Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's ALIVE!!!!!!

Recently the weather has been all over the map- super, ridiculously hot and humid followed by fall like cooler weather that has even required sweat shirts and sweat pants!  The garden (in particular the watermelon and pumpkins) LOVED the week of super hot weather here in Iowa.  Due to the plants soaking up the heat they have practically EXPLODED all over the garden.  The thick vines starting intermingling, intertwining, and sprawling all over.  

While that sounds pretty awesome the garden is thriving with life it quite frankly was getting detrimental to other plants in the garden.  We couldn't see the peppers, had troubles finding the squash, the beans and peas were barely visible... it was bad.  So, we did what anyone does when they are in deep and don't know what to do- call in backup!!  Check out the photos below to see the "before"s and "after"s of the garden.

By the way- a big, HUGE extra special THANK YOU to Lori, the Master Gardener, who came to our rescue to get the vines diverted in different directions and to help us find the other plants that were being swallowed up by "vine monster"!!

From the far view it looks pretty normal.  Lots of
green all over the place, but that just means
it's healthy!

How beautiful!

Watermelon or pumpkin?  Hard to tell at this stage.

Roma tomatoes that are just waiting to get nice
and ripe!  They will be red in no time!!

This is how Marissa (pictured) and Sarah (taking the photo)
looked while trying to figure out how to untangle the
web of vines.  Conclusion we came to? 

A cucumber!

The beginning of peppers.

Yeah... it was a minor disaster! 

Despite the craziness of the garden
there is still beauty everywhere!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where did the paths go?!

No more paths in the garden! The vines of the squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers are taking over.  They are doing so well that they are creeping into the lettuce bed, all around the peppers, and even climbing up the pea trellis!!

I can't wait to taste all the tomatoes!
They are still green, but soon will be red and juicy. 

Brooke & Heather were hard at work harvesting the giant green beans!  
There are LOTS of peas that should be ready by next week too. 

 The cabbage look great! Heather was very excited to harvest this one. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Didn't I Just Update This?

Apparently I have lost track of time (this is Super Snack Lady Sarah who regularly updates the blog, other than once when my co-worker Amy did it)!!!  I could have pinky promised that I updated the blog last week with awesome new photos but according to my records I have been there TWICE and haven't uploaded picture.  Ooops! So, here is a long, picture filled update on things!

A beautiful sun flower was growing
the last week of June (by this week
there was 5 more that joined it!)

The tomatoes have really filled out
and have grown quite tall. 
They are also budding and the flowers
are blossoming which means that
we should have some tomatoes growing

Sarah's co-worker Amy posed in the garden so
that you could tell how big the plants are getting.
These pole beans are really tall!

Alicia the dietician from Hy-Vee stopped by with me
to check out the garden.  It's getting pretty huge!

Awwww!  Who doesn't love a baby rabbit?
I especially love baby rabbits that are OUTSIDE of the
garden fence!

Alicia the dietician, Amy, and Sarah
made a healthy smoothie that included
avocado, kale, a banana, yogurt, and
orange juice.

Amy helped put the ingredients in the

I had a great green smoothie mustache!

These were taken yesterday. I am
obsessed and intrigued by the little
vine on the plants (this is a
cucumber plant) and how they grow
up the sides of the fencing! Super cool!

We have a baby summer squash folks!

Pumpkin plant explosion!  WATCH OUT!!!

The parsley and cilantro continues to grow well!
On July 2nd the Girl Scout group came and worked on
the garden.  I (Sarah) am in the back... though I still
look about the same size as the kids!

The Girl Scouts attached our hand painted pickets
to the metal pickets that hold up the fence.  Not
only does it make the garden look pretty it also
shows the variety of partners we have at the
The pickets add so much color to the garden!
Come and check it out whenever you can because
they look really awesome!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We Reap What We Sow....

In garden terms the word "sowing" means putting the seeds into the ground, normally in some sort of organized fashion (like rows).  The old saying, "You reap what you sow" means that you get what you put into it.  Below are two volunteers from the First Congregational Church with fresh produce from the garden.  We are reaping some great produce!!

The volunteers were checking on the plants. They
made sure they were growing big and tall!

Both lettuce and kohlrabi
were harvested.  Yum!

Also: Remember that our summer gardening series is going on.  Thursday night at 6:30 our Hy-Vee Dietician Alicia will be at First Congregational Church.  She will be talking about what to do with produce fresh from any garden and will have samples to share!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We're Still Growing....

What can I say?  Things are continuing to grow in the garden and we are continuing to harvest produce.  I won't lie- I'm running out of titles for the blog posts and am currently in a creative rut.  So, until I come up with something else the blog titles will be something along the lines of, "All is well at the garden....." or "Growing, harvesting, growing, harvesting..."  :)

Check out these photos from yesterday (June 19th):

The sunflowers are growing!
I can't wait to see these things when they

Cabbage is taking shape

Red cabbage is also shaping up!

We have peppers people!

The Kohlrabi is ready to be harvested!

Here is the Zucchini which has really taken off
in the last week.  It's even starting to look like
the vegetable.

Lettuce, lettuce, LETTUCE!!! It's getting harvested
this week also!

On Wednesday June 19th the Extended Food and Nutrition Education Program folks did a free cooking lesson at First Congregational Church.  They made quiche and even used fresh spinach from the garden in their recipe!  YUM!
Tonia and Sharon were getting ready for their guests
to come so they could teach them how to make
a quick, easy quiche!