Saturday, June 28, 2014

Barns Garden Ups & Downs

On Thursday afternoon (6/26/14), Rick George and I went to the Barns Garden to do some watering and to start on some bamboo trellises for our growing tomato plants. We found that our great volunteers had been busy weeding, watering, and planting; their squash and herbs are up and doing well. We were fortunate to find the generator and pump running, so watering was easy. It was disappointing, though, to find that the bed of beets had been demolished by deer and the beans and carrots were coming under attack.  Upon learning of the loss, our FoodCorps friend and coauthor Lianna was moved to reply, “Oh, deer”!  I, for one, have decided to forgive the pun. This time.
Note the hoof prints
We’re still awaiting news of a hoped-for decision to provide full-time electric power to the pump that services the SEEDS Educational Garden, the Community Garden, and our smaller effort at the Historic Barns Park.  If and when that’s accomplished, we’ll contemplate installing some drip irrigation lines.  And we hope before long the remainder of the surrounding fence will be improved to exclude Bambi and family.

Friday, June 20, 2014

New School Garden at Betsie Valley Elementary

by Lianna Bowman, FoodCorps

Despite the on-and-off drizzle and the last-week-of-school jitters, last Wednesday (6/11/14), Mr. Luebke’s 3rd grade class and I headed outdoors at Betsie Valley Elementary to get to work on their brand new school garden.  We had delivered three raised beds and a load of compost a couple days before, and after much discussing over the “where” and the “how,” it was finally time to put the 3rd graders to work!

We split into two groups.  The “woods” group went to gather more top soil from the surrounding forest, and the “weeds” group pulled up weeds from the ground where we would place the beds.  You could see the students getting totally absorbed in their tasks, dirt and weeds flying back and forth.

One student had so much fun pulling up sod that he wanted to take a sod chunk back to class with him!  (Don’t worry custodial staff, he was finally persuaded to leave the sod outside).

But alas, time flies when you’re having fun. After 45 minutes outside, we had barely filled just one of the beds!  So it became a multi-day project for the 3rd graders, and on their last day of school, they planted five tomato plants.

Mr. Luebke and I planted a cover crop of peas and oats in the remainder of the new bed space, and he is organizing families to be in charge of watering for a week at a time over the summer.  Here’s hoping we get a beautiful crop of tomatoes for students in the fall!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leelanau Community Garden Update

Just a reminder: there will be a work bee at the Leelanau Community Garden (on Horn Road, 1/2mile north of M-204 between the villages of Suttons Bay and Lake Leelanau). Kathy Lewis will be there tomorrow (Thursday 6/19/14) from 9 to 11 AM.  She has tomato plants to plant (and stake) and leftover seeds to plant. Beets, turnips, and carrots are coming up and will need thinning, mowing should be done, and as always...weeding!

The next work bee will be at the regularly scheduled time, Monday from 9 to 11 AM, on 6/23/14.  I'm not sure I can be there, but Kathy will definitely appreciate your help!