Written by Gwen Herzog, Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative’s Vegetable Garden Chair
What an amazing week we had at the WCHI garden! With the limited amount of rain recently, I was able to move the lawn mower deck down one notch and not stall out the mower. The groundhog re-opened the giant hole and once again, I was able to see it and avoid it. I refilled the hole with dirt, rocks, and the scrapings from underneath the mower deck. It appears that this critter has been feasting on our cauliflower and cabbage plants, but surprisingly not the Brussels sprouts.
Earlier this year, we had a robin build a nest and lay eggs in one of the flower boxes on our garden shed. A couple of weeks back the eggs hatched and suddenly there were four babies. I have a fear of birds, but since mama robin flew away to the fence whenever I got near, I felt comfortable observing these little ones close up. Monday the nest was abandoned, so I want to believe mama took her babies elsewhere with less activity. Look for photos of the hatchlings on our WCHI Facebook page.
On May 20th, Township Commissioner, Jeff Warren, graciously pressure washed the inside and outside of our water tank. Late last summer we experienced a small algae bloom and the inside of the tank became badly discolored. Jeff was committed to getting the tank looking good before it was filled this year. It took a lot of time and energy, but the tank looks GREAT. Thanks again, Jeff!
Tuesday evening was our first garden work night. Thanks to our volunteers, we were able to remove boards and cardboard, prep beds, plant, weed, and water. Sue Butchinski planted the pepper, tomato, and eggplant plants. Sylvia Lee and Jenn Dietz cleared beds and weeded, Tom Noctor rototilled, and I planted zucchini and yellow squash seeds. Finally, we all watered everything. Look for new garden photos on our Facebook page.
Wednesday evening the Hokey Fire Department delivered water into our newly cleaned tank. It may be another dry summer. Thank you to Mark Bilder and the entire Hokey Fire Department, now and in advance, for all the water they will deliver this year!
On Tuesday evening May 30th, the garden work plan includes: thin the radish, red beet, and carrot seedlings, prep and plant additional beds, cage the tomato and pepper plants, plant sunflower and other flower seeds, weed, and water. We welcome garden volunteers, but clearances are required. Please see www.tinyurl.com/WCHIforms for more details.
In May, WCHI’s Pantry provided food for almost 1,000 of our Whitehall and Coplay neighbors. Many of our guests tell us of the meals they will prepare using the fresh produce they receive. As you are planting your garden, why not plant an extra row or an extra plant and donate the vegetables to our Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative? All produce received will be distributed to our Pantry guests and given to our guests attending our Free Community Meals. You may drop your garden bounty at Shari Noctor’s Re/Max Unlimited office,1080 Schadt Avenue, Whitehall Monday-Friday 9-5. WCHI is also accepting any extra vegetable plants you may have. Call or text me 610-379-6823 to arrange for drop-off or pick up. Thank you in advance for all donations!
This week we learned that Shari Noctor’s Re/Max office will also be a local drop off site for Plant-A-Row Lehigh Valley, an organization that works throughout our local communities to help gardeners find a place to take extra produce. We look forward to this opportunity!
Finally, keep an eye out for our WCHI Garden Sign to be hung on our garden fence. You will be able to see it from the Ironton Rail Trail.