The 2017 Gardening season is almost over and the garden has been absolutely beautiful this summer. We got a late start with a wet, soggy spring, and many of us volunteer gardeners did not have very high hopes for a great garden. We had to replant our peas, spinach, beets, and lettuce, and planted the cold water crops much later than usual.
In late June, however, the sun came out and the soil heated up, and crops took off. We ended up with a wonderful strawberry harvest, and the crops have continued to come: 10 (100 foot) rows of carrots, and the same amount of potatoes, green and purple beans, summer and winter squash of all types, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, corn, spinach, lettuce, snow peas and tomatoes.
There is a small group of gardeners that have worked tirelessly to keep this garden weed-free, and have harvested crops nearly every day. All of the produce has gone to the Thurston County Food Bank – most to the downtown location, but a sizable amount also to a Lacey Satellite bank at the Baptist Church across the street from St. Mark.
Gary D., Dottie I, and Earla F. have been the full time gardeners and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Our garden intern this summer has been Sachiko H., and her wonderful husband Gerry has volunteered along with her three mornings a week all summer.
This last Saturday, September 9th we harvested 1300 pounds of potatoes – thanks to all who came out to help this year. Special thanks to Heather Sundeen, from the Food Bank, for bringing the truck, the scale and the crates.
At this point we are on track to exceed the overall poundage from last year which was about 9100 pounds. The Food Bank is grateful for the variety of our crops and the fact that they are harvested in the morning, and taken immediately at the peak of freshness.
The raised beds were adopted mostly by community members but many did not follow through planting their small plots or helping in the Food Bank garden. As we look towards next year this is an area we will reconsider approaches to assure that this precious resource is well used throughout the summer by folks that really want to grow their own produce.
Please wander through the garden, cut some dahlias from the center bed, and enjoy God’s presence in our wonderful St. Mark Community Garden!