Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The end of summer

So the ESY program at the school has come and gone and I would certainly tweek some things next year...

give up on afternoon horticulture clubs... just too darn hot and humid half the time.

have greater success with cucumbers, just a pitiful year????

change my schedule a bit, if possible.

no Lyme disease taking me out of the action for three weeks.


keep the mass of students that flowed through my classroom and our gardens.

and whatever I did with the eggplants... do it again. Best year ever. Covering with row covers from the start really kept insect pests away.

keep cooking and baking...

Keep up the hope we will learn from our mistakes.

keep making flower arrangements.

So that's a really quick review. probably won't be blogging about the school garden much for a week or so. But I am excited by the prospects of the fall season. Feeling healthy and cooler weather could make for one tired teacher/gardener.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


about a week ago I noticed a bounce in my step. It told me two things...

how bad I had been feeling fighting off the Lyme disease, and

that it wasn't the antibiotics that were making me feel so ill.

I still had several days of antibiotics to go, so while I pushed myself a bit harder, I did avoid long periods of sun and thought rest was still in order.

Today with a few drug free days behind me and a small class, I sent the students selling (fingerling potatoes, peppers, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and a single cucumber) and I went out into the heat and sun to weed two 20 foot beds of green beans... our fall harvest. Later in the day we baked rosemary bread and ate it with oven roasted veggies.

It was wonderful to come home exhausted from working hard.

I have been overwhelmed with paperwork at school and doing a craft business newsletter at home, but hope to get caught up on all my favorite garden blogs this weekend and early next week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

need energy

I am looking at another 7 days of antibiotics and I am waiting to feel energized again. With two weeks left in the summer session, I will try to keep some hope, but it may not be till we come back in September before I can garden as I was gardening a month ago. Hope is there.

The job also requires much energy to be aware of what is happening with the students and with how I am responding to them. By the end of the day I am reflecting on where I need to focus my energy.

Blogging has not been one of them as well as weeding my home garden. The weeds are getting stronger, while the blog waits.

And just when my blog was featured in the parent's newsletter for the school. Since I began this blog I have always listed my URL in my blurb. This time it caught the eye of a parent who was editing the letter. She asked if she could use my photos and words. Since getting this blog to parents has been my hope, it was a great thing. Great things are energy producers. I need to keep a look out for more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

state of the union e-mail and a very cool thing

at work I sent out this e-mail...

The need….

plastic grocery bags

The bad….

The cucumber plants look great, tons of flowers, tons of fruit forming… then what???? Who knows… rabbits? And the zucchini … maybe now that it is hot we will get some.

The good…

we harvested one bed of fingerling potatoes this morning and I am quite happy with our yield. Info on fingerlings check out this web site. And now we have an empty bed for a fall crop (our four varieties of winter squash are also thriving and taking over their space quite nicely)

The hope…

the eggplants are taking off in the heat that has finally arrived. No bugs. Tons of flowers.

The unintended neglect…

If you have not had our garlic, onions, peppers, green beans, and/or Swiss Chard. Send an e-mail

the very cool thing...

as we were harvesting the potatoes (OK, I was outside in the sun for a few more minutes than I have exposed myself to since being diagnosed with Lyme disease), we were visited by two fine folk from the department that keeps our students fed. During the winter they had expressed an interest in serving the garden veggies in the school cafeteria. Not really swamped with what I had expected, zucchini and cucumbers, I had not approached them. But by the time the school day had ended, a bag of onions had been passed their way. very cool, if I have to say so myself.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunflowers red and great experiment

The first year we planted sunflowers at the school, they were in the vegetable garden. I don't even know if we had taken charge of the flower bed, which most now know as the space we have deemed our place away from the veggie garden (and deer). The second year we planted, I decided to fill a 20 foot bed in the veggie garden. I had this image that anyone driving into the lower parking lot would be met with a billion suns. We planted on a Friday and by the time I drove down that drive way, all had been eaten by a mammal of some sort. I wonder if that is when I tried to get a deer fence, which never happened???

The next attempt was in our flower bed. The home has been behind the day lilies. So as they fade out, as they are now, something towering and beautiful would catch the eye, instead of the dying lilies. This year we planted some on the other side of the garden, and there is one with a red tint to its leaves and much red to its flowers, and you are looking at the only opened sunflower bud as of 7/31/09. Moulin Rouge is its name and it is the first red sunflower I have grown. My wife is already imaging a mosaic in its honor.

But why two beds you ask? What motivated me was our involvement in The Great Sunflower Project which I wrote about back in March. And those sunflowers are growing and prospering behind the day lilies. Any day we will be watching for bees and sending data to the scientist running this experiment. we just need to be patient and let the flowers emerge...