Week 17: August 26-31 Rooftop Gardens and spicy Nepali Chutney

Topics:

  • Edible weeds and flowers
  • History of the Intervale
  • Worm Compost
  • Rooftop Gardening
  • Rice paddies

Activities

  • Student Presentations
  • Tour of Fletcher Allen Hospital roof top garden
  • Potluck
  • Tour of New Farms for New Americans

The new phrase of the week has been “zucchini fatigue”. That feeling that most gardeners can empathize with, when the abundance of zucchini causes you to groan at the sight of yet another, baseball-bat-sized squash.

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This week was our last of student presentations where gardeners had the opportunity to learn about a remarkable variety of topics. We learned about the history of the Intervale from Elizabeth, whose grandfather ran a dairy farm on the land that we were sitting. She offered fascinating documentation and anecdotal story about the changes that the Intervale has gone through over the past hundred years. We watched part of a documentary about the Intervale, which is definitely worth checking for at the library. Other presentations included:

-Edible weeds and flowers, their uses and characteristics,

-A conversation on vermi-compost also known as worm compost (http://home.howstuffworks.com/vermicomposting.htm),

-Plans to build a garden at Burlington college,

-Container gardening and growing food in the winter.

Many thanks to all presenters!

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On Thursday, gardeners had the opportunity to go on a tour of the rooftop community garden at Fletcher Allen Hospital. Staff at the hospital have the opportunity to apply to be a part of a subsidized garden program. Each participant will have a raised bed and attend a weekly garden class and cooking class taught by a dietician. As we stood on the roof, surrounded by sunflowers, herbs, and vegetables, we learned about the method of gardening called square foot gardening. Square foot gardening is a technique of planting that breaks down the space into square feet, and maxinmizes production. Gardeners at Fletcher Allen told us that they could plant 16 carrots into 1 square foot!

To learn more, check out the website: http://www.squarefootgardening.org/?page_id=1605

Thank you Lisa Hoare and the community gardeners for sharing your space with us!

ImageThe teaching garden ended an abundant week with a potluck at Ethan Allen Homestead. We were joined by some Bhutanese refugees who grow food with New Farms for New Americans. After being stuffed full of delicious chapatti and chutney, we had the opportunity to have a tour of their farm. After several years of flooding at the Intervale, New Farms for New Americans decided to adapt- they planted rice! Expert rice growers in Nepal and Bhutan, we have a lot to learn from these farmers. We extend our gratitude to Rita and the wonderful farmers who gave this inspiring tour and shared the meal with us! To learn more about New Farms for New Americans, visit their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Farms-for-New-Americans-Vermont/143021789091958.

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