Our parlor party was a smashing success – with many dozens of seeds planted and over an hour of excited socializing. Many thanks to SAC for funding the event. Check out our photostream for pictures!
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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 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!
Anybody who has recently walked by our Window Farm in the Science Center Commons has probably noticed that the plants are gone and the system is empty. But do not worry! The Window Farm will soon have a new and diverse mix of plants. The lettuce mix that was previously growing in the bottles simply was getting old, and so it was time to remove it. We’ve planted some seeds into Grodan cubes (basically a spongey starter cube for seeds) that will soon sprout into cherry tomatoes, red and green lettuce, peas, marigolds, zinnias, and nasturtiums.
The garden has really started to take off in the past couple of weeks (thanks to the rain we finally got this past week). We’ve got more cucumbers than we can handle, and in a week or so our tomatoes will be ready to start harvesting. The kale, swiss chard and lettuce have been steady producers for us, and the okra, beans, and squash are just about ready to harvest too. Stay tuned for more updates!
Coming back to Swat for a long weekend before my work in NH began, I snapped these excellent shots of the growing garden. Our tomato city is growing wonderfully. Note how the rain barrel is drip irrigating the bean sprouts and the squash starts. Our raspberries are out of control. Staking technique recommended?
Summer is here and the plants in our Window Farm have all really grown since the end of finals. It’ll only be a little while longer until we can start harvesting the leaves.
Also, if you’re on campus for the summer, come join us in the garden (located next to president’s house) every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 pm. Everyone is welcome and we would love the help!
Sarah has been bugging me for a time about posting this image that shows clever companion planting. Please forgive the blurriness. We promise to post citation information soon.