Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Early March in the Campus Garden

This spring we've begun a regular everyone meeting on Friday mornings. We've got faculty starting to use the garden a little bit to supplement their courses, and new efforts to coordinate with Bon Appetit. The Eckerd students are doing amazing things. Food is planted and the garden looks ready to go!
Jamey Handorf, Assistant Director of Residential Life, has run the Student Affairs side of this project for the past year, and continues to add a great deal of value to the project. His rain barrels captured a bunch of rain in this past weekend's downpour. He brought a group of parents out on parents' weekend. And he continues to play a critical role as liaison and project coordinator. The garden is fortunate to have such a dedicated contributor who seems to have developed his own passion for organic gardening.
Here are the beds looking south. One of these has been half-planted with potato seeds by Professor Gaskill's botany class, who visited two weeks ago and pulled some carrots at the same time as part of their lesson on roots. I have never grown potatoes from seed, so I am not sure how long it will take them to sprout.
Here are the same beds looking north. We have squash and potato, carrots and kale, swiss chard and radishes, and all sorts of cilantro and leafy things bolting with white flowers that we hope will go to seed. It is always windy when we meet on Friday morning, so there are usually very few pollinators. But they undoubtedly visit some time during the day.
These scarlet flowers are the first signs of activity that we hope will lead to raspberries. Tommy Leonard worked through Winter Term and continues this Spring to landscape and enhance the overall look of the garden. He added raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple as potential permaculture fruits.

This looks like a gourd leaf to me. But it is probably a cucumber's primary leaves. There are plans for more planting and weeding. There are also plans to build a bulletin board and perhaps put up a sign. The garden needs a name, which students are going to have a contest to decide.
And this is the three-sisters plot, complete with potato tires. The mound in the background is the remaining topsoil for planting. So much activity. This week the garden club was going to try to deal with the fire ant problem the garden has developed. They took my Coleman stove and were going to pour boiling water over the mounds. Prof. Spohrer's Writing the Environment class visited the garden last Thursday and Tommy Leonard gave them a tour. Tomorrow morning, Introduction to Sociology will be visiting. And, finally, I am working with a student to develop a workshop so that nearby elementary school classes can come visit the garden, help plant or weed or harvest some food, and have a nice local meal. We hope to launch that project next Fall.

We are grateful for all of the interest.

Kip Curtis
Asst. Professor of Environmental Studies

No comments:

Post a Comment