Community Garden: April Update

This afternoon the four of us all met up in the garden for the first time in about 6 weeks. We weeded, planted some new stuff, and harvested the biggest radishes I’ve ever seen. We got cucumber, tomato, blackberry, peanut, pepper seedlings and some edamame seeds into the ground.

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When we got to the garden, we inspected how much everything had grown. That’s when I found THIS underneath the Swiss chard. We had NO IDEA what it was. I thought maybe an animal had wandered through and threw up or something, Rob thought it was a fungus of some sort, and Richie joked that it could be an alien. The mucus -y looking stuff next to it really should be the most disturbing part, but I vote for the blood-colored droplets oozing out of the top. I poked it with a stick, and horror of horrors, it turned out to be red and gooey inside, like gummy bear consistency. It was absolutely disgusting, and Rob, good father that he is, took it away. I did some Internet research and found that we are the proud owners of a very disturbing slime mold. Apparently it’s not harmful to the plants, and it’s probably a result of the organic hardwood mulch we put down. I found some Flickr photos that look exactly like ours (but bigger!), which makes me feel better. I also found out that there’s a relative of our Bleeding Goo called Dog Vomit Mold! Freaky.

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After we got rid of the Bleeding Goo, I pulled a LOT of weeds while the boys made a trellis for the new cucumber plants. We bought three posts and some rust-resistant wire at Home Depot, and they threaded it through the post holes. I got three different kinds of cucumbers, and I think the wire is strong enough to hold the larger ones, which will be about nine inches. Richie made a similar one in the plot next to ours, and his sugar snap peas have started to climb it. Does anyone one know if the way we planted our cucumbers here (photo below) is okay, or if there is a better way? The package said to make hills and plant several per hill, but we’re working with a long, narrow space, so we thought we’d try putting them next to each other, several inches apart.

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Jen brought her dog Charlie to play with us! I love him. He sat tied to the workbench and watched us.

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Our friend Aleah came out to see the garden, and she helped water. She worked for an organic farm in CO for a while, and she said our plot was looking good, so I take that as encouragement.

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Jen brought four tomato plants, and we got them in the ground in the last large, open, rectangle space, along with two pepper plants and three edamame seeds.

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The potatoes have been growing like crazy. Jon recently filled the barrel in with soil. We were supposed to add it incrementally as the plants grew, but they got away from us. Hope that’s not a problem.

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Jon planted some peanut plants (on the right below)! That orange bottle is a natural insect/mold/mite deterrent made from garlic, peppermint oil, and carrot juice.

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We harvested a lot of the radishes that were ready. And when I say “ready,” I mean GIANT. Most were the same pink color, but we had a couple of darker ones. Some looked like the seeds either joined forces or had twins attached the them at the bottom. Some were round and bulby, and some were tall and skinny – probably a result of how close together the seeds were.

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I planted some impatiens I ordered for my cousin’s cheerleading fundraiser in the cement blocks that are holding up the back wall. It looks a little prettier back there now. Hope they make it. I know even less about flowers than I do about vegetables.

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We have one lone sugar snap pea that sprouted this week. We’ve been eating spinach, radishes and broccoli for a couple of weeks now. I had some broccoli at a restaurant yesterday, and it just paled in comparison to ours! Fresh from the garden, it’s more tender and much sweeter. I’m pretty happy with how things have been going, especially considering just how much of an experiment this is for all of us. I’m still shocked every time I cut up a radish for a sandwich that I GREW that radish. I’m amazed to look at a veggie stir-fry for some pasta and see that piece of broccoli that wouldn’t exist were it not for our determination to bring it into being. It’s been raining a lot, and I know that has helped. I don’t know if we’re doing better or worse than others, but I’m very happy with our little community garden plot so far.

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One Response

  1. Wow, this is so impressive!

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