2018, In The Garden

The Colony Community Garden In Early October 2018

After over three months, I finally came back to the Community Garden. Christi took good care of the garden, while I was out due to sickness. But she had a lot of work to keep up with the six beds. After my tomato plants quit producing (we had a good harvest this Summer) and the tomatillos were a bust, she pulled them all out. Now, the pepper plants and the basil can breath, after all the weeds under the tomatoes are gone as well.

This afternoon I was in the garden, pulled some weeds and noticed a big fire ant hill in my front raised bed. Oh boy! I have to get rid of these ants first, before I can plug the weeds out in that area. Kevin, Sara and I went back over this evening. While Kevin was treating the ant hill, Sara and I looked at the plants and captured some photos in the garden.

🍁🍂🍃 Happy Autumn Gardening! 🍃🍂🍁

2018, In The Garden

Sunflowers In The Colony Community Garden

Summer is coming early to North Texas this year. Since a couple of months, there are several big sunflower plants growing in my first raised bed. I’m still not sure, if these are self-seeders from the previous season, or a critter left some seeds of the Common Sunflowers from a nearby field in my bed. The chances are great, that some of the seeds I’ve been sowing haven’t produced last year. And now, we have some big shading plants standing tall in the Community Garden. They produce a lot of smaller heads. But they look very pretty and are very nice pollinator attractors (honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds). The birds will be happy to have fresh sunflower seeds in late Summer, again.

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Summer comes early, and so do the sunflowers this year.
2018, In The Garden

The Colony Community Garden Donations

The idea building a Community Garden and provide food for people in need in our little city (not so little anymore) started years (decades) ago. Back then, Metro Relief was still located at the east side of the S. Colony Blvd/Paige Rd.  corner. There was a little grassy, fenced lot behind the building. A few people came together and began to build raised beds and started to garden. Most the material came from the gardeners’ or other community members’ donations.

When Metro Relief moved to the other side of Paige Road., the plot was not available any longer and the Community Garden had to move to a different location. After a long process going through the city and the Denton County Government, the Community Garden found its new location next to the Lakeside Theater by Main Street. The garden had a lot more volunteers and became much bigger. It was a 100′ x 50′ fenced area with 27 raised beds at the end. The main idea still was to grow a garden for people in need. But unfortunately, the garden wouldn’t last no longer than one season. 😦

After some debating and discussion, Christi, Roseanne and I came to the conclusion it might be best to talk to Christi’s Church members, if we could have a little bit of land to build a new garden for the Community. We would work side by side with their Church Garden. Said, done! In November 2016, we had a meeting with the Church Garden members. And in February 2017, we built the first beds at the third location. Now, in the second season we have six 8′ x 4′ raised beds. We ladies grow a lot of food out of this small garden. Everything, what we can donate goes straight to the NTX Community Food Pantry. In the pantry, people can get next to breads, meats, imperishable items, hygiene products etc., some fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. But our garden is not the only organization, that donates to fresh foods to the pantry. Many churches, school gardens, and home gardens provide the pantry with fresh items as well. It is also encouraged, if home gardeners have extra foods, they can provide it to the NTX Community Food Pantry. 🙂

Happy Gardening!

2018, In The Garden

The Colony Community Garden In May 2018

Kevin and Sara came with me to the Community Garden, this evening. I wanted to check on the crop. And since it is warm, we have to water more frequently. Kevin’s mouth was watering, looking all the tomatoes growing on the vines. Sara wanted to catch and play with a ladybug. I had to advise her to be careful, and make sure it is a ladybug, not an Asian Lady Beetle. These beetles look almost the same as a ladybug, but they are mean and bite. Everything looks great in the garden. I can’t wait for the tomatoes turn red for harvest. I’m still stoked, I’m finally growing tomatoes in Texas. Wally, one of the Church Gardeners, taught me well. I listened, and put it into practice. A lot of the tomatoes will go to the NTX Community Food Pantry; and some I’ll take home. They will be the fruits of my and the other gardeners’ labor. Sara likes the onion, we harvested this evening: “Wow, this onion is big! I can’t wait to eat it. Yummy, yummy!”

2018, In The Garden

In The Community Garden ~ April 2018

Roseanne and I planted more vegetables and herbs in the Community Garden, this morning. She wanted to get some tomatoes, cucumbers, and sunflowers in her bed. In the meantime, I planted more herbs around my second bed. My tomato plants are doing very well. I’ve been doing something right. 🙂 The kale, the onions, and the savoy cabbage are coming along as well. They will be the next item to be harvested and going to the pantry.

While everything seems to do very well, my broccoli and the last year’s kale went into bloom. I just wait until they’ll go to seed. Then I can harvest those seeds for the next cool crop season. As long as the broccoli and the kale blooms, the Cabbage White butterfly enjoys the nectar of the bright yellow flowers. It just needs to stop laying eggs on the cabbages.

2018, In The Garden

The Colony Community Garden On 1st Day of Spring

Since my second bed was put together by the church gardeners, all I had to do is plant some tomatoes, peppers, basil, tomatillos, etc. But I also planted more flowers for our pollinators in the first bed. Last year, we had bees and beautiful butterflies visiting the garden. I would like to see, if a hummingbird is coming over for a visit as well. Pollinators are so important for a vegetable/fruit garden. Some plants get wind pollinated, others need a little help from our insect and bird friends. While most of the flowers still have to grow, before they will bloom; I captured photos of some flowers, which are in bloom right now. And of course, the vegetables are growing very well too.

