from Naperville Park District: On Monday, October 15, 22 enthusiastic volunteers worked from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. gathering vegetables left behind after the Naperville Park District’s Garden Plots were closed for the season. This year’s gleaning yielded over 680 lbs. of vegetables for Loaves & Fishes Community Services. Master Gardeners Ron Ory and Logan… Read more »
From Ron Ory, September 17: Some of you may have forgotten that months ago we started with a patch of dirt… Faced the hardships of slugs… Lack of nutrients in the soil… And usually found the rain gauge on empty… You probably pondered with other gardeners about our chances… But you kept going, planting, watering… Read more »
from Ron Ory: Since the nights are now starting to cool, we planted four flats of lettuce started by Pat, and seen here being watered by Ellie: And the harvest continues: We’re over 2,300 pounds! Thank you, Master Gardeners and Naperville Community Gardeners! Published with permission from Loaves & Fishes Community Services Source.
from Ron Ory, Naperville Community Gardeners: For those of you away for the weekend, we had our most significant rainfall of the year: 3.5 inches at the plots. Yielding another 75 pounds of produce. We’re averaging over 200 lbs per week. We’re nearing 1,800 lbs for the season. Do I hear 3,000? We’re also adding some cut flowers, leaving enough for the birds and the bees. Our most prolific are cosmos and sunflowers We’ve also got some unusual ones, like this celoseus. We’re not only doing good for the year, but lookin’ good, too! Yay, TEAM!
August 26 update from Naperville Community Gardeners’ Ron Ory: Fifty pounds the hard way – no ten pound zucchini! We may not get any sprouts, but they do grow here! Likewise for tomatilloes. We’re at 1,700 pounds and counting. Great rain dance by Jan Hummel – too bad I didn’t capture it on film!
From Ron Ory, photographer for Naperville Community Gardeners: Sometimes one little tomato (or six): Or one big one: Can make a difference for someone in need: Putting us at 1,500 pounds for the year: Way to go Team! http://www.napervillecommunitygardeners.org/
From Ron Ory: Yeah, Team! We were curious how we were doing, at least on the quality, so we entered some of our produce, herbs and perennials in the Naperville Community Gardeners annual Flower and Garden Show. It’s free, so all it took was preparing the materials according to the show guide. We may not have gotten the big prizes, but we won lots of ribbons and Loaves & Fishes still got the produce! These are our beets, turnips, leeks and potatoes! Some of the tomatoes and squash we’ve been growing. Some of the perennial are from our garden. That pumpkin was ours and got a blue ribbon. Did Jan influence the judges? She was helping as a clerk and got some tips for next year. I’m still counting the ribbons and will report the results shortly. MEANWHILE, YESTERDAY’S DELIVERIES PUT US OVER 1,400 POUNDS FOR THE YEAR! (I may have to add another column to our POUND-O-METER, since it only goes to 3000 pounds.) Results: We had 51 different entries, some items provided more than one entry. We received ribbons for 47 of the 51. Not bad for the first time and little preparation work. It provides a measure of how well we’re doing and a benchmark for next year, should we want to enter the show.
from Ron Ory on August 8: We’re in full harvesting mode. It now takes at least two hours to harvest, wash and weigh each time. I thank the “weed” ladies and waterers for allowing me to pick. With today’s harvest we’re over 900 pounds and have just begun the prime season for tomatoes. Pictures:
“All of their donated produce goes to Loaves & Fishes Food Community Pantry in Naperville, whose mission is to end hunger and empower lives. In June alone, they served more than 9,000 people, or 2,331 households and 4,051 children. “What beautiful produce and tremendous work by the Master Gardeners,” said Charles McLimas, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, in a letter to the group.” Read entire Daily Herald article . Additional pictures:
Want to learn more about growing vegetables? Last year the Master Gardeners of DuPage County, along with other gardeners at Naperville Community Garden Plots contributed over 1,000 pounds of produce to Loaves & Fishes. This year they expect to double that despite it being another challenging growing season! Being a gardener is hard work, but rewarding. Pantry clients interested in learning more about growing veggies are welcome to visit the Garden Plots from 8 to 10 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Plots are located at 811 S West Street, Naperville, IL 60540.) The Master Gardeners of DuPage County are tracking donations as they harvest. Update from Ron Ory on July 24, 2012: You know these dog days have been around far longer than we should expect. All you want to do is find some shade and do some coffee clutching. Here was Tricia explaining her “weed” project to the volunteer weeders. That’s the way this Monday morning started for Jan Gricus and me. Just water, water, water. But then we had some visitors! One of the park district camp programs had us on their walk. The kids were eager to see how their (and our) vegetables were growing. Our pumpkins were the hit of the stroll! They also made our day! And we also had visitors of even a smaller variety: the bunny in the shade of yellow coneflower, the bee on liatris, dragonfly on black-eyed susan, and a yellow swallowtail on swamp milkweed. But as rewarding was the amount of veggies harvested and gleaned from the donation stand: 112 pounds–our single highest daily amount for the year! This brings our total delivered to Loaves & Fishes this year to 470+ pounds. Thank you all for a job well done!