Sprout
Good Food Project Garden Newsletter
 February 2017 Sprout  
 
Preparing for Spring Planting
Bryan Fillette, Jane Fillette, and Don Bullock Spring Garden Prepping at North Alexandria Community Garden

Spring seems to have come almost a month early to Central Louisiana. If you haven't already started, now is a good time to prepare your garden for spring planting. When the weather allows, consider doing some of the following chores to get ahead of the gardening game:
 
1. Determine the best site for new rows or raised beds that will get 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Locate beds close to a water source and your tool storage area.
2. Use a turning fork or tiller and dig about 6-12 inches deep to open the soil up for air circulation and so that water can reach a plant's roots.
3. Add organic matter such as compost, dried sea kelp, composted manure, leaves, and/or grass clippings. 
4. Use your fork and a garden rake to break down the soil further into a fine crumble. Remove clods of clay, stones, and weeds. Allow the bed to sit for a while before planting to let a first crop of weeds germinate-then hoe them out.
5. Your soil might also benefit from being amended before the season commences.
Clay soil  stays wet, and can be improved with organic matter and possibly adding sharp sand
Sandy soil drains well, but needs more irrigation and regular feeding.
Soil pH is important-with the ideal for growing vegetables being 6.5, slightly acidic. Soil tests can be done through the LSU Ag center. They can advise you about natural materials to work into your soil to raise or lower the acidity. Soil pH is not constant and should be checked every couple of years.
6. Think about ways to conserve water, such as using a water tank or installing drip irrigation. Adding mulch helps conserves water. Pine straw and  leaves serve make great mulch!
7. Make an inventory of your garden tools to ensure that you have exactly what you need to make your gardening experience enjoyable and worthwhile. For a list of essential tools, stop by the GFP demonstration garden for a handy guide!
 
 
Please join us at Good Food Project for more gardening and nutrition information!

For information about partnering with the Good Food Project, or for other GFP program opportunities, contact the Good Food Project staff at 318.445.2773 or via email: fboudreaux@fbcenla.org, or cbaker@fbcenla.org,  and on the web: www.goodfoodprojectcenla.org    
Recipe of the Month
Kid Friendly Berry Salad
A Natchitoches Boys & Girls Club participant made her own berry salad - and loved it!
Did you know?
  • Kids will try new things if they are given a hands-on experience
  • Berries are packed with nutrients (phytochemicals)
  • Berries are packed with antioxidants
  • Berries are high in fiber
  • Berries help keep memory sharp
What you will need for 6-8 children   
1 lb. fresh strawberries washed (remove green leaves & hull if desired)
8 Oz fresh blackberries
8 Oz fresh blueberries
 8 Oz. fresh raspberries
Small plastic cups
Plastic knives
Plastic spoons
Paper plates or paper towels for cutting fruit
Optional Dressing:
1/4 Cup fresh spearmint chopped
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. honey
Directions: Give each child a plastic spoon, knife, and cup (provide adult help for children under 6, or those who may have trouble handling a knife with this activity)
  • Divide the berries between the children
  • Ask them to slice the strawberries and then fill their cups with the fresh berries of their choosing
  • Top with a drizzle of dressing if desired

 

 

In February plant:

  • Bean, Bush, Pole, Snap
  • Beets
  • Broccoli (Seed*)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Corn, Sweet
  • Collards
  • Eggplant (Seed*)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Onion, Leek (Sets)
  • Peas, Garden
  • Pepper, Hot (Seed*)
  • Pepper, Bell (Seed*)
  • Potatoes, Irish
  • Radish
  • Rutabagas
  • Shallots (Sets)
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (Seed*)
  • Turnips

 *Start seed indoors

 In March  plant:

  • Bean, Lima Bush, Pole, Snap
  • Cantaloupes
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Collards
  • Corn, Sweet
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant (Plants)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce (in pots in partial shade)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Peas, Southern
  • Pepper, Hot, Bell (Seed*)
  • Pepper, Hot (Plant)
  • Pepper, Bell (Plant)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes,
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes (Seed)
  • Tomatoes (Plants)
  • Watermelons

  

 

*Start seed indoors

 

Planting Irish Potatoes at the North Alexandria Community Garden - February 2017

                               

 

Garden News

Good Food Project has installed gardens at 31 community organizations like the Hope House of Central Louisiana, Inc. The garden sites have been established  in nine of the eleven parishes served by the Food Bank of Central Louisiana with plans to extend into a tenth very soon. If you know of a non-profit organization that could benefit from a community garden, contact the Good Food Project at 318-445-2773

 

 

  Ladies at the Hope House of Alexandria planting their spring garden.

 

For more information about how your organization can partner or volunteer with Good Food Project contact us at goodfoodproject@fbcenla.org or call 318-445-2773 


Workday Wednesday

WORK DAY WEDNESDAYS ARE FUN! 

Join us any Wednesday at the Good Food Project demonstration garden at 3223 Baldwin Avenue  from 7:30-11:30 AM for WORKDAY WEDNESDAYSCome out and harvest with us and learn new things about gardening and make new friends!

If Wednesdays aren't good for you, call us to set up another volunteer day! 318-445-2773 

 

Workday Wednesday volunteers: Jane Fillette, Beth Chapman, and Priscilla Gadell - GFP depends on these dedicated volunteers!

 

 

 

Garden Tips:
Plant your garden in a sunny location. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvests and the better the taste. - The Farmer's Almanac
LaSalle Parish students from Olla Standard Elementary and Goodpine Middle spend a day working in their school gardens.
 
5K to Benefit Good Food Project - April 22, 2017
 


 

Run for a cause on April 22nd at Inglewood Farm for the "Inglewood Classic 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run." Enjoy a run around historic Inglewood Plantation, all proceeds benefiting THE GOOD FOOD PROJECT.


 


 

GFP welcomes  individual and organizational volunteers at our community gardens and at the Good Food Project on Wednesday mornings in the demonstration garden, 3223 Baldwin Avenue - Food Bank of Central Louisiana 71301 - 318-445-2773.

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