Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holidays at Comsog

Many busy hands made some beautiful wreaths today at the first annual Holiday Greens Party at Comsog.  Don't forget that tomorrow is the Holiday Party at Thalia's House.  Bring a dish to share and a small gift for a Yankee Swap.  Thanks to Muriel for baking a lemon cake and welcome to a new member, Abby.  Chris shared his expertise  in artistic design and suggested gold painted trumpet pods and dogwood spray painted white.  There are still greens at the greenhouse if anyone missed the event and still would like to make a wreath.
Our new manager Chris Legge.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Harvesting Greens

My old blender has been getting a work out!  I attended a Raw Food Yoga Retreat at Sunny Slope Farm in Alton, NH with Fae Kontje-Gibbs and Stacy Stowers.  I have been harvesting the mustard greens and miners lettuce.  I have been using the idea of Stacy's Happy Shake to make my own variations and they have all been good.  Today, I had miner's lettuce with 1 tomatillo, 1/2 a pear, 1/2 a banana and raspberries, vitagreen powder and maca powder.  Miner's lettuce is one of the few salad greens that is indigenous to North America.  It grows in cold weather and is perfect for a cold frame.  I've also been using mizuna in savory shakes with tomato.  The greenhouse has both of these nutritious greens for the picking.
Stacy and Jill at Sunny Slope Farm with Jill's first Happy Shake
I have also been making another specialty of Stacy's , Winter Squash Soup.  This soup is not raw, but it is heart warming and very nutritious.  But the best part is that is is very easy.  Yes, easy!!  My husband loves this soup and it has no meat.  Just cut up the squash skin included but no seeds.  Put it in a soup pot with an onion, and cover with water.  Cook until tender.  Now the fun part, you can throw in broccoli stalks, and other vegetable trimmings.  You can throwing in seasonings like a little hot pepper, pumpkin pie spice, or cutting celery.  I put in a dried Jimmy Nardello Pepper, parsley, and some cutting celery in this batch. (There is cutting celery in the back garden.) Then put in 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast.  You can buy this in bulk at Cronigs, so try a little.  I admit I was sceptical, but now I am a believer.  Nutritional yeast is a great addition to the diet of vegetarians as it is high in protein and B vitamins.  Reliable Market has had winter squash at a great price, including kabocha and buttercup.
The last step in this amazing soup is to blend it with an imersion blender.  I love my new toy.  It came from Le Roux and was the same price online with no shipping. 
So get to the greenhouse, enjoy the sun and warmth and pick up some greens for salads, stirfries, and maybe a smoothie!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A New Top!

We will miss you Chuck!
The greenhouse is getting a new film covering.  This will allow a lot more light to reach the plants and help productivity.  A crew is meeting this Saturday at 8:30.  If you can come help, bring cordless power tools and staplers.  There will be chili and soup as well as other goodies. 
There are many things growing at the greenhouse.  Lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, pak choi, kale, arugula, broccoli raab, and swiss chard are all in the beds.  We have had a difficult time getting the seedlings going because we have a mouse! or two!  The mouse is digging up the seeds we have planted and replacing them with melon seeds.  If only we could train it!  We are using plastic covers to help protect the seedlings. 
We have been picking the baby arugula and mizuna and the lettuce will soon need thinning.
We have a new manager, Chris and he has been working with us Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 9 and 12 AM.  We have had a steady crew of workers over the last two months.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Ready for Fall

This has been a difficult summer for white fly.  Despite this there have been a lot of tomatoes, cukes, peppers (especially hot peppers) and melons.  There is basil for the picking for anyone who likes to make pesto.  we are working on cleaning up the greenhouse for fall planting.  Betsy planted some kale but unfortunately the white cabbage butterfly found them an attractive place to lay eggs!  Now they are chewed to stubs.  We will try starting them outside under reemay.  We are collecting ideas for Living Local Harvest Festival which is taking place very soon.  Talk to Betsy if you can help or have ideas.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

David Crohan Concert

Volunteers are busy organizing the upcoming concert.  For tickets or information    The David Crohan Concert has been an annual fund raiser for many years.  This year the greenhouse desperately needs a new top.  The members have decided to collect the proceeds from the concert for this purpose and it is called the Top Hat Fund. 
In the greenhouse, we have red, ripe tomatoes!! Also in the garden we have cutting flowers for bouquets.   Also the peppers, eggplants, and melons are taking off.

Don't forget the up coming workshops.

