Category Archives: Family/Individual gardens

Spring 2013 Seeds to Start Part 2

Our seedlings from the first workshop sprouted nicely in the flats and were ready to transplant into 4 inch pots on the 26th as planned. There was a chance of rain, but it turned out to be great weather for the workshop after all.

We had a good turn out of volunteers and ended up with about 400 tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers that will be ready for our spring dig-ins starting on March 23rd. I’ve posted a few photos below from the workshop and some of the plants thriving in their temporary home. Join us and the plants for our dig-ins and for upcoming gardening workshops. You can get more information and register on our website.

David —

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Fall Dig-ns

Our fall dig-ins are off to a great start. Volunteer teams refurbished 5 gardens on Saturday, and in spite of the welcome rain, installed 1 new garden on Sunday. One of Saturday’s refurbs was Imagine Art, a wonderful organization that provides a studio for artists with disabilities. If you happened to see the summer issue of Edible Austin, I had an article on IA and working with them to install their garden last spring. Imagine Art has a large garden area that they want to increasingly use to provide veggies for the lunches they prepare daily and several dinners each week for their artists, volunteers, and friends. The GCP team enjoyed a meal on Saturday during the dig-in as Lydia, a volunteer and artist, prepared delicious migas tacos and Debbie, the founder of IA, made pancakes. We double dug 2 beds and discussed how they can build and maintain compost bins.

On Sunday, I worked with a dedicated team that didn’t let a little (OK, a lot) of rain slow us down. We installed a new garden in a location that involved digging up a few deep-rooted volunteer trees and relocating a rose-bush and several canna lilies. We usually try to find an open area, but this was the spot in the yard with the most sun. By the time we finished, it was raining pretty hard, but we managed to relocate the previous occupants of the area, double dig the bed, plant fall veggies and seeds, and have a philosophic discussion about the meaning of life.

I’ve included a few pictures from the weekend dig-ins below, but first I want to mention that we still have 2 dig-in weekends left for the fall – if you’re interested in sharing your gardening knowledge or learning to garden yourself, please sign up on our website. Also, our amazing Fall Festival is coming up on October 28th. It will be held as usual at Boggy Creek Farm and will have plenty of good food and drink, great music, and chef demonstrations. You can purchase tickets in advance on our website.

I hope to see you and one of the upcoming events!

David —

Spring dig-ins and fall seeds to start

It’s been a while since I posted but GCP hasn’t been sitting still. We installed 6 new gardens last spring and refurbished quite a few others. We’ve held dig-in leader trainings, Seeds to Start workshops, and had our first of hopefully many garden maintenance workshop.

Fall is always busy for us with workshops, dig-ins, and getting ready for our annual festival in October. You can sign-up for dig-ins and workshops on our website as well as purchase tickets for the festival. If you haven’t been before, it’s a great family event held at Boggy Creek Farm with delicious food from Austin’s best restaurants, chef demonstrations, and live music. Here are a few pictures from the spring dig-ins and our recent fall STS workshop – I hope to see you soon!

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David —

Easy, yummy fall gardening

If you grow any kind of food, you’re likely giddy with glee over how the recent rains turbo-charged our water-starved veggie, nut, and fruit friends. But what’s just as real as rain and well, reality, is the fact that in central Texas, we gardeners often got to deal with less-than-favorable gardening conditions. That’s why we always keep some tough old gals in the garden who’ll produce—or just stay alive—through heat waves and drought.

The fall garden season is ideal for enjoying some easy gardening with a whole slew of hardy, reliable veggies. Kids and grownups groove on faves such as carrots, peas, broccoli, spinach, and greens—and if you get busy right quick, you can still get a fall crop of cherry tomatoes and green beans! If you’re a newbie, learn how to fall garden at Green Corn classes; garden newbies and oldbies can amp up the fun by joining a dig-in that helps others grow their own food.

And whether you’re now chowing on a revivified summer crop or licking your chops over the fall haul to come, the EATING part of gardening has got to be one of the best things ever invented. Lately, I’ve been inspired by my tough-as-nails garden pal chard, who stood by me (and my watering hose) all the way through the heinous heat.
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The key to yummy chard for me is pairing it with whatever savory soup broth, sauce, or filling I’ve got going. So I’ll slice up some ruffley leaves to slide into any soup I’m heating up and add handfuls to just about any sauce from tomatoey pasta toppings to say, a garlicky mushroom-chicken melange. Plus, chard leaves make excellent wraps for any kind of leftover or sandwich filling! Check it out:

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Just dip the leaves briefly into simmering salted water, and the chard becomes a strong, pliant wrap for (above) a Greek-style sauté of leftover rice, garlic, lemon, oregano, feta cheese, and pistachio and (right) oniony baked winter squash sparked with orange juice next to Indian-inspired leftover mashed potatoes zipped up with sauteed mustard seeds, onions, cumin, and peas.

As they say in Paris (Texas), très bon! And on top of all this deliciousness, chard (along with other greens) is a nutritional powerhouse veggie, so you’ll be getting all Popeye, too. Seems like now’s a good time, as they say down on 6th street, to “chardy hearty” and get going with a bounteous fall garden!

–Helen, GCP volunteer