Heather here.

So is fall. Chilly winds and damp nights bring visitors.

We harvested sweet potatoes with the AT2 kids from Abingdon High School. AT2 stands for Appalachian Trail Trekkers–these students help out with environmentally-related community service during and after school. The AT2 kids take field trips and also do outdoor activities during their science classes.

All the students agreed that harvesting sweet potatoes was a lot harder then it looked. They are a lot harder to clean, too.

While we were composting the sweet potato leaves and vines we came across some newborns in the straw.

A few of our gardeners reported some strange invasions that materialized seemingly overnight.

Dead nettle. Forms an impenetrable mat. Some varieties used as decorative ground cover. 

She is really not happy about this. 

Lessons learned this week:

Just because your sweet potato vines and leaves look like an undisturbed jungle on the top, does not mean there are not rodents gnawing their way though below ground. We did not end up with as many sweet potatoes as we thought. But as soon as we put them up at the food pantry they were gone–this has proven to be one of our most popular crops. So, we will need to figure out a way to protect them better, for us and for all the participants who want to grow them.

Our last visitor, thus far, was from the kingdom fungi.

BLACK ROT! In case you were wondering, Bristol is a good place to live. 

Until the next gust of leaves,