Living Raw on MV
Raw Food Workshops 
Levels I, II, & III
Level I
Raw on the Run
Quick & Simple
Nutritious & Delicious Recipes
Sunday July 17th
Registration deadline Wednesday July 13th
Level  I & II
Raw on the Run  & Living Raw
Quick, Simple & Sprouting Recipes
 Sunday August 14th
Registration deadline Wednesday August 10th
Level III
Real Raw
Fermenting & Dehydrating Recipes
 TBA Fall 2011
Cost $65 for 1, $125 for 2, and $185 for 3
$20 non-refundable registration deposit required before deadline date
~ Raw Food picnics also available ~
Cindy Fitzgerald 
for Information & Registration: 
Sponsored by 
The Community Solar Greenhouse (COMSOG)
114 New York Avenue, O.B.      508 693-2019

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peppers, Tomatoes and Squash, Oh My!

This year we completely sold out of peppers!  Luckily, we planted some inside the greenhouse. They love the heat and so do the eggplant.  We are getting blooms already.  The greenhouse tomatoes are just beginning to ripen.  We still have lettuce to pick.  We are experimenting with melons.  We have Charentais, Amish Muskmelon and Blacktail Mountain.  These last two should have a shorter growing season.  I always have the problem deciding when the melons are ripe.  I usually pick them too early but one time left it on the vine until it  exploded.  If anyone has expertise let me know.                  
We are planting the outside gardens.  We have squash, tomatoes, tomatillos, cukes and beds of flowers.  We still need help with tying up the tomatoes.  On Monday we are planting the  last tomato bed, please come if you can.  We aslo have leeks and winter squash to plant.
Thalia, Diane and Alicia potted up tomatoes for the Down Island Farmer's Market on the harbor.  It begins June 28th.

The David Crohan Concert is August 7th and we are looking for volunteers.  The theme will be the Top Hat Fund to raise money for the new cover for the greenhouse.    Call Thalia if you can help. 
Raw Food Workshops 

Level I -  Raw On The Run – Introduction to raw foods – Quick & simple recipes 
(similar to the past 2 introductory classes)
Sunday June 26th – 3:30-5:30
Level  II - Living Raw – Sprouting & Germinating Recipes
Sunday July 17th  – 3:30-5:30
Level  III - Real Raw – Fermenting & Dehydrating Recipes 
Sunday August 14th – 3:30-5:30
The food prepared in each particular level will be based on the crops of the season.
Cost: $65 each, 2/$125,  3/$185  
For More Information call Cindy 508 696-7806

Sponsored by The Community Solar Green House (COMSOG)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Plant Sale

The Spring Plant Sale is a Blooming Success

    The Volunteers have been very busy this year and the green house is spectacular. We still have lots of tomatoes ready to go and the cukes and zuchini will be ready by May 21st.  We have some herb boxes.  These are a really nice collection with calendula, chervil, lemon balm, thyme and garlic chives. There is also basil, dill, oregano, and cilantro available in 4" pots. A new addition is cutting celery.  This is a pungent spice and only a few sprigs can substitute for the flavor of a whole stalk.
    Calendula is also know as pot marigold and is one of the plants that is found in colonial gardens.  The flowers are good to eat and can be dried for tea.  But they are also a good addition for a flower bed.  They are long blooming and will reseed.  Lemon balm can also be used for tea and has a calming effect.  This year at Comsog you will find many of your favorite herbs.

     Happy shoppers have found many flowers.  We have portulaca, gazania, and geraniums.  These are great flowers for the Island's sandy soil as they are drought resistant.  We also have petunias, zinnias and cosmos.
     Volunteers are busy tending plants and helping shoppers find their plants.  If you have gardening questions please ask and if we have the answer we will be happy to share it with you.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raw Food Workshops at Comsog

What? Raw Breakfast! Lunch! and dinner! No Cooking!Cindy Fitzgerald (right) preparing fettucini Alfredo with her daughter Jenny, who is starting to create noodles from zucchini.
Yes… and Raw Food Chef Cindy FitzGerald showed us HOW during her Introduction To Raw Foods Workshop.  The well-attended class consisted of demonstrations, and samplings of 6 extraordinary and jaw-dropping recipes using fresh organic fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholesome oils (no sugar, flour, dairy, eggs, meat, fish):
Breakfast: Fresh Strawberry, Almond Milk Shake
                      Pecan Porridge w/ fresh Almond milk
Lunch:   Mock Salmon Pate
                 Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps
Dinner: Fettuccine Alfredo (remember no flour!) w/Mock Parmesan Cheese (no dairy)
                 Chocolate Mousse     

By request another Introductory Raw Foods Workshop will be held on May 15th
Cost $15 non-refundable deposit + donation.

