When The Soul Patch was conceptualized Erik Warner, garden founder, figured the garden would produce about 200 pounds of food for the Morrison County Food Shelf. Well, it has become quite apparent that he has a bit to learn about gardening. To date, The Soul Patch has produced 517 pounds of garden fresh vegetables, all of which has been donated to the food shelf, and we have yet to harvest tomatoes from over 80 plants, pumpkins, squash, and all the peppers and cucumbers that just keep coming.
When the garden was started there was some concern that, once members of the community heard the food shelf had its very own garden, contributions of fresh produce would decrease. According to Gloria Thomes, Morrison County Food Shelf Director, the garden can actually be credited with increasing contributions from the community. Many people, according to Gloria, may not have been aware that the food shelf was able to accept fresh produce. The Soul Patch has heightened awareness in the community that those who have gardens can, indeed, donate their surplus to those in need.
Much of today was spent harvesting potatoes in The Soul Patch. There was much consternation about the decision to pluck these little starch balls from their earthy home. Some folks advised us to wait until the vines all dried down, others said we needed to wait until a couple of weeks after the first frost. One person said “Reds?? dig ‘em up now. All the commercial farms are starting already.”
We had, at various times these last couple of weeks, dug into the mounds to assess the progress of the potatoes and determined that they were of sufficient size for harvest. So…….we dug ‘em up. About 158 pounds worth.
Harvesting potatoes in The Soul Patch.
A representative example of the potatoes harvested from The Soul Patch.
While digging potatoes we came across one that bore a striking resemblance to a classic cartoon character but we couldn’t decide which one. What do you think? Does it look like Mickey Mouse or Piglet? Whichever…do you think we could sell it on ebay?
Mickey Mouse or Piglet?
This afternoon Megan Brown, from television station KSAX, stopped by The Soul Patch to interview a few of the people involved in the garden project. She expects the story to be put together and ready for broadcast in a couple of days. If possible, we at The Soul Patch will post a link to the story when it becomes available.
The experiment with the potato tower is working out very well; above ground at least. The two plants in the tower are growing larger, taller, and are much more lush and green than their non-boxed neighbors. We are waiting rather impatiently to see whether the increased foliage means more spuds underground.
Potato tower in The Soul Patch.
Things have been going well in The Soul Patch. Actually, much better than anyone had anticipated. The garden is producing rather well, as evidenced by the 58 pounds of produce harvested on Tuesday, August 11, 2009. We brought in over 20 pounds of garden fresh green beans, about 19 pounds of zucchini and several pounds of peas, in addition to onions, peppers, and cucumbers. To date The Soul Patch has produced 135 pounds of fresh produce for the Morrison County Food Shelf.
Some of this week's produce.