Category Archives: Garden Work Day

April 9, 2016 – Workday Recap and Garden Views

April Showers …

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The April workday was windy but George and Nathan were able to complete the garden remodeling plan by installing the concrete blocks and cap blocks in the last two beds. Thanks to Gary for helping transport the materials. David planted some of his special tomato and pepper plants in the donation beds. Thanks to David and Jane for growing and sharing these special plants, including the sugar snap peas that are producing now in the tented beds – come by for a taste! We have 5 donation beds that need volunteer help to weed and tie vines. WE DO NOT need to water this week!

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Next month’s workday is May 14th. We will discuss setting up a volunteer schedule for watering and harvesting this summer that hopefully prevents “over-heating” those who want to help.

Blog & Photos by Nathan

Garden Workday Success! 3/12/2016

The March 12th Community Garden workday was an outstanding success due to the efforts of 15 gardeners who did an incredible amount of work. A huge shout out of thanks to: Lea, Cindy, Jacqueline, Beth, A. J., Sharon, Samantha, Carol, Peter, David, George, Emily, Nathan, Ana and Avery. Thanks also to Paula for sprouting and planting radishes early and Bruce &  Kate for their advice and good gardening techniques. The garden beds were weeded, tilled and cultivated. Plants grown by members of the Thursday night Chalice Circle and the Malins were planted. The group then spread straw around all the plants to inhibit weeds. Several members made short work of weeding two onion beds planted earlier this spring. They then placed a special fertilizer in a trench and then covered the bed with pine needles that will prevent weeds and condition the soil. Our goal is to share our bounty with Darcy in the kitchen, Bay Area Turning Point, and the ICM Food Pantry. The next Garden workday is April 16 due to the Garage Sale.

Blog Post & Photos by Nathan

Photos of all our hard working volunteers!

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We’ve been busy in the garden! February Work Days

The February Garden Workdays were very successful!

On February 6th, Emily and her husband, Scott, refurbished plots 1 & 2 (blueberry bushes) by removing the old wood box and replacing it with concrete blocks.  It was hard work but very much worth the effort.  Special thanks to Nathan for helping them haul the blocks!

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February 13th, regular monthly workday.

Thanks to twelve hard-working volunteers, six yards of soil was moved and beds were prepared for spring planting. Those determined workers were George, Nathan, Jeff, Paul, Ivar, Jane and David, Ana and Avery, Gillian and Oliver, and Emily. We really appreciate their willingness to push wheelbarrows, pull weeds and get the grass roots out before the new soil was dumped. Five beds are now ready to plant! The special engineering award goes to the Harvard-Yale team of David and Ivar for reinstalling the bean tents. All but two of the beds have been converted from wood to concrete blocks and cap blocks will be installed soon. Watch for spring flowers! Beds are still available. If you’re interested, please contact Nathan at

Photos of Feb 13th work day

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Blog by Nathan & Emily, Photos by Nathan


Youth Rally Work Project Big Success

On Saturday, 1/16/2016, the UU Youth from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana braved chilly weather to hoe, dig, rake, and as one youth said “make the green disappear!” In two short hours the congenial group of about 80 youth and adults were able to prepare three 20ft beds and three 10ft beds for planting our spring gardens. We will be planting onions, carrots and lettuces that will be donated to our church kitchen and area food banks. (We used the planting directions from “Bulb Onions a Plenty,” by Bruce on May 22, 2015.) Thanks to Wally, Nelda, Verva, and Ivar, we had enough tools to accomplish the job. By 12:30, everyone had left except George who worked in the rain to fix a broken water line. Thank you, George!

The replacement of the rotted sideboards is well on its way with Bruce M. and Kate’s three beds being completed by a contractor. George and Nathan have lined two of the 20ft beds and will be working on the rest on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you can help with this job, please email Nathan. We would appreciate your help, whether you have a bed or not!

The next workday is scheduled for February 13 and the second Saturdays of the following months. If you would like a bed and/or have questions, email Nathan at Thanks for visiting us at!


