It’s the Mid-Summer Harvest!

What an amazing summer it’s been this year!  Despite a vast number of problems and challenges the garden is still on schedule to begin harvesting some of its vegetables.  One thing I am sure of is that we now have a good idea as to how much work it took to tend a garden in the days before running water!

Mustard Greens and Celery...Spicy!

Mustard Greens and Celery…Spicy!

Cabbage Mix...some of which had bolted.

Cabbage Mix…some of which had bolted.

Have you ever seen Kale as robust as this?

Have you ever seen Kale as robust as this?

Weeding the Cabbage bed.

Weeding the Cabbage bed.

The Zuchinni and the Summer Squash are doing nicely but they need weeding and watering!!!

The Zucchini and the Summer Squash are doing nicely but they need weeding and watering!!!

Chief among all of the problems was the hot weather and the lack of rain during much of June and July.  The garden is located on the Nolan Elementary-Middle School playground and when the temperature gets too hot, they close the school.  When that happens, we lose access to the water system.  In the past, it has rained just often enough to offset a temporary school closing, but this year we have had consecutive days and subsequent weeks of hot, dry weather without being able to adequately water.

This Broccoli head probably could have been bigger if it had more water!

This Broccoli head probably could have been bigger if it had more water!

Eggplant A

Eggplant A

Eggplant B...What's the difference between A and B?

Eggplant B…What’s the difference between A and B?

Young Cayenne's...Muy Caliente!

Young Cayenne’s…Muy Caliente!

We were also vandalized.  Someone took it upon him or her self to steal our collard green plants, right after we had planted them.  We have also found a few of our new beds damaged.  It can be thought that the weather has something to do with the vandalism.  My reasoning is that when we are not on-site frequently and regularly, it provides opportunity for negative actions toward the garden.  We probably couldn’t have stopped the theft though.

"The Onion Field" er bed!

“The Onion Field” er bed!

There's more than one Beet in there!

There’s more than one Beet in there!

Pop-Pop-Pop-Popcorn!

Pop-Pop-Pop-Popcorn!

This Watermelon got a late start but let's see what happens?

This Watermelon got a late start but let’s see what happens?

Zucchini after it got watered!

Zucchini after it got watered!

There were Cherry Tomatoes here just a minute ago!

There were Cherry Tomatoes here just a minute ago!

What are these? Potatoes! (With a weed sticking right up in the middle of the picture!)

What are these? Potatoes! (With a weed sticking right up in the middle of the picture!)

Regardless, on July17th, we had six kids ready to harvest whatever was ready in the garden.  They have already enjoyed strawberries, radishes, garlic and zucchini, so now they were going to pick cherry tomatoes, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and Chinese cabbage.  A few of the kids had never tasted vegetables raw and fresh from the garden and it was fun to watch the faces they made as they experienced the “unvarnished” flavor and texture of the various leafy greens.  “Awe” and “Amazement” are just two of the words that come to mind.  I must note that the kids ate the cherry tomatoes as fast as they picked them.  I wonder if any will make it home to somebody’s dinner table?

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your plants and the theft of the greens! However, I am happy to know the children are experiencing the joys of gardening.

  2. 4

    Nancy Bowman said,

    Teaching them to persevere is teaching them what life is all about. With the fruits of their own labor as their reward. There’s a lot more to this gardening idea than meets the eye from what I’ve seen. Growing in life by learning responsibilities is a priceless lesson to every child and to actually see what happens when you don’t is an even greater one!

  3. 6

    Jane Bunge said,

    Beautiful Garden. It’s so weeded and the soil looks very rich. Someone has been working very hard. The plants look good to me. What a gift to give the children this experience, knowledge, and joy. They will never forget it as long as they live.

    Our school’s outside spicket has a valve, purchased at the hardware store, so two hoses can be attached to one spicket. There is a key, like the one for our old rollerskates, to turn the water on and off. The key is kept locked in a shed with a comb.lock…. So anytime neighbors or volunteers want to water they can. Our school is closed as well. The drought has taken a toll on our garden as well, hose or no hose.

    Soon… Pumpkins!!!🍊

    • 7

      Thank you Jane! A clean garden, free of weeds and garbage is important to me and to the veggies we are growing. This year has been a challenge but hopefully, the kids will get what we want them to get from the gardening experience. I am happy to hear about your school garden program regardless of the outcome. We have investigated an external water supply and continue to do so. Drought or no drought we shall prevail.
      Pumpkins! FUN…FUN…FUN!


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