Much has changed as we move into planting season 2018. The larger open planting areas are now either defined areas or raised beds. We have found that doing our planting this way avoids “over planting”….people planting on top of an already planted area and it helps conserve water. This remains, nominally, a community garden…it is shared by the tenants here….should they choose to participate. We also have a squadron of varsity gardeners who come in once a week….Someday I’ll write a book about “community” gardening….
We’ve also installed an irrigation system on parts of our garden with some success. Many areas still need careful hand watering as the season grows warmer.
It’s March as I write this and we’ve just put in more lettuce…an all year crop here…sorry New Hampshire, it’s California. The radishes and arugula also freshly planted. The collard greens and chard have been wonderful all winter and will probably hang on thru early summer. The big planting here happens in April when we put in the summer vegetables…..all the usual suspects minus corn and melons as we just don’t get enough heat here for those.
The bees endure. We have one remaining hive which appears to be very healthy. This hive will get split in early April, giving us a new colony….we hope. In the meantime, much of our non edible planting is about nourishing the bee colonies here. In the past we have had up to 5 hives…but ants, mites and dampness have done damage.
We are awash in cucumbers and squash…the tomatoes are just now beginning to ripen as it’s been a very cool summer. We’ll probably have abundant ripe tomatoes in October, judging from the very cool mornings here in West Oakland.
The new building is coming along quickly …hopefully finished by the end of this year. In the meantime, people who live here enjoy the gentle tap tap of neighborhood nail guns on a routine basis…When finished the new building here will provide solar lighting for the gardens and new storm drainage into the water table. Also, pathways and patios between the buildings will be upgraded…or redone with used brick and stones…some might not see that as an upgrade but this isn’t suburbia…and we often find ancient bricks and tiles in the gardens…often recycling them into pathways or yard art.
Not enough sun, yet.
Finally….we started construction on The New Building, on or about June 1, 2016…after almost 2 years awaiting permits and crew. The CREW, the wonderful crew, is moving ahead at lightening speed. We are up to framing the second floor in less than two months. It is exciting to see this project finally take shape…go “in the ground” as we say in the building trades. The construction has altered our garden a bit but we are still producing our magical tomatoes…see pictures…!
Raised beds for our “salad bar”….
Thanks to Randy for the tomato pruning…great job, note the lack of mildew!
July 27, 2016
July 25, 2016
Tomatoes on the right….
We planted five stone fruit trees in fall of 2013…much digging and fertilizing with our “worm goo, chicken poop” and it looks like we’ll have a wonderful harvest in July-August.
Watering has been an issue here but much of our watering is now done with “recycled” water…shower buckets, etc.
Year Two Peaches….
We’ve also installed an irrigation system to avoid over watering…..
These little guys are happily increasing their number…and eventually ridding the garden of aphids!….one hopes.
The Girls…noisy girls…
Three days and all is gone, awaiting the next phase…foundations.
A lot of the concrete goes to recycling, as does all the tree/plant debris.
All the concrete and heavy stuff goes to the dump.
The locals, plus Phillip…all the way from France.
George at the wheel.
Our picnic area untouched.
The metal door did go to recycling.
There was an old, old single story, single car garage at The Ranch. It was a mess, the roof fell in years ago and the dampness caused the walls to buckle and fall. It defines imploded. But, storage space being in such high demand in the “urban core”….it housed old skis, kayaks, bikes, building material, recycling…tons of stuff.
The roofless garage.
Ask me in a year if we really needed to save this?…
So after much nagging and badgering…not my favorite; most of the detritus of apartment living is gone. I suspect that I will find some of what was there stashed in available corners, under staircases, etc.
What will come in place of this nasty old storage/garage space will be a gallery (very small) and workshop (also very small) and two tiny living studios…pictures to come…
May 2015 I await the Building Permit…submitted in February! Oh well, I guess they’re really really busy down at Building and Planning….