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News from Mellisa
In an attempt to tame the abundant weeds this year, my research turned up something I didn't know about Cornmeal gluten. Cornmeal gluten, commonly referred to as corn gluten meal (CGM), is the by-product of corn wet milling. It is used to feed cattle, fish, dogs, and poultry. Gluten meal is known as a natural substitute for chemical re-emergent herbicides,. Cornmeal as a weed killer is a great way to eradicate weeds without the threat of toxic chemicals. If you have pets or small children, gluten meal is a great option. More >
Carrot Love, photo by M. Bouley
CONTINUED PLANTING and START OF HARVEST: Summer heat is doing wonders for the lettuce, kale, chard, squash, cucumbers, beans, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. While there are abundant amounts of cucumbers, lettuce, kale, chard and squash to harvest (broccoli, cabbage and peas are almost finished for the season), we are not-so-patiently waiting for beans, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes to fully develop and get ripe! We have all said it, there is nothing like a home-grown tomato, and our imaginations have awakened our taste buds in anticipation.
There are the challenges such as copious amounts of insect pests. Aphid and cucumber beetle seem to be prolific this year, and we would appreciate any tips from other organic gardeners and farmers as to how they keep these pest populations under control. Gophers still plague us even though trapping skills have improved greatly. We do wish they would stop inviting others to come on over and enjoy the harvest.
SPROUTS, PLEASE: The garden continues to include sprouts as part of their produce offerings to the hospital. We are growing a variety of sprouts and finding all do well. Sprouts, even though small, are packed
with nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. We are growing a variety of sprouts finding all do well. More on Sprouts >
Plant Starts, photo by M. Bouley
Commonwealth Garden, like all gardens or farms, is faced with an abundance of work as we move into another successful year. The garden has a variety of opportunities for any interested party who might wish to share their gardening passion, skills, or harrowing gopher stories. Volunteering in the garden can also be an exceptional educational opportunity.
If you would like to volunteer at Commonwealth Garden, please contact the Howard Foundation at (707) 459-2777. Not only would the garden team appreciate your help, you can feel good knowing your hard work is going toward feeding patients, staff and visitors at the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital - your local hospital with local art and local food.