At the Garden: Saturday, August 22

2015_08_22 034 delivery

Volunteers: members from Hancock, Follen, Pilgrim, and the Chinese Bible Church

Weather: Hazy and damp, but no rain.

Yield: Informal estimate of 155 pounds consisting of kale, eggplant, rhubarb, potatoes, green peppers, beans, broccoli, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, basil, garlic, tarragon, Swiss chard, and delicata squash

We picked full baskets of tomatoes this morning...regular and cherryWe picked full baskets of tomatoes this morning…regular and cherry  While searching for ripe tomatoes amidst the laden plants, I came across this garden marker hiding in the greenery. It would have been left when the tomato seedlings were first planted. It reads “And God said...’It is good!’” I trust the folks receiving this delicious bounty agree.While searching for ripe tomatoes amidst the laden plants, I came across this garden marker hiding in the greenery. It would have been left when the tomato seedlings were first planted. It reads “And God said…’It is good!’” I trust the folks receiving this delicious bounty agree.

2015_08_22 so much kaleMark is saying “So much kale!” or blessing the kale. I don’t know which but either would have been appropriate!

2015_08_22 familyLast week this family harvested potatoes. This week they got the whole Garden experience…harvesting (parsley here), delivering to the Lexington Food Pantry, planting and weeding.

2015_08_22 CBC

Volunteers from the Lexington-based Chinese Bible Church of Greater Boston– This is their first year working with us and we are so glad to get to know them!

2015_08_22 weighing

Tom and Betty at the weighing station.

2015_08_22 layers

Here is a close up of the layers on one of the delivery carts. I love the mix of color…yellow of the squash, white of the garlic, green of the basil, red of the tomatoes and pink of the flowers. It is a happy mix.

2015_08_22 multi-colored chardWe don’t have just one type of chard. We have multi-colored varieties… red, yellow and white stalk versions.



At the Garden: Saturday, July 18

Today’s volunteers were from: Redeemer, Pilgrim, Hancock and First Baptist
The weather turned out OK after all. With rain up until 7:30am, we had wet feet, but that was all.

The harvest totaled 60 lbs, consisting of: arugula, basil, beans, bok choy, cilantro, dill, kale, leeks, lettuce, mint, oriental peas, parsley, peppers, raspberries, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, Swiss chard, tarragon and zucchini!

2015_07_18 delivery crew

See those pops of red? The special treat today were about 1⁄2 dozen little boxes of raspberries that were included in the delivery to the Lexington Food Pantry. Winter moths may have decimated the blueberries, but the raspberries were just fine.

2015_07_18 chard 2015_07_18 harvesting lettuce 2015_07_18 bok choy

A basket of chard. Mom, take note–Peter wants to come back in August to see how much the garden will have changed.

Heather did an excellent job harvesting the lettuce! Very little cleaning was necessary.

Only the bigger bok choy was harvested, leaving more for next week.

2015_07_18 Barbarba cutting parsley 2015_07_18 rhubarb

Parsley was just one of the herbs that was picked…along with dill, cilantro, mint, tarragon and basil.

Lauren harvested several pounds of rhubarb to add to the car

2015_07_18 harvesting garlic 2015_07_18 basket of garlic

2015_07_18 tying up garlicQuite a bit of garlic got of harvested this morning. You can see Betty pulling it out above and a full basket to the right. But it is not ready to be delivered. First it needs to be dried. At the right, Carla shows Maria and Heather what to do. First you grab about 3 stalks, staggering the stalks so the bulbs have plenty of air space around them. Then you tie the stalks together, usually doing it lower and again higher on the stalks. The bundles were then hung in the barn to dry and will go the Food Pantry later this season.

This is how you know the produce comes from a real garden, not from part of the industrial food complex…you see anomalies in the produce:

2015_07_18 curled leek 2015_07_18 giant radish

When was the last time you saw leeks with curli-cues?

No, that is not a red potato. Carla thought it was a giant radish since it was pulled along with the rest of the normal-sized radishes and is the same color. But it also could have been a turnip that went AWOL. It was culled from the rest of the delivery since she feared it would be pretty bitter.

At the Garden: Saturday, July 11

Volunteers today from: First Parish, Chinese Bible Church of Greater Boston, Lexington Methodist, and the Lexington Catholic Community

Weather: lovely July morning– Sunny and 70 degrees.

