Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Work Party Saturday, October 4

Drop in anytime from 10-3! All are encouraged to come.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Work Party Saturday, September 20!

This Saturday, September 20, the Smith Community Garden will be having a work party! Drop in anytime from 10AM-3PM to weed, harvest, and construct raised beds. Come if you've never worked in a garden or if you've been working in one forever. A group will meet at 9:45 in front of the art museum to walk down together, or you can follow the chalked arrows on the sidewalk. Directions to the garden are on the right-hand navigation bar. See you there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go get some grub!

What a wet week we have been washed with!
Well, one thing is for certain- those thirsty plants are all the more succulent for it.

Today, four full heads of lettuce (Jericho Romaine and Red Iceberg) were proudly delivered to the Campus Center Cafe, along with what Ann Finley referred to as a "good sized bunch" of fragrant dill.

Tomorrow, the wonderful CC cafe dining staff will unveil their community-garden inspired dishes to the masses- or to several hungry Smithies, academics, administrators, perhaps even an alum or two.

Consider this your invitation- witness this first step toward a fuller integration of farm to fork, of garden to classroom, of participatory dining. Better yet, taste it!

Look out for more community garden and CC cafe collaborations this summer-
and stay tuned for a Pasta Sauce Canning and Pesto Making Party

Come see the tomatoes ripen on the vine, the cosmos blossoms open, the peppers and bean plants bear their fruit, and more exciting garden adventures.
Email smithgarden@gmail.com if you'd like a tour or want to come help out!

Keep Scrolling Down for New Photos (on the previous posting)!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My, How We've Grown!

Nearly a month ago, on Saturday, June 21st, four diligent set about planting in bed #4 and tending to the mass of weeds that seemed to have sprung up overnight around the parameter of the garden. Yes, summer is indeed a time for rapid growth.

After a few weeks out of the state, I returned to find that the tomato stalks had become a massive jungle, the heads of lettuce are now the size of small shrubberies, and the basil, dill, and flax have shot up to above-knee height. The wheat has changed to a pleasant golden brown and has acquired its "spikelets" (flowering heads). We have a few promising cherry tomatoes dangling, and even a head of broccoli, making a grand entrance, concealed by its broad, dramatic leaves.

I stood in sheer surprise at the transformation that had taken place seemingly overnight. Then I got to work staking the tomatoes, weeding around the not-yet-fruiting peppers and beans, and wondering what to do with all those big beautiful heads of lettuce. Here are some thoughts I have:

-Giving several heads for the Campus Center to make signature salads for those meal-plan-bound Smithies
-Donating to the Northampton Survival Center
-Bringing up a big hoard of hungry Smithies to harvest for a garden salad.
-Inviting Fort Hill kids to come pick, learn, and devour.
-Sending out a call-to-arms to our volunteers and neighbors.

Once the tomatoes develop, we will try to orchestrate a preserving party to make tomato sauce for those dreary winter months (or sooner!) Stay tuned.

Please let us know if you have any ideas for where the harvest should go, both in the summertime and come fall. Send ideas to:
Also, let us know if you're interested in getting in on the action- helping weed, bringing a head of lettuce or bunch of basil home, partaking in an activity with the Fort Hill kids, whatever strikes your fancy.

Yours in vegetable-solidarity,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer's Second Work Party!

Hello Gardeners!

We think it's high time for another...

Smith Community Garden Work Party!

Sat, Jun 21, 2pm – 5pm
Fort Hill site (see map)
Please come join us for another round of bed-mak ing and planting. We'll have snacks, music, and refreshments. Please bring any tools you can rustle up and a water bottle! Join us for our after-party potluck as well! RSVP smithgarden@gmail.com

After-Party Potluck
Sat, Jun 21, 5pm – 7pm
A hard-working gardener deserves a well-made potluck meal- please bring a dish to share: please post your dish with an RSVP as a comment so we don't get 3 casseroles. Refreshments will be provided. Potluck will take place at Mariah Wyman and friends' apartment nearby.


Directions from Smith Campus (10-15 minute walk):

Take Elm/Main St/Rte. 9 towards downtown Northampton. At the traffic light by the Academy of Music, turn right onto South St/Rte. 10 S. Follow South St. through one set of lights and take your second left after the lights, Lyman Road. The entrance to Fort Hill is a one-way driveway on your left at the far end of Lyman Road. Smith Community Garden is next to TRACES, the old Victorian building.

Hope to see you there!

-the garden

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Post-Work Party Update

A hot, humid day at the garden Site. Friends arrived on the site to see a small rabbit hopping from the scene. Later we found a small patch of trampled wheat in our box. I think we have a new mascot.

Raised bed #4, aka "The Beast" was finally completed. The challenges?
- assembling one side with two rows of planks, and keeping the boards from buckling
- driving nails into the (dense) white pine and (slightly warped) recycled wood
The benefits? A lovely, sustainably built raised bed, now home to several happy spinach, lettuce, and tomato plants.

