- Planting a Food Shelf Garden
- Mounding the Potatoes
The gardeners at the Ethan Allen Teaching Garden had a serious orientation to some hardcore weeding. We braved rain and mosquitoes and transformed a garden plot in just a matter of hours. It was a total team effort but with the help of the teaching garden students and numerous Vermont Community Garden Network Volunteers we got the job done. Braving the elements was a whole lot easier with the notion that this garden would serve the local Vermont Community. The team planted dozens of squash plants that were generously donated by Red Wagon Plants a nursery located in Hinesburg VT. Visit their website if you are ever on the hunt for some amazing plants! http://www.redwagonplants.com/.
This beautifully cultivated garden will provide fresh vegetables to the local food shelf. The activity of planting this plot really exemplifies what community gardening is all about. Gardening doesn’t always have to be for your own personal benefit, or in your home garden. It can be in a shared space and it can benefit entire communities. There is something truly rewarding about growing with the community, for the community.
Besides some routine upkeep we had one important task for the week, mounding the potatoes. Mounding your potatoes plays several functions. The first is that it gives the potato tubers room to grow. Often times the potato plant will send out additional roots from the berried stem. The other function is to help prevent blight infection. The soil should be mounded every few weeks, and remember, your potatoes begin to produce tubers when they start to flower. Harvest potatoes early for small and tender new potatoes, or let them continue to grow for mature larger potatoes.
The part every garden looks forward to most… harvest! In the past few weeks we have harvested tons of yummy veggies. Everything from chard to lettuce, kale, and radishes. A useful tip for harvesting greens and lettuce, pick the larger leaves around the middle of the plant first leaving the inside of the plant to mature, which allows you to get multiple harvests from a single plant.
In total the week was a great success. We did everything from planting a garden, to servicing the community, to harvesting & enjoying the fruits of our labor, at the teaching garden. We all enjoyed each others company as we preformed our weekly duties; and we shared in the rewards of participating in a true community of gardeners, working and playing in the garden together.