Archive for the ‘Past Events’ Category

From Community Garden to Garden Community

It was cloudy and overcast as we arrived at Wagon Hill Community Garden for our monthly workday, but before the morning was over, the sun was shining on 35 gardeners pulling weeds, chipping paths, turning compost, enjoying refreshments and the companionship of shared purpose.  A preschool group sang, did “garden yoga” and then got their first lessons on gardening helping to pull weeds in the paths.

What a lot of growing we have done over the past 9 years!   Starting as  6 strangers in 9 individual beds, we’ve become  85 companions and work mates growing food in 112 beds.  And, not just food for ourselves, but food for the community as a whole, with a contribution last season of over 700 pounds of food to our local Food Pantries.

We are not just a Community Garden, but a Garden Community!


End-of-Season Clean-Up Day – Sunday Oct 26, 2014 1-4 pm

Just a reminder that this Sunday, October 26th between 1 and 4 we will have our final end-of-season clean-up day.  If you haven’t cleaned up your plot(s), this is the day to come and do that.  We also have some chores that need to be done in the garden before winter sets in, so if your plots are clean, come and help anyway!

If you have cool weather crops in your garden that you wish to continue to harvest, you MUST contact Ellen Karelitz before the Sunday clean-up.  If she hasn’t heard from you, we will clean out your bed!

We will hold a garden wrap-up meeting on November 16th from 2 – 4 at the Durham Town Recreation building at the corner of Rte. 108 and Main Street.  Please join us to share suggestions for next season and the highlights of this season.  It’s never too early to plan for next year!

Hope to see you Sunday and again November 16th,

Kay Morgan
On behalf of the Steering Committee

Work Day and Garden Gleaning Saturday Sept. 20, 2014

Wagon Hill Garden Work Day: Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Message from Ellen: The first frost is looming and there is still a lot of food in the garden. I’d like to do a “gleaning” of the garden on Saturday at the work day.

Food gathered will be contributed to the Oyster River School District’s nutrition program for school lunches.  I will provide bins on Saturday so that those of you who can come to work day can contribute anything you aren’t going to use yourselves.

If you aren’t able to come to work day, but would like to contribute, please email me your name, bed number and items you’d like me to pick and I will do the gleaning for you.
Thank you so much for helping to reduce food waste and for providing locally grown food for our children.

Summer’s Eve Picnic June 20- Join Us!

This Friday, June 20th 5:30 – 7:00 PM at Wagon Hill Farm. Bring your own picnic. Share the joy and beauty of the 2014 gardens now mostly planted. Meet the other gardeners who have put their own special creativity and hard work into making their garden beds. Celebrate the 6th year of the Community Garden at Wagon Hill Farm.

Welcome Summer Picnic 2013

Cucumber Beetles

Thanks to those of you who came out to help on Saturday’s work day.  The gardens look beautiful and food is really starting to grow now that is finally warm.

UnknownUnfortunately that also means that pests are beginning to find us too.  The cucumber beetle has appeared in abundance.  Here is some information about these pests.  Be aware that cucumber beetles don’t just eat cucumbers. They eat 270 different plants and flowers.  Below, please find some information about controlling them.
As you go about caring for your plants, be sure to check the undersides of leaves for eggs and larvae and let me know about any pests you find so I can alert other gardeners. You can even send me pictures that you take with your cell phone if you can’t identify the creatures.  In a community garden with so many of us growing the same things, pests can become “epidemic” very quickly.   Working together is our best chance of keeping these pests under control.
Happy Gardening!  Ellen

Predators: Tachnid flies, soldier beetles, parasitic nematodes and braconid wasps. Lacewings and ladybugs eat the eggs.

Repellent plants: Broccoli, calendula, catnip, goldenrod, nasturtiums, radish, rue and tansy. If you want to try marigolds to repel them use the more pungent varieties like African, French or Mexican marigolds. The more common marigolds may actually attract them, therefore could be used as a trap crop.

