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Summertime trials

Although the heat index in Ames was reaching well above 100 for much of the past week making it nearly unbearable for people, the Service Patch enjoyed the heat and produced a variety of vegetables. Spinach, lettuce, kale, peas, and even zucchini all produced an abundance of fresh veggies to be taken to the local shelters this past week. Volunteers also helped with weeding the vegetables and even more importantly, watering the plants which become dry quite quickly during the hot summer months.

While the heat may cause the most damage during the hot summer to the plants, bugs have also become a problem in the Service Patch. Squash bugs have killed the squashes which were planted in the garden and pincher bugs have burrowed their way into the lettuce. Unfortunately the plants will have to be pulled to prevent the bugs from moving to other plants. On a the bright side, however, this means new seeds can be planted and begin to grow into plants for the volunteers to work with for the remainder of the summer.

Summer Heat

Temperatures continue to rise as summer rages on, meanwhile, volunteers are enduring the heat at the Service Patch and keeping busy. Harvesting of the vegetables is well underway with peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes, and zucchini all growing beautiful vegetables. Based on local organic prices, thus far the Service Patch has produced over $70 worth of fresh, organic produce. Besides harvesting, volunteers have also braved the hot weather to water the plants, which are feeling the effects of the hot weather, and also weeding the garden. The volunteers have done a great job with everything so far this summer, and we hope they can keep up the good work!

Organic Ames

Did you know…

that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables?

that the CDC says fruits and vegetables “contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases”?

What about…

that the Service Patch in Ames grows a wide variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables?

and that all of the fresh produce grown in the Service Patch is donated to the food shelters around the city of Ames to those in need, so everyone can eat the recomended amounts of fruits and vegetables suggested by the CDC to help prevent harmful diseases?

It’s true! While organic gardening can be quite tedious at times, like many gardens in general, the end product can be very rewarding to volunteers who know they have grown something for others. And, can be incredibly beneficial to the Ames area as they receive the fresh fruits and veggies throughout the gardening season. Besides the satisfaction of helping others with healthy eating, everyone watching the garden grow can be satisfied in knowing they have helped turn a seed into something which can be eaten by anyone. People aren’t the only ones to benefit from this experience, however, the environment also thanks the Service Patch volunteers for not continually using chemicals. If you want to get involved with the Service Patch which serves the Ames community you can email servicepatch@vcstory.org for more information.

Worms!

Service Patch volunteers had the opportunity yesterday to learn more about what really makes an organic garden grow: worms. Worms help decompose waste into materials which are high in nutrients for plants to absorb. Volunteers learned different facts about worms which are required for composting to be effective. How they live, what they eat, how much they drink, and also that they don’t have eyes all fascinated the volunteers. All of the volunteers had a good time learning and participating in the lesson about the world’s decomposers and would like to thank the presenter for doing such a wonderful job.

Summer Solstice

It’s the first day of Summer and, besides meaning it’s the longest day of the year, it also means the Service Patch is up and running and off to a great start. Potatoes, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, and a variety of other vegetables and fruits have been planted and continue to grow in the warm and sunny weather. Volunteers have been working hard to have the garden reach its full potential by weeding, watering, planting, and even transplanting the various plants. The season looks promising as a great learning experience for these wonderful volunteers and as a potential contributor of food to shelters throughout the Ames area.

Enjoy the photos of the garden’s progress.

                                                        Potatoes

                                                        Tomatoes

                                                        Lettuce

Winter at the Service Patch

Hello! It’s been quite awhile since our last post. The Service Patch will be operating again this summer!!! We’re very excited. Stay tuned for information about volunteer supervisor training, volunteer sign-up, and programming!

We visited the garden yesterday and got some photos! Enjoy.

We’re really looking forward to another great season at the Service Patch!

… we still are seeing beautiful flowers and vegetables pop up at the Service Patch!

Lots of gorgeous flowers!

The pumpkins are turning orange!

And I found another broccoli growing very well in a raised planter – for some reason these are incredibly hard to see, even though they grow so large.

Visiting the garden on this beautiful first day of October was a great way to spend some time outdoors! It’s exciting that we’re wrapping up our first summer at the Service Patch – I’m looking forward to getting the report together of food donated, volunteer hours, and the impact this project has had on the community.

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