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Lorem   Issue  Ipsum   11   Dolor  


Niles Community  Gardens  

Issue #2,  012   Date   November  

Helping others  produce  their  own  fruits   and  vegetables  while  learning  how  to  live   more  sustainably  in  Southwest  Michigan  

Pumpkin Sales  A  Success!   The  Northside  Pumpkin  Patch  had  a  great  season  and  despite  the  rain,  we  were  still  able  to   raise  $2400  for  the  Niles  Community  Schools!    Niles  Community  Gardens  was  able  to  raise   $560  through  the  sales.    This  money  will  help  provide  fresh  fruit  and  vegetables  for  those   participating  in  our  community  garden  program  as  well  as  the  local  food  banks  and   churches.       We  want  to  thank  all  of  the  volunteered  their  time  to  the  The  Pumpkin  Patch  who  helped   plant  seeds  and  sell  pumpkins!  This  includes  many  employees  of  Teacher  Credit  Union  and   members  of  the  Niles  Garden  Club.    A  special  thanks  to  Joe  Rosser,  Jay  and  Bob  Clancy,  Dave   Moore,  Al  Yop,  Dave  and  Carmen  Ellis,  Anita  Heemer  (for  tables  of  delicious  baked  goods),   Leader  Publications,  South  Bend  Tribune,  Wonderland  Theatre,  and  all  the  people  who   bought  pumpkins  to  support  the  schools  and  Niles  Community  Gardens.    We  also  want  to   thank  Jeff  Saylor  again  for  the  use  of  his  tractor  and  tiller.    Thank  you  everyone  for  your  help   and  support!      

Lorem Ipsum  Dolor  

Issue #,  Date  

T hanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather. H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday. A for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart. N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember. K for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon. S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about. That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving. -Aileen Fisher, All in a Word

Letter from  the  Director      

Dear gardeners,  


I had  some  cabbage  from  the  garden  for   supper  last  night,  and  cauliflower  the  night    before  that.  Tonight  I  am  eating  beans,  corn,    onions,  and  potatoes  in  beef  soup  –  all  but  the   beets  from  the  garden  –  they  were  all     wonderful!    I  hope  you’re  enjoying  the  harvest    as  much  as  I  am.     The  gardens  have  pretty  much  been   cleaned  up  for  the  winter  and  if  time  and   weather  allows,  will  be  tilled  and  sown  with  rye   as  the  cover  crop.    A  cover  crop  (sometimes  call   green  manure)  aerates  the  soil  through  deep   roots,  feeds  the  soil  when  we  till  it  under  in  late   spring,  and  creates  a  looser  texture,  which   makes  it  easier  to  work  and  provides  more   oxygen  to  the  roots  and  bacteria  in  the  soil.     2    

Let’s continue  learning  best  garden  practices:   1. Feed  the  soil  with  compost  –  make  your   own  at  home  in  the  corner  of  your   backyard  with  grass  clippings,  leaves,   and  kitchen  scraps  (no  meat,  grease,  or   bones).    Stop  using  your  garbage  disposal   except  for  an  occasional  citrus  peel  to   help  keep  your  drains  clean.    Feed  all   your  plants  around  the  yard  and  the   leftovers  to  the  garden.    If  all  our   gardeners  would  do  this  we  will  see   steady  improvement  in  the  general   health  of  our  gardens.    A  steady  supply   of  compost  reduces  the  need  for   fertilizer  and  produces  stronger  plants   that  can  resist  bugs  and  disease.   2. Pile  compost  materials  in  the  compost   pile  higher  –  not  wider.    This  increases   the  heat,  which  is  needed  to  break  down   stems  and  leaves,  and  keeps  the  worms  

Lorem Ipsum  Dolor  

Issue #,  Date  

November comes And November goes, With the last red berries And the first white snows. With night coming early, And dawn coming late, And ice in the bucket And frost by the gate. The fires burn And the kettles sing, And earth sinks to rest Until next spring. - Elizabeth Coatsworth        

and bacteria  working.    Compost  worms   produce  huge  quantities  of  “casting”   (worm  poop)  and  is  the  best  organic   fertilizer  available.    Worms  will  pay  you   back  richly  for  feeding  them  now.    Fell   free  to  dump  kitchen  scraps  on  top  of   the  compost  pile  this  winter.     Composting  food  scraps  also  reduces   landfill!   3. We  had  better  weed  control  at  most   gardens  this  years  than  last  –  keep  it  up.     Weeds  steal  food  from  your  veggies  and   crowd  them  out.    Fewer  weeds  =  better   crops.    This  includes  pathways.    Weeds   also  steal  from  the  beauty  of  your  plot.     A  weed-­‐free  garden  is  a  beautiful  thing.   4. Timely  and  regular  bug  and  disease   control  is  a  necessity.   5. Foliage  feeding.    Use  compost  tea  or   other  organic  (non-­‐burning)  fertilizers  on   leaves.    This  helps  correct  deficiencies  in   the  soil  and  makes  plants  stronger.  

