Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
11 September 2013
Meet the Gardeners
Irina Kadukova interviewed by the editor of the Weekly Weeder, Margaret Powis.
Talking to Irina Kadukova (coordinator for zone 8) turned out to be a fascinating experience. She told me that she had only been gardening seriously for one year, after joining Sunshine. She grew up in Ukraine where her family gardened out of pleasure and necessity. She commented that, "My parents' roots go back generations when people lived off the land, it's in their blood. They love the land and anything that has to do with the land." They lived under the Soviet regime. Irina's grandmother worked on a collective farm and her immediate family also had their own plots. There were times of famine when they had to live off the land and what they could grow or forage. Her parent's families were not well off, but her immediate family actually did pretty well because her dad was a fighter pilot and had a good income. That's one of the reasons they were able to afford a car, a luxury in Ukraine especially back in the days when she was growing up, so they could reach their land relatively easily. Irina commented, "We never watered our garden, we relied on rainfall."
When I asked her if there was anyone who inspired her to become a gardener she said "yes, Jeff Schulz, he introduced me to Sunshine. I was amazed at the lushness of the garden and surprised by the sight of artichokes growing. I had seen artichokes before but not growing on a plant." Irina observed that Texas seemed so brown and dry in the summer but the contrast with the greenness of the gardens was a source of delight.
She considers her plot a success so far because her plants produce well. The one problem Irina had this year was that something was eating the stems of her Patty Pan squash, so she didn't get a very big harvest. However, she is viewing it as a learning experience. She is going to try growing artichokes, asparagus and fennel in the future. She waters two to three times a week depending on the temperature. She would recommend Sunshine Gardens to other gardeners as she wants as many people to experience gardening as possible as it is such an amazing experience! She mentioned that, "When Jeff showed me around I really wanted a plot." She enjoys the community aspect of the garden, the plant sale, the tomato-tasting event and seeing what other gardeners are growing in their gardens. One thing that bothers her is when gardeners let the weeds take over their plots. She recommends that instead of trying to completely eradicate the weeds in one go, gardeners do a small portion at a time on a regular basis. In common with most gardeners she finds aphids to be a problem.
When I asked her what kind of vegetables her family grew in Ukraine she mentioned potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, apples, cucumbers and walnuts. She remarked that, "Much of what we grew had to be kept through the winter because it was too cold to grow anything then. In the summer we would pick wild strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and in the fall, mushrooms. In fact, during WW II my father lived on mushrooms. He knew the edible varieties and avoided the poisonous ones. The amazing thing was that the people of Ukraine were all so healthy during this period." She remembered that they could grow red currants, black currants, gooseberries, rhubarb and sour cherries in Ukraine and regretted that they couldn't be grown in Texas.
We often have new gardeners who are new to gardening. We're looking for seasoned gardeners who wish to share their expertise and gardening wisdom with the newbies or with people on the wait list. Mentoring can take as little or as much time as you want. Mentoring might involve showing them your plot and talking about how you do things to having them help you maintain your plot. If you're interested in being a mentor, please contact Kay McMurry at email@example.com.
Winter Transplant Sale at TSBVI
All Transplant Sale at TSBVI
A Heads up - Start thinking cool and get your plots ready. The TSBVI Horticultural Program under the direction of Michael Mobley is going to have a fall transplant sale the first weekend in Oct. They will have a wonderful assortment of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, etc. for sale. More information later.
Free Events of Interest at the Natural Gardener
8648 Bee Caves Road, Austin 78735
- September 14th at 9 am - The Benefits of Getting Life in Your Soil by Betsy Ross and JR Builta
More About Weeds
Suzanne Erickson & Alan Paine wrote:
We have just returned from a 3-1/2 month journey around the world. Months before leaving we informed other gardeners of our plans.
Sharon Rempert and Ila Falvey mentioned that they wanted to grow tomatoes and watermelons, so I immediately surrendered half the plot to them.
Then when we left at the end of May, they agreed to use and maintain the whole plot until our return Sept 6th. They honored their word beyond our expectations. You would never know we have been absent, as there are no weeds and the garden is full of vegetation.
We are so grateful to both Sharon and Ila, and also our zone coordinator, Katy Davis.
Keeping Weeds Under Control
Michigan State has an article that suggests several methods of minimizing weeds in a vegetable gardening.
If you're new to vegetable gardening check out Texas A&M's fact sheets at: Vegetable Fact Sheets
Virtual Green Binder
Good news for gardeners entering their work hours or checking their work hours.
You can now check your hours without entering hours in. Go to the tab "Virtual Green Binder" on the website and a dropdown list will show on hover:
- > Hours Worked
- > Enter Hours Worked
Each gardener is expected to contribute an hour a month to Sunshine, if you're unsure what to do check with your zone coordinator and watch this space. In addition one hour per six months per plot is required to be completed for projects for Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Thought for the week
Weeds are always growing, the great Mother of all living creatures, the Earth, is full of Seed in her Bowels, and any stirring gives them heat of Sun, and being laid near the day they grow.
William Lawson, 1618
Things to do in September
Early month: plant Beans and Summer Squash
Mid to late month: plant Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Garlic, Kohlrabi and Peas
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-President - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Secretary - Berk Bettis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Jack Reynolds email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Emily Tisinger firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 1, Jody Trendler email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, Jing Li email@example.com
- Zone 8, Irina Kaducova firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Cheryl Hazeltine email@example.com
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Margaret Powis email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Water Leak Repairs - Stewart Nichols email@example.com
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert email@example.com
Record Service Hours Online - the Virtual Green Binder