Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 9! Japanese Beetles are Annoying

Patrick showcasing some new flowers

Katie picking lettuce
Happy 4th of July weekend! I hope you all have been as thankful as I am that we live in a country that allows us freedom. At our garden we get to exercise this freedom by planting what we want, giving it away to who we want, and talking about topics without fear of being taken from our homes at night. I have been to countries where this is not always the case. While not a perfect country, it is a wonderful one and I am glad to live here. Now on to gardening!

Adding cover for our garden
Children of the corn weeding
This week was really beautiful and a joy to work outside. It was cool and only wet on Tuesday morning so we got lots of weeding and mulching accomplished. We are mulching everything this year not only to keep the weeds down, but to keep the ground moist and build back the soil. We will not be tilling in years to come because that disrupts the soil and we lose the nutrients in the soil. The mulch acts like a forest floor where leaves and pine needles protect the ground from harsh conditions and it can grow healthy. Think of it like feathers on a bird, or clothes on your body. This idea came from Back to Eden and we will be experimenting on how this improves our production over the years to come. The day it rained we watched Forks Over Knives, a documentary that calls for people to eat more whole plant-based foods (non-processed). This means less meat and dairy as well as the obvious sweets and oils. Now if you know me, you would understand that meat would be the only thing I would eat if I could. The research shows however, that if animal products are the focus of a diet this can lead to many health issues that can actually be reversed if you ate more fruit and vegetable meals. A very interesting movie and one I think everyone should watch to at least start to wrestle with these questions.
Blackberries

Look at all these weeds! They won't be here much longer :)
We are picking arugula, swiss chard, lettuce, collards, Malabar spinach, and the bit of Kale we have at a regular pace. We are bringing these items to Victory Acres as well as the Farmer's Market on Saturdays for the Community Garden Association to sell. Blackberries and raspberries are also coming in and we are eating those and asking for donations whenever we can. We are having a Japanese beetle problem right now as they are mating and eating our raspberry bushes. An organic way that does not hurt the plants and is relatively cheap is to place beer by the plants. The idea behind this is that they like the sweet smell and will fly in and drown. This has been confirmed with slugs another pest that we have. However, the beetles did not go willingly and we kind of had to push them in to drown them. They were then given to our chickens to eat which they loved.

Raspberries
Side notes: We did have some videos of our chickens but I do not know how to get them onto the blog and have them play. I will be looking into this. We added two eggplants and four zucchini plants to 38th st. I will also be gone this week so this blog will be done by Hannah. She is a writing major and will be a pleasure to read. She will be filling in for me whenever I have to be out of town. I am going on a mission trip to Puerto Rico with sports teams to play games, do ministry, and share Christ. The organization is called SportsReach and I am helping to lead the trip. If you can please remember us in your prayers and I will be back July 17th. Thank you all very much. See you when I get back!

Zach Arington
Garden Manager







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