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Re: RE: Questions about Fall Clean

  • Subject: Re: [cg] RE: Questions about Fall Clean
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 09:31:55 -0400

Friends, 
 
On Fall & Spring Clean Ups. 
 
We don't do tilling at the CCG like you guys do. 
 
Mind you, the third of an acre space that the Clinton Community Garden is sited on is alot tinier than what many of you are gardening on, and add the fact that the lion's share of the garden's area is dedicated to a public garden, lawn, botanical-garden like viewing beds, etc, what I have to say may not be appropos to the physical condition of your gardens. We do have 108, raised literally "gueen-sized," raised beds - ala Alan Chadwick, lasagne gardening. Here's the website, so those who haven't seen it before, can get a sense of the space - http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org
 
 
Anyway, we've been amending our soil, composting, adding worms, using beneficial insects since 1978.  We keep some plastic bins up front in the public garden type "front garden" for vegetable kitchen shavings, coffee grinds ( often in filters) and the things that "bump-in-the-night" from the veggie crispers in our fridges. And the compressed muck from our juicers, orange peels, etc. And the local Korean grocer, when we buy a case of beer sort of remembers to offer us a bag of veggie detrius so he doesn't have to haul it out to his wife's garden in Queens.  In the back garden, near the shed, we have a four bin rotating "compost condo" with a storage section on top for good old Canadian topsoil (why it comes from Canada, I don't know, but it does,  composted manure, and cedar or in season "Christmas tree" mulch run through our chipper shredder.
 
The tilling we do is ususally done with rakes and pitchforks. I'm doing arrugula and brasscias in a couple of weeks, other intrepid souls do winter wheat. But as we're not on an alluvial flood plain, we've found our composting and soil amending helps keep our space, bordered on all four sides by red brick old law tenements, and a concrete sidewalk, productive.  Everything is a trade off - and not to have to worry about breached levees is a great relief.  
 
Sidebar: When there's community gardening again in the area Katrina devastatated, please let the listserv know, so we can send seeds, and pass around the hat to give you a hands up from your fellow gardeners in the US and Canada - we do love ya. 
 
Again, the best gardeners even grind up their veggie scraps and juicer remains and fork them into their soil year round, even in the deep of winter. And yes, their plots are more productive.
 
On being "attractive." Most passers-by aren't gonna give a rat's tail about the garden, so you keep it pretty on the periphery so they have something to look at during the season changes and a reason to miss you if yer gone. A pretty, seasonally changing "store window," is nice. 
 
Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, 
Clinton Community Garden 
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Alliums <garlicgrower@green-logic.com>
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 20:49:49 -0400
Subject: [cg] RE: Questions about Fall Clean


Hi, Folks!

You probably don't need to both plow in the fall and till in the Spring --
I'd pick one time/year and save some cash.

What we do is have everyone clean out their inorganics (stakes, tomato
cages) once the first frost hits and then actively encourage folks to sheet
or pit compost over the winter, cover their plots with leaves/leftover
Halloween straw bales, etc. then we till in the Spring.  

Only a small percentage does fall through winter crops, but they are our
best gardeners and we feel it's important both to accommodate them and to
encourage the other gardeners to feed their soil over the winter by adding
whatever organic matter they can get their hands on.  Those who don't take
that seriously at first tend to pick it up later when they realize that
those that DO add the leaves/manure/organic whatnots have MUCH better soil
than they do. And better soil always means better crops with less work! 

We also have a perennial area where folks can have herbs/roses/whatever so
that no one loses plants in the Spring till.

I've heard a lot of positive things about no-till, but I've found it
extremely difficult to implement in a community garden.  Tilling once a year
seems to be a good balance between the need to have a neat appearance for
the public and keeping one's soil in good shape with lots of organic matter.

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's 
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out 
how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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