Sunday, March 6, 2011

volunteer days 2/27 and 3/5

the past two weeks have been pretty productive as we start getting ready in earnest for the growing season. last saturday (2/26) we were at the community garden on campus behind DPC clearing away the mulch we had put down at the beginning of winter and starting to figure out where our new beds are going to be.

for the community garden we are planning to have medicinal herbs and flowers, cutting flowers, easy to pick veggies like peppers and cherry tomatoes, and possibly some berries.

we're figuring out a planting plan right now that will be visually pleasing, easy to maintain, and user-friendly for anyone who wants to come get flowers, herbs and veggies during the summer and fall (and maybe some by this spring? who knows at this point!).

on sunday (2/27) we were down at Chancellor's Point starting the seeds for our spring succession of crops! the greenhouse down there was built last year by students out of mostly recycled materials and it is pretty awesome. we're using that and the rain barrels to get a head start on the growing season.

we started two varieties of broccoli, a Chinese variety of cabbage, several different types of lettuce, and a bunch of flowers and herbs for the community garden, including calendula, lavender, cosmos, holly-hocks, echinacea, marigolds, and many others! it will definitely be interesting to see what comes up......

other spring crops we are planning but get started directly in the ground rather than inside are carrots, beets, onions and snow peas.

yesterday (3/5) we were at the farm working on one of our biggest projects, fencing. we decided to use a combination of chicken wire and electric fence to deter groundhogs, rabbits and deer. apparently if you wrap a piece of aluminum foil around an electric fence and dab the foil with peanut butter, deer will come investigate the peanut butter and get a shock that scares them enough to not come back. for the chicken wire, we are bending it at a right angle and laying the bottom half of the fencing on the ground perpendicular to the rest of the fence to discourage animals from digging under the fence.

we also did some more bed prep, and harvested 8.5 lbs of spinach! not so bad for spinach thats made it through snow, biting cold and aphids.

our garlic that we planted in october is also looking great...we'd been a little worried over some of the stalks that were turning yellow, but it has perked right back up and will keep growing to be ready for harvest in june hopefully.

the kale looks to be growing back as well...unfortunately, the weeds are coming back too. we still have a fair amount of bed prep to do and there are a lot of places that need a heavier cover of straw.

we won't be having any more workdays until after spring break, at which point we will be:
  • sowing beets, carrots, onions and snap peas
  • transplanting cabbage, broccoli and lettuce
  • setting up our irrigation
  • finishing the fencing
  • finishing bed prep, initial weeding and mulching
  • sowing cover crop for all the beds we won't be using until later in the season
  • transplanting and direct seeding at the community garden as well!
probably after spring break we will also start having workdays during the week as well as both weekend days so look for an email about that.

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