March 13, 2020
VISTA MATTERS: Soil pH, another key test this season
Task of the Week: Soil Testing

As we prepare our gardens for transition from our fine fall-to-winter growing season to the upcoming (and sometimes more tricky) spring-to-summer growing season, the Garden Committee recommends that you test the pH level of your soil.

VISTA's "Garden Task of the Week" is to gather soil from your garden, which we will deliver to the Hillsborough County Extension Office in Seffner for testing. In the shed, find a "Soil Test" bin with the tools and supplies you need to gather your sample, including these instructions: 
  1. Use a trowel to take soil from the upper six inches in 10 locations throughout your garden.
  2. Place the soil into the bucket and mix it together.
  3. Measure out 1 cup of soil and place in a brown paper bag marked with your name.
  4. Leave the bag open and place carefully in the bin. (We'll take care of drying out each of your soil samples before we submit it for testing.)
  5. Add four dollar bills atop your soil $ $ $ $ 
The large soil test bin includes shiny new trowels, new buckets, brown paper bags, and markers - everything you need.

We will remit $3 to Hillsborough County for each soil test - a real bargain. We ask you for a donation of $4. The extra dollar covers our expenses and funds new VISTA trowels and garden forks! 

Questions? Ask Roberta
Nutrition from your Garden Harvest
Sat, March 14
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Barbara Mahlmeister, RDN, IFMCP (and VISTA gardener) presents ways to get the best nutritional benefits from the food you grow.   RSVP

Yoga at VISTA
Sat. March 28
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Michelle Field will be hosting another fabulous yoga class at VISTA. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a mat and water. The class is free but a $5 donation is suggested. RSVP
(More) Fun with Herbs
presented by Vicki Kuse
Sat. March 28
10:00 -11:00 a.m
Back by popular demand. Come join Vicki to lear more about herbs and the people who love them. RSVP
Ongoing participation Opportunities

Herbs, Cultivation and Conversation
Tuesdays
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Early Tuesday mornings, Vicki Kuse, VISTA social member, generously volunteers as our herb tender. The Garden Committee encourages every VISTA member to take a turn helping Vicki if you are able. It’s an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the herbs we have available and make suggestions of herbs to add. Sign up

Compost Fit
Thursdays
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Join the Compost Committee and help 'turn the pile'. It is a great workout and is invaluable to the process of creating the "black gold" compost for VISTAs garden beds. 

Work at your own pace and level. Please do speak with you doctor before undergoing any new exercise routine if you have concerns.  Sign Up

Volunteer Leader
Saturdays
10:00 - 12:00 a.m.
Take your turn and lead our fearless group of weekend warrior volunteers on Saturday mornings. Responsibilities include assigning projects, providing guidance and ensuring health and safety.
Gratitude to Marty Kleiner and Mike Escobar who went to great lengths (and in Mike's case, climbed high on the water tower) to replace a float switch so that water is readily available at the gardens.

A shout out to new members Lucio and Victor, who offered to adjust the switch and change it if necessary in the future.

Wonderful to expand the number of hands assisting with infrastructure at VISTA!
Volunteer Leaders Needed

If you visit VISTA on a Saturday morning you may have noticed that we attract a steady stream of young volunteers. They like the work the garden provides and it allows them to collect the volunteer hours needed to meet their academic requirements.

As with any volunteer program, it's not enough to have volunteers themselves, it's also necessary to have a leader. This is where we need help from every VISTA member.

We are asking each of you to choose ONE Saturday (only one!) to serve as a Volunteer Leader. The role is pretty simple - make sure the release waivers are signed, the volunteers are given tasks (and show them how to do it if needed) and ensure they work in a safe and respectful manner.

Signing up is easy. You will be contacted a few days prior to your shift and provided a list of activities the volunteers to complete.

Reminder: Please Keep Bringing In Your Leaves!