Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haven Family House Garden Project

To my new followers... Welcome and thanks for following my blog.

In my last post I told you I was asked to take the lead in revitalizing the garden at Haven Family House run by Shelter Network. I met with staff members last week to present my ideas to expand the garden. The staff has approved my plans and are very excited to have someone carry out their dreams for the Haven Garden.

Shelter Network will recruit volunteers throughout the year to help me put my plans into action as well as work with local businesses to donate materials.

The first time I saw the garden area I thought to myself, “This is my dream yard“. Sunny and lots of space! While walking through the yard I could see all kinds of little projects in my mind. Turning this wonderful space into a thriving vegetable and flower garden for the families to enjoy.

Below is a photo of the garden from Google Maps. I have labeled it so you can see all the projects we will be working on this year. Click on the photos for a larger view.

The photo below is the future home of Pumpkin Hill. We will be growing pumpkins for the kids to decorate this Fall.

Pumpkin Hill plan...

The plan below is the layout for the expanded vegetable garden. Zucchini and zucchini blooms are a favorite at the shelter. I was told the Zucchini took over one of the raised bed it was planted in last season, so this year I will give them a new home with lots of room. I have also planned an area for sugar snap peas, pole bean and cucumbers.

We are hoping a local Boy Scout Troop will help us build two A-Frame and two Teepee trellises for the peas and beans.

The photo below is of the raised beds. They need a little cleaning up.

The picnic area below will get a face lift. I'm hoping we can get some decomposed granite. This will make it easier to maintain.

Yesterday my son and his girlfriend helped me prune the fruit trees. Photo below is the trees before we pruned them.

They also marked off where the "Kids" flower boxes will go. This area will be for children ages 5 and under. There will be two 2'x5' raised beds right behind the sitting area.

Can't you just see two of these cute little boxes in that space.

I just need someone to donate the materials.
Home Depot
Earth Solutions 2 Ft. x 5 Ft. Raised Container Gardening
Model # RPB-2460 Internet/Catalog # 100671549

I will keep you posted on our progress.

In my next post I'll update you on my garden.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The 2010 Garden

Happy New Year!

Welcome to USMC Sis. Thanks for following my blog.

January 5th will mark the one year anniversary of the "Garden Journey". One year, I can’t believe how fast it went by. I've learned a lot this past year and hope to continue to improve my gardening skills as I move on to the 2010 garden.

I ended 2009 with a total harvest of 122.4 pounds. I'm amazed at how much I could get out of such a small space and to tell you the truth I think I can do better. Looking back now I can see I didn't use all the growing space to my advantage. I have made a few small changes to the garden and planting plan that should increase my harvest. I would like to see a harvest of 150 to 200 pounds in 2010.

This year will be a busy one for me. Outside of my garden duties at home I have been asked to take the lead in revitalizing a garden belonging to Shelter Network. A few years ago Haven Family House was blessed with a vegetable garden donated by Sunset Magazine. The staff has been so busy helping homeless families in the Bay Area that they haven't been able to devote much time to keep the garden going. Since my sister is the Facilities Manager, among other titles, she has asked me to help them get back on track. I am very honored that she has asked me to help and I'm looking forward to my first meeting with the staff a week from Monday. I will post photos and updates on this project in future posts.

Lets move on to what's happening in my garden…

Ribbit over at The Corner Yard has an offer to purchase Square Foot Gardening / Intensive Gardening Planting Templates. Well guess who got herself a Christmas present....

For those of us that are a bit challenged when it comes to spacing and lining things up straight this template is heaven sent! I orderd two sets of both the 9 and 16 hole templates. I used the 16 hole in my new kitchen bed to plant some baby spinach seeds.

Photo Below: Planting Template

For the 2010 season I thought I would post a "View from the Roof" monthly garden photo. Below is the January garden from the roof...

Not too much going on in the garden now. With the lack of sun this time of year I am very limited to what I can grow. I will be setting up the seed starting station in the pop-up green house next weekend.

Today I had Sweet Husband give me a lesson on how to use power tools to help me put up the rest of the hoop houses on beds 3 and 4. I now know how to drill pilot holes and can use the drill in place of a hand held screw driver. Every girl/woman should know how to use power tools... why should the boys have all the fun!

I was told I have good form...

Photo Below: After the hoops were put in place Sweet Husband zip tied the center pole in place.

Photo Below: Living in zone 10 I don't get much in the way of frost to really justify hoop houses, but I do have a band of ruthless squirrels that will stop at nothing to infiltrate my garden for their food storage. I have declared war and I will win! This should hold them back behind enemy lines...

If you have been following my blog for the past year and still need inspiration to start your own vegetable garden, take some time to read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver.