Sunday, May 30, 2010

Everything is in the ground

We had another great planting day yesterday.  With the help of Noah, Leslie, Tova, Harriet, Kim, Jen, Brian, and Alexis, we brought everything down from the greenhouse and put all the rest of the seedlings in the ground--habernero peppers, serano peppers, bell peppers, blue squash, melons, hansel eggplants, beatrice eggplants, sage, black forest vining zucchini.  And we also planted some seeds--bull's blood beets, fennel, more dinosaur kale, cucumber seeds between the seedlings (the seedlings look like they might be permanently stunted), and maybe a few other things. 

And if that wasn't enough, then we watered and watered and watered.  (Here's Noah with a full wagon load of water.)

It looks good, and gives a nice sense of the kind of green density that we hope to see in about 3-5 weeks, or so.

I've been going to the greenhouse daily (or more) since March.  I'll miss it--the quiet and the possibility of it.  Though it also brought a lot more challenges and frustrations than expected.  We did the best we could this year, and next year, we'll see if we can get the temperature to be better controlled (or else we'll have to come up with a pretty big plan B).

Next we need to figure out a good watering plan/teams, so we can keep all these plants alive and growing (a good soaker rain yesterday afternoon helped a lot--I didn't get over there to water today, but I think it'll be all right).  And there are other chores, like more weeding and re-doing the signs, but for now it's nice to just admire the long neat rows of seedlings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One More Planting Day--Saturday May 29, 10am - Noon

We still need to get the rest of our seedlings in the ground--we have a whole bunch of peppers, eggplant, squash, and other plants that are ready to go.  So please come join us this Saturday morning, from 10am to Noon, at the garden (99 Kent Street).  If you have a spare trowel, please bring it.

I hope we'll see you there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

great planting day last week

I've been slow to post, just because I've been busy with the other part of my working life (the playwriting part), so I've been lax in saying thanks to everyone who helped out last Thursday when we put a few hundred more plants in the ground.  Thanks very much to Keff, Jeff, and Noah, for helping ferry down more than 20 trays of seedlings from the greenhouse.  We were joined by Laurie, Neal, Kira, Alexis, Allison, Yvonne (who brought us some heirloom tomato seedlings), and Tracy.  With all those available hands, we got the plants in the ground very quickly.  (The planting went faster than carrying them down and sorting them.)

I'm happy to report that the plants seem to have handled the transition very well.  The tomatoes in particular (with the exception of one) seem pretty happy.  The cucumbers still have yellowish leaves and I"m not sure they're going to grow very much.  The greenhouse might just have stressed them too much.

Laurie sent these photos of the afternoon:

Allison and Alexis all smiles after the hard work of digging in the plants.

Neal and Yvonne

and the way it all looked when we finished:

Just give it another six or seven weeks, and the whole fence will be green.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planting Day Thurdsay, May 20, at 5:30pm

We're going to try to get as many cucumbers in the ground as possible tomorrow afternoon/evening.  We'll be meeting at 5:30pm at the garden (I might be there a little earlier), to plant, plant, plant.  Warm weather is finally about to return and the seedlings need to get out of the greenhouse.

The plants that are in the ground seem to be doing well.  The peas are starting to attach themselves to the fence now, and the poles beans are just starting to do the same.  I saw the first collard seeds sprouting today--these were the ones planted by the first graders who came for a visit.

We have TONS of plants to get in the ground tomorrow, so if you're around and want to help, I hope you'll stop by.  (Bring a trowel if you have one.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Worm Tea Party

Last night we had lots of folks on hand to help prepare and feed worm tea to all the seedlings in the greenhouse.  Thanks so much to Keff, Allison, Mike, Jen, Leslie, Tova, Noah, and Alexis (who has also taken some fabulous photos that she's put up on Facebook) for helping pick worms from the pile of castings (thus saving them to do more useful work), and straining and watering and washing.  It was a lot of fun, and the plants will benefit enormously.  The upcoming weather looks pretty cruddy, so the seedlings might be in the greenhouse for another week or two, and they need nutrition.

Worms are our friends.  Really.  Mike, Allison, and Jen help sort them out.

Tova enjoyed the hunt for red wrigglers.  Noah wasn't so sure.

Keff and Jen finish prepping a batch of tea.

The 200 Foot Garden diet

Just had to mention this:

When Tracy and Sarah were planting seedlings this Sunday, a woman came up to them and said that her kids love the 200 Foot Garden.  They'll now eat vegetables, but only the ones that grow in our garden.  (I'm assuming she meant types of veggies, not only vegetables that are actually grown there).  Now, that's influence.