Control Methods:

  • Use a portable vacuum to get the adults in the early evening. Put them right into a plastic bag, seal it and dispose of them.
  • Try placing cuttings of the tansy plant as a mulch in-between rows in the garden.
  • Spread any type of onion skins on the soil around the planted areas.
  • Consider building a bat habitat: Bats are predators of a wide range of pest insects, including cucumber beetles.
  • Make a trench 3″ deep by 3″  wide filling it with wood ashes. Moisten it so it won’t blow away and don’t let it get on the plants. Ashes can be toxic to plant foliage!
  • A deep mulch of straw helps by keeping the adults from walking plant to plant. Heavy mulching can deter cucumber beetles from laying eggs in the ground near plant stems and may hinder feeding by larvae migrating to fruits. This cultural control method, however, does not protect the leaves against attack from adult insects. Injury to fruit by tunneling of larvae is dependent on very moist soil as fruits ripen. Limiting irrigation at this time can minimize damage
  • Plant white varieties of radishes or rattail radishes with your cucumber plants to repel the beetles. Rattail radish roots are not edible but the seed pods are!
  • Mix a spray of 1 ounce wood ashes, 1 ounce hydrated lime and 1 gallon water. Spray upper and lower leaf surfaces. Hydrated lime is a powdered substance. Or use a spray of hot peppers, water and garlic.
  • Trellising plants can make leaves less accessible to insect larvae and may decrease egg-laying. Like mulching, trellising does not protect plants against attack by adult insects
  • Plant radish seeds right in the hills with the cucumber plants.
  • Floating row covers are an effective control method during the early season of plant growth. They prevent insect attack by forming a barrier between insects and plants. Row covers need to be removed during the late vegetative stage, at the onset of flowering, to allow for bee pollination. Once floating row covers are removed, other control measures such as treatments with botanical pesticides should be employed.
  • To fool cuke beetles: flatten a square of aluminum foil around the base of plants to bounce light on the undersides of leaves. This also helps the plants in giving them more light.
  • Plant any type of beans with cucumber.
  • Cultivate in the fall to expose the eggs.
  • If the infestation is beyond control use either of the botanical poisons: pyrethrum or rotenone. You want to hit the adults with these when you observe them feeding on pollen in flowers.
  • Sticky Traps: For the home gardener and small scale growers these can be an effective monitoring tool and a control! Cut some plywood board into rectangles 8 inches by 10 inches. Cardboard could also be used. Paint with yellow paint and coat with Tanglefoot or some other adhesive. Now what you want to do is to bait these traps specifically to trap cuke beetles. You can use pieces of cotton wicks stuck to the boards that have been soaked in a Eugenol based oil which is what attracts the female beetles. 2 types of oils that contain 60 to 90 percent eugenol are allspice oil and clove oil. Squash blossoms contain indole which are very attractive to the adults. If you can spare some you might mash them up and stick them to your trap. Stake your traps vertically at ground level or no more than 12 inches above. As the traps fill up you can scrape and recoat them until they become unusable.
  • Nematodes: Hexamermis spp. parasitizes the adults. Studies have indicated up to 90%  of a population of cuke beetles being infected by the nematodes. Apply beneficial nematodes to kill the adults in mulch, seed furrows and around plant roots.
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil, which can act as an ovicide, can be used as a soil drench to treat eggs and larvae. It does seem to help with control of the adults as a repellant and antifeedant. Further tests must be done using Neem but it does look promising.

Growing Greater Good With 5th Graders

squash-flowers.jpgYesterday Suzanne, Kay and I met with Chris Hall’s Middle School class out at the gardens for a tour.  For the three of us, former teachers all, it was such fun to be with children teaching them about plants, bugs, dirt and community.  

As Suzanne walked a group of students down to the water to meet up with their classmates, she asked them what they liked best about their visit.  

“We liked the community part, because it seems like everyone is really *happy* at the gardens!”  
Wow!  Our motto is “Growing Greater Good” but I have to admit a lot of the time my mind is preoccupied by growing greater tomatoes. Not to get too philosophical, I do have to say it made me think about how often our children see adults happy and hopeful.
I thought you all should know this and I hope it helps us all to remember that while we are growing our tomatoes, lettuce, squash and sweet potatoes, we are growing hope and happiness too!
Happy Gardening, Ellen

Garden Work Day Saturday April 26 1-4 pm

Timberland employees help build our compost units.This is a quick reminder that we need help to build new beds this Saturday, April 26, from 1 – 4 (rain date, Apr. 27th 1 – 4). 

The current weather report says “showers” on Sat. and we’ll work unless it’s a downpour!  We hope to build and fill new beds with soil.  If you have a wheelbarrow and shovel you could bring, that would be helpful.  Be sure you have your name on any equipment you bring. 

Other items we could use:

Clean, unbleached cardboard with no tape, staples or glue residue on it. 
Newspapers WITHOUT colorful advertising flyers mixed in.

Each  new bed will have a layer of cardboard in the bottom and a sprinkling of chicken manure before being filled with soil.

A reminder to those of you who still need to pay for your beds that you can bring your payment to me that day OR put a check in the mail to me before May 1st.

Thanks and hope to see you on Saturday,

Kay Morgan, Membership Coordinator