Thursday, August 12, 2010

Week 10 (July 21)

Double digits baby! There is about a week and a half before almost all students will be leaving campus. This is a bummer because I have been tapping into my fellow Camels. Ben Loomis has been inspiration with his garden in the front yard of Ridge 3 and has cooked a couple great meals using mostly ingredients from the garden. Alex Marcus, although graduated, has been around a bit this summer and has donated more than a few of his afternoons to help me in the garden. I have started referring to the garden as the jungle because the plants are getting so big but mainly because the weeds are getting even larger. Plus the beetles have really set into the pumpkins and watermelon. They are defoliating the plants and it is going to kill them and others if they spread.

There are a couple recipes for organic pesticides on the internet and I have read about a few. I am going to try the organic soap spray using Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. There is a spray pump in Earth House basement that I can make the mixture in and spray on the plants.

I just got home from the Greater New London Farm to City Coalition meeting where John Turenne gave a brief overview of the document that his company Sustainable Food Systems just released detailing the food systems at three local institutions (Connecticut College, L&M Hospital and New London Public Schools) and what options they have for starting a sustainable food system. I attended the meeting as the only representative from Connecticut College. Ingrid Bushwack had handled the study but was away on vacation so she couldn’t make it. The document was sent to Ingrid but hopefully she will be so kind as to share and it can help push us forward.

Cucumbers growing up the trellis



Week 9 (July 14)

Pushing on..

Another week gone by in the garden and I cannot believe that the summer is almost over. More heat and little rain means a sweaty and tired Erik. I have started to notice some of the fabled squash beetles on some of the pumpkins but thankfully none on the squash plants have them. When I see them I squish the bugs and try to rub the eggs off the underside of the leaves but they are still around. Just found out that the cucurbit that volunteered up by the corn was in fact a watermelon, glad I kept it. There is one watermelon about the size of my fist and dozens of other flowers. The squash and melons that I planted are still too young and haven’t flowered but I look forward to them.

Eggplants are flowering though! There are three small eggplants that look great!

Soooo many tomatoes in the garden!! Mostly just cherry tomatoes at this point but soon I am going to be buried in tomatoes. They are however, the perfect snack while working in the garden.

Sailfest was great! I met a bunch of interesting people, gave out a ton of New London Shares cards and learned more about the programs that NL Local First has. I met Arnetia Douglas who is the treasurer of the Mitchell College Environmental Action club. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with Mitchell, something that clubs at Conn have been looking for.

Week 8 (July 7)


This is another dry and hot week. I took a nice vacation home for the 4th but have come back to a very unhappy garden. I sadly report the loss of all of the lettuce and spinach that was planted last week. My plan was to have someone who was around campus during the weekend water the garden while I was gone but they didn’t come through. I am out of lettuce and spinach seed and will have to order more.

I dragged those other hoses out from the basement and they are pretty tangled and have couple splits in the lines. I have to stretch the hoses out to get a better look at them but any parts that wont hold water anymore can be used as mock-snakes to scare off some of our rabbit friends who loooove the beans and carrots. I think that the garden has suffered from this past weekend but with some love and attention everything should come right back stronger than before.

Recently I have started talking with Art Costa, a New London resident, who organizes New London Local First as well as Greater New London Farm to City about Connecticut College’s involvement in his work. Both these groups have a bunch of great stuff going on that is trying to bring a better living environment to everyone in New London and beyond. I am going to volunteer at their table this weekend at Sailfest. Should be a fun time to see New London at its so called finest.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Week 7 (June 30)

Our dry spell continues and it is more and more difficult to spend long periods of time in the garden. I am watering the garden daily in the late afternoon using a new soak hose but I have to move it regularly. There are a couple hoses in the basement of Earth house that I need to untangle so the garden can be watered over this weekend. Courtney helped plant a bunch of lettuce, swiss chard and spinach in the garden last week and there are plenty of sprouts coming up. We also have a lot of flowers on the Cucurbits. I am harvesting Arugula and Mizuna (mix of Asian greens) regularly. There has been grub or beetle damage to all of the beets and turnips I have pulled which sucks but I will just have to plant some more. I am looking forward to taking a trip home this weekend back to the roots in the Catskills (shameless plug).

Sunflowers and tomatoes along the path.
Potatoes coming along with a Cucurbit in the background.
The tomato and bok choi patch.
Swiss chard sprouts.
Aerial view.