Political Commentary

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: PICK YOUR PRODUCE!; Harvesting Winter Squash; Winter Squash Recipes; Plants in Paths; What If You Can’t Do a Workday?; Workday Sunday Afternoon at Eagle Heights

Hello Gardeners,

PICK YOUR PRODUCE! – The gardens are currently full of ripe, over-ripe, and just plain rotten tomatoes, plus the same for raspberries. (It’s really a crime to not pick your sweet, succulent raspberries – how many months will it be before you’ll be able to eat fresh raspberries again?) Don’t let your produce rot – it invites diseases and pests, such as voles, into your plot and into your neighbors’ plots. Remember – if you have too much, you can leave the excess on the share shelves, or take it to a food pantry, if it’s still in good shape. Please don’t waste food.

HARVESTING WINTER SQUASH – Gardeners are starting to harvest their winter squash now. It’s still early – you don’t really have to pick it until frost threatens. And it won’t keep as long if it’s picked too early. But if the squash has turned a darker color than it was earlier, it sounds hollow when you shake it, and the stem has died off and turned hard, then it is ready to pick. Another consideration with squash, unfortunately, is that we have a fair amount of theft – some people will harvest their winter squash early to make sure someone else doesn’t walk off with them. Here’s a website with very detailed instructions on harvesting, curing, and storing: https://www.growveg.com/guides/curing-pumpkins-and-winter-squash/

COOKING WINTER SQUASH – If you cure and store your squash well, you won’t have to be in a hurry to eat it up – it should last most of the winter. But here are some recipes if you don’t want to wait: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/21679/ingredients/vegetables/squash/winter/

PLANTS IN PATHS – The intense rain and flooding have delayed mowing operations at both gardens, but path mowing will resume as the ground dries out. There are a lot of plants growing out into the garden paths – please understand that anything growing in the paths is likely to be mowed. I know that winter squash spreads faster and farther than anybody can control, but still, please try to pull anything growing into the path back into your plot. And if you don’t or can’t, don’t complain when your plants get mangled. And, while we’re on the subject, anything left in paths, such as hoses, bricks, sticks, tools, etc., delays mowing and is also in danger of being damaged.

WHAT IF YOU CAN’T DO A WORKDAY? We will continue to have workdays well into November, so you will have plenty more chances to sign up before the season ends. But what if you are too busy, or simply don’t want to do one? You can meet your obligation by paying the $32 “no workday” fee. This isn’t due until December 15, but in case you want to just get it over with, the check should be made payable to Division of UW Housing, and mailed to Eagle Heights Community Gardens, c/o Community Center, 611 Eagle Heights, Madison, WI, 53705. Or you may drop the check off at the Community Center; put it in a green garden envelope, so it doesn’t go to pay your rent. I’d also appreciate a note telling me what the check is for.

WORKDAY SUNDAY AFTERNOON - And, speaking of workdays, we will have a workday at Eagle Heights, Sunday afternoon, September 16, from 2pm – 5pm. The task will be clearing weedy areas around the garden shed and blueberry beds. Gloves, a hat, and a water bottle would be advisable. Also, long pants and long sleeves would help with the mosquitoes. Here’s the link to sign up: https://doodle.com/poll/vv937st9ykuun2qr

Happy Gardening,

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