(Last year, that only gave them squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans. This year, their palates are going to expand, I guess, because we'll be adding eggplant and peppers and a whole lot of other stuff.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Grade Field Trip (our first field trip)

This morning, we had our first official school field trip to the 200 Foot Garden.  Twenty-four first grade students from Ms. Frye's class at the Lawrence School visited and planted and watered.

I really like first graders.  They're eager to learn, to help, and to be silly.  All very important parts of an education and life in general.  They were very good at answering my questions about what plants need to live (water, soil, and sun was their answer.  Air is a fourth ingredient often overlooked.)  And they were good listeners, too, as I explained a bit about what the garden would be growing this summer.

We split them up into three groups.  One set helped plant rainbow chard seedlings.  They did a particularly good job--they focused hard on the task and took great care with the young plants.  (I just hope the plants survive tonight's potential frost.) 

Another group handled watering duties.  We had a handful of watering cans lined up, ready to go, to help settle in all the new seedlings from this morning and yesterday.

And the third group sowed a row of collard seeds, under the guidance of their student teacher, Ms. Cadwell.  Collard seeds are tiny, but so are first grader fingers, so they seemed like a good match.

After a group photo, they walked to the park across the street for snack and playtime, which suited them all perfectly.

I had a great time showing off our garden to such eager learners, and I hope they'll be back in a few weeks, when there are a lot more plants and the peas and beans have started to climb the fence, and the chard they planted today is bright read and orange.

When I picked my son, Noah (he's in 4th grade at Lawrence), from school today, the class had already made a lovely thank you book, with a message and decoration from each of the students.  What a delight!

Here are a bunch of students, eager to get started planting chard seedlings.

Collard seeds are very small.

Heavy watering cans require a group effort.

Our eager gardeners.  Who knows, maybe there are a few future farmers in there, too.

Planting Day on Mother's Day a success!

We had a good work session Sunday morning, with Tracy, Noah, Kira, Keff, Sarah, Kelly, and Leslie and Tova (who was 10 years old but an experienced planter.  We planted beans, chard, kale and collard seedlings outside, but decided the cucumbers will have to wait for warmer weather.

We got the outdoor planting and watering done pretty fast, so we headed up to the greenhouse and repotted everything that needed it and enjoyed some very yummy bread from When Pigs Fly Bakery in a little bit warmer environment. 

We're actually in pretty good shape at the moment--we just need it to warm up a bit so we can put other plants in the ground.  I think it'll be two weeks, at least, until most other things can be transplanted.

Keff and Noah used their wheels to carry the  seedlings and water.  (It was sunny, but very cold and windy.)

Tracy and Sarah were super fast at transplanting the seedlings.

Here's Kira (my daughter), hard at work transplanting pole beans.

Tova worked hard at transplanting seedlings in the greenhouse.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rain, rain, rain (and thunder)--planting day moved to Sunday

All the rain this morning will make it impossible for us to have our planting day today, so we'll have to move it tomorrow (Sunday).  I know it's Mother's Day, so we'll see if we get anyone to show up.  (Come if you can, please.)  We'll be planting from 9:30am-11:30am, and will have tasty snacks from When Pigs Fly Bakery.

The good news is that we're well-prepared.  I went in yesterday and sorted all the plants, moving all the ones ready to be planted to one side of the greenhouse and all the ones staying to the other.  I even took a complete inventory (this takes a while), so I have a good idea of what we've got and what we're missing (not as much as I feared).  I bought six trowels.  I made a map and copies of the map.  Ready to roll.

Once we clear out some space, we'll actually need to do a bunch of repotting--the tomatoes and peppers need bigger homes.  But at the moment, the greenhouse is too stuffed to really make that happen.  I'm a little concerned that it's supposed to get kind of cold tomorrow night, but if we have the hands to plant tomorrow, it might be worth trying.  Otherwise, the schedule gets problematic.

So, sorry we can't do it today, but if you have some free time and energy tomorrow, we sure would use your help.  (We have a field trip coming on Monday, so I'd sure like to make sure they have stuff to see.)  We have 288 seedlings that will go in the ground tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

join us for planting this Saturday, from 9:30 am to 11:30am

On Saturday, from 9:30-11:30 am, we'll be planting seedlings at the garden.  We can definitely use help, if you're available.  We'll have snacks, too--When Pigs Fly Bakery is donating some loaves of bread to keep our strength up.  (and it's very yummy stuff!).

Stop and by, we'd love to see you.  Bring a trowel if you have one.