The SIS Community Garden is taking a page from Eliot Coleman's bookThe Winter Harvest Handbook and is going to experiment with winter gardening this year. Eliot runs a farm in Maine aptly called Four Season Farm and has perfected the concept of gardening in the cold, snowy winter, in Maine. The basic premise is to start your cold hardy vegetables in mid-October in a hoophouse so that they will have two solid grow months before we lose significant hours of sunlight in a day (about mid December). The bed that the vegetables are planted in is covered with a second layer of protection, the first being the hoophouse itself. This will allow the ability to harvest fresh vegetables through those cold, dark winter months. Check back for more info and certainly get Eliot's book if you are interested.
Garden Club forming now
The SIS Garden club is scheduled to start up again in a few weeks. We will have a very busy fall. Activities to be completed in the garden include fall cleanup, harvesting and shipping vegetables to Common Bond. We also need to prepare the hoop house for the winter and clean up the corn field. We definitely need to develop a plan to eliminate the crabgrass in that area. I think that is the main reason for the weak gourd, pumpkin, and corn harvest this year.
Students preparing for the Bethlehem Fair. 9/5/13
Today, 5 SIS 8th graders picked out the best vegetables in their category, organized, and packed them up to get sent to the Bethlehem Fair for judging this weekend. The vegetables that were entered included; yellow pear tomatoes, juliet grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green table cucumbers, and lastly 10 beautiful stalks of "bright lights" swiss chard. The judging will be tomorrow morning and I'll update the site as we get news. Wish our students best of luck. They have worked extremely hard over the past year getting the vegetables ready for competition. A special thanks also goes out to Mrs. Blum for helping Mr. Wolf understand the in's and out's of vegetable competition and for giving the veggies a ride to Bethlehem!
Cool Season Veggies in the Ground and looking good!
Two weeks ago, the Garden Club direct seeded 4 raised beds with the first cool season vegetable crop. We spent a very cold hour outside putting in lettuce, kale, radish, swiss chard, beet, and brocolli seeds. They were covered with temporary hoop houses to speed up germination. They germinated about a week later and are all looking good. Now we just have to wait for them to get ready to harvest.
Tomato / Sunflower Seedling Sale is on its way!!
One of the goals of the Garden Club is to offer tomato and dwarf sunflower seedlings for sale in Mid May. Well, today, we took a huge step in making that happen. With the additional members of the garden club, we had a very successful day and planted approximately 700 fertil pots with three types of seeds. If all goes well, the seeds will germinate in the woodshop over the next 5 - 10 days. As soon as we see sprouts, they will be transferred to our wonderful new hoophouse.
Getting Ready For Spring - updated!!
Check out the pics below of our brand new hoop house that we have been building and painting through the winter! There are also some projects of our garden markers that we are making with chalkboard paint.
Germination Station is getting all set up!
The snowy February that we have had certainly put a slowdown on our plans for getting the hoop house set up and plants in it. However, we have still been busy getting ready for warmer weather. The seed order arrived from Johnny's Select Seeds and we are building germination tables in the woodshop to hold all of the trays. Once the seedlings are germinated, they will be transported out to the hoop house. After a couple of weeks there, they will be ready for transplant into the garden beds.
We have our first seeds!!
The SIS Garden Club met last Wednesday, February 27th and filled up all the cell trays with 2 types of seed starter soil and a variety of seeds.
The seeds that we planted included: Lettuce, Kale, Broccoli, Beets, Swiss Chard, and Marigolds.
On Thursday we noticed that the soil temperature was in the low range (62 deg F) for successful germination. We needed to think of a way to increase the heat in the soil. We came up with putting a plastic cover over the top to trap the heat similar to the greenhouse effect. This dramatically increased the heat and we were up to 71 deg F. Using a school laptop we set up Vernier probes to measure the data on the seedlings over the weekend. We measured Relative Humidity, Surface Temperature, and Soil Temperature. Please look at the slideshow below to see what happened over the weekend!