It is that time of year to be thankful for the harvest. For the 5th year we have donated over 500 lbs of produce from our dedicated food pantry plots to the local food pantries. This year the produce was donated to the Community Food Pantry of Spring Green which serves all the residents of the River Valley School District. Starting in August volunteers harvested tomatoes, cabbage, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes as they ripened. All of the veggies were washed, weighed and packed for delivery to the Food Pantry. Deliveries were made in August, September, October and November.
Individual gardeners had plentiful harvests. Extra produce was put in the kiosk so that passser-bys could enjoy fresh produce. We had a couple of calls to deliver fresh veggies to the homes of shut-ins . Harvest pictures are from Ann, Amy and Wid, and Laura.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2020, the lyrics of an old hymn seem appropriate.
Thankful we are!
If you would like to join us for the 2021 gardening season, we are accepting registrations throughout the winter months into the spring.
So, we have to move our asparagus bed. So glad it isn't any larger than what it is. On Saturday November 7, Doug used Emily's walk behind tractor to dig the trenches for the asparagus.
He got about 15 feet of asparagus transplanted that weekend.
On Saturday November 14, a group of people gathered to transplanting the asparagus bed. We had 2 1/2 20 foot rows to transplant.
Many hands made the work go faster. Some were digging the plants. Some were carrying them to the new plot. Some were planting. Some were covering
Tom and I dismantled the marsh hay bale for mulch. Melissa mulched plants while David kept planting.
Nancy found a straggler so Doug helped plant it. After we finished we took some time to visit while social distancing.
Community gardening is a great way to meet new friends, learn new skills, grow fresh food for your family, get some exercise, enjoy nature, share recipes. We will be accepting registrations for 2021 through the winter with publicity starting again in mid to late February. We will also be at the Spring Green Farmer's Market with registration forms next spring. If you have questions, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday November 7, Jerome Sprecher tilled the garden plots putting them to bed for the winter
He also broke ground and tilled 2 rows of new plots on the west side of the Gardens.
The Gardens look so clean and ready for bed. Many of our Gardeners are already thinking about how they are going to plant their gardens next season. Doug and Bazil have garlic planted in their plots.
If you are interested in renting a garden plot for the 2021 season, the information is here or contact us.
On Saturday morning Oct 24, the River Valley Area Community Gardens entered a new phase of development as a group of Gardeners gathered at the site to add plots on the western half of the Gardens. When these new plots are rented, we will have reached our maximum capacity. The 2021 gardening season will be our 6th year.
This view is looking northwest from the gas line in the middle of the property. We were blessed with a great day to be out in the Gardens. It was a bit cool but warmed up. And we stayed warm with all the activity. The heavy rain on Thursday night did not leave the field muddy.
We have some planning to do because we have to move our sheds due to the gas line but we are excited for the future.
Registration continues throughout the winter into the middle of June or until all plots are rented. Registration forms are available now First time community gardeners will receive a discounted rental fee. We also have a student gardening program where students garden free and may be assigned a mentor, unless they have a gardening parent..
Student Garden info
Student Registration info
Need more info, please contact us.
Wow, Mother Nature surprised us on Oct 19. SNOW. It turned the grass white for a few minutes but melted. But, it did give us some pretty pictures from the Gardens.
There is still veggies growing, flowers blooming, seeds forming, and leaves on the trees as the snow coated the Gardens in a blanket of white.
The pictures: Maple sapling; New England Astors in the Prairie Garden; Frost Astor that looks like it is blooming again with it's coating of snow; Lettuce in a garden plot; Purple coneflower, and River Birch tree with snow caps.
After a couple of cancellations due to Covid 19 concerns, we finally were able to have 2 successful brat frys at Prems Meats in Spring Green.
Our master chiefs decided to add chicken breast sandwiches and Italian sausage to our menu of brats and hot dogs. The chicken breast sandwiches were popular. We sold 20 Italian sausages. The decision is out on the Italian sausage for next year but we will definitely bring the chicken breasts back.
On both days we were blessed with good weather for the brat frys. It stopped misting / sprinkling by the time we were ready to set up and started misting / sprinkling as we started cleaning up. It was a tiny bit nippy for the October day. We worked really hard but we also had a lot of fun.
