Our squash and melons are loving this heat. In the Hip Hop/Jade beds, our eggplant, pepper, watermelon, tomato, squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants are all doing very well. We even have some tiny, late-season strawberries trying to grow. The tomatoes are prime size, we are just waiting for them to turn red. Today we harvested patty-pan squash, yellow straight neck squash, zucchini, Japanese cucumbers, hybrid eggplants, and lemon cucumbers. This was our first time to harvest the lemon cucumbers. Our kitchen staff will help plenty of fresh veggies to experiment with this week! Attached you will find a photo of our kids with the vegetables we picked.
The plastic and straw/wood mulch that Dr. Steele and the boys laid down has helped with weed control, however, some of those stubborn weeds still find their way through. But, when we all work together, the tedious jobs get done more quickly so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor.The children in our summer program help to pick up trash on our grounds and weed the beds, as part of the stewardship aspect of our sustainable agriculture outreach program.
This fall, we will be planting cover crops and cool season crops into our raised beds. Cover crops could include clover, rye, buckwheat, and oats. Fall crops could include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, greens, lettuces, onion, cauliflower, carrots, garlic. These plantings will help to control weeds and enhance the soil quality. We are considering some new planting methods to teach participants in our program, as well as members of the community, new ways to garden. One example is a potato tower. Another is growing in straw bales. We will begin with the raised beds and then go from there.