The combination of cooler than normal temps and not much rain the past week has cut back on production a little. Our sandy soil needs rain (so we began watering again) and our tomatoes need warm evenings. Still, we were able to harvest a little for the local food pantry today.
Volunteers (3) harvest almost 60 lbs. from the Palestine Community Garden Sunday evening. When we delivered to the local food pantry it was great to see vegetables from other gardens around the community being shared as well!
It is official the weeds have taken possession of the garden!
Tomatoes are coming on strong. We are taking as many as we can to the food pantry on Mondays & Wednesdays and chopping & juicing in between and we still have tomatoes rotting in the garden. Everyone’s tomatoes are ripening now and as a result you can’t give ’em away!
This evening we were blessed with a few extra volunteers at the Community Garden and as a result 165 of vegetables were harvest! We are still having problems with the quality of the tomatoes so some of those will be going home with Brian for juicing. We encouraged everyone to take a little home with them this evening too.
Speaking of tomato problems, we’ve started using an inline feeder to pump magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) on the plants through our drip irrigation. Hopefully, it will help.
We added a nice herb garden this year and we’ve been making herb infused vinegars from a variety of herbs and selling them at the local farmers’ market.
Yesterday evening we harvested more than 140 pounds of tomatoes from the Palestine Community Garden. Of those, we sold about 40 at the local farmers’ market. The rest will be canned for later use.
We also picked 27 lbs. of green peppers, 2 bags of green beans, almost 20 lbs of red potatoes, 3 watermelons, and several cucumbers.
Our food pantry is only open Mondays & Wednesdays and since the garden doesn’t wait … we harvest at the end of the week to sell at the farmers’ market and encourage volunteers and other to harvest what they can eat.
Proceeds from the market sales go back into the garden to help offset expenses.
This week we were pleased to have a local restaurant buy most of our leftovers after the market closed.
ps: I did not include these pounds in the running total since they do not go directly to the food pantry.
We got off to a good start at the Palestine Community Garden.
This year we decided to plant a bigger variety of produce and an herb garden.
In spite of all good intentions the weeds are taking over (5 volunteers vs. 1/2 + acre) and last night’s wind storm played havoc with our corn.
Tomatoes should be ripening soon, a few volunteer cherries have already begun to turn.
We still have a few things to pick in the Community Garden, but it is about to wind down here in Southeastern Illinois.
Last week we took nearly 20 lbs. of green beans (from pole beans) to the food pantry and there may be one more picking to go.
This weekend we picked peppers, peppers, & more peppers! The hot peppers don’t go over so well at the pantry so we’re offering them to the public for a free-will donation. Some are being frozen by our volunteer gardeners for use through the winter.
We sold over 5 gallons of salsa at our Salsa & Chips food booth at our community’s Wine & Art Festival adding another $150+ (after expenses) to our garden fund for next year.