Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dear Gardeners,
The blackbirds are back in the marsh, turkey vultures in the skies and even "our" cranes have returned and are looking for nest sites. Although it snowed this week, signs of spring are coming and I know you are all anxious to get started gardening. This Saturday is our official Opening Day. Look for the plot assignments posted on the website and on the garden's bulletin board on Saturday, March 28. There are two sites and look in both lists that are arranged by family name of the principal gardener.
We have about 2/3 of the plots assigned to returning gardeners and about 1/3 of the plots to new gardeners. Please be sure you are gardening in the right plot before starting work.  There may be perennials like herbs or raspberries in your plot and you might want to wait to start digging until you see what is coming up.
We will have orientation sessions in both gardens starting Saturday, March 28 and going through the Seed Fair, April 11. It is very important for new gardeners to attend one of the sessions (returning gardeners welcome too). We can show you the resources of the gardens, how the plots and boundaries are marked and help you find your plot and answer questions. Some of the sessions will have Mandarin translators available and please bring all the gardeners who will be working in your plot. We will have some extra seeds for those attending the orientations to encourage you to come. Please meet at the garden sheds (downloadable maps here)
Opening Day: Saturday, March 28
                    Noon at Eagle Heights and also at University Houses
                   5:30 pm at Eagle Heights with Mandarin translation
Sunday, March 29
                     Noon at Eagle Heights
Tuesday, April 1
                    5:15 pm at Eagle Heights
Seed Fair Day, April 11
                   Noon at Eagle Heights and University Houses
                  1pm at University Houses with Mandarin translation
   Please say hello to your neighbors and introduce yourselves. We have a wealth of knowledge in this community and everyone has something to learn from others. You might discover a new trick for starting seeds or a crop that you haven't grown before or just enjoy the company of fellow gardeners. Please remember that you should not be entering any other plot than your own without permission and that you shouldn't take or borrow anything from another plot.
The gardens are viable because so many people volunteer their time to help run the gardens. Please take just a few minutes (really, less than 5) and let us know a little about who are gardeners are and your gardening interests. You can fill out this survey on-line or even on a smart phone and we'd like every plot to fill out the survey. We make a lot of decisions on how best to meet gardener needs and this information is entirely voluntary and anonymous but will help us make better decisions. Just click below
Gardener Survey
        I saw a few garlic bulbs coming up in the gardens and even a few flower buds coming. Start planning for all the spring crops that can go in soon. I'm so looking forward to that first radish and lettuce and peas. Listen to the birds sing and you know that green stuff won't be long behind.
Hope to see you at orientation,
Gretel, Garden Registrar

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Gardeners,
The lake is melting and the birds returning and it will soon be time to garden! We are planning Opening Day for Saturday, March 28 when the plot assignments will be posted (on the website and in the gardens on the bulletin boards). The website also has more dates including those of the Seed Fair and plant sales this spring.
We are extremely blessed to be able to garden in such lovely locations and we ask that you think about how we can work together as a community to preserve the environment, grow good food for our families and build a social network in the Gardens. Everyone has a part to play above gardening in their assigned plot and there are plenty of opportunities to be involved.
Expect an email about once a week with announcements, workday dates and sign-up information, reminders and seasonal tips. If you change your email or have other gardeners in your plot that would like to receive the emails, please respond to this message and I'll get them on the list. The emails are also archived on the website in the forum under Announcements in case you delete something you want to go back to or are having email difficulties. We have a very big email list and sometimes our messages are moved to junk mail; please put us as one of your contacts or trusted email addresses so you can continue to get these messages.
The smooth functioning of the gardens requires everyone to know the boundaries of their plots, where to put weeds, resources available and how to take care of them and other details. We encourage all new gardeners to attend an orientation (returning gardeners are welcome as well). This is especially true if you have family members that will be gardening and we will have Mandarin translators at some of the orientation sessions. These sessions will start Saturday, March 28 at both sites and continue through the next two weeks with more information coming in the next email. We'll review the physical sites and help you find your plot if you are new.
The Seed Fair is Saturday, April 11 (9 am to noon) and is a great kick-off to the gardening season. We have tickets for some free seeds, workshops, information sessions and row cover for sale. There will be more information in the next email but get it on your calender.
If you've changed your mind about gardening or moved, please let me know. Cancellations before opening day get a full refund and someone from the waiting list will be very pleased to get a plot.
Start planning for what you want to grow and eat this year. The gardens are a wonderful place to spend time and I wish everyone a very good gardening season.
Gretel, Garden Registrar