Garden Closing Day 2022

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. Cool, but not too cool and the sun shining. Just ideal for closing the Garden at Fritz down for the winter. A rough count reckoned between 16 and 18 gardeners and come to help – mostly the regular volunteers who have worked all season but augmented by a half dozen young chaps from Loyola school doing their community volunteering, and showing a great work ethic as they shoveled and raked and dug and gardened. It would have been nice to have seen some other people from the community – in previous years we have been joined by several one-off workers eager to help but, for whatever reason, that was not the case today.

But enough people to really get the garden into shape.

We had asked the town for some compost as the soil is in need of replenishing with some organic material and they came up trumps with several well placed loads of black and crumbly compost to work with. That meant shovelling it into barrows, distributing it over the beds and raking it in – heavy work. The pictures below show how well it all went.

Other jobs involved lifting and storing the geotex membranes, stacking the tomato stakes and digging out errant grass and weed clumps. All the trees in the orchard were also mulched and their lower trunks wrapped with protection against rabbit teeth in the winter to come – they love bark.

Congratulations to everyone who came – and to Patricia for organizing coffee and cookies.

(In the gallery, click any thumbnail to see the images at full size)

Fritz the Fox

As our harvest season gradually draws to an end (not quite there yet) we recognize the sterling work done by Fritz the Fox and his friends and relations to keep the rabbits in their place.

Mind-August Progress

Despite the unseasonal, record breaking heat and humidity the produce at the garden is growing well (with a little help from the volunteers). At the moment tomatoes are ripening fast, the courgettes and cucumber seasonal is almost over and the pole beans are coming to end. meanwhile aubergines and peppers are about to start to fill the baskets and later there will be a lot of winter squash.

We harvest twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings starting at about 8am to try to beat the heat.

By the end of last week (19 August) we had picked and delivered:

Weight (lbs)Retail Value ($$)

Busy Delivery Schedule

The garden has now switched into harvest mode and things are swinging along.

To date we have picked and delivered just shy of 600lbs of produce to West Island Mission, West Island Assistance Fund and On Rock food banks. At this stage there is a preponderance of courgettes supplemented by cucumbers, pole beans, purslane and early tomatoes and aubergines. Peppers are formed and ripening and the main tomato ripening is not far away.

Everyone is smiling.

Gardeners picking 30 lbs of pole beans
Washing produce ready for delivery
Summer student, Oliver, shows off his tool rack

88lbs of Courgettes

This morning Robert, Richard, Patricia and Françoise harvested 88 lbs of assorted zuchinni/courgettes, a token first pound bag of tomatoes and 6 full bags of purslane which is now on its way to the West Island Mission de l’Ouest de l’Île – we got to try out for the first time the amazing produce washing station built for us by Oliver and Ron using the donated sink unit from a ‘Buy Nothing’ group member. We should be picking again on Thursday morning.

Now things are moving …

Recent rain and warm weather, aided by careful husbandry by the garden volunteers, is now really bearing fruit … as you can see from these photographs the squash/cucumber/courgettes patch is filling up with leaves and runners and flowers, peppers and aubergines and climbing beans are flowering and the tomatoes, aided by a modified growing technique, are shorter than usual (thus far) but weighed down with really large fruits.

The first produce -courgettes and purslane has already been delivered.

To say nothing of peaches fattening in the orchard.