Unity Gardens Inc. Newsletter
Learning To Grow Together
We Are Growing More Than Vegetables Here 

What's Coming Up 

August 29th 
Downtown South Bend 
Visit our booth in the culinary tent and help support 
Unity Gardens,
 The American Culinary Federation, and Chef & Child
featuring our famous
veggie quesadillas and salsa!

September 16th 6pm 
3701 Prast Blvd 
Birds and Your Garden Refuge 
(class in the garden)
Life abounds in your garden!  Join Jan McGowan of Wild Birds Unlimited as she explains the life histories of some of the birds that share your green space.  Jan will offer ways that, as the days shorten, your garden can remain an oasis of shelter and sustenance for your lively avian neighbors.

September 19th 6pm 
3701 Prast Blvd 
Birds and Your Garden Refuge
(class in the garden)
A repeat of Weds. class
Life abounds in your garden!  Join Jan McGowan of Wild Birds Unlimited as she explains the life histories of some of the birds that share your green space.  Jan will offer ways that, as the days shorten, your garden can remain an oasis of shelter and sustenance for your lively avian neighbors.

October 6th  6pm 
German Township Library
Putting Your Garden to Bed 
(free class)

October 22nd 
Taste of Unity 
Harvest Celebration 

A celebration of local food and local chefs held at the Palais Royale in 
Downtown South Bend 
5 to 8pm
Tickets available on-line and at our South Bend Farmer's Market Booth

Some Area Activities of Interest  
Purdue Master Gardener Program starts soon!
These weekly classes will run from 6 to 9pm August 27, through December. They are being held at Purdue Extension's second floor classroom at 125 S. Lafayette Blvd. South Bend.  Class size is limited to 25 students, so call and register now! 574-235-9604.

August 29 and 30 between 10 am and 3 pm, enjoy a special experience visiting these yardens! Tour at your own pace and learn how these gardeners use their small and not-so-small spaces.
August 29 - 6 gardens in Goshen, IN
August 30 - 5 gardens in southwest Berrien County MI.
Sponsor - Edible Michiana Magazine
Price - single day $15, both days $25
Ticket Outlets - ediblemichiana.com 

Become an Indiana Master Naturalist
(I am excited about taking this course)

This program provides you with hands-on learning opportunities with area scientists & naturalists. The course is comprised of 1 introductory session and ten 3-hour sessions focusing on Indiana's natural resources with topics such as botany, zoology, geology/soils, water, and people. 

To receive certification, you must participate in 80% of course sessions and pass an open-book quiz at the end of the series. Candidates must also complete a minimum of 1 hour of volunteer service per hour of coursework to receive their certificate. 

Begins Thursday, September 3
For complete schedule of class dates, times & locations, call 574/654-3155
For ages 18 and above
Fee: $175/participant

Feels Like Summer Is Ending 
           Its starts to feel like the end of summer when the interns head back to school. Alex Sarell, studying Environmental Biology at Saint Mary's of the Woods College, worked with us all summer.  She was great with the kids camp, chickens, and, oddly enough, insects! Her studies have lead her to research native bees and daily she had one or more in her hand. All of this made famous with her facebook post #beesearch.
Continuing Education
Talking cover crops; a great way to build soil in your garden or urban farm.
      Often when people bring in a bug or weed I have never seen or ask a tough garden question, I send them to the Purdue extension office for answers. The extension is a government supported program to offer guidance to farmers and gardeners. The program encompasses much more than growing help. They teach healthy eating, how to do a home budget, how to can fruits and vegetables, teach the Master Gardner Program and much more. 

Every county in the United States has a extension office that is run by a land grant university. In Indiana it is Purdue; Michigan/ Michigan StateOhio/Ohio State; and Illinois/ University of Illinois.
 These are the resources I use most online for answers. ( I also like Cornell Extension  in New York.) Many times when I am doing a google search, I just add the word extension to my garden question and it will bring up answers from extension programs.  that ensures I am getting science based information not internet folklore. 

Whats the reason for bringing this up now ? Every once in awhile I think it is good to remind our community of the great resource we have right here in St. Joseph County or whatever county you are from. 

     Recently I enjoyed one of the great free programs put on by Purdue Extension at the Purdue Pinney Farm. The program included information on soil health, high tunnel growing, cover crops, and best of all, a sweet corn tasting. I have been to several of these and its a great chance to talk with extension experts. 
Tasting 15 Types of corn Yum !

Some Things to Remember as Fall Creeps Up on Us
Covering bare areas with cardboard and grass clippings
Fall creeps up on us pretty fast sometimes. September can seem like a waiting game, so here are a few tips for September garden tasks: 

1. Keep your garden watered. Make sure to water deeply because by this time your plants have put down deep roots, and your young fall plants need to stay moist. 
2. Clean-up any dead, insect infested, or diseased plants. Many insects overwinter in debris, and diseases can linger in the soil for years. Get the bad stuff out and do not put them in your compost pile. 
3. Clean-up any rotting fruit that my have fallen from trees and berry plants. They can attract insects.
4. As plants do start to die off, it is a good idea to cover up the area with leaves or grass clippings. If you have some cardboard, you can put it down and cover with grass clippings. Creating this layer will keep weeds down and is great worm food. 
5. You can also try fall cover crops in bare areas of the garden. Things like oats, annual rye grass, and mustard greens all work well. 
6. It is also time to think about saving seeds. Seed saving is not just for vegetables but flowers and milkweed also. This can save some money in the spring and help you enjoy your favorite varieties. 

Most of all remember fall is coming, but there is plenty of time left to enjoy your garden.