Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gardening for pollinators

It's National Pollinator Week, and in Asheville, the Pollination Celebration for 2016 is in full swing.

I participated in an excellent pollinator walk this morning with Heather Holm at BGA (Botanical Gardens at Asheville), and heard her speak about native bees and other pollinators this evening. Wonderful photographs and information!

I'm looking forward to reading her book, too, which she's obviously spend a LOT of time producing; it promises to provide some info that will be helpful for encouraging folks to plant more pollinator-friendly plants.

I'll be doing what's become a habit for me during Pollinator Week (doing a Native Plants for Pollinators program on Saturday at BGA, a wonderful native plant garden here).  My approach is primarily plant-focused, with a bit about pollinator habitats and ecology, so it was fun to hear more details about native pollinators from an insect-based perspective.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

More vole (presumably) woes

I transplanted a small eggplant that had been shaded out in my front raised bed, and perhaps out-competed, too, by the vigorous sugar snap peas vines nearby, to a slice of garden that's between us and the apartment next door.

It's a space that's only good for vegetables in summer, as it's shaded in winter and in the shoulder seasons, by our house and the apartment.  But I've grown beans there, productively, and the chard looks good at the moment. 
Eggplant that succumbed to voles (I think)
Now, the bean seedlings have been nipped by an opossum, and other veggies have been marauded by voles, so I shouldn't have been surprised when the eggplant transplant started wilting.

Chewed stem
Its roots had been consumed!  And check out the chew marks on the lower stem...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sunset, enhanced by sycamores

A local non-profit, Asheville GreenWorks, has been planting trees around Asheville for more than 25 years.

These sycamores, planted some years ago, soften the otherwise harsh landscape outside of a popular brewery (The Wedge), down in the River Arts District,

Sunset was lovely last night, but I most appreciated the sycamores!

Sycamores and sunset

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Woody enjoying a rest

Woody, whose role in life is to make people happy (when they look at him), looped through downtown Asheville with me this evening.

He worked his usual magic, but initially scoffed at the Farm Burger's warm water in the dog bowl. 

I asked some young girls who were admiring him, along with their mom, if they'd like to get Woody some fresh water.  He then decided it was drinkable and plopped down for a short rest.

Woody enjoying the halfway spot in our loop downtown.
Thanks, Farm Burger for providing water for dogs!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sharing extra produce

A friend and I harvested ~ 20 lbs of chard and collards for the Kitchen Ready's Southside Kitchen today, from the Southside Community Garden, and then continued with another 20 lbs or so of chard, collards, and kale, that I took to the YMCA's Healthy Living food pantry for distribution this afternoon.

one of the boxes from last week's harvest (~ 10 lbs)
Another volunteer took ~ 30 heads of butter lettuce to the BeLoved Shelter, just one of the many organizations who serve meals and provide shelter to folks who need it here in Asheville.

Volunteers have created a productive garden here, with the support of the Housing Authority of Asheville and Green Opportunities, a local non-profit.

It's great to see abundant harvests going to good places.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Beet greens

I've been amazed by the productivity of the traditional market garden approach, taken by the community gardens that I'm associated with.  Yikes!  Who's going to harvest all of this? My friend and fellow volunteer and I are only over there (at this point) two times a week.

Half of the Southside Community Garden
Geez, I thought my raised beds were productive enough, and they are.

This is what I harvested this evening to cook.  Way more than enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow, not to mention extras for dinner, too.

Beet greens and chard: today's harvest
I've frozen so many cooked greens already, along with foraged service berries, I'd better keep room for the tomatoes yet to come.
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