Even when it is hot outside, I have to plan for my Autumn garden. Last week I’ve started sowing plants. And this week, we have some seedlings sprouting on the porch. I keep them in the shade for most of the day, because I don’t want the sun to torch them at that stage.
When Kevin, the girls and I were on vacation, we were really frustrated with the cell phone signal. After less then two years, we switched back to our old phone provider today. With the new contract, Kevin and I got us the Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. Katelynn got an LG. And Sara is just happy, she can play the games on the old phones for right now.
This evening after we set up the new phones, I played with the camera in the garden a little bit. I’m impressed, how clear these photos came out. Of course, I still will use my Nikon cameras. But I don’t need to drag my bigger camera to every single event anymore. Because the phone camera shoots crispy clear photos as well. Now, I just need to get used to the rest of the phone knick-knacks again. First thing I did: I changed the ringtone to my old one on the new phone, which is Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. 😉
After the hail storm we had coming through the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex last night, it is nice to see this beautiful sunset this evening. We were lucky, the hail was small compared to what came down in a couple of cities south of us. They had baseball-sized ice rocks coming down from the sky. Not even to mention, the damage this hail was producing. 😦 I checked both gardens. Our home garden looked like nothing even happened. The trees probably took the hit for it. In the Community Garden some of the taller plants hung down a little bit. They will recover from the storm. On a good note, the last few nights, we had thunderstorms rolling through. We needed the precious rain water.
The last several weeks, it was very warm in North Texas. We had temperatures mostly in the mid to upper 90s. The forecast for the upcoming days don’t look any different either. But we’ve got a break, today. This morning we had a thunderstorm with much needed rain. And that storm cooled down the temps quite a bit. While I’m writing this blog, it’s only 71ºF. By the afternoon, we supposed to reach only mid 80s. Oh yes, I enjoy every little bit of it. Earlier in the morning, I planted more peppers in my home raised bed. Digging in the wet soil felt so good, again. A cottontail rabbit watched every move I made in the garden; in hope, I might give it some cabbage leaves for it to nipple in the yard. I’ve also noticed, that my jalapeño plants have more blooms, and my tomato plants are producing more ‘maters. That makes me feel good. After the rain, I captured photos of rain droplets in the garden and yard. 🙂
The last couple of days, I could harvest several jalapeños out of my Community Garden bed and our home raised bed. This is very exciting. It’s the first season, I have success with them. The “secret” of my jalapeño success is very simple. I did the same thing with the pepper plants, what I did with my tomato plants: Digging a deep hole, adding some banana peels, egg shells, Epsom salt, expended shale, cornstarch and worm castings, and then dropping the plants deep into the soil seems to be the recipe for growing great peppers.
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. 🙂