Wednesday, June 23, 2010

back for another

welcome back for another posting on the SPROUT garden and some other randomness from yours truly.
yesterday i borrowed a weed-whacker from Jim Luce in grounds and took out all the red clover and other weeds from the NE and NW quadrants of the garden.
it is pretty incredible how large the garden is and we (i guess i should say i) really only cultivate half the space. i have also been trying to reclaim the middle area of the garden, which was being encroached upon by weeds. west of the rocks is currently occupied by bok choi, tomatoes basil and what i have recently been informed is pumpkin (it is nearly impossible for me to recognize different members of the Cucurbitaceae family). the area east of the rocks is settling and lettuce seed will be planted tomorrow with the help of Courtney Dwyer.
Courtney is an intern at the Goodwin-Niering center who is giving a couple hours of her time to help out in the garden in between her busy schedule, which includes conducting studies on CO2 emissions and trash receptacles among other things. she has a full plate for the rest of the summer and i am glad to have her help in the garden however, i cannot help but think that this is too much for one student to tackle.
regardless, there is great progress in the garden. everything is very happy (except our beans, which are suffering from a hungry groundhog) and is ready to burst with yummy veggies.
you are all probably anxious for some new pictures so enjoy!

a robin's nest i discovered on-top of the flood lights on 360. the eggs have hatched and i can hear the chicks chirping. i might venture up to capture a picture but i am nervous of what might happen
an early tomato with some pretty markings. it was tasty.
our 3 sisters row. there are beans growing at the far end.
the squash/cucumber/pumpkin/melon patch. this is after a lot of thinning too.
a young straight yellow squash.
a young hook-necked squash.
one of the bean plants pre-groundhog. imagine it without all those leaves and that is what it now looks like.
swiss chard and beans.
a panorama of the garden as you look north.

looking south.
i am pretty pooped right now but i will post again tomorrow with some of my thoughts about how the college changes over the summer when most students are off campus. it might be scandalous so keep a look out.
many thanks to kristiane huber who has picked up the torch big time on the many issues that have presented themselves within the grant process.

p.s. wouldn't it be awesome if each ridge, winchester house and abbey had composting bins similar to the ones in earth and 360. just a thought for the small grant that was made available this year by the goodwin-niering center. maybe even putting in small cold frames in the front yard of apartments so veggies or herbs can be cultivated by students all year long. just shooting some ideas out there

p.p.s again i love contact so please send me silly messages or fan/hate mail.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Hey there all you beautiful people,

I, Erik Karwatowski, am going to be your friendly SPROUT! summer garden manager for this summer. Sorry for the delayed posting but I am only just getting a handle on the garden. I am really excited about this summer and I hope you are as well. The garden has already produced nearly 30 pounds of fresh greens that have been sold to Harris and I am waiting to hear back from Fiddleheads about selling our produce in the co-op.
We have corn, beans, arugula, swiss card, carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, lettuce, bok choi, potatoes, rhubarb, garlic, onions, more squash than one can imagine, tomatoes, eggplant, melons, cucumbers and any number of edible wild greens and herbs.
I have learned that it is much harder to multi-task in the garden than elsewhere. I have to focus my energy on a single task and then move onto the next otherwise I will never accomplish anything in the garden.
There are some really great projects that are going to be completed this summer that will benefit the garden. Many thanks to Michael Meade for securing funding to retrofit the gutter system on 360 to capture runoff and store it in a cistern between the garden and 360. The SPROUT! greenhouse is also ready to be assembled in the same area between 360 and the garden. My far off dream is for something like this:
That is all I have for now but I will continue to update the blog with info on the garden. Here are some pictures of the first yield and some of the progression that the garden has made.

Feel free to email me with questions about the garden or any other initiatives at Conn,
Peace and Love,