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Another field trip

This morning we visited a few more community gardens in vicinity of I45 and Beltway 8.  These are all listed as allotment-style gardens on the Urban Harvest map of affiliated gardens. Continue reading

Tomates y Chiles en Español

Texas Agrilife Extension Agency

The Harris County Extension Agency has a few Spanish-language gardening resources available online.  You can find links to the PDF files here for advice on tomatoes, chiles and fruits.

The Master Gardeners down in Galveston County have put together a “Bilingual Guide to Yard Care” which is another good Spanish-English translation resource for your gardening vocabulary.

The Texas Agrilife Extension Bookstore also has Spanish-language materials on a variety of topics.

Our First Garden Bed

BAUUC Community Garden VolunteersWe had another successful workday in the garden thanks to our volunteers: Kris Berthold, Merlin Hall, Julie Lambert, Megan Riordan, Cinnamin Rivers, Scott Rock, Sam Sanderson, Kellynn Sembera and Jacob Sullivan.

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No news, good news and bad news

First the No News:  Texas is experiencing a record drought that is expected to last through next year.  The Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA), the church’s water supplier, has declared a Stage 2 Water Shortage Condition which limits irrigation to two days a week.

Then the Good News:  The Director of Utilities at CLCWA is a gardener and appears to understand that seedlings, new transplants and many vegetables need watering more frequently than twice-weekly, though the total water consumption may not be more than used in a turf lawn.

Now the Bad News:  The CLCWA Drought Contingency Plan (PDF) does not exempt hand-watering from Stage 2 restrictions and the Director does not have latitude to issue a variance or special exemption for garden irrigation.  Continue reading

Our first official workday…

A couple of Saturdays ago the garden had its first official workday – and it was a success!  We had ten volunteers show up to work on installing the water lines and to make a “future site of…” sign to let folks know what was going on (if they can read Spanish).

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Designing the raised beds

wood vs. concrete

The allotment plots in the BAUUC Community Garden will be 4-ft x 20-ft raised beds.  The beds will be constructed by putting down a layer of cardboard over the ground (and weeds), installing the edging, then filling the raised bed with about 8 inches of imported soil.  This is a typical approach for raised vegetable beds and is the method recommended by the knowledgeable folks at Urban Harvest.

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A Garden of Words

Here’s a good resource to help translate gardening terms between English and Spanish.  It was written for the University of California Master Gardener program by a retired State Department translator.

A Garden of Words

Garden layout video

Based on a new understanding of the pipeline easement restrictions, the garden layout has been modified.  The berries and fruit trees were removed from the plan, but the vegetable plots remain in the same general area.  We will reconsider locations for an orchard next year.

Our theme song

Our unofficial theme song during the build process is The Garden Song, written by David Mallett back in the 70’s.  If anyone has Spanish-language verses for this song, let us know!

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Garden tour slideshow

During October BAUUC volunteers toured several community gardens in the area to observe a variety of building techniques, crop selections and garden management styles. We are grateful for the time, advice and encouragement offered by:  Gerry Gafka and Betty Crockford at the Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 Demonstration/Donation Garden; Oscar and the other volunteers at the Challenger 7 Community Garden in Webster; Penny Skov and Beverly Demoss at the Clear Lake United Methodist Church community garden; and Ally Hardick at the Plant a Seed ~ Feed a Need community garden at St. Chrisopher Episcopal church in League City.

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