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!

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