All proceeds from our brat frys go to operating expenses. We cleared a tad over $600 on each of the frys giving us a good start for the 2021 gardening season. Thanks to Thrivent Financial for seed money for expenses and to Prems Meats and Hometown Supermarket for their support. We are adding plots so we know that we need to get new plot markers, expand the irrigation system, purchase more hoses and another wagon or two,
Dates for the 2021 brat fry season will be set in early spring and will be scheduled sometime between mid-July to mid-September. Be sure to stop out and support the Community Gardens.
Registration for garden plots for 2021 has begun. We have been at the Spring Green Farmer's Market the last 3 weekends. We will be at the Farmer's Market Oct 10 and Oct 17, weather permitting.
Early registration allows the gardener to get into the plot yet this fall to plant an early spring crop, a cover crop, or supplement the soil with extra compost. Or the gardener may start early in the spring as soon as the ground is ready to plant. Gardeners will be asked to participate in the Preseason Meeting in early to mid May so that they can meet their fellow gardeners and learn of any developments over the winter but pre registered gardeners do not have to wait until that meeting to begin gardening in the spring.
Early Bird registration involves filling out the Registration Form, reading the Gardeners Guidelines, signing the Gardening Agreement, paying the rental fee and getting a tour of the Gardens.
Rental fees for first year gardeners are $30 for a 20 x 20 plot, $20 for a 10 x 20 plot, and $10 for a 10 x 10 plot. Gardeners may rent a single plot or several of the same size or select a variety. The only stipulation is the plots may not be rented for commercial use. Early registered gardeners will receive notice of their plot assignment as soon as the current plots are cleaned up this fall.
If you aren't sure what size plot to rent, stop over to the Gardens located in the 900 block of N. Westmor in Spring Green and check out the plot sizes. Most of the harvesting has been completed and gardeners are starting to clean up their plots so the next two weekends would be a good time to stop over.
In the Spring of 2020, we were surprised by the number of people registering for garden plots. We had 26 families including 3 students gardening with us this year which was up from 14 families in the previous years. Luckily we had planned on adding 2 rows of plots and additional space had been tilled which became plots instead of a grassy area. Over all we added 27 plots to the existing 28.
Early registration will give us an idea of how many more plots to add. The Board has already decided to stake out 18 more plots in anticipation of more people wanting to garden due to the Covid 19 crisis.
So far we have had 4 new gardener registrations by coming to the Farmer's Market. Of course people may register at any time throughout the winter and early spring by visiting the Gardens website at www.rvacg.org.
Gardening is an excellent way to get out of the house, get fresh air and exercise during this pandemic. Community gardening is also a great way to meet people, share seeds and produce and get new recipes. We also have work days to work together to keep the gardens and the park area groomed and looking nice for ourselves and our visitors and get to know each other.
If you have questions or want a registration form, please stop by our table at the Spring Green Farmer's Markets on Saturday October 10 and October 17, weather permitting. You can always request registration information via email at email@example.com. Information and forms are also published on the website www.rvacg.org.
Come join us!
I found 3 Monarch catepillars in the Community Garden over the period of 4 days. Catepillars 1 and 2 formed chrysalis on the same branch within a few hours of each other. Catepillar 3 latched onto the netting covering the vase.
On September 23 caterpillar 1 emerged from it's chrysalis. It flew out of the vase. That orange speck in the middle of the tree is the monarch. It then landed on the nearby apple tree to get acclimated to it's new life.
On September 24, caterpillar 2 emerged from it's chrysalis. I was fortunate enough to see it start to unfurl it's wings. It crawled out of the vase onto the autumn sedum in the Community Gardens but didn't want to fly. After waiting and watch for quite a while, I finally moved it down to the Prairie Garden to live in the asters until it was ready to fly. A few seconds later, it took off and landed on the wire around the raspberry bushes. That was were I left it.
Caterpillar #3 emerged on September 25. It crawled out of the vase into my zinna bed. Then if flew to the ground and sat there for awhile. When I went back to check on it an hour later it was gone.
Haven't seen any monarchs since I released these 3. Safe travels little ones.
EARLY BIRD 2021 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN.