Week 1: May 7, 10

Topics:
  • History of Friends of Burlington Gardens and the Community Teaching Garden
  • Garden orientation and tour, introduction to the physical space
  • Garden planning
  • Understanding seed packets
Summary of week’s activities:
  • Personal introductions and story sharing
  • Distribution of folders, class materials, and garden maps
  • Optional purchasing of “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” for $12
Monday: The group gathered at the end of a sunny, refreshing spring day for our first Community Teaching Garden class. We gathered in a circle and Jess Hyman, program director of Friends of Burlington Gardens gave an overview of Friends of Burlington Gardens and the history of the Community Teaching Garden and the organization. Denise introduced herself, and then we went around in the circle and gave a brief introduction and story sharing of who were are, why we are here. Denise walked us through a tour of the garden and gave a quick overview of what the season and class will look like. We learned that it is very important to avoid walking on the garden beds because this will cause soil compaction. Instead, we have paths between beds that are for walking on. We spent the rest of the class, until around 8:30 PM in groups weeding the beds and setting up the compost piles.
. . .
Thursday: On a misty rainy evening, the group got right to work! We spent the majority of the class continuing our de-weeding project. Around 8:30 PM we gathered for a quick discussion on reading seed packets and we planted a bed on sugar snap and shelling peas! As the darkness set in, some eager gardeners learned how to harvest rhubarb, the first harvest of the garden this season. Rhubarb is a perennial crop, which means that it will grow back year after year (as opposed to annual, when you have to plant it every year). To harvest rhubarb we learned to pull from the bottom of the stalk and it will dislodge from the plant. Do not harvest the stalk that has a flower on it. Then, cut off the leaves and put them in the compost. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous to humans, but the stalk is delicious for pies, jams, and compotes.
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