Garden News

We will be sharing monthly updates and other useful information throughout the gardening season.
   
          

An important message from the Board of the MCG

posted Mar 23, 2020, 8:27 AM by MCG Admin   [ updated Mar 29, 2020, 8:06 AM ]

An important message from the Board of the Mukilteo Community Garden 

Governor Inslee has ordered people to stay home.  But, his order includes this statement: "People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — as long as they follow social distancing rules." 

The Board has decided the Mukilteo Community Garden(MCG) will remain open for business.  A conversation with a Food Bank representative confirms – they are looking forward to our produce, and they will need it this year more than ever.  And we believe the Garden will be an important place for you to have privacy and serenity as we all negotiate the serious challenge to our community. But we are primarily concerned for personal safety.  If you are comfortable being in the Garden, we want you to continue using it and to help us continue to raise crops for the Food Banks. 

In light of the corona virus, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of all connected to the Garden. 

Please read to the bottom of this email and reply so we know you have read this important communication.  If we don’t hear from you by March 28, a Board member will give you a friendly call to be sure you’re aware of our plans.  And when you reply, we’d love to have your thoughts, concerns and ideas.  

Protecting yourself, your family and your fellow gardeners

Be responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of others.  Bring and use your own gloves.  Bring your own sanitizing wipes and use them to wipe whatever you touch – locks, door handles, tools, wheelbarrow handles, etc.  Wipe before you touch, and wipe when you’re done.  There’s no such thing as too cautious!!  We will try to stock a bleach solution and paper towels, but don’t rely on them.  Bring your own.  

If possible, bring your own tools.  However, if you absolutely need to use a tool from the shed, clean it when you are done and use your sanitizing wipes to thoroughly wipe down the handle of the tool before and after you use it. 

Learn more about protecting your family here: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html

 Meeting our mandate to feed the community

The food bank has informed us that the needs of their clients is going to be greater than ever and our giving bed produce is going to play a vital role in people’s lives. 

Your 10-hour commitment to work in 2020 supporting the giving beds and common area will be critical, but we are giving you the flexibility you need to fulfill your commitment.  There will be no formal work parties until further notice.  Gardeners can work whenever it is safe and convenient for you, both on your own beds and on the Food Bank beds.  You are no longer obligated to the specific days and times you signed up for when you paid your rental fees.  

The important tasks for volunteers will be shared in a weekly email with the subject line “MCG Tasks week of XXX”.  They will also be posted on the MCG web site www.mukilteogarden.org and will be posted at the garden.  (This will also be a helpful guide to what you could be doing with your own crops.) 

Getting the most out of your garden bed and experience

MCG Board members will be available for consultation, either via phone or in person.  If you’ve got a question about your own crops, or you don’t feel confident to work on a task for the Food Bank beds without some guidance, get in touch with us at the email or phone number below.  We’ll get back to you and arrange to provide help as it works best for you.

Unfortunately, we have fewer gardeners this year than last year.  If you’re a returning gardener who hasn’t paid yet, and you’re concerned about the rental fee, we’d like to work with you to keep you involved.  Get in touch with us at the email or phone number below.   

Because there are unrented beds, you can also add on to your growing capacity.  Get in touch with us at the email or phone number below if you’d like to rent another space.  Remember, the 10 hours/year applies to each bed so you’ll be upping your volunteer commitment. 

Staying connected because We are a Community

One of the benefits of gardening at MCG is the ability to socialize with and learn from fellow bed renters.  Since we cannot do that for now, remember that MCG is also online.  We’ve got Facebook and Instagram accounts which would be a great way to communicate with other gardeners.  Please use those for now, until we can all once again meet and mingle in the Garden.  

We may be a smaller group than in the past, but the Board has great hopes that this will be an excellent year for the Garden.  We’ll all work together to provide a much-needed service to our neighbors, and we’ll personally benefit from the peace and serenity to be found in the Garden. 

Many thanks for your understanding and help! 

The Mukilteo Community Garden Board 

To reach us about any of the points above, or with any other thoughts, email mukilteop-patch@hotmail.com or call 425-737-0351 to speak with Jeanne Crisp, Board Vice-President.   

Join The MCG Watering Team

posted Mar 11, 2020, 4:23 PM by MCG Admin

Welcome, all you new and returning gardeners, to 2020 in the Mukilteo Community Garden.

   We have started some seeds in the Greenhouse, and will be starting more, for plants that will be going into the Food Bank Beds/Giving Gardens this spring.  If you are interested in helping out with the watering and plant care (additional seeding, potting up and eventual transplanting), please send Ann Ramos (goldswort@comcast.net) an email and she will put together a Watering/Grow Team.  The plants and seedlings are tended in the two Greenhouses, outdoor pots of edibles, and when needed, the newly seeded areas of the Food Bank Beds/Giving Gardens.
     If you would like to join the sprinklers, send her a note with the day(s) of the week you prefer; and if you have a fellow gardener or a friend in mind you want to partner with, let her know that as well — being a current renter at the Garden is not a requirement!   Ideally, two people assigned to each day will allow you to trade off or fill in for each other during vacations.   (A quick "sorry, can’t”  note would also be appreciated.)
     Ann will set up an orientation session or two at the Garden for those interested once the team is put together.  
Ann Ramos

Beds Still Available for the 2020 Season

posted Mar 11, 2020, 3:59 PM by MCG Admin

There are still some beds available for rent.  There will be two more orientation sessions, Saturday March 14 and Sunday March 22 from 10am – 11am in the garden.   

At the orientation you will need to pay the annual rental fee (cash or check), sign-up for volunteer hours, and review and sign the rental agreement.  As a reminder the annual fees are: $50.00 (4’X8’), $60.00 (4’X10’), $70.00 (4’X12’). 

10th Anniversary Celebration

posted Aug 22, 2019, 8:11 AM by MCG Admin   [ updated Aug 22, 2019, 8:33 PM ]

On Saturday August 24th, the Mukilteo Community Garden will be having their 10th Anniversary Celebration from 10am - 3pm in the garden.  From 12-1 pm you can meet one of the founders, Lois Brown, and hear her talk about the early days at the garden.  There will also be a special cake cutting celebration at this time.

Pictures will be on display of the garden from the early days until now and hear about what is in store for the next 10 years! 

Come join the fun.  Everyone is welcome, bring family and friends. 

‘It soothes the soul’

posted Aug 22, 2019, 8:00 AM by MCG Admin

Check out the lovely article by Paul Archipley in the August 21 Beacon about the Garden. You can find the article on-line @ Mukilteo Beacon - It Sooths the Soul

    
(Photo by: Brandon Gustafson)

Anyone who loves gardening will tell you it’s as close to communing with God as one can get. And if your garden is producing not just flowers but food, too? Nirvana.

In years past, Seattle exiles who escaped from the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet respite that is Mukilteo longed for some things that were missing from their previous lives.

Among them were Seattle’s P-Patch community garden program. Former City Administrator Joe Hannon said he received calls all the time from people who missed their P-Patch.

Thus, a seed was planted, the idea grew and, in 2009, a group of volunteers and City officials teamed up to open the Mukilteo Community Garden.

This year, marking the garden’s 10th anniversary, gardeners past and present will gather to celebrate. The community is invited to an open house from 10-3 Saturday, Aug. 24. Cake will be cut and served between 12 and 1. The garden is at the top of Japanese Gulch. The entrance is where 44th Avenue West meets 76th Street Southwest.

Among those who will be celebrating is current board president Gloria Flatterich. She learned about the Mukilteo Community Garden from a mentor with the Master Gardener program.

“I got strong-armed,” she laughed. “I had lost my job, and that takes its toll. I learned about the Mukilteo Community Garden, rented a bed, and I was hooked.

“You’ve heard about how gardening helps people with depression? It’s true! I had found my ‘tribe.’ We clicked. I guess it’s because we have common ground between us – or common soil.”

Today, there are 48 beds for rent, ranging in price from $50 to $120, depending on bed size, plus some required “sweat equity.” Fees help cover a variety of expenses, including water, electricity, insurance, maintenance, compost and seeds.

The Mukilteo Community Garden is considered one of the Cadillacs of the community garden world.

That’s one of the reasons long-time gardener Ann Ramos has been renting her bed since the beginning.

A master gardener herself, Ramos heard about efforts to start a garden, and began attending planning meetings.

“It was very well organized,” she recalled. “And there was such enthusiasm. In fact, that’s still the case. It’s quite extraordinary.”

The groundbreaking was just east of a building that was originally a mortuary, later the police department, and just west of the site of a one-time cemetery.

“That led to a joke or two,” Ramos said. “Mr. Hannon said if you don’t dig deeper than 6 feet, you’ll be OK.” (For the record, all bodies had long since been relocated to an Everett cemetery.)

For Ramos and many of the other members, the garden created an opportunity to grow their own food, learn from each other, and join a community of like-minded gardeners.

That’s why Bob Dickensheets and Mary Ollenburg joined, too.

“We were new in town,” Ollenburg said. “Thanks to the Beacon, we heard about the meetings at City Hall and thought it would be interesting.”

