Friday, October 11, 2013

Putting the garden to bed - By Phyllis Payne

The Windham Community Garden committee is beginning to get the garden ready for winter. We have had a very successful season and have donated over 1,800 pounds of fresh produce to the Windham Food Pantry. The gardeners have also had a good season and some have preserved their harvest for use this winter as well as having eaten good, fresh produce all summer. We still have some things growing such as swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beets and few beds of late green beans. Soon folks who are returning to garden next year will be planting garlic for harvesting next summer.
So far we have been able to plant cover crops in the empty beds used for the food pantry so they will have added nutrients for next year. We are cleaning up the beds and raking up fallen tomatoes and making sure everything is weed free.

The exciting thing is that we have completed construction of our greenhouse. The soil has been amended and soon little broccoli plants will be planted as well as spinach and carrots. This green house was able to be constructed with a grant from the New England Grassroots Foundation. This winter we will be experimenting with four-season growing and learning just what we can grow during the cold months. This will be a learning experience for the garden committee as we prepare to extend the growing season so we can supply the food pantry with good food even longer into the year.

So while it is time to begin the process of putting the garden to bed, there is the prospect of learning new lessons to grow more food for a longer period of time.

Thanks to all the gardeners who have worked so hard, and to the committee for its tireless work in keeping things running smoothly. If anyone is interested in gardening next year go to our website and fill out a comment form or email We will start a waiting list and new gardeners will be added after January 15, 2014.

Priscilla Payne is the secretary of the Windham Community Garden committee.

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