Plot Rental/Hours Due by February 1
If you have not received your statement, please contact Jack.
You can pay by credit card using PayPal here or by check or money order to the address shown on the invoice. Please do not send cash or offer payment to board members. Due to trailer reconstruction, please do not leave your payment in the trailer.
All plot fees and service hour payments are due by February 1, 2015.
Treasurer, Sunshine Community Gardens
Onion Sets are Appearing at Local Nurseries!!!
"Plant onion transplants mid-month. The ideal transplants are pencil thin; the thicker ones with a swollen bulb are more likely to bolt in the spring. To avoid this dilemma, plant the larger seedlings in a separate area, and harvest them as green onions as needed throughout the spring. "Short Day" onions are recommended for areas with mild winters and hot summers. These varieties will initiate bulbing when there are only 10-12 hours of daylight, and can be harvested before the intense summer heat arrives."
Tomato Garden News
Many tomato varieties have been recommended for Central Texas gardeners. The tomato garden located by the entrance was established to evaluate various tomato varieties. Spring 2014 was the fourth year we have field tested tomato plants in the tomato garden. Each spring since 2011, eight tomato varieties have been grown or evaluated in the tomato garden. The tests are designed to determine the yield or production of each variety. Generally, tomatoes are allowed to remain on the vine until color is showing. Tomatoes from the test garden are donated to Micah 6 or Eastside Community Connection. Since 2011 over 4,500 tomatoes from the test garden have been donated.
During the first year of the test garden (2011), over 700 tomatoes were harvested from 24 plants of eight varieties. The Carmelita tomato plants yielded an average of 54 tomatoes per plant followed by La Rosa II with an average of 50 tomatoes per plant. Carmelita is a medium sized globe tomato. La Rosa II or LaRossa is a pear-shaped, paste tomato. A popular heirloom tested in 2011, Cherokee Purple, yielded an average of 14 tomatoes per plant.
In the spring of 2012, the 24 plants yielded over 1,300 tomatoes. The Viva Italia plants were extremely heavy producers averaging about 150 tomatoes per plant. Viva Italia is a pear-shaped, hybrid tomato. Arkansas Traveler yielded an average of 63 tomatoes per plant. Arkansas Traveler was developed in the 1970s and takes its name from an old heirloom that went extinct in the early 1900s. The plants yield a deep pink tomatoes weighing from 5-7 ounces.
The early high temperatures in the spring of 2013 negatively impacted the yield for the plants grown that year. Only a total of 376 tomatoes were harvested from the 24 plants. The three Bedouin plants yielded at total of 102 tomatoes, or 34 per plant, followed by Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye with 83 tomatoes, or 28 tomatoes per plant. Bedouin is a pear-shaped, dark red tomato originating in Eastern Europe. Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye is a port-colored beefsteak tomato developed at Wild Boar Farms in California.
For spring 2014, we planted five plants each of eight varieties. Plants were planted on March 22nd. Below are the varieties grown and the average number of tomatoes harvested per plants.
- Andes - average of 15 per plant
- BHN602 - average of 54 per plant
- Black Krim - average of 30 per plant
- Black from Tula - average of 32 per plant
- Cream Sausage - average of 78 per plant
- Early Girl - average of 107 per plant
- Flamme - average of 98 per plant
- Indigo Apple - average of 52 per plant
Overall, a total of 2,304 tomatoes were harvested. Black Krim a nd Black for Tula are heirlooms. Both yielded 30-32 tomatoes per plants. Black Krim and Black from Tula are both dark maroon beefsteak tomatoes from Russia. Flamme, or Jaune Flamme, is a French heirloom. Flamme is a small orange globe tomato. On average the Flamme plants yielded about 100 tomatoes each.
Early Girl is a medium size globe tomato, hybrid, reportedly producing earlier than other varieties. The Early Girl plants in the test garden didn't really produce "early" compared with other varieties. About 6% of the Early Girl tomatoes were harvested before June 1st compared with 22% of the Flamme tomatoes and 12% of the Black Krim tomatoes.
The Cream Sausage plants produced a large number of tomatoes during a short period of time. From June 7th through June 17th 225 tomatoes were harvested, or 57% of the total Cream Sausage tomatoes harvested. Cream Sausage is an elongated paste tomato that is cream in color. Cream Sausage tomato plants are short in height, about two feet tall.
The paper copy of the Green Binder located in the shed has been discontinued. You will be required to use the "Green Binder" on the website. You can also check your hours for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 . To receive proper credit for your hours, you must use the name that is on your contract,
Tomato Tasting Results 2014
At long last, the results from the Tomato Tasting are in (the earlier report was from a previous year). This year, we had 49 varieties to sample. The five top-ranked tomatoes for taste were Black and Brown Boar, Sun Gold, Lemon Boy, Cherokee Purple, and Black Cherry. The five lowest-ranked tomatoes for taste were BHN-602, Homestead 24F, Large Barred Boar, Dark Galaxy, and Lemon Cherry. Texture and looks were also judged although fewer people made comments on those features than for taste. In any category, scores with more people judging them are more reliable than those with just a few. Also, the results depend on the samples submitted. If the tomatoes weren't totally ripe or overripe, their scores may not be consistent with their peak flavor. Paste type varieties always score lower for taste and often texture than those typically eaten fresh.
Notes From the Gardens
June 13, 2014
Sunshine has joined The American Community Gardening Association. Check out their newsletter for valuable community gardening info.
Welcome to Sunshine Community Gardens' website
Please feel free to contribute recipes, hints, pictures, links, comments or anything else you feel that will help this website become a gardener's reference and home.
Send email to Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunshine's Compost/Recycling Operations
Do you want to recycle leaves, grass clippings, or vegetable kitchen waste? You are welcome to bring this material to Sunshine Gardens and deposit it in the appropriate clearly marked pile.
Please empty your collection containers (another opportunity, to recycle) for reuse.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept twigs, branches, or logs as we have no way to deal with them as nature cannot break them down quickly enough given our limited space.
Also, we can't accept florist waste. We try to subscribe to organic practices and avoid herbicides and fungicides and preservatives. We don't know what the flowers are treated with but if and only if, it contains none of the above then you are welcome to dump it in our compost pile.
Sunshine Gardens celebrates over 30 years of community gardening in Austin!
Sunshine Community Gardens has been in existence since 1979 with over 200 plots on about 3 acres of land in north central Austin, Texas. The land is leased from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) and they are our generous partners in providing the members of Sunshine with an urban oasis for growing organic food and flowers.
SCG is an all volunteer non-profit organization. With the assistance of Gabriel Valley Farms, a local grower, each spring on the 1st Saturday of March, our Annual Plant Sale and Benefit provides the Austin area spring transplants for their gardens. Heirloom tomatoes, sweet & hot peppers, eggplant, herbs and much more are sold to benefit the gardens. Funds help to keep our membership fees low, pay for maintenance of our tools and tractor, and provide opportunities for special projects at the garden.
Sunshine, through its parent organization, Community Garden Initiative of Central Texas, offers educational opportunities with garden tours, donations of seed and plants, and meeting space for other non-profits. A number of plots are set aside as designated gardens to grow fresh produce for the Micah 6 Food Bank.
For contact information, or if you have any questions about volunteer opportunities, go to our Contact page.