CTG Week 3: May 18th to May 24th – Garden Planning & Potluck

Activates:

  • Discussion about garden planning
  • Spreading compost
  • Covering the garlic with Reemay
  • Garden potluck
photo
Group photo of the class at Ethan Allen

This week marked another awesome week in the garden.  The topic of discussion was garden planning, and perfect timing too because the students are itching to get planting.  Planning a garden is no easy task, and there are many things that you need to take into account to get your garden set up just right.  By planning your garden properly you improve the health, and the yield of your crop. There are several important factors that go into a well planned garden, but the first thing you should ask yourself when you start thinking about planting is what do your like to eat, and what is expensive to buy at the grocery store?  You want your garden space to be practical and you want to utilize that space to produce food that meets your needs.  So ask yourself the following questions what will taste best fresh from the garden?  What plants will save me the most money if I grow them myself and what will I actually eat?

Listening to Denise
Listening to Denise

Although it would be ideal if we could grow the veggies we like to eat and with a little magic, stick the seeds in the ground, sit back and voilà a beautiful garden.  Magic right?  Well maybe it doesn’t work quit like that but keeping a few things in mind we can make a little magic happen.  Some of the obvious things to think about are plant spacing, plant size, sunny vs. shady planting and the length of time a given plant will take to mature.  Conveniently enough most of these questions can be answered right on the back of your seed packet.

Reading your seed packets carefully will tell you a lot about a plant.  How and when to plant it, how big it will grow,  how long you have to wait until you harvest it, all theses questions can be answered from that small paper bag.  However there are a few tips that make the planting process go a little smoother.  When planting seeds remember that the size of the seed is representative of the amount of stored energy that seed has meaning, the bigger the seed the deeper you plant.  A good rule is to plant at a depth of three times the size of the seed.

spreading some compost at the Ethan Allen garden
spreading some compost at the Ethan Allen garden

In order to plant our seeds we need healthy soil.  The class activity for Mondays class was to give all the garden beds some TLC.  The class weeded and spread compost in all the garden plots in anticipation of the planting that was soon to come.

More fun more compost
More fun more compost

Over at the Tommy Thompson garden an altogether different garden activity was in order.  With a burgeoning garlic crop of its own it was time to cover the garlic with some Reemay to protect it from the leek moth.  The class took some time after lecture to cover the garlic while we discussed the importance of identifying plants when they are young, to avoid weeding them by mistake.  We took a look at a few baby spinach, and baby bean plants to show just how hard it can be to identify baby plants because they look very different from their adult counterparts.

Covering the garlic crop with Reemay
Covering the garlic crop with Reemay

As the week came to an end we all looked forward to Saturday our first potluck!  A time to bring both classes together and share some delicious food.  After all what good is community gardening without community?  The buffet was extensive, and many of the students made dishes showcasing some of the gardens fresh rhubarb and tuns of fresh herbs. The menu included cakes and muffins fresh rhubarb compote, cornbread, roasted rhubarb salad, stewed lentil tacos, various pasta dishes, and salads… the list goes on, a true feast.

Digging in
Digging in

The potluck was an awesome atmosphere of good food and the shearing of past stories and experiences.  Although gardening is what brought us all together it was amazing to experience the true diversity of experiences and interest our group possesses.  Gardening has the unique ability to bring people together and make community.  I am happy that I am blessed enough to be a part of our new gardening community.

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