Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!!!

Gordon and Gordon’s gardeners want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in the success of our first year! We learned so much and made so many new friends.

Gordon sends his heartfelt thanks to Mayor Benjamin, the City of Columbia and the City Parks and Recreation Department.  Your vision and forethought in developing citywide community gardens  was the catalyst that launched this program.  We will continue to seek out ways to spread children's gardens throughout the city and to expose our children to gardening.

Special thanks go out to Azeez Mustafa of Asya's Organic Farm in Sumter, SC for encouraging us and for making sure that we continued to believe in ourselves!  Mr. Mustafa was the first and is the largest African American owned Organic farm in the state of South Carolina.

A lot happened to Gordon since last spring.   We learned so much about how to garden.   

We were plagued with squash bugs and squash borers.  We will be treating our beds with beneficial nematodes and planting squash early to combat those nasty critters this spring. 

When melons split, it is usually due to inconsistent watering.  We will be using soaker hoses in our tomato and melon beds this year.  

Tomatoes like organic soil.  We will be scooping more poop this year!

Our spring lettuce was incredible!  It was our most successful crop.  

Our fall lettuce was the top crop again.   Everyone is still raving about it and they are already asking when we will have some this year!  

The rest of our fall crops were FANTASTIC! Heading and top collards, mustard greens, curly turnip greens, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and red, green and Savoy cabbages.  We still have collards and Brussels sprouts!  

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Ed Brogdon’s Back~To~Eden .  Together, we are Gordon Goes Back~To~Eden.   This partnership allows us to build raised bed gardens at schools and to introduce children to gardening.  On January 27, we dedicated our first garden at the Irmo Elementary in Irmo, SC.  

A third grade class at the Lyon Elementary school in Columbia, SC has planted 144 seedlings, in various mediums, to see how well they grow.  Gordon’s has invited that class to plant their seedlings at the garden.  

Well, we are getting ready for spring planting.  We have a truckload of Zoo Poo coming, to top our some of our beds, and we will be having another Scoop the Poop party at the Bright Morning Star Horse Ranch to fill the rest! 

The Auntie Karen Foundation is proud of and pleased with our Gordon's Garden program.  For more on the foundation on on Gordon's Garden, view the link below.  

Look for us to post our progress next week! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Taste of Fall!

The City of Columbia went all out in presenting A Taste of Fall from the NOMA garden on Sunday, November 6, 2011. The rains could and did not dampen the spirit of comradery and cooperation felt by all.

The food was fantastic! The Platinum Pomegranate provided and served, Eggplant Tapenade, broccoli salad, vegetarian collard greens, sweet potato soup, turkey vegetable soup, tomato soup, and sweet potato soufflé.

Chocolate cake, carrot cake and brownies, with and without nuts, were provided by the High Heeled Homemaker.

Ed Brogdon of Back to Eden wowed us all with Blueberry, Strawberry and Rainbow Vegetable smoothies.  You really did not know you were drinking your vegetables! He also brought some smokin’ Stand Up-In-It chili that was awesome.

The food was great, the fellowship was priceless. Allison Baker expressed the City’s thanks and its pleasure in our garden and the City Community Garden program as a whole. Sarah Watson, the Richland County representative of The Greater Columbia Community Relations Council, pledged to take news of NOMA and the City’s Community Garden program back to the Council and seek ways to encourage the Council to become involved in this effort. Jacqueline Williams gave us a brief history of the development of the City Community Garden program and a encouraged us to look to what we should be working towards next year. Fred Monk spoke on behalf of the NOMA Garden and expressed the pleasure we all have discovered in our gardening experience.

We also had visitors. Friends of our gardeners came by, families stopped by with their kids, senior couples dropped in, and people who were walking or driving by, stopped and strolled through. Gordon was there too! The people I got to speak with were amazed at the gardens and all asked how they could participate.

The media was there, not only taking pictures and interviewing people, but joining us in the Feast and festivities as well.

This event was enjoyed by all and the city is looking forward to presenting A Taste of Spring!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Crops Doing Well!!

