Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Semester So Far

A meal of fried green tomatoes and mashed purple potatoes, all harvested from the Sprout! garden.

Fall Harvest: Beans, tomatoes, a baby carrot, rosemary and corn from the Sprout! garden.
A miniature decorative pumpkin from the garden.
Purple potatoes and the last of the cucumbers harvested from the garden.
This area was where the squash, cucumber and sunflowers were growing. It has been cleared out to make way for the fall crops. Soon after this picture was taken, kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage were planted in this area and have now sprouted already.

The Semester So Far:
So far this semester we have had three successful workdays and one farmer's market. We have cleared out the debris from our summer crops, and planted some fall/winter crops. These fall/winter crops include kale, spinach, cabbage and broccoli. We also planted black seeded simpson, a famously cold-tolerant variety of lettuce. We have had abundant harvests of heirloom shell beans, potatoes, miniature pumpkins and winter squash. The hardshell gourds are ripening and drying on the vine and we can expect to harvest many of those soon.
The first hard frost is coming very soon, so we will be setting up a cold frame this week to protect the tender young vegetables from the frost. A cold frame is a miniature temporary greenhouse to help established crops through the cooler fall and winter months, thus extending the short Connecticut growing season. We are building ours out of bamboo poles, rocks, and clear plastic.
Our big event this semester, Sproutfest! is happening in just two weeks on October 24th. We are having the event on National Food Day. We will be serving a local dinner on campus, and giving presentations about the garden. The dinner will feature local produce, including hot soup made with beans and squash from the garden.

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