She’s a Bird…

Since my good friend, Sarah, introduced this song to us over Memorial Day Weekend, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve sung it to our own little Bird Dog. The Everly Brothers, “Bird Dog.”

The other song we sing to her ALL. THE. TIME.

You’re welcome. Other things that are going on:

  • Pants that fit me a week ago no longer do. I’m 21 weeks today, and I’m told the baby is now the size of the world’s largest gummy bear (not the WEIGHT, thank goodness, just the length/size).
  • I’m about to do a little closet cleaning/demolition/priming work today as part of Massive Closet Upgrade of 2013.
  • My office is quickly becoming half-office, half-nursery with cloth diapers, books, and knitted owls falling off the shelves.
  • And I’m finally getting to spend more time on Fall Creek Gardens stuff, harvesting the fruit of our labors! On Monday, we harvested about 30 pounds of produce for the Mid-North Food Pantry, and on Friday I harvested another 20 pounds of kale, chard, spicy mixed greens, and bok choy.

20131004. 20 pounds of greens from Fall Creek Gardens for the Mid-North Food Pantry.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Getting My Fall Planting On

Confession: I’ve never planted a fall garden before. I’ve always wanted to do a fall garden, but something about the dog days of summer – you know, mid-90s, suddenly no rain in the forecast, and air that sticks to the back of your neck and the insides of your elbows the second your walk out the door – has always made it difficult for me to even think about planting new seedlings.

Also, isn’t there something so cozy and wonderful about spring garden planning? Curled up on the couch with your seed catalogs and your spring dreams, watching the snowflakes skitter shakily past just outside the window? Let me tell you, there is nothing cozy about our current weather patterns.

But I digress. This year, I am planting my first fall garden over at Fall Creek Gardens! We got seeds in the ground two weekends ago and a batch of seedlings in last weekend (right before it got too hot and dry for words, of course, but the little buggers are hanging on).

20130824. Fall Creek Gardens' Stone Soup Kitchen Garden beds.

So what’s on the fall garden menu? Let me tell you:

  • Kale (2 kinds)
  • Beets (2 kinds)
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes (2 kinds)
  • Carrots (2 kinds)
  • Okra (we’ll see if it grows into the fall or not!)
  • Lettuce
  • Mesclun mix

20130824. Fall Creek Gardens' Stone Soup Kitchen Garden beds.

20130824. Fall Creek Gardens' Stone Soup Kitchen Garden beds.

20130824. Fall Creek Gardens' Stone Soup Kitchen Garden beds.
20130824. Fall Creek Gardens' sunflower mural.

Oh, It’s Such a Perfect Day

If my day had a theme song, it would be this:

Today, I got to plant the first fall crop of seeds in Fall Creek Gardens’ new Stone Soup Kitchen Garden. I somehow lucked into being the “garden manager intern” for this awesome new project, funded in part by the Indy Food Fund, which awarded for the first time ever nearly $50,000 in grants to 11 organizations in Indianapolis. Now that the Growing Places Indy summer farming apprenticeship is over, I am able to fully jump in and start dreaming and scheming what we can do with the space. And I LOVE it!

And, oh, is there ever space. I should know the exact square footage, but I don’t have that committed to memory just yet. I would estimate we have about 175′ of 4′-wide beds – and that’s with only HALF of the entire project completed!

20130806. Fall Creek Gardens' kitchen demonstration beds.

During the last week of our apprenticeship, we helped out in filling up most of the kitchen garden beds. This gives a little bit of a sense of scale!

The coolest part of all this is where the produce will go. The garden itself will be used as part of interactive, hands on gardening skill and technique classes, which is awesome on its own. But the produce from the garden will go to three main places:

  • To volunteers or others in the community who help out in growing and maintaining the beds (tentatively 5lbs. of organically grown produce for each hour of work)
  • To the Mid-North Food Pantry, which is a major provider to residents of Mapleton-Fall Creek
  • And anything left will be used in Fall Creek Gardens’ cooking, preserving, and other hands on classes

Today was picture-perfect, thus the inspiration for my day’s theme music. There was a large group working on the gardens’ new sunflower mural, it was beautifully sunny and breezy, and I was armed with friends, helpers, and many, many seed packets. Looking out from the kitchen garden, across the community gardeners beds, so full and vibrant and buzzing with life, and watching the mural grow increasingly more colorful, I couldn’t help but think, “THIS is what it’s all about. Right here with these people on this single corner of Indianapolis on this particular day. THIS.”

20130806. Fall Creek Gardens' kitchen demonstration beds.

Seriously, how did I get to be so lucky? In other news, my baby-related stress dreams have officially been replaced by wedding stress dreams. The wedding is three weeks from today OHHOLYCRAP.

20130817. Wedding mix.

Wedding mixes for our guests.

20130817. Wedding jam. That's a thing, right?

Wedding cinnamon blueberry jam for the guests.

20130817. Birdie has an interest in artichokes.

Our first artichoke! Birdie agrees that it would look fab in a bridal bouquet.

20130816. Baby's first gifts.

And totally unrelated, here are the baby’s very first gifts. Thanks, Sue and Passion!