Armed with shovels, hoes and other tools, they joined other volunteers at the garden site to begin preparing the land.

“It was all weeds and blackberries,” Dickensheets said. “I took a shovel, shoved it in, and it went ‘clank!’ A contractor helping us said it was all glacial fill, all rocks. We realized we’d have to build raised beds.”

A lot of sweat, effort and aches later, the first beds were ready for planting – late for the first season, but they were on their way.

Long-time members offer similar responses when asked why they garden.

“It’s good therapy,” Ollenburg said.

“It’s an outlet. And the camaraderie is fun,” Dickensheets said.

Master gardeners Lois Brown and Lynette Gardiner, who were instrumental in launching the community garden, agree.

“It soothes the soul,” Gardiner said. “You’re digging in the dirt, taking time to slow down and be quiet. It’s very meditative.”

All of the gardeners are quick to praise each other and the greater community for making the project bloom.

Besides the city itself, a range of individuals, groups, business owners and others have stepped up. The Kiwanis Club helps every year. Boeing employees, too. And Scouts. Master gardeners, of course. There are too many to list here.

“We were being gifted all the time,” Brown said. “It’s the only community garden I know of that’s had this kind of response.”

In turn, gardeners have been generous with their bounty, regularly providing fresh produce to the Mukilteo and Lynnwood food banks. They regularly offer workshops, including classes specifically for kids.

Of course, their needs never go away, either. The wood frames for the raised beds are deteriorating. Greenhouses and fencing need regular maintenance. The list goes on.

Find out for yourself. Visit the Mukilteo Community Garden this Saturday. Who knows, a seed might be planted and germinate in your soul.

"Benchie"

posted Jun 10, 2019, 5:05 PM by MCG Admin

 

 The Royal Garden Bench, the Mukilteo Community Garden's long time mascot, made a glorious comeback to the garden.  The bench, nicknamed "Benchie", was lovingly restored by one of our volunteers and head restoration guy, Bruce Rhynard.  Benchie has plenty of stories to share, just ask Bruce! 

Thank-you Boeing Volunteers

posted Jun 10, 2019, 4:36 PM by MCG Admin

 
 

On Wednesday, June 5th, approximately 7 Boeing volunteers spent 2 hours working in the garden.  The group did a great job!  They weeded the front flower beds, set up the rock border, laid fresh soil, laid lots of wood chips, and cleaned out the aluminum greenhouse!  Also, thanks to Lorie for stopping by with fruit and muffins.


               


Do You Ever Wonder Whether It Is Worth It?

posted Jun 10, 2019, 4:11 PM by MCG Admin

 Note From Ann Ramos...   

    Do you ever wonder whether it is worth it?  When I took our small offering to the Lynnwood Food Bank,  Director Alissa recognized MCG donations immediately, and the volunteer who stopped me briefly in the parking lot was effusive:  "Thank You so much for the beautiful produce…You know, I work at the distribution table outside, and it is such a pleasure to announce “fresh picked” to the clients as they come to collect their food choices…”   
    I saw stacks of canned soup, bakery goods, all sorts of dry goods which the local grocery stores had donated….but fresh produce is a rarity.  So, if you have more in your rental beds than you can use, please don’t let it go to waste….donate it — there are a lot of people out there who will be very grateful.  Write a note to us — we harvest on Wednesday and Saturday as needed.  But remember we do not have a working refrigerator just now, so it will have to be transported the same day as picked (or stored for a short time in the refrigerator of one of you Good Samaritans at home).

"Got Mulch"

posted Jun 10, 2019, 12:05 PM by MCG Admin

 
 
 Thank-you to Lorie Rhynard, Jeanne Crisp and Geoff Higgs (not pictured) for loading and unloading several truckloads of Pacific Garden Mulch that was generously donated by Lydia Stout (a Snohomish County Master Gardener.)

Thank-you Kiwanis & Key Club Members for Volunteering in the Garden for Earth Day

posted Apr 28, 2019, 8:23 PM by MCG Admin   [ updated Apr 28, 2019, 8:25 PM ]


Thank-you to all the members of Kiwanis Club of Mukilteo and the Kamiak and Mariner high school students who are members of their schools’ Key Clubs for volunteering in the Garden on Saturday, April 20, in honor of Earth Day.
The volunteers helped seed vegetables and transplanted starts in the giving garden beds.  The volunteers also helped with weeding, mulching, moving straw bales, and more.  Also, thanks to Tony McNulty, the owner of Papa Murphy’s on Mukilteo Speedway for treating the workers to free pizza.
See the complete story in the Mukilteo Beacon @https://mukilteobeacon.villagesoup.com.

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