NOFA Bulk Order
Great Opportunity to buy cover crop seed, soil amendments, potting soil, potato & onion starts, plus many other crop/garden necessities at co-operative prices! This is available through CCOG’s membership in NOFA…..and significant savings through group purchasing.
The list of items available will be available on Jan. 1, 2012, via the web site www.nofamass.org. Look for the listing there under Programs, Bulk Order.
Download the order form (print out two). Fill in your selections. Send one completed order with your check to:
5 Sachem Circle
E. Sandwich, MA 02537
Keep a copy for yourself. Mail the order to Carolyn by Jan. 14, 2012. Pickup will be in March, and will be announced.
If you have any questions or need additional help, call Carolyn at (508) 888-3905.
Annual Dues $5/Year
Dues are due in January. You must be a paid CCOG member to participate in the Bulk Order.
Please make checks out to CCOG and send to:
P.O. Box 464
Cummaquid, MA 02637
Pot Luck 2012
Our winter pot luck will be Sunday, January 22, at 1:30 p.m. at the home of:
128 Ashley Dr.
Centerville, MA 02632
Snow date January 29.
Thank you to Michele Koch, Christl Barbour, and Linda McKeown for bringing refreshments for the November meeting.
Last Month’s Meeting
We enjoyed a sharing meeting, discussing our successes and problems.
Jean Iverson spoke about the importance of fall clean-up and prep of the garden: Cover the field with seaweed, thatch, or straw to protect against erosion; or plant a cover crop (ie winter rye, hairy vetch). Jean is using clover this year because her winter rye seeds are bad. Add compost or manure.
Some other suggestions and solutions discussed by the group:
* To get rid of earwigs, try leaving damp leaves on the ground at night in the problem area; in the morning, collect the leaves: the earwigs should be all over them.
* Some have consistent problems with the squash borer; Jean suggests covering the plants with Reemay and leaving until the blossoms appear.
* A member has had great success with planting a cover crop of oats around her tomatoes. She clips the oats with scissors when they start to get too tall, and leaves the clippings as a mulch.
* There was discussion about season extension and cold frames; one idea is to plan an area in your garden where you want to erect a cold frame and plant it accordingly; then you can construct the cold frame around the existing plants when the weather starts to turn cold in the fall.
* If you have unwanted honeybees in your house, etc., Forest Keepers Tree Care (508-790-1620) will remove them to a new hive; this service is also provided by Barnstable County Beekeepers Association – call the Barnstable Extension Service for names. Beekeepers DON’T collect wasps, hornets, carpenter bees, or wild bees so the caller should be reasonably sure the swarm or nest is in fact honeybees.
Maggie Cole discussed the results of her first year using nutrient density techniques learned at the Real Food Campaign course, outlined as follows:
Basic Techniques Used
1. comprehensive soil tests and mineral amendments added based on results (soil samples tested by Logan Labs in Ohio)
2. nutrient drench (liquid minerals, enzymes, humic acid, and inoculants diluted with water) added at plant/ transplant and at regular intervals as plants grow
3. foliar spray applied at regular intervals (liquid minerals, fish emulsion, humic acid, and inoculant diluted with water)
4. consistent watering (thinking about keeping the soil alive, instead of just the plant; so wetting the entire area frequently once we’ve gone beyond a week without rain)
Improvements Over Previous Years
1. noticeable improvements in flavor: lettuce, carrots
2. increased size/output of plants: tomatoes
3. successful new crops: cucumber, eggplant, swiss chard, garlic, borage
4. delay in plants succumbing to insects/disease: zucchini
1. continued success: green beans, green onions
2. continued difficulty: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach
3. so-so results: fava beans (some improvement), snap peas (new crop)
1. spotty germination (possibly due to difficulty reducing a plant/transplant drench recipe to amounts per square foot from amounts per acre)
2. poor growth of crop: basil, parsley
3. pest problems: kale, winter squash
New plans for next year based on this year’s experience:
1. use compost for all planting/transplanting
2. learn seed saving techniques; save seeds from most vigorous plants
3. consider amending larger area (ie lawn) to affect perennial garden soil
4. mulch as much as possible
5. look into sources for rock dust (basalt is best) to add as a soil amendment
6. read John Jeavons books to learn more about close planting
7. feed plants after very heavy rains (counter-intuitive – but heavy rains wash nutrients out of soil and wet soil has less available oxygen, which can kill soil systems that deliver nutrients)
We discussed issues/benefits of seed saving, including the difficulty in the home garden setting of spacing plants far enough apart so as not to become cross-pollinated.