Well we finally got our first major deliveries finished this week. We harvested 138 pounds of produce, 115 pounds of Allisa Craig sweet onions, Red River red onions, Candy onions along with 23 pounds of zucchini. The harvest went to Rose Haven Women and children day shelter, Independent Living Resources, PACS (Portland Adventist Community Services) and Ronald McDonald House Northwest. I know what we do isn’t in huge quantities that look amazing, and the pounds astronomical, but we grow all the food on donated land and along with a small team of labor we work really hard to make sure the people that need the food get, get the food. We are mostly out of pocket and everyone involved is dedicated in making sure everyone we can possibly reach, gets the opportunity to eat fresh, non GM, GMO or GE foods that are grown naturally with organic practices. I post the pounds donated because we work so hard to grow the food, and so much time, effort and love goes into each planning, planting, maintinence and caring for each crop, that we are really proud of ourselves for being able to accomplish those tasks. I really give all the credit to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for putting me on this path, and DOC for the opportunity to learn and get hands on experence. It’s a small payback for all the taking I have done in my life. I hope we will be able to continue to grow food and disperse it where it is needed most, in our community of elderly, shut-ins and the disadvantaged. I also want to thank everyone who follows us, and helps us with our needs, thank you all and God bless.
So here we are in the beginning of July 2016 and our onions are doing fabulous. We have 5 or 6 varieties and two of them are Alisa Craig and Walla Walla sweets. This is going to be a bumper crop and will be shared with all our agencies in the Portland area. I’m looking to see what this season will bring? I know with the scaling back because of full-time schooling gave us a better idea of what it takes to grow our food in a more cost-effective manner, I do believe that in time, we will have our own small farm, and be able to employ workers coming out of the system that have taken the time to go through the classes to become a Sustainable Gardener (OSU Extention) and the Seed to Supper (Oregon food bank) program as well. I really want to work with the DOC to come up with some answers for inmates that are trying to educate themselves in the growing food industry and try to offer them a position with us to further their education and provide a satisfactory wage that will allow them to thrive.
I am a firm believer that if you want self-esteem, you must to estimable things!
Cheers my Garden Friends
April is feeling more like June, if you ask me? The weather has been beautiful, and the yard is full of our favorite insect, the honey bee. I decided to let our Halsey garden go fallow this season because of the addition of the Bybee and Leighton garden sites. What that means is that, the last season of collards and kale I let bolt, and that’s like a calling card for pollinators, so many flowers and the yard is just humming with bees. We hope that sometime soon we will be getting a colony or two and possibly be able to share some honey with some of the agencies we support? My thought was to put honey in small baby food type jars and give them away to people in need? We will be planting the Terry Site again this year after it was left fallow for a few seasons so we could rotate crops, and be better stewards of the soil. We pray that everyone has a great season growing food, and make an effort to share some of it with someone that wouldn’t normally have access to healthy food. Remember to try and use heirloom varieties if you can and shoot for some OMRI certified or naturally made insecticides and soaps for deterrents!
Cheers to a successful 2016!
Organizer and Founder of Giving Vegetable Gardens Charity
As this heat wave hits us here in Portland Oregon people are thinking spring is officially here, not so, we could still be hit with a bit of cold, so be patient, plan and get your soil ready. Plant your peas, asparagus, onions and carrots, but be careful with leafy vegetables by clotching them or perhaps use some poly cover. Here’s some pictures of what we did last weekend at our new Leighton site and prepping the last section at the Albina site as well as the new to us utility trailer that was donated to us by the Gillenwater Farm, what a gift, this is really going to make our logistics a whole lot easier!
So for a long time we have talked about being “self supporting through our own contributions”. Trying to create a product we can sell on the open market to help with the costs of running our charity.Some of the products we talked about, were a sauce or salsa of some sort, but until we have reached that cross road I have decided to donate the proceeds from the sales of my ceramic art to Giving Vegetable Gardens. My Face Book site is Yur bobs art, I’m hoping I can sell or custom make pieces to order, I have a few things that I do make and sell and that’s the bull skulls, coffee mugs, bowls and assorted styles of fish. The skulls and fish range in price according to size and glazes and types of detail, if you are interested in possibly purchasing one of my pieces please contact me through the yur bobs art site and we can talk about what you might like to order and a price. I will be setting up a Pay Pal site so there’s a way to pay, if you would like to send a payment for a particular item that you see in a picture we can work that out as well. It takes money to grow, harvest and transport the vegetables and fruit we grow to all the different agencies we support, so I’m hoping that this might help us to help others.
Cheers to you all!
Today was a really great day for Giving Vegetable Gardens, we had a bunch of volunteers from “Hands On Portland” come out to the Albina Community Garden for a few hours and help us get things in shape. What a blessing to have such a great group of people come and give of themselves to help others. We were able to get compost hauled to our covered site so we can begin the process of amending that soil for this coming spring, along with weeding in multiple beds on the farm site, as well as the raised bed site I want to give Hands on Portland a big Thank You for all your help today! I want to thank AJ for bringing hands on Portland into the garden what a great organization, and Dan for making it all happen and his ability to direct and get a plan that will work in such a short time. Another person is Ernie, for coming to get me and helping wheelbarrow all that compost, for hooking up the two tillers at Canby rentals for us to buy, for the use of his trailer and for being a great friend! Cheers to everyone that makes what we do possible!
So winter is at our door and it’s time to get our gardens put to bed. With the last of the crops now coming out to make way for an early spring planting there is much to do. I hope you all are having a great time getting your own gardens in order, and let’s not forget the one’s who will have it the worst in this winter weather, that being the people on the street and the less fortunate. Please remember to donate some of your crops to the needy and lets not forget what this Christmas season is all about, Jesus Christs birth, so lets be kind to one another and redouble our efforts to help our brothers and sisters that don’t have some basic needs!
Cheers and God Bless all our friends and family, let us all have a great 2016!