The Beast, and his slightly milder, smaller brother were filled in with gravel and sand (to improve drainage), and then lavished with soil (kindly provided by Bob Dombkowski, Supervisor of Grounds) and Smith's specialty compost. Thanks also to Gaby Immerman of the Botanic Garden for lending us several shovels, trowels, and buckets to equip our workers. Several seedlings (kindly donated by the Northfield Mount Hermon school program and friend, Laura Fisher) were transplanted into rows, watered and labelled.

Also thanks to Frank Perman, Supervisor of Plumbing and Heating, for providing the Garden with H2O! Our thirsty plants appreciated a good dousing after a hot day. (And so did we).

Spring onions, cherokee purple and cherry bomb tomatoes, sweet basil, peppers, nasturtiums, spinach and several varieties of lettuce are formally part of the Smith Garden Family, joining a thriving crop of Red Fife wheat and just-sprouting dill, parsley, poppies, nasturtiums, and flax.

The work party was finished off with a celebratory, and much-needed trip to Herrell's ice cream. Join us next time for more planting, building, sweating at the Site.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Work Party Saturday, June 7th

Come one, come all! Smith's up-and-coming community garden is having the summer's first work party this saturday, June 7th from 12 to 3pm at the Fort Hil site.

Join us for the nice weather, for yummy snacks and refreshments, and a trip to Herrell's after the day's work.

Tell your friends, bring a shovel or hoe if you've got one. We'll be finishing building our fourth raised bed, adding soil, planting (transplants and seeds!), and beautifying the space a bit.

Hope to see you there- please RSVP if you can make it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Arrival!

After a week away, I was greeted by a wonderful crop of young Red Fife Wheat! This same variety is planted outside of the Hungry Ghost Bakery on State St. and as part of the Little Red Hen Project, is being grown in small plots by nearly 80 farmers and residents around the valley. The wheat is an especially gratifying specimen, since its progress can be witnessed on a daily basis. It currently stands at about 4 inches, and was planted about a week and a half ago.

This week we are finishing our fourth raised bed and hope to start planting this wednesday. Come join us!
We used locally harvested white pine from a neighbor of 5 College Energy Manager, Todd Holland and recycled lumber from the Springfield ReStore.

Monday, May 5, 2008

1st Seed List

From Johnny's Seed


Brandywine (OG) tomato
Cherokee Purple tomato
Green Zebra (OG) tomato
Sun Gold (F1) cherry tomato
Cherry Bomb (F1) hot pepper
Dill, Bouquet (OG)
Parsley, Titan
Yellow Crookneck (OG) summer squash
El Jefe (F1) hot pepper
Sweet Favorite (F1) watermelon
Mountain Mint
California Poppy
Jewel Mix edible flower
New England Pie pumpkin
Baby Pam
Dancer (F1) eggplant
Nadia (F1) eggplant
Flax, Omega (OG)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Community Garden Work Parties!

This weekend, the Smith Garden experienced its first pair of work parties, both prolific, sunny, and attended by both new and familiar faces. Engineers for a Sustainable World helped us purchase our tools, including several pairs of work gloves, a wheel barrow, shovels, spades, a hose, a hammer, and more. Wood from Laura Rauscher of Disabilities Services and from the Springfield ReStore were rubbed with mineral oil, cut (manually!) to the proper size, and formed into three raised beds.

Spirited Smithies dug up mulch, making six ~12x4 trenches for which to place beds. This mulch was raked to build up pathways and provide some insect protection. Hungry Ghost bread and good conversation fueled the appetites of over a dozen volunteers. Be sure not to miss our next work party!


Hey guess what? Smith Community Garden is finally taking off! We'd like you to be part of the celebration-

Who: you!
What: Smith Community Garden Season's First Work Party!
Where: our new home- at Fort Hill on Lyman Rd. off of South St. (~10 minutes from Hillyer)
When: this saturday and sunday 10-3pm-come work anytime!

Why: perfect study antidote, full day's supply of vitamin D, participate in your food system, help the garden start up, socialize with 5-college and community members, you choose!

Not to be missed!

This weekend's project: making raised beds and preparing for planting
there will be groovy music, lemonade and iced tea, hungry ghost bread and more!

Hope to see you there~ please RSVP to chender2@email.smith.edu
Community Garden

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Garden Tour

A grand tour of the Smith Community Garden site was conducted- consisting of alums, community members, friends, staff, and students. On this tour, we evaluated the site, took soil samples, and made a plan of action! We have decided to proceed by making raised beds.

An abridged History of the Site:

Location- Lyman Road, down South St. (next to Academy of Music). Across from Fort Hill, next to previous Early Childhood Development Center, presently Traces Recycled Materials Center.

History- About 15 years ago, it was discovered that the Early Childhood Development building was contaminated with lead (from the paint). The yard, which was then a playground (and we were recently informed, once a rose garden), was then stripped of its top soil, filled with mulch, and left fallow until we came along.

Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us, both because mulch robs the soil of nitrogen (a major nutrient) and also, because the soil underneath is severely compacted, basically clay.

Our plan? To grow healthy, lead-free produce with enough space to spread their roots. We'll build six raised beds over the course of this summer, and use the old sand box for a shadier patch (perhaps for herbs or pumpkins), fill them with soil and compost (kindly provided by Smith Groundskeeping), and plant away!