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The lower half of the mixed-veggie patch
on 4 July 2017

KINGSTON FARM AND GARDEN CO-OP

GIVING GARDEN

Kingston, WA, USA
DRIVING DIRECTIONS
The sunny patch next to
the high tunnel

Providing fresh, organically-managed, sustainably-grown produce to the ShareNet Food Bank since 2011.



2017 DELIVERIES TO SHARENET



...and, for the record...

YEAR
TOTAL PRODUCE
DELIVERED (lbs)
SPREADSHEETS AND MILESTONES
2016
2479.75
2016 production spreadsheet
We had sprouting racks for seed trays this year.
2015
1361.75
2015 production spreadsheet
2014
2325
2014 production spreadsheet
(We added a high tunnel and a large-crop area)
2013
1268.75
2013 production spreadsheet
2012
1384
2012 production spreadsheet
(we doubled the garden area from 2011)
2011
699
2011 production spreadsheet

Thank you

  • To Kingston Middle School Horticultural Club, for in excess of 100 seedlings
  • To Woodside Stables at Maple Ridge Farm for multiple cubic yards of barn cleanings,
    which we've stacked up to compost for the 2020 gardening season
    (If you want a truckload or ten, contact Lisa at 360-551-3726)
  • to Olympic Organics for 10 yards of slow-release compost (and we're really sorry about the stuck truck)
  • To Verns Organic Topsoil, for another 5 cubic yards of Garden Mix
  • to the ShareNet board for 2016 & 2017 monetary grants for replenishing our supplies and building raised beds.
  • to Central Market for providing an entire case of their sturdy plastic bags for harvest deliveries
  • to Valley Nursery and Viking Feed for providing a wonderful selection of seeds for the 2017 garden
    (And to Valley, again, for beefing up our supply of seeding pots)
  • to Henery's Hardware for coming up with (and donating) a bunch of seed trays on short notice.




Planting the carrots in a raised bed
REALLY WORKS!

WORK PARTY SCHEDULE



<-<-<- EVERY OTHER SATURDAY, 9 to 11 AM->->->

Sept 23, Oct 7 & 21

(If Saturday doesn't work, there are folks
who stop by in mid-week for some weed-pulling.)
After a late start following a cool, wet Spring,
and our usual strategy matches against the varmints,
things are just starting to perk up now..
LOOKING AHEAD: We will be planning a work party
to construct raised beds during the late fall.
Frank will be supervising!
Aline preps a late June harvest


Patty pan squash starting up


DELIVERIES OF FARM ANIMAL MANURE
STILL GLADLY ACCEPTED!
Leave a message for Kathy at 360-297-2649
or (better yet) text 360-809-3467.
We can provide a truck, if you have means to load at your end.
We can use horse, cow, goat, sheep, llama, rabbit and poultry waste.
Any others, let's discuss.
Sugar pie pumpkins setting on



GIRL SCOUT TROOP 40508 RETURNS IN MAY 2017

After planting the high tunnel in early May, they returned later to plant pole beans.

The irrigation lines
and plastic mulch go down...

The plants get spaced out...

and the plants go in!
A month later,
here's the high tunnel
(from the south)
That's "lasagna layering"
where the spring greens were
And here's the high tunnel
on July 4 2017
(from the north)
We're using cardboard
to keep weeds down

SPOT
RESERVED
for an August photo

VARMINTS ATTACK!!!!

Early Summer, 2016: We are experiencing the usual influx of varmints who seem to believe that
NOTHING is as tasty as young pea and bean sprouts!
Birds, bunnies and short-tailed rats all agree!
We are doing what we can to change their minds.

We have a scarecrow on duty, a raptor kite flying, a fake owl perching, marigolds and mint planted throughout,
punctured bags of camphor balls along the fenceline (and behind the compost bin),
Remay flopping in the breeze, an acoustic "thumper" going, and two rows encased in plastic fencing.
Lizzie the Border Collie cross has rousted out multiple short-tailed rats, and chased many rabbits.

We are going to surround other beds with branchy twigs, get more "thumpers",
acquire some soapy (non-toxic) spray, and get a large rubber snake.

Surely SOMETHING has to work...

Patti & Kathy encased one row of the
chewed-on peas with chick wire - after shooing off
the resident robin from his favorite salad bar!
They also switched the shade cloth over
the lettuce bed to some of the low tunnel supports.
Much more stable than the original tomato-cage improvisation!

