Bitter Lake P-Patch 2014 Annual Report
The good folks at the Bitter Lake P-Patch had another successful year, as noted in the report they published, printed below.
Bitter Lake P-Patch
Annual Report 2014
Even though this was only our second summer at Bitter Lake P-Patch, it is clear we have become an operable garden. We grew, cooked, canned, ate, donated and shared our vegetables. We talked about and recommended what was great and not so great. We learned common mistakes to avoid (the instructions on the seed packets are there for a reason), of what not to do and what to do when gardening. We all tried different techniques for growing vegetables from our raised beds.
We had a total of 573.25 volunteer hours. This included harvesting vegetables for Hope Link (Shoreline), Tent City 3 and the Greenwood Food Bank, moving soil from the swale to various beds, organizing and weatherizing the tool shed, weeding our strawberry and blueberry plants, as well as attending educational classes.
We increased production and donations of vegetables by 66% over 2013. Total harvest was 631 pounds to Tent City 3, Hope Link (Shoreline), and the Greenwood Food Bank. That was a 33% increase from individual gardeners, and an 85% increase from the Giving Garden. In August, we held our first Great Kale Clean Out, donating 32 pounds of kale for Tent City 3.
Several P-Patchers had an expansive learning experience – the Bitter Lake P-Patch Great Pumpkin Experiment. An area was fenced in, the pumpkin seeds were planted, and then tenderly cared for by fellow gardeners. The pumpkin did not grow so giant, but did get giant enough to get “oohs” and “awes” from preschoolers and after school program students. We thank Gloria for donating a section of her plot for this endeavor.
Our Master Gardener, Judy Bloom held two classes. The May 24th session included tips for tomatoes – how to handle blossom end rot, acid soil and tips for the short growing season. On August 23rd, her class covered succession planting, companion planting, crop rotation and pest control.
This second season provided us with lots of adventures and opportunities to learn about gardening. We gained insights from our neighboring gardeners, our plants, our soil, even our weeds, but most of all, we learned that there is nothing so thrilling, as gathering, eating, and giving away the vegetables we had grown.