week 12 It's Good to be Back

July 25, 2014

This week was a great week to be in the garden. We are harvesting so much right now! Cucumbers, squash, arugula, eggplant,beans, peppers, herbs, Swiss chard, collards, Malabar spinach, onions, beets, okra! It was so nice to be welcomed back with such growth and produce. The interns held it down pretty well while I was gone and I couldn't be more proud.

This week we were able to work at the Flying Tomato Garden where Kayla is the garden manager. With the help of Debbie Renfroe and her two children Whitney and Bryant as well as Shania we weeded and mulched that garden and made it look even better. While we were there, several people in the community came by to talk with us and see what was growing. This garden is on Boots street and 16th street so it sees lots of Marion's traffic. Kayla did a great job of meeting with all of the visitors and making them feel welcomed.
Sad news though, this was the last week Debbie would be able to work with us as she needs to go back to school. She and her family have been such a blessing to us this summer and we wish her the best.

As you can see the girls fighting in our forest of lettuce, the lettuce has gone to seed. This means that the leaves are now bitter and we will no longer be using it to eat. We have left two rows to gather seed for a seed bank we are starting this year. We will try to gather and dry the seed so that we do not always have to buy new seed every year. We will also be planting some fall crops in this area and in other areas as the crops reach the end of their run.

We are starting to get pests pretty bad on some plants (squash bugs, tomato horned worm, Japanese beetles), so we have bought a backpack sprayer to get rid of the pests. We make organic spray as to not damage the crops and make sure they are still safe to eat. The one we are using now uses baking soda, water and dish soap to keep the leaves to slippery for the bugs to land, eat, or lay eggs. Of course we use other ways as well that are equally Eco-friendly (chicken feed!).

Announcements: We will be having a stand set up on Thursdays in the IWU student center from 11-1 All of August to October. You can get produce here and donate to the garden.
We are always looking for volunteers to help harvest and weed. If you help you can come take some food home!
Please check out our Facebook page for other announcements and picture/videos.

Zach Arington
Garden Manager




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