WCHI Pantry Garden Article - October, 2023
Contributed by Gwen Herzog, WCHI Pantry Garden Chair
I am writing this article after another busy work night at the WCHI Pantry Garden. Tonight, we picked a bucket of string beans and several tomatoes. We then planted about 100 onion plants and approximately 30 parsley plants. I picked up the onion plants this morning from The Seed Farm located in Vera Cruz. Sam from TSF told me that if we planted them today, in 6 weeks we should be picking scallions for our guests. The parsley also came from TSF last week. We should be able to pick from these plants this fall and again next year. In addition to the parsley, two weeks ago and again last week we planted several varieties of cold tolerant greens, cabbage, and broccoli, all obtained from TSF. All are growing great! We should be able pick and pack greens for our food distributions in October. The cabbage and broccoli will take a little longer. Last week we planted a variety of herb plants also obtained from TSF. We cut, packed, and distributed dill to pantry guests. Two weeks ago and again last week we re-potted some basil plants from TSF and made them available to our guests at the pantry to grow on their windowsills. The take home plants were so popular that we ran out quickly. Our basil plant giveaway has gotten the attention of TSF and Second Harvest. Next year will reveal how they will grow our success.
I want to thank all our community gardeners who have shared their bounty with us. Thanks to all of you, to date, 344.59 pounds of produce have been collected and shared with our WCHI guests and with other, local food pantries through Plant-A-Row. Remember, if you have extra garden produce or herbs you can share, please drop them to RE/MAX Unlimited Real Estate, 1080 Schadt Ave., Whitehall Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please place items on the table on the right side of the vestibule. You may also call or text me at 610-379-6823 to make other arrangements for drop off or pick up. No amount is too large or too small. Don’t forget, as you empty those plants pre-frost, we can be an outlet for your smaller peppers and green tomatoes.
Here is our year-to-date garden bounty: 373 zucchini, 225 yellow squash, 24 bags of radishes, 221 tomatoes, 179 peppers, 16 bags of red beets, 75 eggplants, 2 tote bags of parsley, 36 ears of corn, 11 bags of dill, and 9 bags of string beans.
In my very first pantry garden article I wrote that the worst day for me, as a gardener, is putting the garden to bed just before the first frost. As the amount of daylight hours get shorter, I am reminded that the time for frost is near. It seems like just last month I couldn’t wait for that first tomato to ripen, but now, at times, I am overwhelmed with tomatoes that are cracked or have been nibbled by a critter or slug and must be tended to. By now, you have frozen tomato sauce, stuffed peppers, and string beans, you have shared your bounty with family, friends, and neighbors, and perhaps you have tried a new recipe, canned red beets, or made hot sauce with your garden’s bounty. These are the memories that will hopefully sustain you through the coming winter. Enjoy the final weeks of your summer garden, and if you are extending your garden with cool weather vegetables, I wish you a bounteous fall!