Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OG Saturday, more lilacs, revised further schedule

This coming Saturday, April 25, the Cornucopia Network of NJ will sponsor the first of three spring organic vegetables garden tours from 2-4 PM.

This tour includes three gardens: mine at 56 Gordonhurst Ave. (with displays in the front yard), Renae Baker's at 68 Beverly Rd.(one block away), and Mary Szumski's at 166 Alexander Ave.

Mary's is a first year garden, begun with the help of Jose German of Green Harmony, Inc. It provides inspiration for prospective gardeners to see what can be done the first year. Jose is glad to help others get started. Renee's is a "front" yard garden that can be glimpsed over the hedge on the Grove Street side any time, but will be easily accessed with commentary on Saturday. It is on the southeast corner of Grove and Beverly.

I have raised almost all my family's vegetables for decades, but this is our first APRIL Open Garden, responding to requests for a tour while there is still time to start a main-season garden. Collards, lettuce, kale, and garlic are in full season. Chinese cabbage and pak choi are nearing their end, but I won't pick them all this week. You can see seedlings of (new) lettuce, arugula, celery, parsley, peas, and Hurakei turnips. Carrots and parsnips are under floating covers. There are tomato plants under wall-of-waters. One, started by Renee on January 11, actually has a tomato today that is likely to be as large as a marble by Saturday!

While you visit, be sure to admire my lawn. I have never used poisons, chemicals, power machinery, or a watering hose. The same is true for the garden, except that I do water it during droughts. However, I have not watered my vegetable garden with a hose in the past two years. (I use a watering can for babies.)

Everyone over the age of three is welcome. Babes in arms are also acceptable. The event is free, but a can for donations will be available, as will literature on how to join Cornucopia. My tours last about a half hour and can be joined at any time; the last will begin at 3:30. There will be other garden tours on May 16 and 17, but mine will be the only garden open all three dates; there are ten in total.


Other events of interest-.

  • May 1 - "Wellies & Jellies" Plant Sale Preview Party 6-9 pm A casual garden cocktail party. Celebrate spring, mingle, and of course shop our fabulous selection of plant offerings before anyone else in town! Advance Registration Required. Call 973-744-4752. Van Vleck House, 21 Van Vleck Street Montclair
  • May 2 - Plant Sale 9am - 4 pm Annual Van Vleck House & Gardens Plant Sale offering unique and unusual shrubs, vines, perennials, tender perennials and trees. Many of the plants for sale are closely associated with the gardens, including plants favored by the late Howard Van Vleck. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and help visitors navigate the sale. Great Mother's Day gifts. 21 Van Vleck Street Montclair
  • May 2, Saturday Bloomfield will have an Eco-Fair from 10-2 at Brookside Park on the corner of Bay and Broad Streets.
  • May 2, -- Rand (Montclair's Environmental Magnet) Annual Community Eco-Fair has a "Green Innovations" tour--a self-guided tour of several residences (includes green kitchen renovations, solar installations, and properties of note) and one commercial property, GreenWorks at 100 Grove--Montclair's first LEED certified commercial space. Tour hours are 12-4 and begin at 176 North Fullerton; tickets $15/person or $20/couple or family. Proceeds support environmental programming and other educational initiatives at Rand. At the Eco-Fair (hours 10-4; no charge): kid-friendly activities (Storytellers: Brian Fox Ellis at 11; Nia Gill at noon), music, vendors, plant sale, and educational workshops. Questions? Call Kelly McDonald at 973-655-0146.
  • Sunday, May 3: West Orange Eco-Energy Fair, 12:00 - 4:00pm Rain or Shine Interactive Workshops & Green Vendor Demonstrations, Liberty Middle School, Kelly Drive20 & Mt. Pleasant Ave., DEP Acting Director Mark Mauriello Guest Speaker. Sponsored by the West Orange Energy Commission, For participation information:
  • Sunday, May 3, 12-5PM A Gloriously Green Festival will be held at Congregation Agudath Israel at 20 Academy Road in Caldwell, but is an interfaith, community-wide festival. (I, Pat Kenschaft, will be speaking at 2:30 on lawn care.)
  • May 6, Wednesday @ 10am and 6pm - Presby Iris Gardens Volunteer Day at Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, 474 Upper Mountain Ave, Montclair. We need your energy and valuable time here at Presby.
  • Whether you are an accomplished gardener or not a gardener at all, we have plenty for you to do. During the Bloom Season (May 10-June 7) we need cashiers for the gift shop and friendly faces to greet our thousands of visitors. In the off season, we are working to reclaim and replant the Victorian garden adjacent to the Walther house, as well as archiving our records and maintaining the Iris database. If you've been thinking about volunteering but didn't think you had the time, this is the chance you've been looking for, volunteer opportunities are available on both a short term and long term basis - we will work with your schedule! Please come and be a part of the welcoming Presby Family. Call 973 783 5974 or email to learn how to volunteer.
  • Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 @ 10am-5pm - Garden Club of Montclair / Presby Iris Gardens Mother's Day Weekend Plant Sale - located at Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, 474 Upper Mountain Ave, Upper Montclair. Two fabulous Plant Sales are being held at Presby Iris Gardens. The Garden Club of Montclair is sponsoring a Deer Resistant Plant Sale featuring a huge selection of annuals and perennials, and a collector's corner, as well as deer sprays /repellents. The proceeds from the Garden Club Plant Sale will support the beautification of the Montclair Public Schools. The Presby Iris Gardens sale will feature Irises, Peonies, Daylilies and heirloom vegetables. This combined sale will offer thousands of plants all at very reasonable prices. Experienced gardeners are available for advice, as well as a kid's corner with art projects and light refreshments. Full list of plants available at:
    Learn about the founding of Anderson Park a century ago and how it shaped Upper Montclair and led to the formation of other parks in town. Also hear about plans to restore the park's landscape, designed by John Charles Olmsted, and place the park on the National Register of Historic Places. Free. Sponsored by Friends of Anderson Park. Meet at the boulder at the park's northeast entrance, near Bellevue Avenue, east of North Mountain Avenue; 10:30 a.m. Light rain does not cancel, but heavy rain reschedules to May 16, same time. Information: (973) 744-8433, or or
  • May 9: Glen Ridge will have an Eco-Fair from 10-2 at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Bloomfield.
  • Saturday, May 16: 2:00-5:00 PM (except Pat's) An Open Garden tour sponsored by the Cornucopia Network of NJ: Pat Kenschaft, 56 Gordonhurst Ave. 2:00 - 4:00 PM (last tour begins at 3:30) Displays in front yard will continue until 5:00 PM; Grace Grund, 3 Dodd Street (8 blocks away) She also raises chickens and will host a meeting at 5:00 PM for current and prospective chicken raisers.
  • Kevin Fried, 19 Dodd Street (3 houses down); Anne Sailer, 223 Valley Road; Jose German and Dave Wasmuth, 69 Grove Street; Judy Hinds, 156 Rhoda Avenue, Nutley; Lulu Hicks, 32 Smith Street, Bloomfield (first year garden)
  • May 17, Sunday 2:00-5:00 PM (except Pat's): Pat Kenschaft, 56 Gordonhurst Ave. 2:00 - 4:00 PM (last tour begins at 3:30) Displays in front yard continue until 5:00 PM; Renae Baker, 68 Beverly Rd. (one block away); Mary Szumski, 166 Alexander Ave. (first year garden); Necole Fabris, 8 Prospect Place, West Orange

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