have dirt under them until October, my back requires Advil and Ben gay each night, and I couldn't be happier!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gloucester School Gardens

Hello, Backyard Growers! We (Grace, Erin, and Sarah) are FoodCorps garden coordinators who work at Veterans' and Beeman Elementary Schools. We collaborate with teachers to integrate the gardens into their curriculum, develop fabulous Cafeteria Events, and lead after-school workshops. Here are a few snapshots of us planting, cooking, and eating with the kids. Interested in learning more? Check out our Tumblr:

New use for old tomato cages

My shelling peas and sugar peas are growing so beautifully, and needed trellising sooner than I thought they would this year. Since I like to repurpose where I can, I was looking around the shed for materials when I came across some old tomato cages. The lightbulb went off in my head! My four year old gardening partner and I had a grand time flattening the cages. We just laid them on the ground, and then stomped on them to flatten them. Once flattened they slid perfectly right inside my raised bed, and the peas are gratefully climbing. I would love to hear others ideas on repurposing in the garden.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cat poop denied

Here is my low tech solution for keeping the cats out of the beds - stretching netting (this happens to be aviary netting I use to keep the chickens from flying the coop) over the raised beds, securing them with nails...

Life on the Urban Farm

What do you think? Should we plant corn in the trench?

Or maybe dig up the whole road and plant a wheat field?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

help! little c shaped wormy things in my garden

I found some little c shaped blackish worm type "things" in my garden. They are just under the soil. Are they bad? If so, what do I do about them? I would appreciate any advice! Thank you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I know you have seen this before but i cannot get over how exciting this discovery was.Unearthing beautiful sweet carrots in February!!!! I wonder if this late fall planting would have worked so well if the winter had been colder.....
They are a little ghetto fabulous, but I think they'll look okay once they're covered with delicatas and sweet dumplings....

Here are some lovely little sprouts, which will be salad mix soon enough. I secretly want to roll around in it....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rain.  My Brussels sprouts are happy, wet, lifting their leaves to it.  The grass unmowed and wild.  Lettuce thinned into an early lunch. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wild and Crazy Carrots?

Do you have carrots growing in your lawn? Like right where the random wildflowers were last year? I keep pulling up things that I SWEAR are angry little carrots, heavy on the extra root strings. Is this because my carrot seeds got swept out of the raised bed box and found homes in the lead-filled lawn soil? Or is this some weird hybrid weed that is going to take over the world? I guess what I'm wondering is if you guys have them too. Or if I'm alone. Oh, geez, tell me I ain't alone.
I love this weather, cool and reassuring after a too-warm, too-dry winter. It's nap weather. Soup weather. Cat weather. Cookie weather.
It makes me dream of what's coming to the garden:
   basil waiting to be whirled into pesto
   leeks to swirl across a chard tart
   French melons small and warm in the palm
   peas climbing toward heaven
   tomatoes for everyone: Sungolds that jump into my mouth, San Marzanos with their saucy 
     girly figures, Mr. Stripey to make kids giggle
Gardens in my dreams.