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Monday, September 28, 2009

A great start to a new week

We arrived at the garden today under a beautiful, cloudless blue sky. Though the sun’s rays beat down on us relentlessly, we set to work right away. All of the beds needed to be soaked again, even though the morning shift had already watered thoroughly. We spent some time watering all the beds that had seeds or sprouts in them. When I got to see how the watermelon was doing, I had to take a minute to admire its determination. It has pretty much covered the entirety of the bed, its tendril-like stems reaching out over the wooden edge onto the mulch. The new pineapple plants also look fantastic – their shape and height give the garden a completely new dimension.

After watering we carefully broke down the rest of the wood from the broken trellises, trying not to stab ourselves with the painfully large staples that were sticking out at inconvenient angles from the wood. These were put away in the shed, hopefully to be used again for something else for the garden.

A few minutes before two o’clock we decided to have a brief discussion about what we will be doing with the kids if they come out. Even though we all knew that there weren’t supposed to be any kids, the schedule in the shed did say that we would have some at 2pm. We wanted to be prepared in case that hadn’t changed, especially since some shifts last week had kids come out unexpectedly. We were all a little disappointed that the kids did not come out, even when we already knew they probably wouldn’t be out today. I’m excited to start working with the kids and to have them in the garden. At one point before the shift ended a little girl on her way home asked me through the fence if we were working on the “new garden for the school.” I told her we were actually just fixing up the same one from last year, and she smiled happily and walked away. All my encounters with the Lakewood students have been great – all the kids are thrilled to get to go out to the garden. Every time we walk through the halls they all seem to know that we are the older students that work in the garden. On more than one occasion I’ve heard them whispering to each other, “they’re from the garden!” as we walk past. I really cannot wait to get them out there and start interacting with them.

After our chat we planted some radish seeds next to the okra and watered the bed well. Hopefully they seeds will do well and sprout soon (it’d be great if we could get some rain). Afterwards we began work on digging up the area where the new bed would go. Noah had finished building it while Sam, Kate, and I put away the wood. We decided that where the last shift had left it, next to the herb bed, would probably be the best place for it and set to work digging about a foot into the ground so we could set it. The layer of mulch was unforgiving, and it took the better part of our shift to get it dug up and ready for the new bed. Once we got it in the ground, it seemed like we found another piece of the garden puzzle. The interesting new shape and its potential for new plants fit perfectly within the Edible Peace Patch.

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