Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
26 December 2013
Service Hours due by December 31st
If you need a worthwhile task to fulfill your service hours requirement, help improve the weeds and tough plants' compost pile. This is the pile nearest 49th street and the southern end has a lot of brush and small branches in it. Jay Willmann has spread the pile with the tractor (thank you, Jay), so it is easy to pull out the sticks, brush and other woody stuff. Place the wood in a separate place to free up the compost for use. Additionally pick up trash and put in the dumpster.
This compost should be sifted before use.
Work in this area can be applied to regular service hours as well as the TSBVI hour.
Recently we had a visitor who moved stuff (tools, tomato cages, stakes, etc.) all over the garden. If you find something that appears to be out of place, please put it on the porch of the trailer. If you are missing anything, check the trailer porch or walk around and look for it. There are still a lot of unclaimed things on the porch.
More Leaves and Woodchips Arriving
The leaf and woodchip piles are gradually getting replenished.
An effective method of keeping weeds on the paths in check, is by putting down thick layers of newspapers (8 sheets) and putting chips on top. There are bags of newspapers for your use if you want to try this method. Cardboard is also excellent for this purpose.
Leaves are a good mulch for your garden. They will also gradually decompose and be beneficial to the soil.
Please keep the office trailer and tool shed locked if you are the only person at the garden. In addition the garden must be locked at night. The last person at the garden in the evening should check to be sure that the tool shed and the office trailer are locked. Then they should lock the gate behind them. All locks have the same combination. Check with your zone coordinator to verify the combination which is the same as before. Please lock up.
How to Check Your Service Hours
For the first time ever, Sunshine Gardeners can easily check how many service hours they performed/recorded. It is a good idea to do so because the deadline of December 31 is fast approaching. Sign onto our website and you will see both the countdown to perform your hours and a tab on the right hand side that is labeled Virtual Green Binder. Both of these programming enhancements are thanks to the hard work of Sharon Rempert.
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.
Vegetables to plant in December
All month: Lettuce, Radish, and spinach.
Thought for the week
“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
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