By Karen Brewer
As summer winds down, this writer/gardener takes time to reflect on this year’s mission garden including its successes and failures.
Among the successes, we were able to harvest and donate a lot of lettuce, broccoli, and cucumbers from our early plantings. Also, we harvested and donated quite a few green beans and plan to have more before the end of the growing season. In addition, our sweet potatoes are still happily growing below ground and will be ready for harvest in late September/early October. It’s always a pleasant surprise to dig and turn the earth and find these beauties! With fall approaching, broccoli has been planted. Other veggies may also be added.
Another success this year was the addition of pollinator plants. We planted sunflowers, which are still blooming, and two types of perennials. These have been hosts to a variety of bees and birds who are enjoying them. We hope to expand our pollination garden next year. Did you know that it takes an average of 20 visits to a cucumber bloom by a bee to correctly pollinate the cucumber? Inadequate pollination is evidenced by misshapened cucumbers. Interesting!
Unfortunately some things were not as successful. Tomatoes didn’t do to well. Part of this was due to this gardener’s selection of the wrong type of tomato to plant. Hopefully next year will be better.
Bunnies and deer have enjoying our garden as well. The ones you see around our church campus should be fat and happy! We are hopeful to remedy some of their munching next year with a better fencing solution.
A special thanks to the following individuals who have either helped in the garden by planting, watering, and/or donating items.
- Joanne Thompson
- Marcia Ostendorff
- Toni Cox
- Kim Craig
- Carol Allen
- Ramona Taylor
- Steve Wheeler
- Patsy Chiles
- Carrie Vargas
- Susan Burnette
If you are interested in helping by donating time or supplies, please contact Karen Brewer. All produce is donated to North Raleigh Ministries to help feed our neighbors!