The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Have a toothache? We have an herb for you.


We received eight “toothache” plants or Spilantes Acmella oleracea from Kay at Grow and Share, Inc. I gave away six and kept two. Out of the two I kept, one was inadvertently “killed” by a gardener. The other is now blossoming beautifully in the garden. This striking plant has golden, globe-shaped flowers with a red center. Spilanthes is an interesting plant to behold and to taste! It is one of the strongest saliva-promoters I know; even a tiny nibble from one of the flowers will set your mouth to drool. The tingly numbing sensation is used to soothe toothaches and acts as an oral anodyne. All the aboveground parts are medicinal, and can be chewed fresh or dried. It can also be put it into formulas with Echinacea as an immune stimulant for augmenting the body’s internal defenses against the colds and flu.

You can harvest the plant a few times during the growing season— I have cut it back once so far and am drying it in the pantry closet in a brown bag. You also wan to protect the plants from slugs, as they will devour it—slug candy, indeed! Spilanthes is one of the easiest to grow medicinal herbs, and kids absolutely love it!

My goal is to dry the plant and give away to neighbors to try out. I’ll be bringing it by in a few weeks.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Taste of the Wedge Garden

The garden party was a total success! Thank you all for coming to get a taste of our harvest. Some of the tastings were zucchini muffins by “Serafina,” zucchini crust pizza by “Giovanna,”  tzatziki by “Apollonia,”  tomato mozzarella by “Rocco,”  babaganoush & hummus by “Jimmy & Lucia Mancini,”  Armenian cucumber salad by “Francesca,” fresh figs from our fig tree by ”Giovanni.”  We also made cucumber infused drink and rose water.  The cucumbers were from our garden, but of course not the roses.


Blue Mango Restaurant from Glenwood South was very generous with garlic naan, masala mogo, which is yucca, with tamarind sauce, and potato patties.
We would like to thank the Alexander Family YMCA staff & visitors, Grow & Share, Hillsborough CAC, Raleigh Community Services, Will Allen & family, Amy Witnyski & Marian, Dan Bagley & Family, Sue & Lyle, Vince & Wrenn Whitehurst, Jessica, George from Community Development, Julie & Paul, Lawson, Elizabeth Lane, Bridget, Giovanni and my unsung hero, Francesco, for joining us and making this party such a success.


At the Wedge, we are starting to plant another round of tomatoes. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the Wedge Garden as a member, join us Saturday mornings to garden or email us at thewedegegarden@gmail.com Help us grow and donate 200 lbs of produce to Plant a Row for the Hungry by year end. We also share our harvest with our members, sponsors, & food pantries.
Membership is super easy & a lot of fun. With $60 annual dues you are welcome to garden any day of the week.  The garden is open 7 days a week. Many of us garden Saturday mornings and some garden during the week.  We hope you will join the Wedge Garden! 







Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wedge Garden to Give 200lbs of Produce to Plant a Row for the Hungry by End of Year

The Wedge Garden has set a goal to give 200 lbs of produce to Plant a Row for the Hungry by December 31, 2014. So far we have donated 60 lbs. We have a lot more work to do. Join us on Saturday mornings to garden and reach our goal to feed those in need.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Veggies for Plant a Row for the Hungry

Giovanni just dropped off 15 lbs of summer veggies to Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pullen Baptist Memorial Church Visits The Wedge Garden

Pullen Baptist Memorial Church kids volunteered at The Wedge Garden. They got a tour of the garden and the 5 year old kids played a garden scavenger hunt game.  Other kids planted marigolds, basil and cucumbers. They will be back to harvest the food, prepare it and give it to a charity.





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Garden Party

The Wedge Garden is having a garden party on Sunday, July 27 at 4pm until dark for our volunteers, sponsors and supporters. Please join us to get a taste of tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, hot peppers, sweet peppers, okra, lots of herbs, turnips, and potatoes!

We are looking for volunteers to make a dish with some items from the garden. Please email thewedgegarden@gmail.com.

Don't forget your insect repellent, utensils/plates, a lawn chair, family/friends and your taste buds.



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Haven House Helped Build an Asparagus Bed

Haven House youth came back on Saturday to help us build an asparagus bed. Thank you Steven from Haven House for helping Giovanni.  We look forward to seeing all of you again.

We need more volunteers to help build more beds, a bulletin board, and a few benches for volunteers to sit and enjoy the view.

Goal for next Saturday: Prep asparagus bed to plant asparagus seeds.






 

Steven, Erica, Parish, & Bobby
  

Marian Drane Scholars Prepping Pumpkin Patch

Six Marian Drane Scholars from all over North Carolina spent a day at The Wedge Garden prepping the pumpkin patch. Next we need help prepping the asparagus bed. Please email thewedgegarden@gmail.com if you have a group who would be interested in prepping and planting asparagus.

 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

First Harvest of the Season

Last fall we had an entire area that was full of weeds. We cleared out the area, and Julia planted yellow, white & red onions, shallots and garlic.

Julia 
We knew they would be ready right before pumpkin season. Although onions are not prime vegetables, they are easy to grow and almost everyone will use onions in their cooking at least once a week.


This past Saturday we harvested 65 lbs of onions.

Richie 
Here is how we shared our first harvest of the season:

1) 25.26 lbs of yellow onions, white onions, garlic, shallots and small white onions with Plant a Row for the Hungry.