We have a great many pictures to share of today’s work day!

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Posts & Photos by Nathan.

Gearing up for the 2016 Spring Season 1/16/2016

Greetings !  We are gearing up for the Spring 2016 planting season and there is a lot to do! There is a workday scheduled for Saturday 1/16/2016 at 9:30am.  We will be joined by special guests that day to help us prepare the garden for the spring. About 100 UU students and other volunteers will join us from Texas, Oklahoma & Louisiana as part of their annual Rally.

We are also planning on revamping the garden plots by removing the old rotting wood and replacing them with concrete blocks. This is a special project that should be completed over the next month.

If you are interested in joining us for the workday, please do! Bring gloves, something to kneel on and hand tools. We are weeding again! We’ll be starting at 9:30am on Jan 16th.

In other news, Emily will be tending to the blueberry bushes in plots 1 & 2. Blueberry bushes should be pruned each year in early spring to encourage growth. If you are interested in learning more about blueberry bush pruning, take a look at this YouTube video.

We hope to see you there!


November 14, 2015 – Last garden workday of the season

The six folks who came to our Community Garden Workday got a lot of jobs accomplished. It was great to see David back in the garden after his accident! Emily, Jill and I were joined by new volunteers Jonathan and Karen – thanks to you both for your time and efforts!

Karen joined Jill and Emily in doing battle with Bermuda grass in the berry and grapevine beds. Jonathan repainted the bed numbers and painted signs on the compost bins. We hope to have some activity there when church members and the community recycle their fall leaves in our compost bins. These donated leaves will help us re-certify our church as a “Green Sanctuary” by advertising local recycling possibilities. Using these leaves as mulch and compost also serves as an alternative to chemical fertilizers in our Community Garden. This also will save our tax money since we’ll have to spend less on landfills.

Enjoy the pictures of our volunteers & the garden!

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 Post & Photos by Nathan V.

September 19, 2015 – Garden Workday

Workday Overview

It was a hot morning when George, Paula and I started to work cleaning out beds to prepare for our best season of the year: the fall-winter garden. Emily, David & Jane had worked the previous few weekends and their two beds were in great shape. Paula weeded her bed, George tilled several beds, and I mowed the grass and weeds in several beds to make it easier for George to till them. Some of us have become accustomed to the luxury of George tilling our beds for us. Thank you, George!

Please check the previous blog post for the Malin’s recommendations for fall planting. Most of us will not be able to get all the seeds, but we can buy transplants from Maas Nursery, Lowes or Home Depot.

Work Day Pictures

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Soil Preparation and Compost

I contend that the most important aspect of a winter (or any) garden is soil preparation. Last spring I did not do a very good job and I really regretted it. After George tilled my bed I used a spade or fork to turn over all the soil around the outer boards and then used a garden rake to separate all the roots and grass from the soil. It is important to get some organic matter mixed into the soil. Maas Nursery has composted cotton burrs, a very high quality compost.  When I place the transplants in the bed I always use a handful of MicroLife organic fertilizer and some cotton burr compost in the hole before planting. MicroLife will not burn the plants. I also use it on my lawn, flowers and shrubs. It looks like rabbet pellets (the food not the poo.) One sack a year is all I need. It is expensive, at over $40, but is so effective at promoting good soil health in your garden or lawn that it’s worth it. I never use high nitrogen fertilizers or weed and feed products.

Another way to enrich the soil is to use homemade compost created from kitchen wastes and fall leaves from the lawn. (Be sure to crush the eggshells first.) If you use grass clippings in the compost bin you may get a sour smelling product. If you can leave the grass on the ground for a few days it will be all right to use after it dries out. I also have a leaf pile in the back yard so I never have to put sacks of leaves out for the garbage. The leaves go into the leaf pile and eventually go into one of my two compost bins. One is a typical box on the ground and the other is a tumbling bin.

