Late June and early July are weed-fest times for our school garden. The temperature here in Vermont has been in the high 80’s for days….not a cloud in the sky. Everything grows and grows! At night the temperature drops to a very comfortable 50 degrees. The crops and the weeds in our garden are competing for first place. I was a bit overwhelmed when I came back to our garden after 2 weeks away. Discovering onion sets and bean plants nestled amongst the 2 foot high weeds was like going on an archeological dig. Thank goodness for our rototiller. It helped wipe out the larger spots where nothing had been planted and where the mulching was scarce. We need to round up a cadre of community members to help with garden maintenance.
The summer camp program began this week and the kids were eager to come out to the garden to help. Early raspberries growing on the border are a huge enticement. Today some students discovered the first zucchinis, ready to harvest. They each took a taste of them right there as soon as they picked them. Some liked the crunchy raw zucchini and some didn’t. It always helps when there is enthusiastic modeling of how yummy they are. I can become very dramatic when sampling fresh produce for an audience of children. The campers also brought lettuce back to the cook at school. It will be used for their lunch today! So many great conversations ensued about grandma’s garden or how much dad loves to garden as the 6 to 12 year olds helped each other pull weeds. Some great plant identification occurred.
The Youth Services group lent their muscle this morning. What great crew. They’ll be visiting to help out in the garden on Thursdays until the first week in August. They helped bang down stakes, tie tomatoes, hoe potatoes and weed, weed, weed. Harlow Farm Stand gave us some ‘gone by’ marigolds and we filled in a bare spot with a row of them. We think we identified a Tomato Horn Worm Moth and we made short work of it.