Monday, 29 July 2013

Forever Farm at Thistletown Collegiate Institute

Many flowers, like the Calendula seen here, have come into bloom at Forever Farm, to the pleasure of a host of different pollinator species.  Other flowers blooming currently include White Yarrow, Fleabane, Borage, Sunflowers, Chamomile (see photo below).


The warmer weather of July has provided crops planted earlier this spring conditions to mature.  With the assistance of students from Thistletown Collegiate, PACT staff and interns, and participants from the Braeburn leadership program, we've been able to harvest a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs for distribution within the local community.  The photographs below provide some examples (beets, carrots, peas, swiss chard, and kale), but we've also been harvesting fruits,  including strawberries, raspberries, red and black currants, vegetables such as spinach, sorrel, lettuce, onions, fennel, and tomatoes, and herbs like cilantro, parsley, sage, and dill. 
Along with our harvesting, we've been working hard over the past few weeks to prepare beds for a second planting.  Check out the photo below to see the raised beds we created.  We've been raising the garden beds in preparation for setting wood chip mulch between beds and redefining clear pathways throughout the garden.  In the photograph below you can see bean plants just popping out of the ground; the other beds were seeded with spinach and beets for another harvest later this season.  Creating the raised beds has been a huge undertaking, especially as we've been struggling to beat back the thistles, grasses, and other wild plants that are always competing for space and resources in the garden! There is still lots to do prepare the pathways for mulching, so we'll be carrying on with this work during August.
August work is also going to be focused on caring for our hot crops, especially tomatoes.  We've been doing our best to keep up with staking our plants and pinching back suckers.  Soon it will be time for us to collect the harvest.  Cherry tomatoes have already started to ripen, and the full size tomatoes are getting close.


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