Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
5 December 2013
It's time to Party, Party, Party at:
SUNSHINE'S ANNUAL POTLUCK HOLIDAY PARTY Dec. 8th
5:00 pm in the office trailer and porch. Bring a dish to share.
Meat and drinks will be provided.
A great opportunity to meet your fellow gardeners and discuss what really matters; soil, weather, fertilizers and other important topics. You know nobody else will listen to you.
You also have the opportunity to buy Christmas presents such as Sunshine T-shirts
and Cobra head tools for the gardeners amongst your friends.
Additionally there will be an assortment of door prizes.
Come out and enjoy yourself.
2 Workdays over the next 10 days
Remember Service Hours are due by December 31, 2013.
- 3. Saturday 14th December 9:00 - 11:00 am. For information contact work coordinators: Charlotte Jernigan and Jing Li.
- Sunday 15th December 1:00 - 5:00 pm, For information contact work coordinator: Cheryl Hazeltine
Come out and meet your fellow gardeners and get your work hours done.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Each gardener is expected to contribute one hour per six months to TSBVI upkeep.
The following tasks can count towards your TSBVI hour.
- Remove weeds in the paths of the TSBVI garden. If you don't know where their garden is, please see your Zone Coordinator.
- The fence needs to be cleared of most vegetation, the exception being one vine that produces red berries that the birds like. If you need help identifying that, let me (Janet Adams) know. I am happy to come out and meet people interested in getting their service hours done.
- Both sides of the fence that surrounds Sunshine need to be mowed all the way to the streets (49th and Sunshine).
- Trash needs to be picked up on both sides of the fence, including rocks to avoid mowing them. Additionally trash in the compost area needs to be cleared. There are lots of pieces of plastic out there.
- Both bus stops that we have adopted need to be kept clean and litter free. Report any graffiti you may discover to me (Janet Adams).
Reminder: watering DOES NOT count as TSBVI service hours.
Any item that is recyclable should be recycled. Gardeners put excess useful items to the left of the tool shed door to be used by Sunshine gardeners – so help yourself.
Which Vegetables Tolerate Frost and Which Don't?
Cold tolerance depends somewhat on preconditioning. For instance, if broccoli has been growing in warm conditions and temperatures drop below 22 degrees F., it will probably be killed. If these same broccoli plants had already experienced cool weather, they would probably survive the sudden cold.
A frost (31-33 degrees F.) will kill beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumber, eggplant, okra, peas, pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.
Colder temperatures (26-31 degrees F.) may burn foliage but will not kill: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, and turnip.
The real cold weather champs are beets, Brussel Sprouts, carrots, collards, kale, parsley, and spinach.
After a wet fall the garden soil at Sunshine is heavier than usual. In order to avoid injuries follow the stretches below.
An article by Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor at University of Vermont Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science, details some useful ways to avoid injury.
Whether it's peak gardening season or winding down, most gardeners have a tendency to overdo, which may lead to fatigue and sore muscles. That's why, regardless of the tasks at hand, it's important to take periodic breaks when gardening--preferably before the aches begin--to rest and do some simple exercises.
Many gardening activities, such as hoeing, digging, and raking, can cause tightness in your shoulders. To relieve this, do shoulder shrugs. Simply raise your shoulders slowly towards your ears, hold a few seconds, and slowly release. Do this three or four times, resting a few seconds between each repetition.
Do neck stretches to relieve tension in your neck as soon as you start to feel tense. Place your hand on the back of your head. Slowly and gently pull your head forward and down. Do this until you feel the muscles along your neck and lower head stretch. Your profile should look like an upside down "J." Repeat a few times, resting in between.
Another good neck exercise for tightness is the head exercise. Bend your left ear toward your left shoulder slowly. Raise your head and then lower your chin. Raise your head and bend your right ear toward your right shoulder. Then slowly move back in the same fashion. The key is not to jerk your neck, rather move it with a slowly. Do not bend your head backwards as this puts stress on the disks in your spine.
To plant or weed, get down on your hands and knees, rather than bending over. Bending over for long periods and bending with your back and not your legs are the main causes of lower back problems.
When working on your hands and knees, periodically do the cat stretch. Raise your stomach and back, arching the latter like a cat does when waking from a nap. At the same time, lower your head and tuck your chin in towards your chest to avoid strain on your neck. Do this slowly, repeating the movements a few times with a rest in between.
An even better version of this stretch, and one that aids your lower back, is to lower your buttocks until they rest on your knees. Lower your head as before, but stretch your arms out front along the ground. Do either version of this stretch if weeding for long periods.
Your fingers and wrists also need a rest and loosening up occasionally. The repetitive motion of using a trowel or long handled rake or hoe can stress your hands and wrists and may even lead to carpel tunnel syndrome. To avoid such stress on your wrists, periodically let them go floppy and limp. Then rotate them in one direction, then the other. Finally, give them a good shaking to get the circulation going.
For your fingers, spread them apart as much as you can, keeping them as straight as possible. Keeping them spread, make circles with your thumbs. Then touch your thumb to each finger in turn. This will help relax the tendons in your palm.
Make a point to do these exercises whenever gardening to avoid undue stress on your body muscles and to keep gardening fun, as well as healthy exercise. For more tips, surf the Internet or check out books, such as Barbara Pearlman's Gardener's Fitness, Weeding Out the Aches and Pains (Taylor Trade Publishing).
Link to stretches.
Some Useful Sites for Organic Vegetable Gardening:
- organic-center.org -- The Organic Center bringing y0u the science behind organic
- dirtdoctor.com -- Howard Garret's site about Texas organic gardening
- gardeninglaunchpad.com -- A list of sites for the home gardener
- aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu -- Texas A & M horticulture site
- fadr.msu.ru/rodale -- The Rodale Institute and Organic Gardening Magazine
- texasgardener.com -- A magazine for Texas gardeners
- acresusa.com -- A voice for Eco-Agriculture
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