Summer 2010: The Garden Thus Far

Alli and I (the new interns) have been working hard to get the new program on its way. Rather than just taking care of the garden, we have the new responsibilities of taking care of the new Eco House and making it green and putting on events and programming for students, as well as the community, to educate about sustainability. For the summer months, I’m mainly going to focus on what’s happening in the garden and maybe a little bit about the house. But I’m sure the garden w

ill keep me occupied enough. The garden is well underway, so here are a few updates.

The Produce: We planted a variety of vegetables during Earth Week and then a couple more rows at the beginning of June. We’ve been selling the produce to staff and Bon Appetite mainly and will start selling at the Caldwell Farmer’s Market next week. What’s planted (or was): Lettuce, peas, contender bush beans, herbs, Russian kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, parsley, zucchini, eggplant, watermelon, cucumber, onions, potatoes, and lots of different varieties of tomatoes and peppers. We are having some issues with the cucumbers and the majority of our pea and bean seeds were eaten by birds or just didn’t germinate. But we have a fancy new row of contender beans and our lonely pea plant is producing wonderfully. More to come on the cucumbers.

Pests: We haven’t had to much of a problem thus far with pests, which is pretty exciting. We had a small infestation of aphids on our kale in mid June, but they have since disappeared thanks to our handy-dandy Neem organic pesticide/fungicide. It’s basically worked wonders. In the last week or so we have noticed cut worms and some more aphids, this time on our broccoli and brussel sprouts. I sprayed them yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes. More to come on this subject as well.

Weeds: As usual, weeds have been growing rampantly due to lots of water from the nearby sprinklers. But we have been trying to keep up with weeding, as well as mulching with cardboard and some grass clippings (donated by Alli’s parents, who don’t spray their lawn. Yay!). If you or anybody you know doesn’t spray their lawn and would like to donate some more grass clippings, we could really use them.

Future Plans: Looking ahead, we’re going to try to save some seeds from the produce this year so that we can begin to make the garden more self-sufficient. We would really like to make the garden program itself sustainable and not have to rely on donations. So, in addition to seed saving, we’re hoping to begin a chicken project at the house so we can have our own fertilizer and compost for the beginning of next season. We also are looking at planning the garden in such a way next year to have at least 3 or 4 crops matured and ready for selling at every point of the season and possibly starting our own CSA based in Caldwell.

So that is a brief overview of the garden thus far. More in depth posts to come about each of the topics above.

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