Our sandy soil needs improvement. Adding organic matter helps retain moisture and adds nutrients. Use the community compost plus additional organic fertilizers such as blood meal, chicken manure or bat guano. Deciding which is best depends on your budget and what you want to grow. The manure and compost available at OVF are excellent for growing all of your standard garden vegetables.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Never put fresh manure on young plants or seedlings. The nitrogen rich manure commonly classified as ‘hot’ will literally burn your new plant. Allow fresh manure to compost before using.

Gardeners may take as much manure or compost as desired. Spread a 1”–2” layer of manure over your plot. Next, fill a wheelbarrow with black, rich compost and spread a couple of inches on top. Dig in these amendments with a spade, rake the bed out and water thoroughly. Wait at least two weeks for weeds to sprout. Hoe or pull these weeds. Many sprouting seeds naturally arise from compost, so you’ll need to repeat this process each time you add compost to your plot. Turn over the soil once again and rake smooth. Now, you’re ready to plant!

The pile of material to be shredded and composted has been very large lately. This is a good thing! It means that members are bringing the material to the orchard for shredding and not putting it into the dumpsters. Please dump your material away from the path as far as possible so as not to block the path. Also remember to separate your woody material and put it on the left side of the orchard.

The new procedure of placing the screened compost wood chips in the barrels provided is working very well. This makes it much easier to regrind the wood chips in the shredder. Take all the compost you want. The present method of building and cooking the compost piles appears to be the best yet. Nine compost bins are in a composting stage all the time. The compost crew is constructing the bins with plastic compost material rather than the flimsy chicken wire that was used in the past. THANK YOU to all the members who help to make this very important function a success.


Please be careful when you bring your weeds to the Orchard and make sure you are not putting hand tools and other junk in the wheelbarrow. When hand tools are mixed in with the weeds that go into the shredder it damages the cutting hammers by bending them.


Do not put trash in with your weeds, such as string, wire, plastic, stones, metal pipe and tools.