This week we expanded our garden. We tilled up another 1600sq ft+ patch. It was super satisfying--no tiller problems, and I trained a participant on how to use the tiller. Slowly we are expanding the number of people who are comfortable using gardening and farm equipment.
I've been working with more volunteers--it's great training people and expanding the reach of the garden. Potato beetle larvae were creeping up on our potatoes, but a volunteer and I combed through and squished them all. If we keep on top of it we can keep the population down. It was a great time to revel in the wonders of horticultural therapy--while we worked we talked about the origins of the universe, and how we might be all star particles. I like thinking about it because it is another way to connect with plants.
In a way they are our parents, feeding on flaking star minerals in the soil--having this fun conversation with a volunteer connecting plants and space was a great way to enjoy the pleasures of the garden while still getting work done. I also like that I can make people see that the garden is a space for people of all different interests, and horticulture is worthy of a more prominent place in our lives than people think--here a physicist and a gardener could have an interesting conversation while talking about the mysteries of biodynamics and vitamins and minerals, not to mention the origins of life.
We planted sweet potatoes and peanuts with a group of girls from the YWCA summer camp. They made some wonderful scarecrows for us, too.
Some of the plants got sizzled because we watered them when it was hot--we are having trouble figuring out the best way to water our garden, what with the lack of onsite staff and irrigation equipment. So are some of our participants, who lack access to water near their garden. Quite a conundrum. We have a lot to think about.