Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sowing San Antonio September


Bok Choy and Brussel Sprouts

Oops, looks like one of us was too busy gardening to get the sowing San Antonio September post out on time. Rejoice South Texans! Fall is here! No really- it technically is fall. I know it is still really hot but the highs are no longer in the 100s! The mornings are down right pleasant! It's a great time to plant.

What can you plant in your magnificent fall garden beds now? Everything you could plant earlier in the month:

Artichoke (crowns/transplants)
Beets 
Broccoli (transplants) 
Brussels Sprouts (transplants) 
Bok Choy
Cabbage (transplants) 
Carrots 
Cauliflower (transplants) 
Swiss Chard (seeds or transplants) 
Collards (seeds or transplants) 
Kale (seeds or transplants) 
Kohlrabi (seeds or transplants) 
Mustard (seeds or transplants)

Plus its the beginning of planting season for garlic, shallots, spinach and cool season greens.  

Haven't started your fall garden and don't know where to start? Click here. 

Any burning questions about your fall garden? Feel free to ask away in the comments.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BGO: The Dinner Garden



During September, the blog is going orange for hunger awareness and I am participating in the Moms Fighting Hunger initiative headed up by Stacy of KidsStuffWorld.com. This is the third in a series of three posts about non-profits here in town fighting hunger in our community.

I am so thrilled that San Antonio is the home of the non-profit Dinner Garden. The Dinner Garden distributes FREE vegetable and herb seeds to anyone who asks no questions asked. When families are struggling to make ends meet, homegrown food puts some control back into their hands. I don't think I need to tell you how much I love this idea.

You can help by saving your own seeds and sending them to The Dinner Garden, donating money or if you are here in town, donating time to help package up the garden packets.

Friday, September 7, 2012

BGO: Meals On Wheels

During September, the blog is going orange for hunger awareness and I am participating in the Moms Fighting Hunger initiative headed up by Stacy of KidsStuffWorld.com. This is the seond in a series of three posts about non-profits here in town fighting hunger in our community.
When DKITW1 was just a wee baby- we used to deliver Meals on Wheels together once a week. I don't think I need to tell you that the elderly just love a baby- so we were repeatedly blessed, and loved, and kissed over the hour we volunteered. Those good vibes lasted the rest of the week.  Some seniors thanked us for the meal and we were on our way quickly. Others really wanted to chat, so we did.

When I first emailed the volunteer coordinator at Meals on Wheels stating I had a baby and couldn't make the regular orientation, she did a training for just me and my munchkin. She asked where I lived and how often I wanted to volunteer. When I signed up I assumed I would be working in a "less fortunate" part of town. My own neighborhood is pretty run of the mill, average.

On the first day, you show up and the cooks help you get all the meals together in your coolers. You count out your milks and desserts and package it all up. They give you a route and a list stating which meal goes to which person based on their dietary needs. My route was not in a less fortunate neighborhood. My route was MY neighborhood. I delivered meals to neighbors on MY OWN street whom I had never met because they were no longer able to prepare or shop for their own food. These seniors so often go unseen because they are not able to be out and about. It is a hidden shame that people who have worked long and hard in our communities are going without near the end of their lives. But they were so joyful to see us and I can personally vouch for the hard working, kind people at San Antonio Meals on Wheels. I can't recommend enough that you take one lunch hour a week and volunteer it to this agency if you are able. I got back so much more than I gave. Because of high gas prices, many volunteers are no longer able to volunteer and they could use your help. If you don't have the time, but have some money, please consider helping our neighbors receive hot meals by making a donation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

BGO: San Antonio Food Bank


During September, this blog is going orange for hunger awareness and I am participating in the Moms Fighting Hunger initiative headed up by Stacy of KidsStuffWorld.com. This is the first in a series of three posts about non-profits here in town fighting hunger in our community.

I just love the San Antonio food bank. Did you know it is considered cutting edge in the world of food banks? That is because it has a 5.5 acre community garden with bees! I love it. They started a Daisy Cares Pet food program to help people who lost their jobs continue to care for their furry loved one. They teach cooking classes, they process SNAP applications, they nourish our community. Here is a great calendar of ways to help every day this month in San Antonio.

To help my daughter get in on the action, we completed the virtual food drive. It shows a person pushing a shopping cart through the store computer game style. I let DKITW go "shopping" for what she thought other children would like to eat. She took each selection very seriously and really enjoyed it. Check it out.


