My good friends and neighbors, Darin and Carla, are finally realizing their dream of opening a brewery–and we are so lucky, because it is going to be right here in Columbia Falls, Montana. I’ve been drinking Darin’s beer for years (especially fond of the Ginger)–and it is amazing. Everyone thinks so. Take a peek at the video on their Kickstarter page–and then consider helping them reach their goal.
I’ve been a bit remiss about posting pictures of the garden this season. Fact is, the garden looks fantastic! Best ever! We have wonderful plot holders who are committed to the upkeep of the garden.
We all walk around the garden looking at the various ways people grow their healthy food–and this, of course, is the beauty of the community garden concept. We get ideas from each other, we problem solve together and we celebrate our successful harvests. We get a little overly excited about when our beans sprout, and we become gravely concerned when a hole appears in the leaf of a new pepper seedling. We worry about chilly NW Montana mornings, and we stare endlessly at our gardens–contemplating the next chore, wondering why our potato plants aren’t as big as Robbie’s, and discussing the merits of rows vs. mounds. Should we use straw? Is the compost ready yet? Why won’t the mower start? Should I have done square foot gardening like Staci and Craig? Drip hoses or hand watering?
I love it! So here are some pictures of the garden in early June. Enjoy.
Check back in a few weeks–the changes will be amazing!
It has been ages since I’ve written on this blog, but it has truly been a very busy fall and early winter. In addition trying to keep up with my kids, husband and the Giant Newfoundland, I took on some new projects.
In October, we put the Columbia Falls Community Garden to bed for the winter. We planted flower bulbs and garlic. It was definitely a successful season. Our growing season was amazingly long, and we were able to donate nearly 260 pounds of fresh produce to the Columbia Falls Food Bank. I feel like I spent the better part of September and October in the kitchen, processing tomatoes. I was able to put up 74 jars of tomato products though–should last until next year.
I started teaching a new course at the high school called History through Literature, which fulfills the required credits for both US History and English 11. Those of you who are teachers know how time-consuming it is to craft a new course. For this one, I have the same set of students twice a day, and I am trying to implement student-centered and inquiry-based learning. There have been some successes and some things that definitely needs reworking for next year.
In addition to my full schedule at the high school, I also began teaching World History for the Montana Digital Academy. MTDA is a fantastic program that offers (free) courses for high school age kids throughout the state of Montana. Montana high schools are often very small and far away from one another (the state is just barely under 150,000 square miles with just barely over a million people) and they can’t always offer the same buffet of courses for their students; this helps to fill that need. I have students from Columbia Falls to Wibaux, and from Shelby to Red Lodge and everywhere in between. Some are home-schooled, while others are trying to get caught back up so they can graduate. Many of my students this past semester are taking World History in addition to a full class load at school. So far it has been very rewarding.
Finally, I was elected to the Columbia Falls City Council this past November. I have my first meeting on my birthday, January 6th. I’m excited–I have an orientation with the city manager on Thursday morning so I I’ll know what to expect.
Other than these exciting additions to my life/schedule, I taught myself, with the help of my mother-in-law, the basics of crochet. This will accompany my knitting–there are just certain things that are better crocheted than knitted. Like baskets. I still find crocheting awkward and much more difficult that knitting–but I assume it will get easier.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. It’s a full plate, but someone told me that I must like it that way, or it wouldn’t be. Very wise, very wise. My next post will be about my “Very Crafty Christmas”. Stay tuned!
I have definitely realized that I am a “cold-weather blogger”. When winter lasts as long as it does in NW Montana, it seems silly to spend those few nice months inside at a computer. Still, I want you to see the progress of our community garden. It has truly never looked better.
Warning: if you don’t like pictures of vegetables, stop here.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for checking on our progress this season!
It has been forever and a year since I last posted. Turns out, May is a ridiculously busy month at work, at home and at the garden. Who knew?
I don’t have too much time to write…I have to finish knitting an end of the year teacher gift, but I wanted to show you what has been going on in the garden. If you are not a fan of pictures of garden plots, emerging vegetables, and the like, this post may not be for you.
Remember when I mentioned that River’s Edge Park, where the garden is located, was closed for two weeks? This is what they were working on:
So, ultimately, it was worth having to adjust our gardening hours.
Here is a nice shot of the Garden sign with some of the new landscaping:
And another shot:
Now for a garden tour. Everyone has been doing such a fabulous job prepping their plots. For those of you in other parts of the country who are worried that we are getting a late start, rest assured that gardening in NW Montana is a late May, early June kinda thing. We had about 2 inches of heavy wet snow late last week…lots of branches down, but luckily no garden damage.
First, the community beds:
On to our plot holders’ gardens:
And finally, if you have made it this far, this is what is growing in my personal plots.
I just realized I forgot to take pictures of the hops being grown by Desert Mountain Brewing…I will edit the post to include them tomorrow. This is our wonderful community garden. We still have some work to do, but I am so very happy with what we have accomplished.
- Today at the Columbia Falls Community Garden (frommichigantomontana.com)
- Another Weekend in the Columbia Falls Community Garden (frommichigantomontana.com)
- Community Garden Labels (tserlin.com)