The chips are down...

...and the garden takes all. Our Make a Difference Day garden crew (of only three!) made quick work of that big beautiful pile of woodchips.

Nothing beats a good pair of gloves and a bucket for loading woodchips.

Connecting with the past...

Monica Häggström (Nissen) from Närpes Finland contacted us today. Her brother Håkan Nissen happened upon our garden blog researching their family's Finnish-American history. It turns out the house adjacent to the garden was built by their uncle, Joseph Nissen, a Finnish immigrant from Närpes. Monica included a photo from their last trip to the USA which shows the two houses that once stood where the garden is now. The house their uncle built is now part of the Finlandia University campus and is known as "The Ryan House". Fun to learn a little bit of history!

(From left) Monica, Jon Nissen, and Håkan Nissen standing on Ryan Street in 2002 showing the house their uncle Joseph NIssen built (first house) and the two houses that once stood where the community garden is now.

The same view today (2014) with The Ryan House (Nissen House) in the foreground next to the garden.

People's Climate March – September 21

Hancock/Houghton is one of 30 satellite cities helping to raise awareness, and encourage support of the People’s Climate March taking place 9/21 in NYC. Poster designed by Justseeds.

Frost is in the air!

We escaped any signs of frost here at the community garden, but reports from gardeners north and south of here is that they woke up to the season's first frost, and it was a hard one.

Blanching the stalks of our cardoon plant (Cynara cardunculus), one of our experimental crops.

Joyce's plot sign looking right at home amongst the sunflowers.

The flower stalks of our oregano creating a really beautiful texture that none of us have seen the like of before. Now where did we write down what variety that was?

Midsummer heat...

Our last garden day with Kris and Kate. They're pulling up roots and moving to Boulder, Colorado.  We'll miss you!
Speaking of pulling up roots...look at that daikon!
She's got a true heart of comfrey! (Yes, we rent her out for birthday parties.)
Beth's showy beans...ooh la la!

Digger Don doing his thing!
Look close...our first ripe tomatoes of the year. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Little Free Library, Strawberries, Monarchs, and more...

The Ryan Street Community Garden is now host to a LITTLE FREE LIBRARY. Thank you to Finlandia University faculty Bill Knoblauch, Rick Loduha, and Art & Design student James Mars for coordinating, building, and installing the project.
Our strawberry pickers.

The wall mosaic is growing...

A special visitor in the garden, a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar perched on top of a dill plant.

What a lovely weeding crew. The front border plants are really taking off.

Green and growing again!

Susan practices Tai Chi while slashing the grass.
Dave breaking it down with our new loppers!
Mark joins in, one-handed...what dedication.
Jennifer wrestles the downed limbs and brush piles to clear the way for our shady sit spot.
Joyce at work painting our plot markers.
Our mural inspection team.
Strawberry blossoms—a promise of harvest for next garden day (we hope).

Recovering from a long, cold, snowy winter...

The weather forecast threatened to snow out our first group garden day of the season, but it turned out to be a beautiful day to do our spring clean up chores.

It was a rough winter for fruit trees. Mother Nature did some harsh pruning of our apple tree. Here's Don, caught in action, cutting up the downed limbs.
We had an unexpected/unfortunate "glacier" deposited on top of our perennial beds this winter (part of a desperate effort to clear snow from the FU parking lot above). You can see the remains of the glacier retreating (right) revealing our unhappy fruit trees and plants that were crushed underneath the weight of it.

One of our two plum trees damaged by the glacier, this one saw the worst of it. Time for a tough love prune.

Our strawberry plants buried in glacial till (road sand deposited from the parking lot glacier). What a mess.

Our trusty garden crew to the rescue...

Our perennial area looking much happier after a little damage control.

Let the planting begin! Joyce is the early bird this year.

One of our newest garden members, Eric, takes on the job of turning last year's compost piles. Black gold!