2) Homes on Park Avenue, Dexter Lane and Ashe Avenue
3) Supporters of Service Raleigh 2014 – Alexander Family YMCA, Lomo Market, Moonlight Diner, Tesoro Hair Design, Logan’s Trading & Ace Hardware Seaboard Station

Ace Hardware Seaboard

Sue @Logantrd

Maurizio @TesoroHairDesign

Rossie @LomoMrkt

@AlexanderfamilyYMCA

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Pleasant Visit by the Extension Master Gardeners

Extension Master Gardener volunteers work with NC Cooperative Extension to provide gardeners with unbiased, research based information on gardens, lawns and landscapes. I have called and tweeted the Master Gardeners a number of times this spring to get advice on soil amendment, manure composting and help with planting the herb garden.

To my surprise, the Master Gardeners came to visit the Wedge Garden. Although it was raining, the visit was a pleasant surprise. We look forward to more visitors at the Wedge.





Monday, June 9, 2014

Check Out the Mural by Lauren Caddick from NCSU

About a year ago, we were thinking of getting a mural done on the shed wall that faces the YMCA kids playground. We thought of asking Service Raleigh to see if an NCSU art student would want to do a mural for us. We also asked the YMCA if they would be willing to sponsor the project. Without a moment of hesitation, I received an email from Douglas Andrew saying, "This sounds awesome.  We would love to sponsor the mural." The plan was to get the mural done on Service Raleigh, March 29th. However, as most of you know, it rained and some of the projects were cancelled. The mural being one of the projects.

Service Raleigh connected us with Lauren Caddick, a Park Scholar from Gastonia, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Art and Design and a minor in Film Studies from NCSU.

This past weekend, Lauren volunteered her Service Raleigh hours to do the mural. The mural is on the shed wall that faces the YMCA playground. Lauren has done a fabulous job with the mural. If you plan to check it out, walk up the steps of the garden, all the way to the shed and you will see it on the right side of the shed wall.

Thank you, Lauren and Alexander Family YMCA for all your support. We appreciate everything you do for us.

If you are a patron of the NCSU University Theater, then you may have seen Lauren in Game's a Foot. She played Madge Geisel.


Mural by Lauren Caddick - NCSU






Saturday, June 7, 2014

What's Growing in the Garden

Lot's of goodies! We've got onions, garlic, shallots, white onions, green onions, leeks, tomatoes, eggplant, hot pepper, banana peppers, basil, parsley, cilantro, potatoes, lettuce, even asparagus! We got everything labeled. Stop by and take a look. Here are a few photos.

Potatoes
Tomatoes
Green Peppers
 
Basil
 
Eggplant
 

White Onions

 
Small White Onions




Using Weed Suppressing Fabric

The Haven House youth came back this weekend to help out with the butterfly garden. Two months ago we planted perennials. They are finally looking great, but we were tired of weeding every weekend. Giovanni picked up weed suppressor fabric on Friday.


The youth helped us take out all the woodchips, lay out the fabric and place mulch and compost on top. Weed suppressing fabric was placed directly on the ground to help control weed growth around plants. The woven material is designed to allow water in to help keep the soil warm and moist, while keeping insects out and eliminating the sunlight environment that is necessary for weeds to flourish. It makes a gardener's life much easier. Thank you Haven  House youth for coming out every weekend to help your community garden flourish.

Before

Michael - Haven House Youth

Bobby & Erica

Mission Accomplished!

 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thank You for the Goat Manure!

As you know we recently built new vegetable beds and added new topsoil along with compost & mulch.  Normally we would work our soil in the fall, but we didn’t have that luxury this time. We were not able to plant everything until after last frost date as well. Our soil needed some nitrogen.  Crystal dropped off goat manure to our garden back in January. Giovanni has put it all in the back to compost. Well guess what?  All that goat manure is now composted.  This past weekend, Carolina, Pasqualina and I added the goat manure to the soil. Here’s a photo of the goat manure and the goat who gave us the “black gold.”  Thank you Crystal for not just the goat manure, but also dropping it off at the garden.  Next step is to get the back of the shed ready for fall composting of turkey, goat and, and cow manure.






Friday, May 23, 2014

Using Burlap in the Garden – Thank You Larry’s Beans!

Last year we picked up dozens of burlap bags from Larry’s Beans. We discovered a number of uses for burlap.


  • On Service Raleigh 2014 the volunteers cleared the pathways, spread out the burlap bags and then spread out wood chips on top to suppress the weeds. 
  • We use burlap as mulch. When we harvest an area of the garden, we lay down a piece of burlap to cover the soil until we plant something else. It helps with moisture retention and limits erosion of the soil we’ve worked so hard to build. We all know that soil is the most valuable item in our garden and we should be doing whatever we can to keep it from eroding away.
  • Where burlap really shines is for direct seeding in mid-summer. With the heat and lack of rain, burlap is a valuable tool to improve germination rates. “Giovanni” lays a piece of burlap over newly sown seeds making them germinate much faster. Not only does it help keep the area moist by preventing evaporation, it prevents seeds from being washed away when it rains.
  • Burlap also came in handy during the Polar Vortex this past winter. The wrapping does not necessarily keep them warmer, it just protects them from the desiccating cold winter wind. Burlap also helps when you don’t know the exact last frost date.
Here’s a photo of NCSU students spreading out burlap bags donated by Larry’s Beans to suppress weeds. Thanks you Larry’s Beans. We really appreciate your contribution to our garden.