We have been working so hard in the garden.  We finished planting our fall crops.  Collards, turnips, red, green and savoy cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and of course, 4 types of lettuce!  Except for a bout with Cabbage Loopers, all is growing well.  Picures to follow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Second Planting!!

Our garden is doing GREAT!!!!  We lost a few lettuces, collard and cabbage plants but... we have replaced them and look forward to a plemtiful and abundant harvest.

Bed 2, red sails and romaine!

The Lettuce should be ready in the next two weeks and if they are anything like the spring, I cant wait!!! Behind what looks like a tree at the back of the bed, we will plant some Mesculn lettuce mix.  The 'Tree"  is an African Blue Basil Plant that has attracted every 'BEE' in Columbia to our garden.

Red cabbage, Basil and Watermelon, OH MY!!!
The Collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts will be ready for Thanksgiving.  I will begin posting recipes for healthy, but good, Thanksgiving dishes soon.

The Watermelons will not have time to fully ripen before the frost so... we will be pulling them up.  Don't fret, We will plant more Collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, OH MY!!!!

We also want to plant spinach and Swiss chard and stagger the planting of our greens so that we will have them through the new year!

Check out our salad dressing page for delicious, healthy dressings and and if there are any late eggplant or peppers, check out that recipe page and FIRE UP THE GRILL!!!!!

Year Round Vegetable Gardening Symposium 2011-1

Ed's front yard, year round  garden!
Our Partner, Ed Brogdon of  Back to Eden, held a Symposium on Year Round Vegetable Gardening on September 17 at the North Main Library. 

 Ed planted the seeds to put us in the mindset to plant and harvest year round!  He also left us with a wealth of knowledge concerning soil, fertilizers, spring and fall crops and doggonit, we just had FUN!

We will be at his next Symposium and if you missed this one, you should make plans to be at the next one too!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Lettuces and a "Stray"

The cool weather is GREAT for our lettuces!

Buttercrunch, Red Buttercrunch and a "Stray"

We added 8 Red Buttercrunch plants and 4 "stray" Buttercrunch on August 7 (our "stray "was accidentally left in the trunk of the car on the 5th.  It was perky and unharmed!) 

Red Romaine

We added more Red romaine plants!

  All plants were watered and all are looking good!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Starting to Plant For Fall!!

Fall planting!!!  We plan to have 2 ½ beds of lettuce and we will fill the rest with veggies!

Bed 1 Buttercrunch, Red Sails and Tat Soi

On August 5th we planted Buttercrunch, Red Buttercrunch and Red Sails Lettuce.  We also planted the Tat Soi seeds we saved from the lettuce we planted last spring. 

Romaine and Red Romaine

We also planted  12 lettuce 9 Red Romaine Lettuces.  We will fill out this bed with Mesclun lettuce mix.  We look forward to lettuce by the end of September. 

Bed 3 Four Georgia Collards up front. 

 Linda Planted a bed of lettuce form the seeds we saved from the spring plantings.  We also have four of our Georgia Collards planted in the front of the bed. The two green plants on the middle right and the left rear corner are "Volunteers" left over from Spring!!

Bed 4 Broccoli Collards up front, Georgia Top Collards in back

Along with the Lettuce we planted two types of collard greens

Bed 5 Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli
We have 16 Brussels Sprouts plants and 8 Broccoli.  Can't wait for the first Roasted Brussels Sprouts... YUMMMMMM!!! (The tall plant in the back is our Okra.  It is still producing and we hope to have Okra until the first frost.) 

Bed 5 Close up of Okra Plant

Bed 6Basil bush, Red and Green Cabbage, Watermelon

The Basil and the watermelon grew like wild fire after we prepped the beds with "Compost" material on August 6.  The Red and Green Cabbage are in the rows up front. We plan to plant more Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts when we take the Watermelon Vines up.  

Bed 6 Crimson Sweet

Bed 6Missouri Heirloom Yellow Watermelons
We will be planting more throughout September, look to hear how we are doing on Monday!!