Look for more Living Raw on MV Workshops
     - Sponsored by COMSOG New York Ave, O.B.

Cindy’s next workshops will be taught on 3 progressively advancing levels (3 Classes each): 
Level I    -   Raw On The Run - Quick & Simple
Level II.  -  Living Raw - Sprouting & Germinating Recipes
Level III. -  Real Raw – Fermenting & Dehydrating Recipes    
For more information:
Contact Cindy FitzGerald –  508 696-7806

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I only found out that I was a good part Irish a few years ago, but St. Patrick's Day has always been one of my favorite celebrations.  It is the time to plant peas on Martha's Vineyard.  It is also the time to start seedlings at the greenhouse.  In the germination box we have tomatoes, letttuce, basil and lobelia sprouting. Peppers have been planted and herb boxes are started.  I'm sure that it is no coincidence that the color of Saint Patrick's Day is green.  Soon the shelves in the greenhouse will be a river of green.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Planting Parties

       When you enter the greenhouse this Wednesday, you will hear a lively chatter. You will also smell the delicious odor of Thalia's homemade soup.  We are planting geranium plugs for our Spring Sale.  We have red, pink, orange and purple geraniums that need to be put in 4" pots.  We also need to start our herb boxes.  We have been collecting clementine boxes that we will fill with herbs.  We have thyme, sage, garlic chives and greek oregano planted.  Basil needs to be seeded.  Bring any other ideas to the planting party.
      Soon to follow will be heirloom tomatoes.  I met with Chuck and Thalia to discuss the varieties and my mouth couldn't stop watering from the descriptions Thalia gave us.  We truly have a spectacular selection coming and I can't wait to start planting.
     Speaking of planting, Thalia started the greenhouse tomatoes.  We have Arbason and Trust and the little babies are coming up nicely.  I transplanted some into 4" pots today.  It was so warm in the greenhouse that I was in a tank top.  If you need a taste of sunshine and warmth as well as home made soup come to the greenhouse.  There is still a lot of lettuce and the nasturtiums are going crazy.
      Only 11 days to pea planting!  Has anyone tried to turn the soil yet?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fueled by a Dragon's Eye

Warning! These are the ramblings of an obsessed gardener fueled by the fire of a dragon’s eye.  The tatsoi and the pak choi are bolting.  These are my thoughts in the moonlight.  When does a seed germinate?  Have you ever noticed that you wake up to see those little sprouts in the morning?  Something is germinating in my mind.  This blog must emerge.  I look over at the profile of my sleeping husband. His eyes are open and I whisper, “It sure is bright.” And he says, “It’s the dragon’s eye outside the window.”  It’s 9 degrees outside and the sky is crystal clear and the moon that is not quite full is shining directly on our bed.  On the internet yesterday, someone asked have you ever thought about planting on a moonlight schedule?  Hogwash, I thought.  But indeed something is germinating by this moonlight, my husband’s poetic nighttime images and this blog! 
            Back to the bolting tatsoi and pak choi.  Things are happening in the greenhouse.  The winter over broccoli raab is finally flowering.  Chuck and I were trying to decide what had made it begin to flower.  Then I noticed the pak choi.  Some of them are still little, barely enough to eat and they are starting to bolt.  The tatsoi is lush and in its prime but I noticed a funny rosette in the center and know that I will soon see the bloom. I did some research.  Pak choi and tatsoi are from Thailand where they resist bolting because the days and nights are much more equal in length.  When the daylight hours lengthen, they will begin to flower.  Yes, despite this frigid air the days are getting noticeably longer and the plants in the greenhouse are beginning to awaken to the approaching spring.   Unfortunately, this means we must pick the tatsoi and pak choi before it becomes inedible and that we must wait until fall to plant and enjoy it again.
            There is another rustling in the greenhouse and that is the sound of seed catalogs.  We are ordering our seeds for the year.  If anyone has any suggestions please send a comment as soon as possible.  Planting parties will soon be happening again on Wednesdays.  Some herbs have been started but there is a lot of transplanting that also needs to be done.  The greenhouse is lovely on these cool clear days.
             I made a great stir fry of brocolli raab, pak choi, tatsoi and swiss chard.  Sauteed with 2 cloves of minced garlic, a splash of tamari and a spoon of tahini. 
             There is still a lot of mizuna and mesclun.    Have you tried mache.  It has 3 times the vitamin C of lettuce, omega 3, B vitamins and more iron than spinach.  Come get these vegetables they need picking.