Fall semester is always interesting in the garden. Each year, leaders take it in various different directions. Planting different things, trying new gardening techniques and different organizational strategies. And each year the garden just gets better and better. In my three years at Eckerd I have seen this place progress from a collective experimental project for students to a highly productive, organized and efficient plot of land. It's like watching the tendril of a squash plant looking for something to cling onto until it eventually grabs onto pole and runs with it. Our little garden is maturing!
A new hit in the garden this year is Amaranth. Noah brought us a ton of seeds from his internship on a farm in Cali this summer and these plants have just taken off since they hit the soil. The leaves are similar to spinach-I've been eating it raw and sauteeing it. Eventually, it will also produce a grain for our consumption. Not only are these plants big, yummy and abundant, but they are beautiful too! We have purple and green varieties planted and it is amazing to watch them all move with the sun throughout the day. Phototropism in all its beauty.
We've got all the good greens growing out there too. My personal favorite is our arugula which has a nice spicy kick to it. We also have kale, spinach, okinawa spinach, cowpeas, beets, multiple types of basil, zucchini, sweet potatoes, broccoli, purple cauliflower, onions, a number of tomato varieties, tomatillos, pole beans, radishes, carrots, lemon cucumbers, cranberry hibiscus and year long resident lemongrass. So we've been working hard and it's just now starting to pay off....literally because I stopped grocery shopping this week (woohoo local, organic and 'free' food!).
For now we are just weeding and keeping things well watered! Imagine the plants as Spongebob in Sandy's bubble house without his waterbowl helmet. Thats how thirsty our little sprouts are and our soil ain't doing much to help them out.