April Showers?

May 19, 2011

Well, we  did end up getting a few April showers…and the garden was glad. May started off slow with a surprize late frost that forced me to cover the 40 or so tomato plants that had just been planted as well as the nice big beautiful basil plants. And thankfully we lost nothing.

This bed of tomatoes was all covered with every blanket and beach towel I own during a crazy May night that got down into the low 40s!

It has been a busy busy time at the garden it’s about half planted and we have one school family gardening with us! I have a ton of seeds to still put in the ground this week – some mixed lettuces, green beans, popcorn, more pumpkin, squash, edamame, and cucumber. And there are tons of new seedlings to put in – chives, tomatillos, and roma tomatoes are a few of them. Radishes are popping up everywhere, pumpkins are sprouting, tomatoes are forming on the plants that have been in for a couple of weeks now, and the herbs are starting to show lots of growth. The butterfly bush is about to bloom too! And best of all some donations have started to come in that will allow me to put in some of the perennial food plants – blackberries, southern blueberries, artichoke plants (just for the whole dinasaur look of them!!) and in the fall rhubarb and asparagus.

Radishes are tasty and act as a companion plant in the garden. They are attractive to the flea beatle and help to keep it from eating the eggplant leaves.

There is also some really big news going public today. The Vis Solis Egg CSA is being introduced. 21 CSA memberships will be sold and a coop with 50 laying hens will be built! The goal of the hen house is to allow for future growth of the  community gardens and add things like an orchard, a pumpkin patch and bees to the farm. The mission of the hen house is to let the students of All Saints connect with their food sources, and learn more about how and what it takes to produce healthy natural foods. It is also a stepping stone to having someplace for the kids in 4-H to keep show chickens on sight. This is a super fun project for me and I am really really excited about the prospect of 50 laying hens and allllll those eggs to box up each week!

Two young pullets who will be future Vis Solis laying hens.

I’m also in the planning stages of a series of Farm to Table dinners and programs. Partnering with other local producers to serve a lovely al fresco meal overlooking the garden. I have some ideas for some informative programs, some entertainment, some special guests, and a super special guest chef for one of the dinners! My brother, Mike Henton, is a quintessential foodie and a fabulous chef and he has graciously agreed to come from his home in Denver to prepare a lovely dinner for us this fall. And I’ll be super proud to show off the garden too. These dinners will be great connections for the community to see what we are doing here at Vis Solis and for other small producers to show off their products too. Building community one dinner at a time! (lots more information about these to come soon…)

Next week is the last week of school so it’s the last week of gardening class. We will be harvesting a few of the potatoes we have planted in bags…I’m super excited to see what’s hiding in there.

Today will be a day of  staking tomatoes and planting peppers and hopefully the rain will hold off until Friday. So much to do.

I am working hard each day to get more and more planted and growing in the garden and each day I get more and more comments about how great it is. Those make me want to keep on working. I know I will have pitfalls and I know I will be dreading going to the garden when it’s 100 out…but right now I am still loving this whole project!  (and I will try to write more)