Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Obnoxious or Noxious?

White top is a noxious spreading weed
The garden is sprouting lots of weeds, noxious, obnoxious and some only mildly annoying.  Do you know the difference?  Here are a few pictures to help you identify the noxious, sometimes called invasive ones.
Knowing your weeds helps all of us.  Please dispose of weeds properly to reduce labor, improve composting and keep the garden weeds under control. In an organic garden weed control is everyone's job.
These noxious weeds need to be dug up and put in the big blue barrel to be taken out of our garden.  Obnoxious and annoying weeds, if not going to seed, can be put directly in the compost pile.  For more information on identification of our gardens' weeds contact a garden mentor, the Siskiyou County Agricultural Department or look online at their plant ID website.  http://www.cal-ipc.org/WMAs/Siskiyou_WMA.php

This bermuda or crab grass was found in the finished compost
pile and was ready to find its way into someone plot.

Alfalfa is found throughout our garden. It is not a problem weed,
in fact it is a soil building legume.

Dandy lions may be obnoxious in your lawn, but in our garden they
are not noxious. 

Marlahan Mustard is an invasive noxious weed.

Later in the year, we will see puncture vine
and star thistle becoming more prevalent.  But for now, we have our hands full staying on top of these difficult invasive species.  Also remember not to water anywhere besides your vegetable bed.  Additional water only encourages the weeds.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Transplanting Party!

The YCG needs some help to get the transplanting of seedlings done!

Can you help?
Monday 5:30-7:00pm
and if needed, Tuesday 5:30-? 

Come to the greenhouse either day and any time you can get there after 5:30.
It is amazing what you can get accomplished in an hour! Never transplanted? No problem!

There will be hot tea and snacks for transplanting energy.

Hope to see you there.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colorful Easter Eggs... naturally!

In my last post I talked about how compost is good for children as well as your garden. Well, we're going to add another thing to the list. You can dye your Easter eggs with your compost. What!? Why yes, it is true. Long before the days of dye tablets fizzing away in little cups (2,500 years ago!), people were still able to dye their eggs. Now, I said you can dye your eggs with your compost, but to be more accurate I'll clarify that statement. You can dye your eggs with stuff that you put in your compost. Really, this isn't something that should be too surprising to any of us. Especially those of us who drink coffee and tea. I don't know about you, but when I go to the dentist they spend most of their time trying to get stains off my teeth, especially the tea stains. So if they stain my teeth so easily, why not dye eggs with them?

But who wants brown Easter eggs? Well, let's think about other things you put in the compost. How about carrot tops? They will make gold colored eggs. If you want to jump over to the realm of spices, turmeric will also give you a gold egg, but a much more vivid color. Onion skins tightly wrapped around an egg will give your egg a marbleized look. Beet root and beet tops will give you two different colors. Berries will give you a pretty reliable facsimile of their original color, as does spinach. The list goes on and on. If this is something you'd like to try this year, check out these websites.



Have a wonderful Easter!

Rachel Jereb

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Compost is good for more than just your plants!

Did you know that compost can make kids healthy and happy too? Fellow community gardener Holly Baun and I found that out the hard way... or should I say the dirty way? While we were puttering away in the butterfly garden (horseshoe shaped garden behind the greenhouse) a week or so ago, our kids were having a grand old time playing king of the hill on the compost.

Puddles were a favorite of the younger set.

So remember that our garden is a family garden. We welcome and encourage you to bring your children or grandchildren with you. Let them explore and find new purposes for common, everyday things like compost and mud.

Spring break is coming up next week. It is also the national Screen-Free Week. Groups, organizations, and families across the country will be turning off everything in their home that has a screen. No computers, video games, or television! Our local Family Resource Center is going to be working with children in the garden on Tuesday, April 19th from 10-12 as part of this national event. Try your luck at going "screen-free" that week, too. Remember how much fun unplugging from our digital lives really is. Encourage your families to do the same. But be sure to be thankful when they chose the compost to play in, instead of the alpaca poop!

For more information about Screen-Free week, please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/screenfreeweek/index.html

Have a great spring break!
Rachel Jereb