Archive for December, 2016

Just Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ Part One

On a winter day…

I was going through the collection of pictures that were taken at the garden and I couldn’t help but reflect on the trials and tribulations of this summer’s garden program.  Many have been addressed in earlier blogs so I do not have to go into great detail here and now.    All I will say is that it was a summer that was hot as hell and as dry as the Sahara on one end of the spectrum to rain forest-like ecosystem at the other.  There was definitely a time when I thought it was all in vain but then the weather changed and we got rain, and lots of it.  As the locals here know it was hot, tropically hot and humid but it was the right type of hot and humidity that nourished the plants back to life.  It’s not such a stretch to have felt that that was the gardens’ biblical moment…like a miracle the rain poured from the sky and everything grew and grew to alien proportions.  Not really, but as you will see it turned out nicely.  And most importantly, our kids once again took home bags and bags of fresh vegetables!

 

Cheery Cherry Tomatoes!

Cheery Cherry Tomatoes!

 

 

 

We planted watermelon that actually grew big enough to steal (we lost two to thieves), but everything ultimately worked out (more on that later)

 

 

 

Popcorn…perfect snack for squirrels and other varmints!

 

Our "Field of Dreams"!

Our “Field of Dreams”!

 

A forest of kale!

A forest of kale!

 

Digital Camera

Later!

 

These pepper plants will be very productive!

These pepper plants will be very productive!

 

 

This alien looking plant is Okra!  It was the only one to survive the drought-like conditions in June and early July. 

 

 

 

Pretty vine!

Pretty vine!

The picture above is the result of two surviving sweet potato sets.  We planted 11, but all but two were vandalized and pulled out of the ground.  In spite of the difficult start, we were surprised by the very impressive yield produced by the surviving plants.  Think size 12 shoes!!!

 

Orange tomatoes!

Orange tomatoes!

 

 

Second planting of collard greens…everybody got some!

 

Collards ready for harvest!

Collards ready for harvest!

 

Future star of "The Pickle Story"!

Future star of “The Pickle Recipe II” movie!

 

Onions

Onions

 

First harvest!

First harvest!

 

Leeks

Leeks!

 

To be continued…Part Two

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Just Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ Part Two

One of the unavoidable challenges we face with a school garden is what to do when school is on break and the kids are unable to get out there.  We basically go into maintenance mode.  Before school lets out, the children have already had a taste of the good things yet to come by harvesting strawberries, peas, radishes, beets, etc., all quick-to-grow vegetables that were planted in April and May.  In maintenance mode we work to ensure that the kids have something to look forward to and come back for…and boy do they come back!

 

 

 

Mother and son enjoying the fruit of his labor!

Mother and son enjoying the fruits of his labor…picking tomatoes!

 

 

Another big harvest day in August!

Another big harvest day in August!

 


 


HABENEROS!

HABENEROS!

 

Remember these from Part One?

Remember these from Part One?

 

The start of something sweet!

The start of something sweet!

To be continued…Part Three

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Just Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ Part Three

It’s after Labor Day and the kids have returned to school and the garden.  The weather, much to our surprise, has enabled the garden to peak at just the right time.  We set the following timeline for the remaining weeks of the garden…

Week of 9/12

Kale; Cherry Tomatoes; Eggplant; Squash

Week of 9/19

Potatoes; Tomatoes; Peppers

Week of 9/26

Peppers; Lettuces; Popcorn

Week of 10/3

Collard Greens; Sweet Potatoes

__________________________

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite cooperate with us and it remained warm enough to extend the growing periods and harvest production of several plants.

 

 


 

 

Popcorn or Birdseed?

Popcorn or Birdseed?

 


 

Digging up potatoes…

 

 

 

This could be the start of something big!

Oops…a worm!  Let’s chase Arthur!!!

 

A lot of small ones to start!

A lot of small ones to start!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still something out there…

 

A teacher and her son!

A teacher and her son!

 

The vice principal doing some grocery shopping!

The vice principal doing some grocery shopping!

 

Not the last of these!

Not the last of these!

 

 

 To be continued…Part Four

 

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Just Sittin’ Here Thinkin’ Part Four

The Great Watermelon Experiment!

One of the most anticipated events was the watermelon harvest.  After all, we had been trying to grow this plant for quite a few years without much luck.  This year, despite the fact we lost two melons early on to theft, our dream was going to be fulfilled.  We hid the remaining melons until they had grown to term and were ready for harvest.

But that’s not all we did…lol. Instead of growing the more traditional melons like “Jubilee” and “Stars and Stripes”, we grew a hybrid called “Yellow Doll” and it’s fruit was yellow instead of pink!  Our kids were surprised and at the same time disappointed.  Though it looked like a watermelon on the outside, it didn’t on the inside and therefore it tasted foreign to them.  Being allergic to melons, I was no help to them as I dared not touch the flesh.  To some of the kids it tasted more like a cucumber and for a few others it had no taste.  But for the majority of them though it may have looked like a watermelon on the outside, it definitely was not on the inside.  So much for the “looks like a duck, walks like a duck” theory!

 

 

 

Digital Camera

 

Remember those sweet potatoes I talked about in Part 1?  Well take a look!

 

 

 

 

 

So all in all it was a very good year.  The kids had fun…they got plenty of food to take home that they grew…we had fun…lots of fun and we are looking forward to next year, Spring 2017!

 

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