Lots of sun, and Lots of Veggies!

August 10, 2009

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News

Over the last few weeks we’ve really seen our garden come into its own, and our hard work is starting to pay off. It’s not without its battles; we’re currently battling illness in our squash, and baffled by the stunted growth of some of our beloved tomatoes, but we have other crops that are flourishing! The deer fence we installed in early July has really paid off, and the students’ gardens are lush with green growth and red tomatoes. With only a few classes left before the end of the season we are getting inundated with requests for fall classes, and some folks already trying to sign up for next year! While we regret that we will not be able to offer a fall/wintering-over class, we are starting an interest list for next season for folks who want to get information as soon as we work out the details. Please email neighborhoodfarm@gmail.com to get info as soon as it becomes available!

With the new deer fence, and the entire garden mulched, we’re having to spend fewer hours weeding which makes us all happy gardeners!

Bea takes a turn with the hose! We have drip irrigation set up throughout most of the garden, but all newly planted seeds and transplants get a little special attention in the summer heat! It wouldn’t take much for the newbies to get dried out their first week in direct sunlight.

Below, Volunteers load many wheelbarrows with wood-chips, to build up the paths throughout the community garden. With the amount of traffic this garden gets, both from our dozens of gardeners, and from hundreds of volunteers and visitors, it is important that paths be very clear to newcomers so that individual gardens don’t get walked in.

Students learn about apartment-scale vermicomposting in a large tupperware container!

Guest speaker Tania spreads out the worm castings from her worm bin and generously allowed students to use the castings on their gardens!

Our very first Tomatoes of 2009! They are so pretty and taste just like candy!

And the produce rolls in!

Summer Intern and Class participant, Andrea, harvesting her first large Cucumber!

Now those are carrots! They may be short, but there is simply nothing as sweet as picking produce from the ground, wiping the dirt off on your jeans, and eating it right then and there!

With all the rain we’ve gotten, disease has spread very easily this year. We luckily averted infection by the Late Blight that spread through tomatoes in the area earlier this season, but we haven’t been so lucky with the squash. We are sad to report that we have to remove our primary squash patch due to an infection of Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus, spread in wet weather by Aphids. Luckily, our secondary patch is not infected, and is getting close to production size already!

(Left – Before): Jaime tries his luck with the roto-tiller!

(Right- After): If you haven’t just looked and admired a freshly tilled, ready to plant, patch of soil….you should. There’s nothing quite like it!

(Above and Below) A Youth Crew who came to help out in for a while in June returned this month and had a change to admire how much things have grown and changed from their last visit!! This trip they spent some time removing invasive vines from the woods adjacent to our field, and they finished preparing these beds and planted some seeds!

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