We continued the 2010 Fall season with round 2 of our Seeds to Start workshop. We originally thought we would hold it on July 24th, but the plants weren’t quite big enough. After a bit of a growth spurt, they were ready on the 31st – 3 weeks after we planted the seeds. About 15 volunteers joined us to move the plants from the flats where we started them to individual 4 inch pots.
We started the workshop with Mitch explaining the process and telling his favorite (and apparently only) gardening joke – I won’t give away everything here, you’ll have to attend a workshop to hear it.
We then divided into groups of 3 and filled our 4 inch pots with Lady Bug Vortex potting soil from The Natural Gardener. We’re trying pots made from compost this time – this will allow us to plant them directly in the ground and possibly start some varieties that are more sensitive to having their roots disturbed. The pots are loosely filled with soil to just below the top edge.
One of the tricks to handling transplants is to disturb the roots as little as possible. We use spoons to “tease” the plants out of the flats and then separate them very carefully if any roots have grown together. We also suggest holding the plants by the leaves and not the stem – the leaves are stronger and damaging a leaf is less of a strain on the plant than damaging the stem.
We also use the spoons to create a hole in the 4 inch pot by inserting it into the soil and gently pulling back. It’s possible to do this step with one person, but it’s much easier (and more fun) with 2.
Finally, we loaded up the trays and took them to the beautiful greenhouse space St. Edward’s has provided to us.
It’s important to maintain the 3 key elements during the next phase – water, light, and temperature. The plants need consistent moisture, good light, and temperatures below 90 (preferably closer to 80). Keeping them outside can work as long as they get sunlight in the morning, but are protected from the scorching afternoon sun. A fan can help control the temperature as well.
Stay tuned for a progress report and get ready for our fall dig-ins.
Many, many thanks to all who made Green Corn Project’s fundraiser a joyful day! Sunny skies at beautiful Boggy Creek Farm created a lovely palette for all to imbibe oodles of delicious food and drink, bid on enticing silent auction treats, enjoy chef demos and live music, and generally live large while enlarging Green Corn’s garden-giving mission.
Have more fun with us by stopping by Green Corn’s space amid artists of the East Austin Studio Tour! We’re at 1220 Rosewood in the lovely backyard of photographer Peter Staats (thanks, Peter!)—make us part of your EAST art tour adventure. GCP volunteers will be there on Nov. 14, 15, 21, and 22. Sample a garden-made goodie, get gardening with a veggie start or seeds, color at the kids’ garden art table, and chat about gardening and how to help bring organic food gardens to more Austinites who lack good access to healthy produce. Our gardeners are enjoying the fruits of our fall volunteer dig-ins, with the fall-season plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, chard, carrots, spinach, onions, lettuce, and more growing quickly in the balmy weather and rains. Some young veggies are ripe for the picking, and there’ll likely be plenty for the Thanksgiving table!
–Helen, GCP volunteer
Feeling good by doing good…That’s so often what Green Corn volunteers describe—that digging food gardens with folks who’ll soon be growing their own fresh organic vegetables makes a person feel genuinely happy. And it’s a comment heard even when the dig-in days are toasty or chilly soggy, as it tended during the just-completed fall garden dig-ins.
Now it’s time for anybody looking for some feel-good fun to mark your calendars for October 25—Green Corn’s annual fall fest fundraiser at lovely Boggy Creek Farm. Once again, 32 top Austin restaurants and gustatory purveyors (many thanks!) are serving up their finest fare for a sensory celebration worth well more than the $35 entrance.
Our generous sponsors (mille grazie!) and silent auction donors (muchas gracias!) are once again providing an enchanting afternoon at Boggy Creek and a chance to score a smorgasbord of creature delights. Picture yourself or a friend or relative delighted by the likes of these: Luxurious weekend stays…gala gourmet gatherings…stress-melting pampering…exquisite sustainable dining…garden and backyard makeovers…cool cooking classes…amazing art for body and home…local taste treats…garden goodies…enticing entertainment extravaganzas…sweet grocery giveaways…and much more.
This year, we’ll have something extra—a children’s table (Danke! to Natural Gardener) where kids can create art, play games, and take home their own veggie starter kit!
Along with inspirational chef demos and live music…well, it’s got to be the most fun going on in Austin on the 25th.
Feeling good; doing good…join us for a win-win afternoon at Boggy Creek, and thanks for your support for Green Corn’s goal of feeding Austin, one garden at a time.
–Helen, Green Corn volunteer
“A plot of dirt can be a great place to start a revolution.” Amen to that, and big thanks to Patagonia (see post below) for their generous grant to Green Corn Project as well as Patagonia’s GCP shout-out. Funding like Patagonia’s helps score us sorely needed supplies and lets us do more of what we do: “…empower people with knowledge and skills to create an immediate benefit in their lives,” as Patagonia puts it.
That immediate benefit is a lovely payoff for our volunteers, but while it’s fulfilling to feel the appreciation from folks as we help them create their backyard food garden, it’s thrilling to consider that each dig-in plants another seed that grows the r/evolution toward healthier living for all of us. Plus, it’s superfun to see the garden and the new gardeners flourish over the season! Just one example with some awesome East Austin second-graders on garden plant day:
And these great junior gardeners on one of many harvest days:
Come join the revolution!