Tuesday, June 23, 2009


It has been raining all week again. Just to give everyone an idea, average rainfall in New London for the month of June is 3.91 inches. So far, we have had 5.94 inches of rain, and there has been recorded precipitation everyday except one since June 8th. And, there is already rain predicted for the rest of this week, and next week. It's barely gone above 65 either, and it has gotten as cold as 37. Very strange weather indeed, and the plants are growing pretty slowly. But they are growing, especially plants in the squash family. We even have our first zucchini flowers!

The herbs have sprouted in the herb garden! I was worried the constant rain would wash the very tiny seeds away, but a lot of the seeds actually stayed put and are now growing.

The bees are doing great, and all four hives are producing honey. According to Mr. Woronecki
, the first honey should be able to be harvested in 4 to 6 weeks.
We are also setting up a rainwater collection system on the gutters of 360! That should be done by next week.
I worked with the campus sustainability intern, Sally, last week in the garden. Hopefully she will be helping out more in the coming weeks.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Update 2

A lot has been happening in the Sprout garden! For one, we have bees on campus! They were moved to the north end of the garden last week. I've spotted many buzzing all around and in the garden. Tomorrow, I am going to be getting a closer look at them with Stuart Woronecki, who moved the bees to campus.

Many more vegetables have been planted in the garden. This includes more beets, carrots, butternut squash, kale, onions, basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and sunflowers. It has been raining almost every other day, and the plants are growing quickly. We've been getting daily harvests of absolutely delicious strawberries.

I also have dug and planted an herb garden around the rocks in the center of the garden. There are many types of herbs including sage, rosemary, lemon balm, lemon grass, chamomile, just to name a few. However, it was a little late to direct seed herbs, but hopefully we will still get at least some mature herbs later in the season.

Pests, especially cucumber beetles, are still causing a lot of damage to zucchini and cucumber plants. Also, I saw today that the tops of a few plants, especially the peas and beans, had been chomped off. I discovered a few places where some animal has chewed its way through the fence. The workers who are renovating 360 and Earth House told me they have seen a wood chuck in the garden. For now, I covered holes with big rocks, although I think we are going to need a more permanent solution than that.

Besides just working in the garden, I will also be meeting with Physical Plant later this week to discuss the possibility of modifying the gutters on 360 and Earth House in order to setup a rainwater collection system. Given they are already doing construction on these buildings now, it seems like a perfect time to set this up. I also hope to focus more on making contacts off of the Conn campus an
d in New London later in the week. We may even have enough mature produce to sell at Fiddleheads this coming Saturday, as the turnips, radishes, and bok choy are looking almost ready for harvest.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

First Summer Update!

Over the past week, the garden has been growing extremely fast. Many seedlings, including beets, chard, various lettuces, shallots, and carrots, have sprouted and are looking healthy. Also the turnips, peas, and bok choy are doing extremely well. There are a lot of volunteer zucchini plants all over the garden. And, we have really delicious looking strawberries, some of which are even starting to ripen!

Clearing out the weeds and digging up beds has been keeping me really busy. I have cleared out and dug up almost the entire middle section, and I am almost finished clearing an area to dig an herb garden around the rocks. I have also checked out the seedlings that were started in the greenhouse, and all of the trays look very healthy. Most recently I got the tomatoes and peppers in the ground. I will be getting more plants from the greenhouse in the ground over the next couple of days including more tomato, onions, kale and eggplant.

Flats with very healthy tomato plants, and bean plants in the background

There have been many good and bad bugs flying all around the garden. So far, the only pest that has been any real trouble is the cucumber beetle. Yesterday I spent a long time picking off cucumber beetles and eggs, there were quite a few eating the squash plants.

We have a great crop of radishes, which will be sold to both Catering and the Dining Hall. Also, the word is that honeybee hives will start being moved onto campus tomorrow, which is extremely exciting!