Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A long over-due update...

We've had a hectic start to a new year over at the Community Garden--a delayed start due to steam tunnel repairs under both of our new sites, lots and lots (and lots and lots) of rain, etc. But we've made it through and the garden is finally starting to shape up--our first round of lettuce is coming in, as are the radishes, some sporadic raspberries, and (very tiny) summer squash. Photographic proof will be up in a few days! And until then, enjoy the oh-so-exciting work log I've been keeping for the folks over at CEEDS--it has all you ever wanted to know--and probably much more--about what's been going on at the garden.


May 21st:

-Ang, G, and I go to the Amherst Farmer's market. Buy approximately $182 of plants, from watermelons and gourds to the good old standbys of tomatoes and kale. Come back around 2 and work till 6ish raising beds and planing on the second site. Earlier, Ang and I sent out emails/texts about the work party for tomorrow...

May 22nd:

-First formal work party. A handful of people show up for a few hours each. Worked from 12 - 7, mostly digging beds and rescuing the herb garden from the mint and dill, which are trying to take over

May 23rd – 27th:

-Rain. Project week/Gaby lets me spend time in the garden during crew: plant basil, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers; seed beets, carrots, parsnips, winter squash and summer squash; get all the starts in the ground—asparagus, currents, rhubarb, horseradish…mini-panic attacks, and much referencing of Barbabra Damrosch’s The Garden Primer. It feels silly to keep a book at hand while gardening, but there’s still so much I don’t know and didn’t learn as a kid. How far apart do you space summer squash? How do you plant asparagus starts? Etc. etc. WEDNESDAY: A and I put together the bench; THURSDAY crew comes to help…but of course, this is when Smith decides to redo the pavement between the two sites, so we can’t build up the beds along the edges of the garden like I had planned…we weed the blues and currants instead; Ollie tries and fails (pretty miserably) to put together the compost bin. Work in the garden pretty much every day from 8 until 6 or so. Accidentally fell asleep on top of the new picnic table (still in its box) while trying to write up a log of this week…oops. Hopefully no one noticed (maybe it’s time to leave the garden for a bit…)

May 28th:

Yet another big garden work party. Snacks are purchased, A etc. all show up with bandanas around their head ready to work. Molly stakes tomatoes, compost bins and picnic tables are put together (it takes five people to take apart and then reassable the compost bin…talk about a non-user friendly design). To end the day, we have a picnic dinner on our brand new picnic table.

May 29th:
I liiiive in the garden. No, really, I do. Seeded more beans, planted cucumbers, etc. Cleaned up the herb garden again and brought cilantro home to add to dinner. In a stroke of brilliance, someone planted the parsley and cilantro right next to each other, and both reseeded themselves this year. Oy. Talk about ridiculous—I had to taste a bit of everything to make sure I had cilantro and not parsley. Maybe I need to work on my IDing skills?

May 30th:

A and G go to the Hadley garden center to buy big stakes and wire for staking the tomatoes (our current stakes are too small and not working at all…). They come back with $300 worth of plants and not a stake in site. Remind me never to let those two go shopping without a chaperone again…

June 1st

Work party was supposed to be today…instead there was a huge thunderstorm and we were stuck inside. G went out to plant in the rain and came back pretty quickly when a branch from the honey locust fell down…

June 2nd:

Most of the trees on campus were unscathed after the storm. One of the few that weren’t? the honey locust in the garden. Naturally, a limb fell on the brand new picnic table—somehow, (miraculously) the picnic table emerged okay. Some of the baby rhubarb was stepped on when Jay and John were dealing with the fallen limb, but it’s not a bad price to pay, I guess.

June 3rd:

Project day, so spend lots of it in the garden…dig holes for the stakes (a few feet taller than me) for the tomatoes…send G to the hardware store for wire; stakes aren’t deep enough, though, and lean in towards each other when you string the wire and tomatoes up. Ugggh. We need a stake pounder….

June 5th:

Went home to plant the family farm’s garden this weekend with A. come back with some parsley, basil, and zinnias from my aunt’s greenhouse. A and M had a small work party on Saturday; they planted some of the babies A and G bought, weeded etc.

June 8th:

Work party. All routine stuff…weeding, etc. suckered the tomatoes a bit…not sure if that’s a real word? But that’s what my family called pinching off the little side shoots tomatoes to encourage vertical growth.

June 9th

Was planning on staying in the garden and was rained out (again). Yet another big storm…what is this?!

June 11th

Rainy work party. Hoed and weeded and hoed and weeded and hoed. So many weeds…that’s what we get with all this rain. High point of the day: Thinning the turnips and having turnip greens for dinner.

June 15th:

Work party! Hoed and weeded some more (can’t keep up with these little buggers—must investigate mulch options). Joanne and her adorable daughter showed up with strawberries from their garden; J’s daughter tried to excavate the manhole while we weeded and planted seedlings J brought from her garden. Also managed to procure heirloom tomatoes and summer squash from one of the gardeners at the Botanic Garden. I’m loving this whole “Give the community garden your extra seedlings for free” deal.

June 20th:

Meant to go to the garden after work today, but cut my finger on an exacto knife while taking cuttings and (grumpily) decided to go home instead.

June 21st:

SO MUCH LETTUCE. Sat in the garden and wrote to do list…needless to say, there’s loads and loads to do. But it’s great to see things growing (baby squash! Blossoms on the cucumbers! Lettuce and lettuce and more lettuce!) Am planning a potluck-y deal for CG people during/after the work party on Saturday. There will be lots of salad.