After you plant and fertilize, then the next step is to get 3” to 4” of mulch on the bed to keep the weed seed from sprouting. Commercial native hardwood mulch is not expensive and does a good job. My favorite is pine straw (raked pine needles). If you have a neighbor with a pine tree they may even rake them up for you. Or visit your park.

Now just water and harvest!

I hope you have found this treatise on “compostology” helpful!

Compost Set up and Examples

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Narrative & Pictures by Nathan

August 8, 2015 – Garden Workday

The workday August 8th was very productive but very HOT with four super folks coming out to mow, weed-eat, till, and water. We have a new gardener, Allan Treiman, who has joined our ranks with a shovel in his hand. Thanks to Allan, Emily and George for joining me!


Garden Selfie – L to R: George, Allan, Emily & Nathan

Next Work Day: September 19, from 8 -10:30 am, will be our next workday due to my vacation plans. I would suggest we start preparing our fall beds whenever we receive some decent rainfall. Our rain chances look good starting on Sunday and continuing through Thursday.

One big event this summer was the installation of CenterPoint Hurricane resistant power poles, one of which almost ended up in the middle of bed #13.

Stay cool if possible!

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More Photos of us and the garden.

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Article by Nathan, Photos by Nathan & Emily


July 11, 2015 BAUUC Garden Workday

After our workday was rained out on the second Saturday of June, our July workday turned out very hot with no breeze. George, David and Nathan showed up for our workday. George and Nathan pruned dead wood off the dewberry bushes. George used a string trimmer to clear the grass from around the bushes and Nathan spread wood-chip mulch around the plants. David and Nathan worked on two yard-long bean tents, which David planted in May and Nathan was able to find plants to complete the planting at the Pct. 2 Master Gardeners’ open garden day. David watered several beds and Nathan spread wood-chip mulch on the beans.

The lower beds have had a forest of very nice sunflowers. Thanks to Ellie, some of them were used in the sanctuary and many seed heads have been left at bird feeders.

Thanks, George, for mowing around the garden and hauling the equipment on the tractor and trailer. George has really made a difference this year with all his work on the Donation Beds. He has produced cucumbers, pumpkins, gourds and a nice crop of watermelons are coming in now.

Note: July 16 is the Master Gardeners Lecture at Freeman Library on Fall Gardening from 6:30 – 8:30.

Post by Nathan V

Here’s some photo’s from our workday.

The first photo is David, George & Nathan in a garden selfie. Note the yard-long beans on the tent over their head’s. George is munching on one.

May 9, 2015 – BAUUC Garden Workday

Group Shot

Gardeners from Left: Ana, Jill, Paula, David, Emily, Deandra, George

The BAUUC Community garden workday started under a threat of rain again as it has so often this spring. Nine hardy gardeners attended and took care of their beds and contributed labor and support for the garden. Foot long beans were planted in the 4 x10’ tented bed.

We appreciate the donation of 1015 onions from Bruce. Emily did a wonderful job tying up the blackberry vines that were straying out into the walkways and attacking people. This should be a good crop and we look forward to the possibility of some cobbler on a Sunday morning!

In addition to the blackberries, blueberries are ripening, beans have jumped up, and several types of tomatoes are just starting to turn red and the zucchinis are monstrous. George’s production beds should be supplying tomatoes, cucumbers, and eventually watermelons. We will need help to pick these and get them to food banks.

Below are some shots of what’s currently growing in our wonderful gardens!

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On a sour note, our hope of growing soybeans failed miserably. Our dream of edamame and turning under the plants as “green manure” and visions of grass not taking over the beds in the summer did not work out. Well, back to the drawing board!

Next time you are at the church take a walk through the garden. You can’t miss our new hurricane-proof (we hope) power pole. Thanks, CenterPoint, for not putting it in that bed! We are expecting some sunflowers, poppies and marigolds to be popping up soon and maybe even some poke salat!

Below are some of our Volunteers and Gardeners!

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Beds are available. Volunteers are always welcome. Next work day is June 12th from 8-10:30 (our new summer hours). Come and join the fun!

Article by Nathan Veach