Summer Gardening Recap

I, Camille, have enjoyed being on campus to cultivate and eat the produce from our  Cedar and Elm garden this summer. For those of you who don’t know, Nick and I took over as garden managers after Eric left for Australia. We had a dedicated, if small, gang of gardeners, and passed many pleasant Tuesday and Thursday evenings caring for our charges. We kept busy keeping track of climbing pole beans, ripening delectable peach tomatoes, and curious prickly okra, and busy keeping up with trellising out of control tomatoes, planting and thinning new seedlings, harvesting, repairing the fence, fighting the ever infringing creeping charlie, etc.

With sincere apologies for not being a more consistent blogger over the summer, a few photos and highlights to reflect on a wonderful summer:

More photos loaded to the flickr page!

– We feasted on fig tomatoes, purple cherokee tomatoes, peach tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, winter squash (which stopped rotting and grew better once we stopped watering it), okra, arugula sprouts (where the arugula went to seed and spawned a green carpet), strawberries, a handful of raspberries, some stubby carrots, semi-trellised snap and sugar peas, trellised but low-producing purple podded pole beans and yellow beans, and probably a couple other things I’ve forgotten.

– We ate a lot of lettuce from the garden and hydroponic window farm. A LOT of lettuce. And shared with friends and the Scott Arboretum volunteers and the Grounds Department gardeners and ML kids when we couldn’t eat any more lettuce.

– We picked and prepared 4 beautiful garlic braids.

– We delivered a large basket of kale, chard, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and one turnip to President Chopp as a welcome home from Prague gift and granted her permission to enjoy the produce from our garden if she ever wants to come over and  pick.

– We sold many pounds of radishes, cucumbers, Purple Cherokee tomatoes, and okra to the Swarthmore Co-op: received $50 and three bars of chocolate in return; may have a group picture featured on their website as one of their suppliers?

– We donated one backpack full of cucumbers and tomatoes to the Chester Co-op (and accepted return gift of a few backpack-friendly ears of corn and oranges).

– We cut (with permission) and used falling-over bamboo from the bamboo grove for never-ending tomato trellising and fence repairs.

– We attained (thanks, Alice Evans!) the keys to the awesome Learning for Life bench, where we can now store hand tools, gloves, and seed packets.

– And we planted a bunch more beds for fall harvesting!

Since I left Swarthmore two weeks ago, Ben Degolia has generously and skillfully stepped in as temporary garden manager. He says the garden is doing great, and that our first mature melon was successfully harvested and enjoyed!

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