In case you haven’t noticed, summer has arrived! No more cold, rainy workdays. For the Demonstration Garden, the word for the day, the week, the month, is HOT. We’ve had several work days that started an hour early (8am) to avoid the worst of the heat. Even so, there is a lot of sweat being dripped on our garden beds.

The heat does bring on some of the summer plants. We are harvesting over 100 pounds on many of our work days. We have overloaded some of our food clients, and added the OHSU Richmond Clinic as a donation recipient. Although a bit of a drive, the eager attention given to the food we bring is very rewarding. That clinic serves many low income folks, and they have taken the donations with thanks.

Our total harvest as of the end of July was over 1200 pounds! It looks to be a better than average year. Although two of the beds in the original garden are out-of-service because of symphylan infestation, there are five new beds at the annex that are producing food. We should easily exceed 2000 pounds of donations this year.

For the first time in my years at the Demonstration Garden, some animal did significant damage to a couple of the beds in our original garden. Guesses range from dog to raccoon to opossum. On the same day, someone / something knocked over our outdoor sink. Enough already! We’re raising food for hungry folks! We’re the good guys!

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In the new Annex we’ve made steady progress. We now have a handsome Nature Commode (aka porta-potty), and our outdoor classroom is nearing completion, as shown in the accompanying picture. The smaller posts at each end will be part of trellises for grapes (south) and Hardy Kiwis (north). The Shade Sail is turquoise. I know that because that’s what I clicked on when I ordered it. Folks looking at it after installation have called it light green, blue, teal, and… turquoise! We’re hoping it will provide pleasant shade for afternoon classes. There have been some suggestions that we acquire a few comfy chairs and a solar-powered drink mixer!

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Stop by and see the gardens! In spite of the recent damage, the original garden looks great. Check out Bed L with its handsome flowers. The Annex is changing before our eyes. This fall will bring planting of several large beds now under mulch. The greenhouse planning is back on track, with probable installation next spring. You say you’re a gardener? Come on out!