2018, In The Garden

The Colony Community Garden In Early March

Finally, I made it over to The Colony Community Garden. If it is not sickness in our house, it is the rain that kept me away for a few weeks.About three weeks ago, I cut off the broccoli heads. But I left the rest in my raised bed. When I came back, I found more broccoli grown to my surprise (I did that with the kale all year, and it worked as well). I guess, the rain and the cooler weather was the perfect “chemistry” for the broccoli to keep giving. Probably by next week, I can cut some more. The red cabbages formed tight balls. Now, they need to grow. Katie’s brussels sprouts get bigger and are almost ready for the harvest. Christi was sowing some root vegetables in Winter. In a few weeks, there is a good chance we can pull some radishes. The Church Garden is looking good, too. Onions, savoy cabbages, spinach and other Winter goodies are doing very well in their beds. I also had a big smile, when I saw the Dianthus are coming back blooming in my bed. They like the warm days and cool nights. Everything looks so good. But we all can’t wait for warmer weather. We want to get the tomatoes, peppers, beans, etc. in the soil and grow some good vegetables for the local food pantry.

This year, my plans are: to get more herbs in the beds; I would like to concentrate only on a few vegetables, instead of many. And then rotate the crop. I hope to get a higher yield this way. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂 In the meantime:

🐞🌷Happy Gardening, y’all! 🌷🐞

2018, In The Garden

“Screw It! I Will Keep Gardening Anyway!”

… was my thought this morning. The North Texas nights are around the freezing point. And during the day, we get mild temperatures of upper 60s to low 70s (20ºC – 22ºC). It supposed to get cooler by the end of the week. But I’m tired to wait for Spring. And by that time, I have to plant the Spring/Summer crop.

Over the last years, I gained quite a bit of knowledge in gardening. And I’m still learning a lot. What grows best, and what crop I should stay away from in our region. But I’m also very stubborn and try and try and try. Sometimes I outgrow the advises, and put pumpkins and squashes in the garden, anyway. I curse the squash vine borers. But if it wasn’t for that one or two pumpkins, I probably had given up already. 😀

The Texas roller coaster weather throws another challenge in my direction. Over the last few weeks, I lost some crop due to the daily temperature changes. I watched carefully, what survived in the Community Garden, the Church Garden and my own garden. I just keep adding to it. My family likes their cabbages and kale. And screw it! I will keep gardening, anyway!!!!” 😉

2018, In The Garden

Frost Resistant Plants In The Colony Community Garden

Christi and I were working in the Community Garden this morning. She was mulching in some leaves in her raised bed. And we planted some onions, together. Dave came over to join us and see how the garden is doing, after the freeze in the single digits earlier this week. The broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, leek, onions, savoy cabbages, spinach, and white & red cabbages made it. That was an exciting sight. Something has survived. We still had to plug some dead plants out. But the work was not wasted time. ❤

2018

Happy New Year, 2018!

Before I can start a new chapter, I have to review the old one for a moment. Wow, what a year!!! I think, I’ve never done so much in one year before, than what I’ve accomplished in 2017.

  • In January, I’ve got my US citizenship. Nine months after applying for it, I took the oath on the 12th. What an exciting moment in my life.
  • In February, a couple of ladies and I started a new community garden. Now, we can grow food for people in need. And we can enjoy it, because it is drama free.
  • In March, my maternal grandmother passed away. Unfortunately, it would have happened sooner or later. It’s a part of life, and it has to go on. ~ We also had a hail storm. I’ve never seen hail this big. Our cars got a few dents from that storm.
  • In April, Kevin had to go on a business trip in Long Beach, CA. He used the opportunity to go to Downtown Disney in Anaheim for an evening. ~ My friend Janet visited with her husband and son from Germany. We had such a fun day at the Fort Worth Zoo.
  • In May, Sara had her dance recital. She got a trophy for that. ~ Kevin and I saw U2 live in concert. They performed in the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It was on my bucket list for the last 14 years.
  • In June, Kevin and I went to the musical “Rock of Ages” at the Casa Mañana in Fort Worth. The guy, who played “Stacee Jaxx” flipped a thong at me. I’m still laughing. That was hilarious. ~ We also went on a trip to New York. I saw my long-time school friend Katja in Ohio after 30 years, again; we visited Kevin’s highschool friends in Niagara Falls, he hasn’t seen for 24 years; we went to Canada, New York City, and saw the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
  • In July, Finley passed away. I still feel sad of his passing. But I also believe, he’s in a good spot, hanging out with our dog Ranger. They both earned their wings for sure.
  • In August, Sara went back to RCJ Machado to practise Jiu Jitsu. Since Katelynn is very busy with her school band, we needed an activity for Sara. She started Jiu Jitsu in 2015, took a two year break, and then went back again.
  • In September, we got our floors done in our house. Those old nasty carpets and laminated floors went out. And a brand new tiled floor came in.
  • In October, Kevin and I saw the Bret Michaels Band live in concert at Lava Cantina in The Colony. Bret is sooo sexy. I’m still drooling. 😀 😉
  • In November, Kevin and I went to see Jeff Dunham’s show in Wichita Falls. He is a great comedian. Walter, Peanut, Achmed & friends are just awesome.
  • In December, we went to California. Santa brought tickets to go to Disneyland. We had a beautiful time with family; went to the beach in San Diego; checked out Hoover Dam; visited the Grand Canyon, again; and therefore avoided some of the cold weather in Texas. We just came back home, two days ago.

Yep, it was a busy and amazing year. I’ve knocked out three items on my bucket list in the first half of 2017.

After posting 400 blogs, I can close this book and start a new one. May 2018 be as awesome as the previous year. Kevin and I plan to see P!nk live in concert in May. P!nk is on Kevin’s bucket list. He always wanted to see her, since he listened to her music and watched her first video. Let’s see, how that show will be.

I wish all my followers a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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In Memory of Finley, when he celebrated New Year’s Eve.
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Happy New Year!