Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A letter to Mayor Colombi.

Dear Mayor Colombi,

A thousand thank yous for your continuing support of our Crows Woods gardens.

We gardeners are already harvesting bumper crops – with our “help-yourself table” regularly humped with monster zucchini.  My garden neighbor, Paul Eckman, and our web page editor, Mauricio Suarez, already boast 10-foot tall corn!  No exaggeration there.

Bless my soul, an hour ago I lugged home a ripe tomato, Swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, one  pepper, two onions, and a fistful of zinnias and purple cone flowers.  I could have brought home ripe eggplants, but I forgot my scissors that make it easier to cut down the fruit.   So for lunch I invented an open-faced Swiss chard/onion/red pepper sandwich made with egg and Parmesan cheese.  (I’m always inventing new recipes.) Oh, yes, and I ate the fresh green beans.  Last week I made and froze a huge batch of pesto made from my rioting basil plants.  I haven’t yet had time to harvest what appears to be a bumper crop of potatoes.

By the way, you should see the shoulder-tall tomato plants and the reach-for-the-sky sunflowers in former Commissioner John Reisner’s plot.  John’s one of my garden neighbors.   Alas, the squash borer took out John’s zucchini.

I think this is our best year yet in the gardens.  None of this would be possible without your continuing support.  When our gardens moved to this site, we could hardly find an earthwork.  Now the earthworms regularly convene dance parties.  Of course, we feed them.  I dig into my plot almost all my fruit and vegetable waste – summer and winter – and shredded leaves.  After Halloween and Thanksgiving last fall,  I lugged in  15 bales of hay  that I begged from co-operative householders around town.  In the fall I’m always on the lookout for bales of hay on my 3-mile morning walk.   Everyone seems happy to let me recycle their hay.  The earthworms love it.  The weeds hate it.

Please come and visit our gardens.  I want you to see with your own eyes what you have helped us create.   If you send me an-e-mail to let me know when you’re coming, I’ll bring my camera and take a picture of you—pose you maybe next to the 10-foot-high corn – a picture for your refrigerator or for your scrapbook of your accomplishments in serving over 80 very happy gardeners.

I’d write a letter-to-the-editor about all this happiness in our gardens, but it might invite tomato and zucchini-snatchers.  Yes, thieves do poach in our plots.

By the way, we do have a waiting list -- folks hoping  that someone will hate weeding,  get sun stroke, or move away.

Everlastingly thankful, I am

Mary Previte, plot # 21

Rain Barrel Workshop

The Haddonfield Green Team is hosting a rain barrel workshop on Wednesday, July 27, 6:30-8:30 at Grace Church. See Below for more information.
Rain Barrel Workshop
  • Reduce storm water runoff
  • Learn watering techniques
  • Build your own rain barrel
Wednesday, July 27, 6:30-8:30 PM

Grace Church, Parrish Hall

19 Kings Highway, Haddonfield
Cost: $45 - (includes all materials, tools, and instruction to build a working rain barrel to take home)
Space and supplies are limited - Reserve your spot: email or call Julie Beddingfield at, or 856-795-2272

Hosted by the Haddonfield Green Team
Paul Schmeck, plot #59

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Preventing "Marauding Varmints" From Eating Cucumber Seedlings

I covered my cucumber seedlings with mesh to protect them marauding varmints who have chewed down at least three plantings of cucumber  seeds and seedlings this season.  Since  I made sure to anchor the mesh with the V ends  that I cut from old  metal dress hangers, so far the new seedlings are doing fine.   Here's my problem:  Will the mesh prevent bees and butterflies from pollinating  my cucumber blossoms?  Will that keep me from getting cucumbers?  I'm afraid to remove the mesh.

Mary Previte
Plot #21

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simple Organic Ways to Control Weeds

Having a hard time keeping up with the weeds on the paths around your plot?  Check out this article for some simple ideas on how to control your weed problem.

Plot #27

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Welcome to our blog! 
We’re creating this blog as a means to exchange information to help us become better gardeners; better organic gardeners.  At times this is a tough and daunting job, but it’s a passion that brings us together as the community of the Crows Woods Gardeners.  So let’s get this blog started…
The gardeners have been very busy this year and as a result, the plots are looking great.  The new gardeners have brought with them great enthusiasm and determination. I’ve been told that the plots have not looked this good in a very long time.  Great job everyone!
As a reminder that in addition to taking care of your plot you are also responsible for taking care the walking paths around your plot.  The borough will be dropping off a fresh supply of wood chips near the softball field to make the job of maintaining the paths easier.
There have been a few reports of potato bugs but good vigilance and daily pickings have kept them at bay.  We are also starting to see Harlequin Beetles make their summer return.  The best defense is a good offense.  Check your plots on a regular basis, and remove any unwanted insects as you see them.  This is a time consuming task but well worth it for the organic gardener.  If you have had success at keeping these insects at bay, feel free to share them with us.