Friday, October 23, 2009

Suggestions from the Tower Garden Manager

Our 2009 Fall cleanup for the Master Gardener "Tower Garden" took place October 17th. This year the cleanup was done in one day thanks to the help received from Master Gardeners Jeanne Jensen and Keith Harris and Community Volunteers Virginia Miller and Lisa Lake.

When a work party is needed, I send out a notification specifying a day and what time I'll be working in the garden. I invite them to join me for part or all of the day; whatever works for their schedule. Included in this notification is a list of suggested items to bring for example: gloves,tools, coffee, water bottle and I include weather information so volunteers can dress accordingly. Volunteers appreciate the organization and time flexibility and enthusiasm of the garden project.

The garden has a volunteer base of about 15. Master Gardeners, friends and employees of the Umatilla-Morrow ESD make up the volunteer pool. Students from the Pendleton Alternative Education School also put in time last Spring getting the garden up and running. This is the 5th year for the garden,which means clean-up has been fine tuned to be done quickly and efficiently.

Also, once a volunteer is comfortable with the garden purpose and routine,they are invited to stop in anytime and do light maintenance (weeding,trimming, etc) at their convenience. Volunteers give me a heads up of their plan and I give them the approval to go ahead. It has been a great way to have volunteers share with me another view of garden needs. As reported by Annette Frye, Garden Manager.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jack Frost stopped by, but where is the Garden Fairy?

I find that this time of year I wish the Garden Fairy would just show up and put my garden to bed for the winter. Once Jack Frost stomps through the garden, it just loses some of the excitment plus it just isn't as pleasant to hang around....
The same thing can happen at our Community and Demonstration Gardens - so the question I pose to everyone out there working in community-type gardens is how does one sustain the energy and excitement as the garden season lingers on.....