Monday, October 1, 2012

September in a snapshot

Welcome back to the Eckerd Garden!

I spent my summer doing research at Eckerd, and my free time was often dedicated to researching organic gardening in central Florida, planning the garden, and caring for a few summer crops like okra and basil with the help of Cathryn and Sam. 

Here's what the garden was doing over the summer:

Banana tree in mid-June

These are the beds in July. We covered most of the beds with black landscaping fabric to suppress summer weed growth--and it worked!

We planted squash and pumpkins in July in the hopes of getting Halloween pumkins...

Okra's been rolling in daily all summer. It's just now slowing down. 
For a Service Learning event, we had the Autumn Term students plant sunflowers, zinnias (above), tomatoes, and eggplants.


Once September came around, most of the garden crew was back together--minus those of us who have graduated and embarked on magnificent adventures elsewhere. (We miss you!)
Here's a snapshot of what's happened during this busy first month in the garden:

Early September food from the garden.
We used shrimp peels from Bama Sea Products, Inc. to fertilize the beds before planting. Thanks for the tips, Anthony and Emmanuel!

Sean plants cucumber, dill, and onions in a bed during the morning shift. 
Our 3 sisters patch with the soaker hose and tiny sunflowers. Since this photo we've been struggling with fungi and worms, but I think we can help at least a vine or two recover!

September 21st, 3 days after covering the green bunch with a pillowcase--our banana tree produced our first delicious bunch! We had about 60 little bananas which we shared and used for smoothies, chocolate mocha banana muffins, and yummy snacks right out of the peel. I found two Cuban tree frogs in the bunch...after I had brought it back into my room.

We had a successful Full Moon Planting Celebration Saturday Sept. 29th, and the next day a group of us worked on cutting back the Brazilian peppers by the bananas and compost so that we can propagate bananas and rebuild the compost.
We have lots of great things planned for the rest of the semester, and hopefully a ton of tasty, fresh, healthy produce.

Happy growing,

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