Impact Community Garden Fall Update

I promised an update on the Impact Community Garden and here it is (finally). We had a sweet potato digging party there this week, and I took the opportunity to bring my camera and get a few photos of the garden. For those of you not familiar with this project, it is a community garden we started in 2011 on the property of Impact Ministries in downtown Evansville, IN. I serve as gardening guru, assisting a wonderful group of folks who either don’t have the space or the gardening knowledge to garden on their own. They all share in the work and the output of the garden, and we all have a lot of fun as we learn to garden together!

digging sweet potatoes (click on any image to enlarge)

The overall yield of the sweet potatoes this year was less than last year, but the potatoes themselves were nice sized. This pretty well mirrors how they did here in our home garden.

two nice sweet potatoes from the Big Dig

The fall plantings have done well. The rains finally came in time to help things grow for the fall season. We planted one row each of kale, collard greens, turnips, cabbage and broccoli back in August. Other than the broccoli, all of these are doing great. Some of the top heavy tomato cages  keep falling over on the row of broccoli, smothering the plants. We removed a few of the toppling tomato plants, and hopefully there is still enough growing season to make some broccoli. We also learned not to plant anything in between rows of caged tomatoes, at least not in fall. It worked fine this spring when the tomatoes were better behaved!

turnips and kale are growing lush

The turnips sized up nicely. We have Purple Top and the white Hakurei varieties planted. These are growing where potatoes were planted in spring. We do our best to maximize the garden space with succession planting.

some of the turnip harvest

We planted two rows of Asian greens and lettuce last month. These faster growing plants really took off. There should be greens and lettuce to cut in about a week or two. All of the fall plantings were mulched with a combination of leaves, grass clippings, shredded paper and newspaper. It all serves to keep down weeds, conserve moisture, and add organic material to the soil when it is worked in.

lettuce plants mulched with grass clipping and newspaper

We made a conscious effort to do more mulching this year, and it has worked out well. With the cost of straw going up each year (it was $6 a bale this year), it pays to find alternative FREE mulch materials like leaves, grass clipping and paper. We also plan to use cardboard on the pathways to keep down the weeds next year.

komatsuna plant mulched with shredded paper

Another project we need to work on is a compost bin. I need to pick up some wooden pallets so we can make some compost bins like my Brown Gold Yugo here at HA. I am hoping I can find some free pallets so we can get the bins built before cold weather really sets in. Right now we are piling up the garden waste, which is inefficient as well as unsightly. Our pallet composter here might not be fancy, but it gets the job done AND it looks better than the piles of stuff we have now.

wooden pallet compost bins at Happy Acres

I hope you have enjoyed this update of the Impact Community Garden. Until the next time, Happy Growing from Happy Acres to all you gardeners out there!

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5 Responses to Impact Community Garden Fall Update

  1. Daphne says:

    Those sweet potatoes sure are pretty. Much prettier than mine. Some insect was munching on many of them underground.

  2. Patsy says:

    Those sweet potatoes look wonderful! I have never tried to grow them. Everything looks amazing and it seems like the community garden is a very worthwhile project for you to be involved in. Wish we had something like that out here.

  3. kitsapFG says:

    It looks like your Impact Community garden is really reaping the benefits of your expertise and the work of all the participants. Those sweet potatoes are gorgeous. Sure wish we could grow them in our region but it would be a waste of valueable growing real estate to try it. I am the garden coordinator for the Kingston Farm and Garden Co-op Giving Garden which produces organic produce for our local Sharenet Foodbank. We had an excellent year and the fall garden is going strong (like your impact garden!). Part of that great fall line up is a lot of lovely Beedy’s Camden Kale – from your generous gift of seeds. I have been enjoying it in my home garden as well. Just wanted you to know that your gift was not only much appreciated but is going to feed a lot of hungry families in our local community. Thank you!

  4. Kathy says:

    Impressive project.

  5. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Yes, I enjoyed the update, great project. I am quite envious of the size of your yams and turnips. We are still getting crazy hot weather in the 80s in coastal southern California, quite unseasonable. So I haven’t out in my winter garden yet. I’m still waiting for it to cool off and it isn’t.

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