Today Proff JJ & I harvested Basil, Pineapple Sage, Purple Basil, Chives, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Baby Mustard Green, and Lemon Balm to deliver to Vaccaro’s Italian restaurant and catering service. I dropped off the produce to a chef around back of the kitchen and took his picture with a crate full of Italian Large Leaf Basil! http://www.vactrat.com
Today Proff JJ, Pat and I were fully commited to getting the rain barrel water collection system underway. Mid-June I suggested Pat and I go to a rain barrel demonstration presentation put on by the Summit County master gardener program with expert Jeff Taiclet. We went and sat in for the rain barrel presentation and a presentation on rain gardens, all intended to conserve water and reduce the effects of run-off. We collected a parts list and some other local water conservation publications to use in our own construction.
Today Proff JJ and I went to home depot to buy the parts while Pat prepped our 55 gallon food grade barrel donated to us by John Najeway at Thirsty Dog Brewery. Later on, Pat and I picked up an atrium drain grate at Lowes to substitute a grated lilly basket (which was on the parts list) as a filter. I have come to learn that compromising with hardware is not a crime. Whatever gets the job done!
The 3 pictures of the blue rain barrel are an example of how ours will likely end up. Except, our barrel is going to be a double barrel collection system. I snapped a few shots of the barrel while passing by on bike through a nearby neighborhood (creepy, I know, but i was inspired!).
On Sunday during our open house, I had the opportunity to speak to a parishioner who had a considerable amount of knowledge regarding the topography of Summit County. The area that borders Copley into Akron where the garden is located is low lying and up to the 182o belonged mostly to swamp. Into the mid 1800s the land was reclaimed and public work projects to put in roads and other development through the swampy areas took place. Therefore, the land in which the garden is on is wet in general and does not take too much water to saturate the land, especially this one area adjacent to the driveway on account of the driveway’s run off. Early in the planting of the later half of the garden (tilled section) we received a boat load or rain that flooded this section on 2 or 3 occasions. These evens wiped out our weaker plantings, pumpkins & watermelon.
The open house went really well yesterday! Parishioners of all ages enjoyed lemonade and socialization in the garden. We had around 30 people roaming the garden after the 11 am mass. Pat and I were able to meet several members of the community. Everyone was very excited about what we have been doing and several are eager to get involved. As we approached the 1pm hour numbers dwindled, however, waves of senior parishioner couples would pass through. Everyone seemed to have a story or advice which we welcomed.
Here’s the newsletter I made for the open house today!
This weekend I drove to Columbus to visit my friend who is moving to the East Coast before he left. While I was gone Pat and Proff JJ built three benches. The benches have no fastening hardware at all! Amazing!
Prior to leaving for columbus, I put together an advertisement for an open house, self guided tour on July 10. The open house will be a great opportunity to familiarize the community with the garden and collect information about volunteers!
Since one of the themes of Sebastian’s Gardens is the use of organic practices, we have been using entirely no fertilizers or pesticides. A few issues have arisen on the leaves of the pole beans and squash (even though they’re growing very well!). Cucumber beetles have been on top of the leaves and in squash flowers, but I have not actually seen the eggs which are supposed to be on the underside of leaves on those plants. Mushrooms sprout on the hay bales after rainy days, quite unsightly…