Sarah's Garden: Rain

I don't have that many new pictures because it's been raining so much and I am loathe to go out in the rain just to take some blurry pictures of tomato plants.  But rest assured they are growing fast and are enjoying the rain.  So let's take a look at all the other plants that I tend to neglect in favor of vegetables in the summer.

Above is lavender and what I assumed was Lamb's Ear until these bright magenta flower showed up.  Turns out it's rose campion and I'm not entirely sure where it came from!  On the left side of the picture is a blackberry (or possibly raspberry) from Bartram's Garden.  I get it last summer and it's starting to flower so maybe I will get some berries?  We'll see.

The excitement of this week was when I harvested some beans...11 of them, to be exact.  They seem a little small but the pods were turning yellow so I looked in one and hey!  beans.  I'm letting these dry and hopefully I will get more so I can make something with them.  Next year I promise I'll plant more than one bean plant.

Other than that I've been frantically staking my tomato plants to keep up with all this growth.  More pictures next week, once things dry up a bit!

Let's party our way to 600 members!

House party hosted by the Knapp-Bazis member-owner household.

One of the Co-op's most successful member recruitment tools this year has been the house parties and get togethers organized by members who invite small  groups of friends who might be interested in joining. During our recent 75in75 campaign, over a half dozen different members hosted this parties which were attended collectively by dozens of prospective members. It's a great way to help recruit new members while showing off your party-hosting skills.

And with summer upon us and the season of backyard barbecues, roof-deck gatherings and small group picnics with pick-up softball games, there are plenty of opportunities to gather a bunch of your friends without worrying about them making a mess in your home!

Here's how it works.

1. Let us know you want to one of these by emailing

2. You pick a date, invite a bunch of friends and do all of the other things you'd normally do when organizing a party: putting together a menu, getting your iTunes playlist together, practicing your flip cup and beer pong skills, etc.

3. We will arrange for one of the volunteers in our Speakers Bureau to attend the party prepared with a 5-minute pitch about why joining the Co-op would be such a great idea.  You can feel free to chime in - since they're your friends - about why you joined, or just leave the talking to us. The speaker will also have plenty of forms on hand for people to join on the spot.

4. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and let us know how the event went so we can post them to our Facebook page and put on our blog. The more pictures of people eating great food and having a good time, the better!

If you have any questions or if you're new in town and want to know when the next house party is happening, send an email to We'll answer your questions or check with the host to see if he or she has room for more guests.

Pallet Gardening Workshop: June 1, 2013

What better way to spend a sweltering early summer afternoon that keeping cool in the newly designed gardens of South Philadelphia High School? More than 30 people participated in the first Pallet Gardening Workshop, organized and presented by Molly Devinney. Not only is Ms. Devinney a skilled gardener who is ready to impart her green thumb skills to eager urban agrarians, but she is also the coordinator for the student gardening program at South Philadelphia High School.

Judging from our pictures taken by Co-op member Stefania Patrizio, the attendees didn’t mind the heat. In fact, many of them found the program informative and helpful. One participant, Josh Satinoff, shared how this event gave him the opportunity to create a garden for his house and that the event was “awesome”. The Co-op helped to provide pallets and other materials for pallet gardening.

Although this event quickly filled up, the South Philadelphia Food Co-op hopes to host more events that will focus on creating more green space in South Philadelphia. Whether it is creating your own verdant oasis with a pallet garden or touring the various community gardens of South Philadelphia in September, the Co-op is ready to provide more opportunities for residents of South Philadelphia to explore how urban gardening can enhance our community’s aesthetics and bonds. Interestingly enough, South Philadelphia High School’s parking lot, which served as the site for Saturday’s workshop, will also serve as the hub for this fall’s Community Garden Tour. The Co-op is on the lookout for gardens in South Philadelphia to feature for the Community Garden Tour. If you have a garden that you want to show off, or if you just want more information about the Garden Tour this fall, you can go here.


Event organizer and workshop leader Molly Devinney helps participants transform their pallets into gardens.

Participants Josh Satinoff and Ari Packer show off their handiwork at the Pallet Gardening Workshop.
Other participants enjoyed working with their gardens. Attendees described the workshop as really helpful and "Awesome".


Sarah's Garden: Growth

Hello!  My plants have now been outside for a month and besides some cold nights about a week ago it's been smooth sailing.  Let's look back and see how much these cuties have grown.

Here they are on May 2nd after having survived the first night outside:

Here's the next day...looking quite bedraggled from all the sun (note to self:  next year don't worry about hardening off but do give them a few days of partial sun before going all in):