April 2016 Work Parties

THANK YOU, GIRL SCOUT TROOP 40508
(Photos courtesy of Heidi Kundrat)
Setting irrigation
after planting kale
transplanting squash
to the high tunnel

preparing
bean trellises
Scarecrow designed and constructed
by Girl Scout Troop 40508
Melissa hauling compost
out to the high tunnel
Ed tilling compost
into rows for squash
Not all tasks
are mechanized!
Ed exercises the broadfork.


Warm summers day
in the high tunnel.


Andy preps the rotovator
for the 2 April work party
Lettuce sprouting
in the raised planters
EARLY SPRING
Melons and squash
under grow lights
LATE SUMMER
Melons and squash
ready for delivery
with greens under the grow lights.


WINTER 2015 - 2016

Thank you to Gabe and Kinley for stopping by to man-handle the tiller onto a pallet,
so the tractor could lift it into Moby Truck to go to the repair shop!
(The tiller tires had come off the wheels.)

Kinley's notes from the Giving Garden planning meeting in late January are HERE

RAISING THE ANTE...

Florence, David and Ty built rain-gutter planters for lettuce and strawberries.
Florence says, from experience, that the raised planters are easier on human backs,
and some copper tape around the legs keeps slugs and snails away.
The planters are portable (although rather heavy when full).
(They also look like they would be easy to attach shade cloth or remay to.)




ARE HUMANS SMARTER THAN RABBITS?

Last year, hungry rabbits and other varmints ate up all the winter crops under the high tunnel.
Also, high winds did a number on the plastic tunnel ends.
So this winter, Isobel and Kathy set up an experiment that seems to be working (SO FAR).
They erected one of the low tunnels under the high tunnel!
They transplanted kale and chard from Nile's kitchen garden.
They put down irrigation lines on a 2-hour timer.
So far, varmints are still coming under the high tunnel for shelter,
but NOT crawling into the damper low tunnel!
This set-up might be a "thing"...

Also, although night-time temperatures even out, in the day time, the high tunnel is about
10 deg over the outside temps, and the low tunnel is about 10 deg higher still!
Isobel and
the "nested tunnel"
Chard at the south end,
kale at the north end.
(Ty has since weeded it out.)
The unprotected kale box
is also producing.

TRACTOR TRAINING DAY, 2015

On Saturday 8 August 2015, a ground-bee nest in the Mixed Veggie patch prevented our working there,
and the Giving Garden has the use of the Farrago Farm and Vineyard tractor,
and there was cover cropping to be done in and beside the high tunnel,
so we had an impromptu Tractor Training Day.
Even Nara, age 12, took a turn at rotovating.

Kinley and Andy
talking tillling
Nile tilling
under high tunnel
Patti turning
compost under
Nara learning controls from dad
Nara tilling
Ameena needs more height
to drive the tractor, but
she assisted greatly with
some impromptu child care.
Both Nara and Ameena
can drive the utility cart.
How to garden when
the thermometer tops 90...




MORE PHOTOS...
Onions drying in green house
Laura talks tomato pruning
in high tunnel
Tea water stays hot
on a cool spring day
How to harvest
pole beans
The cold frame has become
a raised bed for kale.

Through ongoing volunteer efforts, we grow organically-managed,sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables for delivery to local food banks.

Our output to date has been easily absorbed by the Sharenet Food Bank.

COME GARDEN WITH US! The 2015 growing season is underway!
Regular Saturday parties (10 am to noon) in Spring and Summer.
Experience welcome, but not necessary. Non-Co-op volunteers welcome.

Contact Kinley at growkingston@centurytel.net for additional details.


NOVEMBER 2014 CHORES IN THE GARDEN

Kinley string-trimming areas to be tilled,
and the pathways.
PJ on his second pass
tilling the soon-to-be garlic patch.
We also emptied half the worm box onto the patch,
then raked it in.
Kinley and PJ planting the garlic.
***************************************************************************************************************************

SUMMER 2014 WORK PARTIES

We had fun, we learned a lot, we now know a little about handling high tunnels, although we are still learning!

We still make weekly Monday evening harvests. Many of the vegetables are "past", with only a few soldiering determinedly along at a much-reduced rate.
We added kale and brocolli to the high tunnel, but rabbits got in and ate them before we could close off the ends. We'll see how much recovers and produces for winter harvesting!

THANK YOU, POTATO HARVESTERS!

