Creekside Community Garden
Vegetables for the food bank
<<<--- Wes Guest shows 12.44 lbs. of jalapeno peppers and eggplant
Update on Creekside Food Bank Garden (Sept. 13th 2022)
Where did all those jalapeno peppers come from? Did you ever wonder how all the vegetables in the
Creekside Food Bank Garden got their start?
Everything you see in the garden this year, excluding four potted eggplants, were started from seed by
us and the Redmond’s “Tomato Lady.” Depending on the variety of vegetable, seeds are either started in
a greenhouse or planted directly into the ground. We begin planning for summer in January by
determining what vegetables best meet the needs of the food bank clients, what is most expensive in
the grocery store and what grows best, and produces the most volume, in our climate.
Seed is ordered in January and in March we begin planting seed in climate-controlled environments (e.g., greenhouse orseed starting enclosed structures). Seed is generally started in flats and after the plants get a good start, they are transplanted into 2X2” pots. Eventually, those pots are moved to our Creekside greenhouse, the structure next to the garden, where gradually the plants are introduced to colder temperatures. Eventually they are “hardened off” outside and planted in the garden or raised beds in the front of the church parking lot.
This year, we have both Jalapeno and Sahuaro peppers. Late April they were removed from their happy
greenhouse home where they were flourishing but a cold spring made it difficult to transfer them
outdoors. Finally, we transplanted as many plants as we could into large pots and let them take off
inside the greenhouse. In May, when we though the ground temperature was staying above 60 degrees,
we planted more peppers directly into the ground. Immediately a storm moved in, rain and cold
temperatures beat the little plants half-dead. After lots of prayers, plus lime and fertilizer, the in-ground
peppers eventually began to flower and flourish.
Still, in the greenhouse, there were more peppers in 2X2” pots waiting for a summer home. Those plants
were rotated, after radishes, into a raised bed in front of the church. Those plants too flourished too!
Then a deer came by and nibbled off the top few inches of at least 1/3 of those plants - they recovered
and the deer are still taking a nibble here and there.
The Roma Tomatoes are finally coming on strong and this week Jubilee REACH’s Groceries for Families
program received 33.5 lbs. of them. Also impressive was the 12.5 pounds of peppers we were able to
harvest. We are still providing, beans, kale, zucchini squash, eggplant and this week it all added up to a
drop of 61 pounds of produce.
As we plan for next season we also need to plan for more volunteers. If you wish to be part of this
amazing project of providing fresh produce to those in need please let us know. There are so many jobs
from writing this newsletter to simply watering the front two planter boxes.