The crew this morning had a lot to do since the Interfaith Garden was closed last Saturday for the 4th of July holiday. As you would expect, there was more of everything to pick. The final tally was about 77.5 lbs, bringing the total to 223.5 lbs. delivered to the Lexington Food Pantry so far this season.

2015_07_11 harvest team

2015_07_11 picking beans 2015_07_11 sorting beans
Probably the last of the peas and oriental peapods were picked this morning. After picking, came the sorting. Fat ones were peas, flatter ones were the oriental peapods.
 2015_07_11 rinse station  2015_07_11 washing lettuce
The produce always look so nice when it is laid out and packed for delivery. One reason is that when necessary, careful rinsing is done. Normally one wouldn’t want to wash vegetables until right before using since it tends to shorten the shelf life. But with greens and vegetables that grow in the dirt, you often want to clean them up. The rule is to do it gently. Above on the left, the beets, radishes and arugula are being rinsed. On the right, the heads of lettuce are receiving a gentle shower. Today Jessie’s mother gave a tip about how to harvest bok choy so as to minimize how much dirt adheres to the base of the plant. Pull up away from the soil and then cut off, instead of cutting off at ground level.
2015_07_11 Carla explains the weighing 2015_07_11 Jessie and mother
Carla explains the weighing process to Jessie. Afterwards, Jessie’s mother keeps the pallets of picked vegetables moving forward to be weighed. After this step, the trays are moved into the delivery cart.

2015_07_11 weed suppressionWhile one group wheeled the morning’s bounty to the Pantry, the remaining volunteers went back to maintenance chores. Some were weeding. Others worked on adding weed suppression and moisture control via the old school-tried-and- true method of spreading wet newspapers out and then covering with a layer of straw.

At the Interfaith Garden: Sat., June 6

On Saturday, June 6th, a Girl Scout Brownie troop and some of their parents came to help. One brownie had worked another Saturday and she reported that she liked coming back and knowing where things were and what to do. The girls were curious, worked hard and enthusiastically went from one task to the next. . . . → Read More: At the Interfaith Garden: Sat., June 6

Report from the Pantry – June 14th

I got to chat with Carolyn Wortman yesterday at the Lexington Food Pantry. As you likely know, she is the longtime volunteer that coordinates the Pantry. Since all the work we do at the Interfaith Garden ends up at the Pantry, I thought you would be interested in what’s happening there. Included in this . . . → Read More: Report from the Pantry – June 14th

At the Interfaith Garden: Tues., June 2

Harriet hoe-ing.

Shelley transplanting the bok choy. Carla thought these would be ready for harvest in 2 weeks, if not earlier.

The bottoms of the potato plants have been re-buried.

Carla assessing the crowded bed. Looks like some bok choy needs transplanting.

Lots got done.

On . . . → Read More: At the Interfaith Garden: Tues., June 2

Report from the Garden: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Volunteers: Hancock and Temple Isaiah

Weather: The good news was the storms held off, the bad news was the storm held off. We need the rain.

Can you name this plant with the interesting flower?

(answer below)

Carla was away but she left clear and easy instructions:

Weed, Water, Watch

Weed carefully around . . . → Read More: Report from the Garden: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Garden Report – April 11, 2015

Weather: Sunny, high 40s

A large crew answered the call for help and showed up with the expectation of shoveling lots of composted manure onto the garden. However, the truck with the manure arrived later than usual and we didn’t make much of a dent in the pile. But there was enough time to . . . → Read More: Garden Report – April 11, 2015

Join us for our sixth season!!

Volunteers plant, grow, harvest and deliver thousands of pounds of organically grown produce to the Lexington Food Pantry each year.

Our sixth season of growing “Good Food for Good Neighbors” starts on Tuesday, April 7th, snow or shine!!

Volunteer schedules are in progress for the 15 faith communities and friends who offer . . . → Read More: Join us for our sixth season!!

Garden Report – June 6th

Volunteers from Hancock, Lexington Catholic Community and Pilgrim and St. Nicholas.

Weather was beautiful—sunny and warm.

Good news! Water is back at the barn! The leak in the underground water line was discovered and repaired. That will make all things easier–from washing off tools, cleaning off produce to watering!

Tuesdays are generally . . . → Read More: Garden Report – June 6th