A big flat area beside the high tunnel was not needed by the vineyard
so we raised a big patch of potatoes!
At least 500 lbs, possibly more. (We're weighing as we deliver.)
Loads of composted manure from Ardelle's horses and Roger's mules,
plus fairgrounds "Doo for You", were tilled in by Maia & Kathy on their tractor.
Then the real fun began---

19 April:
Planting - Laura, Aline, Kathryn, PJ
11 May:
First green!
17 May:
Hilling - Laura, PJ, Kinley, Kathy
(while Patti single-handedly tackles
the high tunnel tomatoes & peppers)
7 June:
Mulching - Florence & David
1 July:
They're a-growing -
(and a-blooming)
Next, a-weeding!
6 September
Volunteers start digging!
6 September
Laura and Kinley sorting
6 September
Prize-winner in the
Weird Potato competition
(and its minion)
6 September
Tom's "Mr. September" pose
was actually a strategy
to ease a strained rotator cuff.
6 September
Maia and her pet tractor
moving the bin full of potatoes
up to the storage shed.
      • Tuesday 7 Jan - Roger has arranged for a neighbor's tractor, so Kathy is driving her big truck out to pick up several months' worth of composted mule manure!

      • Saturday 11 Jan - Hopefully, receiving a couple of truckloads of composted horse manure from Ardelle's pasture.

      • Saturday 25 Jan - Planning get-together (the first day that Laura is available), largely to decide on where and when to apply available compost (including our home-grown stuff!) and to discuss how to proceed with high tunnel planting. We now have access to a tractor at the Giving Garden, so we can move bulk compost around.

      • Saturday 1 Mar - every available truck, free compost at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds!

Thank you
to USDA / NRCS Washington's 2013 EQIP High Tunnel Initiative
for the purchase of a 30 ft by 72 ft high tunnel, for use in extending the growing season, and attempting a wider variety of vegetables.

CHECK OUT DETAILS OF THE HIGH TUNNEL ASSEMBLY PROCESS HERE

Chard
Carrots
Broccoli


Thank you to Raising Organic Family Farms
for the grant which enabled us to install our Rabbit Deterrent Fence.

->->->-> (Read the ongoing saga of gardener versus varmint!) <-<-<-<-

For 2013, we had our "rabbit-proof" fence in place,
and noticed a HUGE decrease in loss over the previous year!

Also in 2013, to protect the soil and save water, we mowed our pathways instead of tilling & weeding them.
This required wider pathways (to accommodate Kathy's Yard Machine weedeater), which decreased growing space.
But the decrease in rabbit damage nearly balanced the productivity loss! (And would have, except potatoes did not do well this year...)

THANKS TO WASHINGTON STATE YOUTH ACADEMY
who showed up 50 strong and beat back the blackberries & scotch broom, and started the rabbit fence for us.
They also installed a potting and lay-down area, static-tested a mass of old hoses,and helped Aline with the grape pruning!


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*


OUR THANKS to Kingston High School Honor Society volunteers
for their hard work in the garden in 2012 and 2013!

Weeding beets
Trenching for potatoes
Planting broccoli

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

THANK YOU
to Tom of Central Market in Poulsbo,
for donating new plastic bags (with handles!) for delivering veggies to the food bank!
This removes the possibility of undesirable contaminants in recycled bags.


Onions near harvest-ready in summer 2012
Some of the potatoes from 2012
In memoriam - Vida the vineyard dog was humanely put down on 4 Oct 2012. We loved her very much.


DO WE KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN, OR WHAT?
3 March 2012: The Kitsap Conservation District arranged for a free giveaway of compost collected at the Kitsap County Fair for the last two years. On the same day, Ardelle and Carl stood ready with Carl's tractor to load us up with the manure heap from Ardelle's pasture. Kinley, Paul and Maia volunteered their trucks, and Laura, Aline and Kathy pitched in with shovels. We now have a very respectable compost heap started. We are going to strengthen it up with some fresh manure from Watermark Farm (thanks to Shan Oglesby & Steve) and from Kathy's pasture, a bucket of worms from the worm box, and let it "cook" for a year!
Artsy shot thru Kathy's truck windshield shows Kinley's truck, far forward in the fairgrounds line, being loaded with steamy hot compost. Meanwhile, in the rear view mirror, the top of Maia's truck is visible, with a long string of more trucks behind. (And the bobblehead on the dashboard is Frankie from "Men in Black".)
Kinley and Laura are unloading the last of the three truckloads of fairground compost, while Aline starts on the first truck from Ardelle's. Maia & Paul have taken the third truck over to Ardelle's for another load. Just barely visible behind Kinley, you can see one of multiple piles of compost from Watermark Farm, brought in over the winter.
THE LAST TRUCK OF THE DAY! Aline, Laura, Maia and Kinley pitch in to get the job done with admirable teamwork. Then a well-deserved retreat to snacks and conversation. (Borrowed Kitchen Bakery makes really great croissants!)
Hoop house covers come off in March

HOOP HOUSES IN THE SNOW
The hoop houses survived the snow load and winds of January, with no loss of crop.
This photo was taken on 15 January 2012, with maybe 2 inches of snow on the hoop houses.
The load was up to 6 inches before the snow stopped, and Kathy went down and knocked it all off.


