Delightful Update from Amye and Jean from the Teaching Garden Cooks' Garden Team


Take a look at the great weekly report written by Master Gardener Volunteer Amye Foelsch and executed by Ellen King, Dawn Barr, Thomas Bolles, Jean Meink.  Not only do these folks work hard, but they plan well - two necessary components to successful gardening (along with persistence).  Thank you all for your great work and for keeping our community informed! 

Here's Amye's report


Hi everyone,


Our cook’s bed has had its fair share of challenges this year and as the season comes to a close it’s exciting to see the positive outcome of everyone’s effort and support.  By far, our biggest challenge is the creeping shade looming over our fenced vegetable garden which has contributed to plants struggling to germinate, grow and thrive. As a team we pondered various ways we might be able to solve this issue. Leslie Paulson listened, brainstormed, and advocated with the monastery. The outcome…our vegetable garden has been approved to relocate to a sun drenched area! This will require more teamwork, but we are motivated by the support we have received from the teaching garden as a whole, from Sister Pat and the monastery, and the public attending the Saturday in the Garden seminars who are eager to learn the best practices being demonstrated. 


Another recent happy outcome came in the form of purple sweet potatoes. Early this season we said goodbye to one of our cook’s team volunteers, Dawn Barr, as she embarked on a new adventure to Germany. Before leaving she gifted us with some purple sweet potato slips. These little slips endured an early summer of cool and wet temperatures and a few encounters with wildlife breaching the fencing protection. We were starting to doubt if anything edible would be found in the soil, but I’m happy to report that despite all these challenges we still harvested a generous handful of sweet potatoes. A few MG’s took some home to try this All Purple variety in the kitchen. Dawn, thank you for the gift! 


Our current challenge has been the very long spell of hot and dry weather. If reports are correct, a fix in the form of rain should be on its way. It’s always a good outcome when nature decides to side with Team Gardener! 




Brainstorming and measuring for a sunny veggie plot move


Dawn Barr donating sweet potato slips


Action items for Saturday, October 14 and Tuesday, October 17, 2017:

Water (if no rain), Weed, and Harvest:  

Water – all Raised Beds, Beds A, B & C (cover crops seeds), Bed D (cover crop seeds and last butternut squash plant growing) and all areas inside the fence

Water pot with salvia in far right corner of fenced area

Water pot with salvia next to raised bed 1


Bed B & C:  

Sweet potatoes harvested and cover crops planted


Raised Bed 1:  

Jannell’s bed continues to produce!


Raised Bed 2:  

Planting of garlic will be demonstrated at the Oct 21st SIG
Plant garlic (October 21st/SIG) with enough room between each to plant onion starts in spring and any thinned carrots from Jannell’s bed

Buckwheat will follow once garlic and onions have been harvested


Raised Bed 3:  

rye and crimson clover planted

Grow tomatillos summer 2018


Raised Bed 4:  

Scarlet runner beans have large pods – continue to let dry and collect seeds (container in shed with seeds that have already been collected)


Raised Bed 5:  

Tomatillos removed & cover crops planted

Grow peppers summer 2018


Bed D:  

3 Butternut squash continue to grow, all other squash was removed and bed prepped and seeded with cover crop (daikon, crimson clover, vetch and cereal rye)

Plan for 2018 – this area will become our new cook’s garden (More details coming soon)


Bed H:  

Crimson clover and rye seeds planted

Letting zinnia flowers remain for seed collection

Plan for 2018 – rotate lemon cucumber plant throughout the bed, since it seems to grow well in shade

Crucifers/brassicas for 2018


Bed G:  

Harvest any tomatoes that are ready

Harvest peppers

Plan for 2018 – plant sweet potatoes towards the gate side and train vines to grow towards the pool side. While waiting for vines to fill in plant sugar snap peas early march 2018, dill and lettuce

Bed F:  

Zinnias removed on 10/3 and rye and crimson seeds planted

Continue to check for worms under row cover (they are very hungry right now)

Continue to thin turnips

Plan for 2018 - squash

Bed E:  

Water turnips

Snow peas have germinated 9/9, but not looking great as of 10/10
Plan for 2018 – tomatoes, potatoes (gate side to avoid underground line)


Asparagus Bed:  

Plant smaller variety of Tithonia



SIG veggie of the month topics for October – garlic and brassicas


Bring harvest to monastery kitchen

Jean to bring garlic out to be planted during Oct 21 SIG

Schedule a time to review garden 2018 plan

Shade problem solving is a go; thank you Leslie and Sister Pat!

Time to start thinking about SVG (discussed having last class at the Teaching Garden to demonstrate cover crop management, planting potatoes and brassicas)

Considering using low row covers over seeds to see if the moisture will help seeds to germinate

Brainstorm items to consider for 2018: Plant only proven performers; bring out/purchase bigger tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, better system for staking tomatoes, wildlife muncher must be dealt with, how to deal with the ever growing shade issue?

Make sure to check yourselves for ticks and drink plenty of water 






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