Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The 2011 season at the gardens

5 new beds were added this year. They're a little narrower than the older beds. Hopefully they'll be easier to reach across to weed, plant and harvest. By making them 4 ft wide instead of 6 ft, we were able to get an extra one in the space.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Winter gardening

Its mid- October and time to finish up all the fall gardening chores. If you want to plant crimson clover as a cover crop on our plot for the winter, I still have seed.
Here's a check list created by H.R. for winter gardening:

Tips on Cold Weather Gardening

What to plant
· Brassicas (broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, mustard)
· Long-season carrots and beets
· Lettuce
· Chard
· Leeks, onions, garlic

When to plant
· Plant seeds July-early September
· Plant starts until mid October
· Plant garlic in late October (just after first frost)

Season extension methods
Hoop house style cloches
Floating row cover
Bottles of water placed close to plants help hold heat overnight
Mulch insulates plants to prevent roots from freezing

Thanks, Hailey, for your work and good luck in your new venture!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chardin Garden Event

Here we are at the end of the summertime growing season, a prime time to check in with all of you and see how it’s going. This Friday, October 1st, we’ll be out at the garden from 11:30-1:00 with some cold-hearty vegetable starts for you all and ready with tips on chilly-weather gardening. We hope to see you all there!

Green Tomato Ideas

This summer has been a very disappointing tomato season. As such, most of us have a profundity of green tomatoes - but do not fear! Making fried green tomatoes happens to be only one of many delicious things to do with your unripe tomatoes:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Compost Tea

Seattle University has a great composting program, wherein food scraps are collected on campus in cans next to the garbage and recycle cans, and then two dedicated facilities gentlemen turn it into the good stuff. An exciting component of the composting program is the compost tea that is brewed by the Grounds crew and applied to plants on SU Grounds. I have the immense pleasure of brewing that tea with my coworker/mentor JM, and I took some photos last time I brewed to share the experience with folks.

This is the tea-brewin bit of the field house at SU. The 100-gallon brewer is on the left, and the 100-gallon sprayer tank to which we hook up the small tractor and with which we apply the tea is on the right. The shelves in the background have tubs with vermicompost, food compost, tea food, and mycorrhizae in them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair was a great success this past Saturday, with lovely weather after so many days of gray skies. It was so exciting to be in a crowd of folks all celebrating the same thing: urban agriculture! There are some photos on the Seattle Tilth website, if you didn’t get to go but want to see how it went (yes, that IS a man dressed as a giant carrot).

Delicious food, fancy chicken coops, and plant starts were very inspiring to a gardener on the verge of planting a fall or winter garden. If you’re wanting some fall and winter gardening inspiration, we might have a surprise for you soon in the form of cold-hearty veggie starts – stay tuned.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

During the past year and a half...

Well, it's been a year and a half since the last posting and the Chardin Garden has undergone a serious facelift. In April, we installed raised beds and reconfigured the gardener situation to make an attempt at stronger commitment.

Here are some photos to give a better idea what's going on now:

The inaugural event happened on Earth Day 2010. Gardeners planted starts from the SU Grounds crew, snacked, and schmoozed.

The garden is looking very late-summer right now, with mature plants and seed heads.
Lettuce gone to seed is a good forage source for birds, plus it looks interesting - lettuce flower stalks can grow as tall as a person.
The tomatoes are beginning to ripen, exciting after such a cool summer.
This person left room for a fall/winter garden planting.
Patty-pan squash are hiding inside of this vine.
An eggplant has managed to mature, despite the cool weather.
This sunflower in the communal perennial bed has a honeybee visitor – you can see it if you look closely.

The communal perennial bed sports currants, herbs, and an unfortunately crispy blueberry bush.
Fennel gone to seed is great forage for birds and other beneficials.

These boxes provide room for hoses and other communal tools. The hose hooks up to a waterline mid-garden but we like to put it away between uses because there’s no water key on the line.

Edible marigolds look beautiful, attract beneficial insects, and are tasty as a garnish.

When radishes go to seed their roots become woody and unappetizing. Fortunately for us, radish pods are delicious in a salad!
That's all for now! Looking good, gardeners - keep it up.