West Ward Market Recap: September

Week 1: Veggie samples & recipes

A September corn & tomato summer salad was on the menu. Check out the recipe here with other veggie facts and additional recipes. Getting creative with meals is important for this part of the season – when there’s an abundance of tomatoes and squash. Chickpeas and black beans add protein to this vegetarian dish, which keeps it simple and inexpensive.

Week 2: Seed saving lesson

Easton Garden Works’ rendition of bubbling blowing was a hit at the market: milkweed seeds blew around in the wind as we scattered them across the market. We included a ton of tips (see below) for saving seeds, plus did a tomato seed saving demonstration and gave away packets of seeds we saved ourselves (calendula, cosmos, and milkweed).

Check out our full Seed Saving blog post, and a few quick tips below:

  • Choose the best looking/tasting vegetables to gather seeds from, since they’ll carry the characteristics you want to duplicate.
  • Collect seeds on a dry day and make sure to dry them completely indoors. They should be very hard afterwards
  • Check on the type of plant: self-pollinating, annual plants are easiest to save seed. Hybrids or “F1” varieties can’t be saved.
  • Label your containers with veggie variety and date, and store in cool dry space.

Week 3: Fall flower crowns

For our final fall flowers of the season, we crowned as many vendors, volunteers, and market-goers as we could. While these activities are often centered just on pretty flowers on the outside, there’s a lot to learn about each bloom there. Very few were familiar with the names of the majority of the flowers there. Participants learned what zinnias, yarrow, celosia, craspedia, and other flowers looked like – and we had some great conversation about how to grow them, dry them, store them, or even how to make ’em into crowns.

Week 4: Ending your growing season

Nothing like a cootie catcher to tell you what your next (garden) moves will be. We channeled our inner kid, since we were outside Paxinosa Elementary, and let market-goers choose their garden destiny. How should you spend the end of gardening season? Pick one (or all!) below:

  • Use row cover and cold frames to extend the growing season.
  • Harvest green tomatoes and let them ripen inside.
  • Plant cover crops.
  • Plant garlic in October.
  • Plant milkweed and bulbs.
  • Protect tender plants and trees with a blanket of burlap.
  • Leave sunflower seeds/stalks out for the birds.
  • Re-seed your lawn.
  • Clean and store your tools.
  • Remove diseased plants and make sure to plant different types there next season.
  • Add compost.
  • Dry herbs indoors.

We said our goodbyes and let everyone tally their favorite 2022 Easton Garden Works booth activities. Your choices? Solar powered pizzas & heat safety, seed matching, and fall seed starting were the most informative. And flower crowns, pickle kits, and seed bombs were crowd favorites.