Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School Begins Tomorrow!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the families who helped tend the New Century School garden over the summer.  It has truly been a wonderful experience watching the garden change and grow over the past few months.

With school starting tomorrow, Mr Gundlach and the 2/3 students will be organizing and looking over all of the data collected this summer and will be providing you with updates on what they find, and what continues to happen.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Abundant Harvest

The summer has been good to the NCS garden. 
We have been picking (and still are) many zucchini from both sides of the garden.  And what a treat it is!

NCS students eating some of the zucchini they harvested, YUM!

The beans have are hitting their peak as well, and they are equally delicious!
The beans have been the one area where the data collectors have begun to see a big difference in the two sides of the garden.  While all the plants look very healthy, it seem the rain barrel side is definitely out producing the rain only side.  Last Friday, hardly any beans were harvested from the rain only side, while over 2 dozen were collected from each of the rain barrel plants that were measured.

The corn should be ready for harvest soon, and we will get a glimpse of the damage the beetles have been doing inside of the ears of corn.  They are still very present in the garden.

School will be starting next week, and soon you will be getting some blogging action from the students themselves.  I, for one, am very excited to hear about what they think about their seeds they planted in the last days of school.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Zucchini galore (and beans soon!)

The garden is in full swing!  Vegetables are being picked and others are coming up right on their heals.
When I visited the garden on Tuesday the zucchini had just been harvested the day before.  But fear not!  If the numerous flowers are any indication - there will be many more in the near future.

The beans are also gearing up to be harvested very soon.  I saw lots of beans growing and many more blossoms to keep the gardeners busy in the near future.

Ah.... but all is not well in the garden.  The corn is being invaded.  Evidently us humans at NCS are not the only ones awaiting a scrumptious corn on the cob treat (and they are not as patient)  Get ready for a big EEWWWW!!
 Yep - the Japanese beetles really like the corn.  They have eaten the silk off of every ear and it doesn't look like they will stop there.  Does anyone want to guess what those yellowish spots on the leaf above the beetles are?  I think we will be seeing more beetles in the weeks to come.

Overall the garden is looking great.  The bountiful growth on both sides makes you think about how much watering a garden really needs and how much water would be saved when that water comes from a faucet instead of rain barrels.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Busy days in the garden

What a busy week we had in the garden.  The week started with a much needed weeding party!

Thank you to all who helped!  The garden looks beautiful and in true reduce, reuse, recycle spirit the two PACKED bins of weeds were a yummy treat to one of the NCS families chickens.
a little weedy snack for the chickens
The same day, we also thinned out the zucchini.  Armed with a shovel, ready to dig those zucchini out, I quickly learned that all I needed was two hands and a little pull. 
Turns out, those big zucchini plants have quite a small root structure.  I was amazed that such tiny roots could supply the plants with all they needed to produce such a large plant.
rotting zucchini fruit
One problem that we have been noticing with the zucchini, is that some of the fruit have been rotting on the vine before they fully develop.  Any suggestions or ideas?

Overall, the garden is doing great.  Gardeners have noticed that the rain barrel side (on right) generally has fuller plants with more flowers, while the rain only side seems to be producing larger zucchini so far.  Interesting.
Ears of corn with silk coming out the top have appeared on both sides.

And, beans are growing here and there.  Yum!
I cant wait to report what this weeks gardeners find.  If you cant wait until next week, stop by the garden and explore yourself.  We would love to hear what you see!  (don't be afraid to hop the fence and take a gentle look under the leaves, that is where most of  mother nature's magic happens)