Thursday, October 6, 2011

End of Season

Dear Fodor Farmers,

After a very rainy start and ending this season at Fodor Farm, our thoughts turn to the coming winter months and beyond. Over the next month there are several steps that must be taken to assure that our community garden continues to flourish into the future.

Fall Harvesting

Many plot holders still have plenty of vegetables to harvest, but we have noticed a high number of plots with vegetables falling off the plants and being left to rot on the ground. Not only does this create an environment for plant diseases to flourish, it attracts unwanted animal pests to the garden. Please keep your beds clean of any rotten plants and vegetables.

Fall Cleanup

Every farmer is responsible for both cleaning up their own plot(s) as well as helping to clean up the entire garden area. The official fall cleanup days are Saturday and Sunday, November 5 & 6, and all plot holders are required to participate in at least one day. Plants that are still producing may be left in the ground, but the remainder of the plot must be cleaned. All beds must be re-edged back to the original size (4 x 12). Personal items may not be stored over winter in the garden.

As of December 1, the garden will be locked for the winter. Any plot that has not been cleaned/prepared for winter will be forfeited, and will be reassigned to those on the waiting list.

Putting your planting bed to rest for the season

If you are intending to participate in the community garden next year, there are two good options for putting your bed to rest, as follows.

Option 1:  Remove all plants, weeds, etc. Add compost and granular fertilizer (we recommend Garden Tone) and turn into the soil. Rake out and re-edge to create nice uniform planting bed. The benefits of this option are that all of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil will have all winter to break down the compost and fertilizer, giving you a really healthy plot to return to. The negative is that you will probably have quite a bit of weeding to do when you return in the spring.

Option 2:  Remove all plants, weeds, etc. Rake out and re-edge your bed. Cover your entire bed with plastic sheeting (must be pinned down well enough to withstand winter weather). This will prevent most weeds from growing; however, the heating affect will also damage many of the soil organisms. Compost will need to be added to your bed in the spring to create a healthy planting environment.

The plots will not be tilled by Recreation and Parks over the winter.

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