PUTTING UP HOOP HOUSES
Method and strategy discussion
Last-minute open weeding
Coaching the youngest workers-
5-yr-old twins Gabriel & Mathias learn about ties.
Watching the first try with care
Stand back and let the youngster work!
On goes the plastic


HOOP HOUSES READY!!!


"GIVING GARDEN" GOES INTO FALL.
See more photos in the Co-op's Photo Album.

As shown in our harvest log above, the crops are still coming in.
But with Fall now here, work party times will vary!
Contact Laura (modernvictorygarden@gmail.com)
to find out how you can help!

All Summer, we had Giving Garden parties on Saturdays, from 10 - 12 am.
All our volunteers were hard workers, there was plenty of time for garden discussions and mini-tutorials, and many ideas were shared. (As well as snacks and general conversation!)

THIS PROJECT CONTINUES TO BE OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS!

The Kingston Sharenet Food Bank has been absorbing all produce to date,
although Mark Ince tells us that the purple bush beans gave folks pause!



Our low hoop houses allow greens production at a low rate throughout the winter.
With the high hoop house, we hope to provide significantly more!

Here are some web sites with home-made hoop house plans:

WSU Greenhouse Resources for Small Scale Producers
WSU Crop Tunnels and Plastic Mulch
westsidegardener.com/howto/hoophouse.html
www.albertahomegardening.com/how-to-build-an-inexpensive-hoop-style-greenhouse
www.albertahomegardening.com/an-inexpensive-hail-proof-pvc-pipe-greenhouse
doorgarden.com/10/50-dollar-hoop-house-green-house
cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/em015/em015.pdf
THANK YOU!
  • Laura of modernvictorygarden.com - continues to provide guidance, materials and expertise.
  • Bob Cooper - Donated his time and equipment to plow, disk and rotovate the area to be planted this fall and next year. Bob's business is listed on our Products and Services (aka "Deals") page.
  • Paula Listle of Kingston Worm Farm - for supervising and advising on the Worm Box set-up, plus donating worms.
  • Paul Lundy of Washington State Beekeepers Association - for his presentation on pollinators, and advice on where to set Mason Bee boxes.
  • Marty Simpson and Tara Prendergast of Broken Ground Farm and Nikki Johanson of Pheasant Field Farm, for their initial advice and contribution of planting materials.
  • Sonja Selboe for providing refreshments for the Garden workers
  • Kathy & Paul of Farrago Farm and Vineyard, for providing the garden space, and watering during the week.
  • Pete, who takes time from his own impressive garden, to help with this one - who has donated unusually sturdy bamboo poles from his own grove - and who brings along the cool garden tools purchased during overseas travels!
  • Kinley, Patti, and their two girls, of Thimbleberry Farm, hard workers and great company, and a major pillar of the Co-op.
  • Alene & LaJoie, who turn their hands to anything and everything. And now Aline is taking on the Farm-to-School project!
  • Ardelle & Carl of Frog Hollow Farm, Roger of Island Mules, Shan & Steve, late of Watermark Farm, and Melodee of Llama Lips Farm, for providing really great organic manure.
  • And all the other folks who come when they can to give us a hand!


Here is the WA State Farm to School web site: http://www.agr.wa.gov/marketing/farmtoschool/
Here is the WSDA Farm to School web site and tool kit: http://www.wafarmtoschool.org/


Here are food banks in North Kitsap:

DIRECTIONS TO THE KINGSTON FARM & GARDEN CO-OP GIVING GARDEN

(at Farrago Farm and Vineyard)

Wolfle School is a half-mile west of George's Corner on Highway 104 (see map below).
Highland Road runs up beside Wolfle School. Follow Highland to its end (1 mile). It comes to a "T" with Crawford Drive.
Turn right on Crawford. The Giving Garden will be the first driveway on the left.