Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Whats Growing On at JPCI


We stumbled upon this thistle patch with the students as we harvested some raspberries! Luckily this is not at our garden but its still so beautiful!
Fall is here and the garden is providing everyone with amazing fruits and vegetables! The weather is changing, kids are back in school and everyone is taking full advantage of the beautiful garden. During lunch it is full of students and teachers, kids and classes from all over Lawrence heights are showing up learning, listening, and eating, the cross country team runs through the garden during practice dodging the many bees whizzing from sunflower to sunflower. We are preparing for next year and have lots of great new growing projects in mind mushrooms beds, dye gardens, and maybe a portable chicken tractor! 


Mycelium spreading through one of our woodchip piles
Next Season we will be focusing on how to make the most of every square inch of our growing space. One thing we are looking at is creating mushroom patches in wood-chipped walkways. Shade from the plants and water from the drip hoses will create an ideal growing situation for many mushroom. They will benefit the soil structure, create natural water filters, and provide hundreds of pounds of beautiful mushrooms.


We have started to grow a lot of cover crop (green manures). These plants all work with the soil directly protecting it from the harsh winter ahead, building and assisting with complicated soil structures and locking in pounds of pure nitrogen!
Vetch Cover Crop
Alflafa Cover crop
Oat Cover Crop

 Working with Co-Op students from JPCI we are revamping our compost efforts into a bigger and better operation. They helped build and design a quick and easy straw-bale composter that can hold alot of organic waste! We can easily add more and more compartments as the need comes!
Clearing space for our new Straw Bale Composter! 
Co-Op students hard at work
Almost ready compost


Its always easier harvesting soybeans with friends

Radish Thinnings

Beautiful carrots growing directly in sand

A view from our butterfly garden

Rainbow Chard

PACT's Grow to Learn market table

A Fish eye of half the garden


We really had to overcome a lot of issues this year. Whether it be flooding, cutworms, squash borers, or broken water mains we all learned how to work on our feet and to be ready for possibly anything. 
Some new little buds were born this year! There is a possibility that a portable chicken tractor will be coming to a garden near you! Not only do these amazing birds provide food they will till, turnover and find every unwanted grub in your garden. No more squash borers, Japanese beetles, and Cutworms!

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