Gardeners reap harvest from community garden
Master Gardener Joyce Orr holds some squash harvested this week at the Community Garden in Cathlamet's Erickson Park. A portion of the garden's produce is donated to the Helping Hand Food Bank.
As the light shifted and cast shade on the verdant and lush acreage at Erickson Park in Cathlamet, Master Gardeners and volunteers met late Monday afternoon in the Community Garden to begin harvest.
The temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees that afternoon, but it was still humid. Marian Green was picking beans, and Joyce Orr was looking for containers to carry the squash she would soon begin to tackle. Craig Brown was tracking down the hay used for the Downhill Corral last weekend. It would be used again to cover the soil during the cooler months.
Winnie Lowsma arrived, her face mostly hidden under a large hat, and in her hand a bowl full of figs from her own garden as a treat for the afternoon. Chris Holmes wasn't too far behind. He began to work alongside Green amongst the beans-green, yellow and scarlet runners.
The crew was harvesting squash and beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.
Master Gardeners donated a lot of hours at the garden this summer. Every Wednesday, they would show up to work in the food bank section and be available as a resource for other gardeners who had a plot in the garden. On some days, Orr, who also had her own plot, would be there for three hours. On other days, she would lose track of time and be there for twice as long.
"We had a problem with flea beetles on potatoes, some tomatoes and some beans this year," Orr said, "but we put in nematodes, and that should help. We also had a little mildew on squash leaves, but we sprayed them with an organic concoction. I even caught a mole!"
Master Gardeners who worked in the Community Garden this year included Lowsma, Orr, Brown, Green, Dianne Froode and Kim Sharp. Chris Holmes and Jean Burnham also spent many hours helping out.
On Tuesday, a few of the finer specimens from the garden were entered at the fair for Community Garden pride, but most of the day's harvest made its way to the Helping Hand Food Bank.