VISTA Matters is the weekly community newsletter for garden members. Included are key dates and communications necessary for all members to know and be involved. 
VISTA Gardens News - May 4, 2017
Community Upkeep: Current Needs

Garden Members,

Right now we have a lot of activity going on and need volunteer help.  Many of our regular, consistent volunteers will be out for the next few weeks.  If you know people that are looking to volunteer and don't know what to do, here are some tasks that can be performed:
 
1.  Compost:  Sifting, sifting, sifting & turning, turning, turning compost.  I will set up the sifting station so that if anybody wants to sift throughout the week, they can.
 
2.  Weeding:  Weeds are invading the garden. They grow into the mulch.  Each individual plot owner should be taking care of the area around their own but they are not. If you need help, please ask your neighbor or contact me, Marty.  We cannot help you if we don't know you need it.  We also need volunteers to weed in the major pathway down the center and throughout the herb gardens.
 
3.  Perimeter weeding:  This is an ongoing activity. We need to dig the weeds up between the perimeter of the garden between the mulch and the grass. This will keep the weeds from encroaching. It is easy to do now since the mulch is so deep along the edge.
 
4.  Dispose of Weed piles. Take the piles of dead weeds near the new bed area that I have been digging up and throw them in the dumpster.
 
5.  Mulch. Put mulch in the area between the old beds and the new bed area.  Measure the distance on the other plots (I believe it is five feet). Also, p ut mulch in the trench around the perimeter of the new beds.
 
7.  Remove rocks along the very back near the fence between our property and the assisted living facility.  It makes it easier to mow.  You can put the rocks in the area to the west of the compost pile.

Thank you,
Marty
May Activity - Little Villagers

The next Little Villagers event is planned for Thursday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mom's are asked to bring  some old newspapers, smooth stones, paint, plastic tablecloths to paint stones if you have the supplies available. Hopefully, we also will be able to work in the compost area. 

Little Villagers is a group targeted to the 4 yrs. and younger crowd. Older siblings are more than welcome too, however, please note that they may be easily bored so they may benefit from bringing an additional activity to keep them occupied. 

See you at the garden!
Member Spotlight: 
The Copelands

1. Please introduce your family and share the your bed address plus the date you joined VISTA Gardens?
Hugh & Marilyn Copeland, Lettuce Lane 3 & 4, members since fall 2015.

2. What interested you in starting your garden?
Digging in the dirt or any outside activity is Marilyn's favorite. Hugh likes to surf the Internet, fish and whatever activity comes our way.

3. What do you like to grow? What are your "go to" plants?
We are thrilled with anything that grows. Our favorites are  okra (aka the "super veggie"), arugula, radishes & carrots. Tomatoes seem to be a challenge.

4. What's your favorite activity/time of day at the garden?
Mornings or late afternoons are our favorite times to be at the garden.

5. What is one thing you'd like us to know about you?
The compost team is so much fun at the Thursday morning shift & turn. Hugh was born in Ybor City and Marilyn is from Chicago. We have been married 32 years, have 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
Ongoing Activities

Saturday Work Parties
Fulfill your community volunteer requirement by joining fellow gardeners on Saturday mornings to tackle the maintenance needs of the garden at large. It's a fun time and you get some exercise and the garden stays looking great. Keeping the garden regularly maintained prevents us from major intermittent workload.  The party starts at 9 a.m. every weekend, weather permitting. 

Compost Thursdays
Committee members meet at the garden Thursday's at 8 a.m. to turn the compost. Please join the team if you would like to learn more about composting.

Compost Materials Needed 
General reminder: To produce high quality compost the community needs to provide a steady supply of material. Please bring your garden or vegetable waste to the garden, don't let it go to the landfill!

Keep in touch with VISTA
We are working hard to streamline communications to ensure you receive the right content in the right place when you need it.
1. Facebook: Like "VISTA Gardens" to receive updates on key activities throughout the week
If you do NOT use Facebook please reply to this email and you will be added to a separate email distribution list. The team will do its best to email any time sensitive updates requiring community attention to this list when a post is made to Facebook.
2. Tuesday email: Summarizes key activity and news for the upcoming week
3. Monthly newsletter: More detail into topics of interest and education (see link above!)
4. Web site: Our address is vistagardentampa.org (note: no 's' in garden). A repository of membership information, detailed education, links to articles on shared topics of interest. Plus much, much more. 

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