If you want to host a real live food drive at your workplace, neighborhood, church or school here are their top 12 most needed items:
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal
  • Tuna
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Chili
  • Canned Stews
  • Canned Soups
  • Canned Luncheon Meats
  • Full Meals in a Can/Box
  • “Pop Top” Food Items

Here are items they can not use:

  • Glass Containers
  • Home-canned or Homemade Goods
  • Rusty or Unlabeled Cans
  • Alcoholic Beverages, Mixes or Soda
  • Opened or Used Items
  • Baby Food in Jars
  • Over-The-Counter or Prescription Drugs
  • Food After or Very Close to its Expiration Date
You can also volunteer in their community garden! Here is more information:

Community Garden

Where: San Antonio Food Bank
When: Monday & Wednesday 9am -12 pm &  Saturday, 9:00AM to 12:00 PM
Who: Individuals and Groups of up to 5 volunteers (Monday - Wednesday) & Individuals and Groups of up to 10 volunteers (Saturday)
Age requirement: 8 years of age
Dress Code: For safety, absolutely no sandals or flip-flops, please wear closed-toed shoes. Dress for the weather. Volunteers may want to bring gloves.
Job Description: Assist with the planting, caring for and gleaning of fruits, vegetables and other edible plants. Help with the construction of square foot gardening boxes, raised beds, trellises, walking paths and assist with general maintenance of existing structures. Duties may include composting, weeding, digging, planting, watering and/or hoeing.

Our food bank has something for everyone- please check it out and share the love.

I just read another post from our group by Pamela Price that I found particularly poignant on the issue of food security and food allergies. I'd love for you to check it out and her lovely blog if you haven't already, Red, White and Grew.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sowing San Antonio September



Happy days are here again! You can start planting the vegetables listed below now. Do not despair if your garden isn't ready to plant in yet! All of these plants can be planted through at least the end of the month. You have plenty of time! In fact, since it hasn't started cooling off yet- your plants will like it even better in a week. I mean fall weather has to show up eventually right? Plant some now and if the heat kills some off, you will still have time to plant some later! 

Artichoke (crowns/transplants)
Beets 
Broccoli (transplants) 
Brussels Sprouts (transplants) 
Cabbage (transplants) 
Carrots 
Cauliflower (transplants) 
Swiss Chard (seeds or transplants) 
Collards (seeds or transplants) 
Kale (seeds or transplants) 
Kohlrabi (seeds or transplants) 
Mustard (seeds or transplants) 

You can get organic plants and seeds at Shades of Green. We usually buy our seeds online at Baker Creek but I have heard you can also buy organic seeds at Sprouts.  

Also, in case you missed it, Dirtiest Kid in the World was featured on Treehugger this week. 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The "I Don't Know Where to Start" Gardening Post


"I want a garden and fresh grown produce but have no idea where to start." 

I know! I had no idea where to start either. Then you read a few gardening books and are simultaneously inspired and too overwhelmed all at once.  That is why I started writing this blog in the first place. Gardening can be really complex but it doesn't have to be. Here's where I suggest you start.

First you need to plan.
I am not much of a planner. I am a digger and a impulsive seed buyer. But let's walk through this basic plan together.

Ten steps to starting your first garden. 

1. Where are you going to put your garden? If this is for veggies, you are going to want a sunny spot.
2. Do you want to go with raised beds or to fix your soil?
3.  A)If you went with raised beds, build your beds, then fill your boxes with soil/compost.
     B)If you decided to fix the soil you have, dig out the grass, and mix in compost.
4.  Now for the fun part- find a planting guide for your area. Here is a link to the post wherein I suggest my favorite planting guide.
If you are here in town- you can also click on my Sowing San Antonio Link at the top of the page and see all the posts about what you can plant in our area NOW.
5. Look at the list of what you can plant both now and later in the season. Write down a list of your favorite foods off that list. You will want to leave room in your garden for those later season favorites.
6. Decide where in the garden you will put each veggie or herb and note when you need to plant it.
7. Buy your plants and seeds!
8. Plant
9. Water. For seeds, you are going to want to water everyday or at least every other day until they pop up and are established. For transplants-you are going to want to water deeply esp. the first day- IE keep the hose on them for awhile. We deep water 2-3 times a week depending on the weather.
10. Harvest when ready.

If you need more specific advice on any of these steps, you can search the blog with the "find what out are looking for" bar on the upper right corner or feel free to ask!

Just give it a go-it won't be perfect, some plants will die, it is a work in progress - you don't need to do it all at once. I promise you our garden was not built in a day. I know you can do this!

Texas fall gardening is nature's way of apologizing for August.