- All things tomatoes
- Weed maintenance: They are worse around the Summer Solstice because of the extended hours of sunlight!
- Pest Scouting
- Tomato suckering demo (EA)
- Weeding (TT)
- Unveiling brassica row cover to check for flea beetles and weeds (TT)
- Harvesting strawberries (EA) and snap peas (EA & TT)!
This week was full of special events and special guests, truly bringing the feeling of community that VCGN’s programs strive for. The week started, on Monday, with a talk given by Lea Scott, a student in UVM’s Farmer Training program. The talk was focused on anything and everything you need to know to successfully grow your own tomatoes, drawing in a handful of students from the Tommy Thompson plot. Students got the opportunity to connect with a community partner as well as other community gardeners like themselves, all of which was just a bit of foreshadowing for the amazing turnout we had at the second CTG potluck of the season this Thursday. Upwards of two dozen community gardeners, community partners, family and friends showed up to the pavilion at Ethan Allen this Thursday, with delicious, mostly garden-grown food in hand. This was another incredible opportunity for community-building for students and other community members alike.
Lea gave students at Ethan Allen an extremely detailed and straight-forward outline of what it takes to grow delicious, garden-fresh tomatoes. She gave tips on watering, advising that tomatoes don’t like too much water, and they prefer consistency- pick a schedule of how often you want to water your tomatoes and stick to it! She described and demonstrated ways of trellising, such as basket weaving twine in between tomatoes and stakes to hold the plants up. Students learned that tomatoes are “diseasey” plants, and that if you see a few spots on the leaves of your plants its okay! Remove any infested leaves and try to keep as much moisture off of your plants’ leaves and stalks and you should be able to have a healthy crop. She ended her talk with a demonstration of suckering, which is a process in which you remove any growth coming up between a main leaf branch (a leader) and the main stem. The idea is that we only want 2-3 leaders per plant, in order to force the most energy into fruit production. A big thank you to Lea Scott for sharing her expertise with our gardeners! We look forward to using your tips and probably having a better tomato season than ever before!
An unbelievable turnout, delicious food, and perfect weather made for a magical evening! CTG students from both gardens, community partners, and guests from all across the board gathered for a night of food and mingling. Starting with a circle of introductions and a memo on what you made allowed for everyone to meet and also get inspiration from other local cooks on what to make with their garden produce! Once the introductions ended came the swarming of the food table, discussion on the beautiful dishes made, and then the eating! Eating was paired with the mingling of community members from a variety of backgrounds. Relationships were formed and CTG students hopefully were able to make connections looking forward towards their personal projects!