Jim Brooks, Garden Coordinator, December 16
Good news for the holidays: I know most of us don't visit our sleeping vegetable garden in December, but if you do happen to find yourself in the neighborhood, you'll be happy to see the handiwork of our fellow gardener Joe and his assistant. They built three raised beds in the garden, and they repaired a fourth frame for the community garden. Way to go, Joe!
Despite its dormant state, the garden looks terrific, thanks in large part to our cleanup efforts last month. The compost pile is baking at a good rate, and our fellow gardener Jim McGough has been turning it regularly for us.
We now have five people waiting for plots, so please let me know whether you will be gardening with us in 2013.
I still have some garlic bulbs for planting. It's not too late to plant garlic!
I just sent a check for $200 to the Hunger Resource Network. The money came from our proceeds at the Harvest Festival. The HR Network will use the money to buy food for the Northfield Food Pantry. Thanks again to all who contributed to our fourth successful Harvest Festival.
Best Holiday Wishes,
Jim and Meredith Brooks
Colette Dim, Delivery Coordinator, October 18
Hello gardeners and friends of the garden,
We had a wonderful, albeit dry, season for growing. Our bounty from our three dedicated plots and over 25 community plots stuffed the bins at the Northfield Food Pantry and helped out the Northbrook United Methodist Church Tomato Project. This year we donated 457 pounds of produce, 417 to the former and 40 to the latter, up from last years 357 combined pound total. We still have some carrots in the dirt and those will eventually make their way to the pantry and we'll add them to our total.
We couldn't have done it with out the many volunteers who grew a myriad of plants from seed and the donated plants from individuals. The many able bodied who planted, weeded, watered (a lot!) and picked produce. This was a truly remarkable feat. We had a new plot this year that Sue and Jim tended. A raised bed with enriched soil, numerous vegetables and patty pan squash!
A round of applause goes to our vacation gardeners who let us pick their produce while they were away. This gave us a big jump in donated produce. There were also many gardeners who donated vegetables from their own plots and drove them to the pantry. Much appreciated!
I have many volunteers to thank, some of them new to our Garden of Feedin, who dove into volunteering for the benefit of feeding the needy and made a difference with the many hours they spent helping out. I also wanted to single out Rob Boverie for a huge thank you. He offered to water our pantry garden all summer long even though he was not tending his own plot this year. Nice!
Thank you all and please email me if I inadvertently left you off the list!
Adrienne and George Miller
Barbara and Doug Gerleman
Debbie and Tom Page
Jim and Meredith Brooks
Martha McGuire and Roy Tambourine
Sue Schmittroth and Jim McGuffy
Tracey and Nick Solano
A heartfelt thanks to all,
We had another successful Harvest Festival, our fourth, and I just want to offer my gratitude to all who participated and helped to make this event a rewarding community event.
Thanks to Tracy for providing table coverings, place settings, and a delightful peach salad.
Thanks to other set up crew members: Meredith, John Hanzel, George Miller, Doug, and Martha
Thanks to our clean up crew: Roy, Martha, John Hanzel, Meredith
Thanks to Sue and Jim S. for bringing brilliant yellow mums to brighten our dining room, and for bringing three delectable dishes to share: kalekopitas (spinach pies), brushcetta, and apple cake with caramel frosting.
Thanks to all of our cooks for making and bringing tasty dishes made with our gardening spirit, if not all of our harvested produce.
I apologize if I've overlooked anybody and their contributions. I'm still recovering from all of that wild square dancing!
We'll be sending a check for $200 to the Hunger Resource Network, the result of our festival proceeds. Combined with our hefty food donations to the Northfield Food Pantry, I'd say we all worked well this year to help feed our neighbors, which makes growing even more rewarding.
I look forward to gardening with all of you next year. Let me know your intentions before February 1, 2013.
Best Autumnal Wishes,
Jim Brooks, Garden Coordinator, September 9
We just celebrated St. Giles Day Sunday Sept. 9, and it was a glorious day for a picnic (even with a few yellow jackets trying to get some of our tasty food)! We also enjoyed one of the "volunteer" melons that had been growing near the sunflowers. It was sweet and juicy, and untouched by squirrels!
I was showing one of our parishioners the garden and I kept thinking,"This is such an amazing place, so lush, full of life, and all from the dirt." I know it's not a hugely profound thought, but when I look at our tomato plants, towering over the other plants that are also thriving in our plots this season, it's a thought that repeats and repeats and repeats. I was visiting with our minister last night (I was taking some plastic bags to the garbage can and she was enjoying a sugar-free fudgesicle on her front step. The evening air was cool, the sky was still clear, and we both turned our admiring eyes toward the garden oasis. It doesn't look like a large garden from her house, but when you're inside of it, you can be completely unaware of other people on the other side of the plot. She and I shared observations about the abundance of our tomatoes, and her amazing sunflowers. It was just a very pleasant moment on a cool summer night (with a hint of autumn in the air), and I hope you all have had some moments like this one this year.
I finally followed up on Cynthia's suggestion that I start blogging about gardening. Click on the link below and you can read my entries. I haven't written much yet, but I do enjoy writing, and I'm finding more inspiration at the garden than I expected I would. Let me know what you think. Who knows, maybe my garden chatter will help cure your insomnia...!
Best Wishes Always,
Sue Schmittroth, August 31
Jim Brooks, August 24
Colette Dim, Delivery Coordinator, August 21
Congrats to all of our volunteers! So far, we've picked over 230 pounds of produce for the Northfield Pantry. We're just getting started...
Jim Brooks, August 7
It feels good to be back in the "wet heat" of the Midwest, where our gardens appear to be flourishing, despite record high temperatures and days without rain.
Sue Schmittroth, Gardener, July 2
Those voracious feeders and breeders are reeking havoc on my plants. Here is some useful information on controlling and eradicating them. My husband said he would give me 10 cents for everyone I caught! My soapy beetle jar is filling up but I'm tired of squishing and trying to tip them in.
It's time to be proactive!
Good luck and stay cool, Sue
Jim Brooks, Garden Coordinator, June 10