6. Space plants  correctly  for  greatest   return  (e.g.  radishes  1”  apart,  onions   4”  apart  (except  green  onion  1”   apart),  broccoli  18”  apart,  peppers   16-­‐18”  apart,  potatoes  10”  apart,   beets  4”  apart,  etc).    In  general,   crowding  plants  reduces  their  size.   7. Use  successive  planting  schedule  for   greatest  return.   8. Harvest  at  the  right  time  and  on  a   regular  basis.    For  example:  broccoli-­‐ when  the  heads  are  tight  but   continue  to  pick  the  side  shoots  until   the  first  frost;  winter  squash-­‐when   the  vines  die;  onions-­‐when  the  tops   fall  over;  beans  –  continuously  (do   not  let  them  get  too  big).     Learn  more  about  these  topics  on  line,  at   the  library  or  through  catalogs.    The  more   you  know  the  better  your  chances  of   3  

Lorem Ipsum  Dolor  

having a  superior  garden.    Give  some  thought   to  next  year  and  write  those  thoughts  down  –   which  veggies  do  you  use  the  most  and  which   ones  store  best.    For  my  wife  and  myself,  this  is   our  list:       Most  used:    tomatoes,  potatoes,  onions,  and   peppers   2nd  most  used:  spinach,  corn  winter  squash,   cabbage  family,  beets,  beans  and  carrots   Stores  well  in  a  cool  place  between  40-­‐50   degrees:    beets,  carrots,  cabbage,  onions,   winter  squash  and  potatoes   Veggies  usually  will  store  for  months,  bur  keep   watching  for  deterioration.    Store  potatoes  in  a   well-­‐ventilated  box  in  a  dark  place  –  too  much   light  will  turn  potatoes  green  (do  not  eat  the   green  part,  just  cut  in  off  and  each  the  rest).     Store  onions  in  a  net  bag.    Carrots  should  be   stored  in  a  cool  place  in  damp  (not  wet)  sand.     Store  winter  squash  in  a  cool  place  –  if  dark   spots  form,  cut  them  out  and  cook  the   remaining,  freezing  if  too  much  to  eat.    Store   cabbage  in  an  open  plastic  bag  in  the  fridge  –  if   the  bag  is  closed  the  cabbage  will  begin  to  rot.     If  the  outer  leaves  begin  to  get  mushy  just  peel   them  off  and  eat  the  rest.    I’ve  had  a  red   cabbage  last  in  this  way  until  April.      

Issue #,  Date  

Theatre, and  all  the  people  who  bought   pumpkins  at  “the  Patch”  to  support  the   schools  and  Niles  Community  Gardens.    We   had  a  week  of  rain  in  October  which  was   reflected  in  sales;  $1000.00  less  than  last  year.     We  still  managed  to  raise  about  $2,400.00  for   the  schools  and  $560.00  for  Niles  Community   Gardens.   Thanks  to  all  who  supported  this  special   project  and  thanks  to  all  the  gardeners  who   made  2012  another  good  year  together  and   sharing.   As  we  close  out  this  year,  let  me  add  these   ingredients  –  enjoy  the  process!    Study  to   increase  your  skills;  see  the  dark  earth  as  the   bed  of  new  life;  the  new  sprouts  from  dried   seeds  as  miracles;  the  blossoms,  butterflies,   bees,  new  fruit,  and  the  harvest  –  what  a   wonder.    Then  taste  this  wonder  and  be   happy.       As  we  experience  this  wonder  together,  let  us   be  generous  to  those  in  need,  gentle  with   beginners,  and  careful  and  kind  to  all  our   fellow  gardeners,  for  peace  is  the  fruit  of  love.   Take  your  winter’s  rest!         See  you  in  the  spring,    

I want  to  heartily  thank  all  those  who   generously  gave  of  their  time  in  the  “Pumpkin   Patch”  this  year.    This  includes  many  employees   of  Teacher  Credit  Union  and  members  of  the   Niles  Garden  Club.    A  special  thanks  to  Joe     Rosser,  Jay  and  Bob  Clancy,  Dave  Moore,  Al   Yop,  Dave  and  Carmen  Ellis,  Anita  Heemer  (for   tables  of  delicious  baked  goods),  Leader   Publications,  South  Bend  Tribune,  Wonderland   4    

Mark Van  Til,  Director   Niles  Community  Gardens  

Lorem Ipsum  Dolor  

Issue #,  Date  

Find Niles  Community  Gardens  on  Facebook!   Share  with  us!     If  you  have  any  stories,  jokes,  poems,  recipes  or  anecdotes  you  would  like  to   share  in  our  monthly  newsletter,  please  send  them  to  Sarah  Markley  via  email   at   or  via  U.S.P.S.  at  2625  Holland  St,  South  Bend,  IN  46619        -­‐  Ipsum   If  you  are  not  on  our  email  mailing  list  and  would  like  to  receive  our   newsletter,  please  send  your  email  address  to  Sarah  Markley  via  email  or   U.S.P.S.  (address  above).  

Garden  with  us!    

If you  would  like  to  volunteer  in  the  gardens  or  on  special  projects,  or  if  you   haven’t  gardened  with  us  but  would  like  to,  please  email  Mark  Van  Til  at  or  call  at  269-­‐815-­‐5034.      

Help Support  us!    

To make  a  monetary  donation,  please  make  checks  payable  to  Niles   Community  Gardens  and  mail  to:   Niles  Community  Gardens   PO  Box  304   Niles,  MI  49120  



NCG Newsletter - Issue 11  

Niles Community Gardens November 2012 Newsletter