Thursday, June 6, 2013

Basil bonanza

Hey, students and teachers and parents! Stop by the Windsor Crossing hoophouse sometime to check out the beautiful food growing there, including this basil, tended by Farmer Rachel:

Then stop by the Suitland Farmers' Market on Tuesday afternoons (3-7pm) to buy some fresh fruits and veggies:

Like the kind you'll need to make some of the delicious salads we've made together.... Remember that kale salad that you love? Or chocolate beet brownies? It's right in your neighborhood!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I have no idea what  the Eco-friendaly group been up to but   I will be back

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's get these pots started!

Check out Tiana and Justin planting spinach and chives in the hanging pots. Oooh, can't wait for all of these seeds to germinate and grow into delicious leaves for us to harvest in a couple of months....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moving things around

Yep, today was a hauling stuff around day. Ms. Jessica brought over a whole load of burlap sacks for students at Drew-Freeman to use for mulch around the garlic and beet beds out in the garden. Luckily, Ms. Pierre and her son were there to help us move many, many piles of these donated sacks that formerly held coffee beans. (Hooray for reusing and recycling!)

Oh, yes, we also moved a lot of hanging pots that students had planted at Drew, pots with little bitty lettuce and spinach seeds and a few other things I discerned on the blue labels. Good thing we had help loading these into the truck for transport to Windsor Crossing.

Mr. Sanders was excited to have some more plants to nurture in the Windsor Crossing hoop house. Me, I was glad for the lift home afterwards: that was a TIRING but rewarding afternoon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starting the new year with seeds

At first, it might look like not much is going on in the winter, in terms of growing food, but just wait a few weeks....

While waiting for the hanging pots seeded with spinach and lettuce to make their way back from Drew-Freeman, Mr. Sanders and I decided to get some seeds into the first in-ground bed in the Windsor Crossing hoop house last Friday afternoon.

It was chilly and rainy outside, but that didn't stop us from getting our seeds planted. Check back in a few weeks and see the progress of our beets, radishes, and (Mr. Sanders' favorite) kale.

Oh boy, I hope it comes out as beautiful and delicious as the Swiss chard that I harvested, still going from last season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baby garlic

Our garlic's coming up! How exciting that we were able to save our garlic "seed" from last year's crop to continue growing these stinky and delicious bulbs at Drew-Freeman -- this time in a long, in-ground bed!

Last autumn, we planted 3 raised beds with local garlic. One thing we observed last spring was how much better the garlic grew in the bed that we mulched with burlap pieces, compared with the two other beds that we'd mulched with the traditional straw mulch. (There was also a LOT less weeding needed in the burlap-mulched beds, largely because I think the straw we'd gotten had lots of grass seeds mixed in.)

Students have been working on cutting and tearing up burlap sacks in recent weeks to create inexpensive, biodegradable mulch to protect these little bitty garlic plants growing in our free-form beds over the long, cold winter. As soon as these tiny guys are another few inches taller, we'll start laying down our burlap mulch....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let me show you how to do that

Today, I was joined at the Windsor Crossings hoophouse by Mr. Damian (STEER Center's volunteer coordinator), Ms. Pierre, and a few students from Drew-Freeman to start planting our winter crops. We started by clearing out the hanging pots, loosening the soil while removing debris and old plants. Next, we planted a row of carrots and swiss chard in one of the long, in-ground beds. Finally, we started seeding some of the newly cleared hanging pots with heirloom lettuce seeds. Mmm, it'll be good to have fresh lettuce during the winter and early spring!

Tianna, and Nyjah were excellent farm apprentices, asking lots of good clarifying questions. While they're both new to gardening, they took to planting like ducks take to water: they dove right in! After meticulously planting and labeling half a dozen hanging pots with lettuce seeds, they were experts. (I hope so, since they'll be leading a larger group of students planting more varieties of lettuce and spinach in coming weeks.)

The days are so short this time of year, so we had to pack up earlier than we would have liked... but not before loading up the trunk of Ms. Pierre's car with more hanging pots for planting back at the school!