Today we harvested yet another 41 pounds of produce and more than half of it was donated to an organization called Community Plates!! The tomatoes are really coming along too! In fact, some of the larger ones are beginning to turn pink/red on the bottom! So far the black cherry tomato is getting a lot of attention. In addition, we are looking forward to another huge cucumber harvest this coming Friday. We will also begin harvesting onions on Friday with well over 200 to collect! The beans are flourishing as always in the hot summer weather, of course. The garlic is still drying in the greenhouse and we're very excited for its weigh-in soon! Friday is certainly going to be a huge day for harvesting!!
WE HAVE TOMATOES!!!! We got our first ripe tomatoes today. We harvested about 1 lb of Bloody Butcher, small red, tomatoes as well as 1 lb of Sun Gold, cherry type. In addition we harvested another 8 lbs of Cucumbers and 2 lbs of Pole Beans. It also looks like the solution to carrot germination has been found and hopefully this will yield a very large fall crop. Friday is going to be a big harvest which should take our total to almost 300 pounds for the year.
Today was a huge day for harvesting! The beans are literally climbing the fences and the cucumbers are producing much more than expected. We finally harvested the garlic as well which will be left to dry out for about two weeks, all 64 heads! The tomatoes are really coming along too! We tied them even farther up the poles. Pretty soon they'll be too tall for the bamboo! On another note, we also did some wild raspberry picking on our own which I personally enjoyed very much! If there isn't enough in the garden already, we also seeded different types of carrots as well as multiple lettuce flats. It's amazing that the garden continues to flourish in this hot weather. We're all looking forward to the huge tomato harvest to come!!
As the summer progresses this year, we will meet in the garden on Tuesdays and Fridays so that we can continue to produce crops. Already this summer, we have harvested carrots, chard, lettuce, arugula, and potatoes. We have also continued to tie up the tomato plants to bamboo poles which act as a brace to keep the plants sturdy as they grow taller. Moreover, our herbs have started to take off, and the garlic looks as though it will be ready for harvest soon! In addition, we saw some of our first beans last week - so we'll have to get ready for the much loved bean harvest soon. Everything in the garden is blooming, and we will have plenty of crops to harvest going forward. We are also continuing to plant two flats of lettuce each week so that we will always have a couple flats of lettuce ready for transplanting into the garden beds. As we gear up for the long hot summer ahead of us, we look forward to the great harvest which awaits.
Today, we made sure to give everything inside the greenhouse, as well as all of the pots which are not hooked up to the drip irrigation system in the garden, a good watering. We also planted two more flats of lettuce. Now that summer has begun, we plan to plant a flat or two of lettuce each week. This way, we will always have lettuce to plant, lettuce growing in a flat, lettuce to transplant, lettuce growing in the garden, and lettuce to harvest. Finally, we tied up the remaining tomato plants to the bamboo poles, which will act as a support as the tomato plants grow taller. We have so much to look forward to this summer, and we will have so many crops to harvest over the next few months - even the garlic will be ready for harvesting soon!!
Today we worked hard on transplanting many of the remaining tomato plants into pots which we then placed throughout the garden. We also harvested the remaining carrots in bed 8 as well as the remaining beets in that same bed. Finally, we mounded up more soil on top of the potato plants. This is important becasue if the potatoes get too close to the surface of the soil and are exposed to sunlight, they can turn green (and become not edible). So, mounding up the soil around the roots of the potato plants prevents this from happening. There wasn't too much work to be done today, but we anticipate a busy summer.
Tuesday's meeting involved less work than usual this week but we did manage to organize much of the greenhouse. We made sure that all of the plants were organized as well as the tools in the planting room. Finally, we thoroughly watered all of the plants inside the greenhouse as well as all of the plants in beds without drip irrigation in the garden. We made sure to really water all of the plants because the hot weather has dried up most of the moisture in the soil. On Friday, we started to transplant all of the remaining tomato and pepper plants into large black pots which we will keep in the garden. After we transplanted these, we made sure to water them thoroughly and then water them with fish emulsion. After this, we tied all of our tomato plants in the beds to bamboo poles to provide support for the plants. The plants will grow up the poles so that they do not fall over from their own weight. Furthermore, we managed to plant more potatoes in the bed against the wall of the school. We hope to have a large potato harvest in the fall. We then transplanted two flats of lettuce in one of the empty beds, and then we made sure to manually water these plants because the soil is so dry. Finally, we hooked up the drip irrigation hose into the last bed so that the beets and carrots do not have to be manually watered every day.
Today, we started by thinning the Swiss Chard. We did this by cutting off most of the leaves, but leaving a few so that the Chard could still grow again. We also direct seeded carrots and beets. For the carrots, we planted the same 5 types that we had weeks ago. This way, after we harvest the first round of carrots, it will only be a few more weeks until we have another harvest of carrots. To direct seed, we sprinkled the seeds over a certain section of the bed so that they were fairly evenly spaced out. Then, we covered the seeds with about as much soil as the length of the seed. After we planted the carrots and beets, we watered them in and then we covered the bed with row cover. This will help keep in moisture so that the seeds do not dry out (the seeds must stay moist if they are to germinate). We also moved all of the pots with cucumbers in them into the actual garden so that they would not be harmed by certain insects. Finally, we planted two more flats of lettuce so that we will have more lettuce to transplant in a couple of weeks. Our goal is to have continual harvests and continual transplants throughout the year.
The robin eggs hatched!! We now have a few baby mascots in the garden. Today, we also managed to transplant dill, parsley, cilantro, and basil. All of the herbs were planted about 3 inches apart from each other. In addition to transplanting the herbs, we transplanted some more lettuce into the bed which we harvested a few weeks ago. Then, we renovated the bed from which we harvested lettuce last week. This involved pulling out all of the lettuce roots, cultivating the soil, dusting the bed with an organic fertilizer. Finally, we watered all of our recently transplanted plants with a mixture of fish emulsion and water. This will help minimize the shock from the transplant and help ensure that the plants do not die.
The first day of June has arrived, and we still have more crops to come!! Today we transplanted all of our eggplant and pepper plants. These were planted in the middle of a few beds which had onions in the front and either cucumbers or pole beans in the back. This arrangement allows us to grow more crops in a smaller space. We have a root crop growing in the front of the bed, a bush-like crop growing in the middle of the bed, and then a crop which will grow up the lattice on the fence in the back of the bed. This increases productivity and is a better use of the space we have. We also found a nest of robin eggs in the apple tree which is in the garden! They will most likely hatch very soon, so we will be keeping our eyes on that nest.