Today we uprooted more of that pesky sedge and grass with the hoe, rakes and our hands and laid down cardboard as we moved along. One of our team members quickly covered the cardboard collage with mulch, making the Garden look more and more fertile every passing minute. The half circle area in the back of the garden is the next grassy place to tackle. In a few months, we hope to have corn growing in that part of the garden. We ended work today around 11:30- just when the Florida sun was really starting to beat down on us.
On a personal note, today my first day at the Garden! Working with my hands and getting dirt under my nails was therapeutic after long days inside classrooms and evenings studying. With each shift a little more work gets done- every day there'll be less green sedge, more mulch laid down, and soon beautiful flowers will bloom and the veggies will be ready to harvest. And after the prep work is done, the kids will come out and lively up the garden so much!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sedge is perhaps one of our biggest enemies at the Lakewood Edible Peace Patch. Florida plants seem to have a feisty streak that other plants don't quite have. The adaptation that sedge has astounds me. The root ball is about a foot from the surface of the soil. That root ball then shoots off string like roots towards the surface and grows leaf structures in several different locations. So, if a fellow gardener were to just pull the said leaf structures, the plant still survives. The only way to ensure the removal of the plant is to get at that root ball. This means following down the string sized root to the ball which can be trying and definitely takes quite awhile. It's hard to convey to my fellow gardeners the importance of getting this rootball out. There is still so much to be done in the garden that this project seems like a low priority. In reality if we get the complete root structure out now then we'll have so much less work this semester. Hopefully, I'll be able to convince my classmates that this is what needs to happen!
Other than the sedge, we are working diligently to rake
up all the grass, lay cardboard, and put down mulch. We still have a long ways to go, but it's early in the week so I believe we can finish and be prepared for the students next week!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Today was another work day. It was a gorgeous day out and the morning started with the sun shinning. Katie, Alyssa and myself all meet over at lakewood around 830am. We checked the log book to see what had been done on the last shift and what they thought should be done next. We started by pulling weeds around the beds again. We laid cardboard and mulch along the paths that were finished. The three of us made quite a bit of progress today. Katie pulled up the compass rock at the front of the garden and weeded around it and relaid it with mulch around it. You can now see which direction is North and South. We also harvested the sweet potatoes in the last left garden. We saved the smaller ones to replant later on. Today was a great day and we are on the short road to planting soon!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Today was a day of great progress, determination, sweat, and dirty hands, but the garden is certainly coming together! We cleaned out the shed, got ourselves organized, and took inventory of what we have in stock. Seperating all of the tools, going through last years crates, and cleaning up the shelves was a tedious task, but well worth it. Having a clean shed will enable us to grab what we need when we need it.
We next moved on to tackle the grass and weeds that seem to have invaded our patch this summer. Using steel rakes, bare hands, and a wheelbarrow the team cleared the main drag of the garden, laid down cardboard, and mulched nearly half of the garden. We then took all of our weeds and trimmings and piled them up into our compost mound.
Walking through the school hallway on our way to the water fountain for a quick, but much needed, break from the sun, it was amusing to hear the students point out how we were covered head to foot in dirt. I know all of us can not wait to see what the garden has instore for everyone. Our final touch today was replanting our lovely pineapple plants that seemed to have turned over on us.
Although all of this prep work seems like a heavy load, it will all be worth it when the children see what we have to teach them and we can see what they too have to teach us!
Well, this morning started off with a bit of a scavenger hunt. We've been making frequent use of the Eckerd recycling truck this week which is used communally on campus by different organizations. With the frequent use of the truck and it's lack of a true home, one never really knows where the truck might be. Usually it's parked near Beta Complex or in the Old Library Loop, but today was not the norm. Long story short, we checked Beta, old library loop, the Nu/Omega parking lot, and the Beta parking lot again with no avail. As a last ditch effort we headed to the Forrer parking lot, and thank goodness our forest green and badly battered friend was there! We filled the truck with cardboard from the mailroom and the on campus recycling center and headed out to Lakewood.
There is so much left to be done before the garden is in working condition. We need to rake up all the grass that flourished over the summer between the beds, turn the 3 sisters' bed with manure, lay down cardboard and new mulch, replant the pineapple plant that were knocked over this summer, reorganize the shed and mix in the new dirt from the compost into all of the beds to name a few item off the endless checklist. Needless to say, even as a veteran to the garden this all seems daunting. Yet, we grabbed another load of mulch and staked the watermelon before I left. Tommy and Vivian continued after I left since I unfortunately have class at 10 am.
Small steps I keep telling myself. Each shift will progress on the list and it will dwindle. We will have a gorgeous garden in no time ready to accept the classes that will prosper from the information and experiences it can provide.
PS I apologize for the lack of pictures, I've been struggling to upload them for 30 minutes now, and I believe technology is winning this battle. I'll see if I can add them in tomorrow!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Four of us went out again today, to continue getting the garden in order. We still had quite a bit of cardboard from yesterday, so two of us went on mulch-collecting duty, and the rest of us continued weeding the plots. Most of the beds were relatively low on weeds, so this task was easy enough. Yesterday's horse manure was mixed into the beds, but we should add some more next time we go out, because there is a bunch of unused manure left over.
We brought in two more truckloads of mulch. and made good progress covering the paths with cardboard and mulch. On the way back, the two of us in the back of the pickup had quite the zen experience, as we were made one with the mulch. All in all, a lot of work got done, but a lot more remains...
Monday, September 20, 2010
Today started early with five students. We drove over to our on campus recycling center to collect cardboard to line the bed of the truck as well as the walk ways in the garden. We then traveled again to the Saddle up stable to load another truck full of manure. Though smelly and slightly wet we managed to load it quickly and return to Lakewood. Once the manure was unloaded we then made the quick trip over to the recycling center near the elementary where we could pick up free maulch. We loaded and unloaded two truck fulls of maulch, laying the cardboard down first we maulched around the first garden bed to give an example to tomorrows group of students. At this pace we should have all the prep work done by the end of the week!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Today was the first step toward our Edible Peace Patch! In the morning a few students got together to head up to Saddle Up stables to collect some really important manure for the garden! It was a tedious and tiring task that was to say the least, the poop. The unloading was great and it really brought out some new ideas for the garden once back to see how much work we have to do. Weeding and mowing the grassy areas around the garden are in dire need. Some serious housecleaning will be in order this semester to pull the garden back to work.