Greetings from Park Place, Deni here reporting on one of the Park Place gardens.
It’s time to get the potatoes out of the ground and since the soils are being carefully cultivated they make fantastic fall brassica beds! As potatoes came out of the ground, rakes were used to smooth down the bumpy surface. We added a light toss of fertilizer and kids got busy planting their broccoli and cabbage seedlings. Note: These kids love the garden project. These teens all have some level of learning disability but together they work as a team. This is a fantastic program for them to get physically active, learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits while learning garden and harvest techniques they can apply at their own homes. “This program has helped my garden at home so much! My parents are so happy that I’ve learned so much because I’m really helpful! Thank YOU” . This project is more that just gardening, it has instilled a sense of confidence in several of these young people. They are now able to give direction to younger students; helping them learn in a gentle and kind way.
“I didn’t know you could grow broccoli in the fall” was the main statement heard from several participants. Actually, some gardens have better luck growing fall brassicas as pest pressure from flea beetles and harlequin bugs is lower in during the fall months. It can be tricky to get young seedling going however if temperatures are too hot. If hot weather is called for on our farm, we place newly seeded trays in the shade, under our seeding table or in the shade of a tree until the first seedling emerges. Trays are then moved to full sun or even inside our greenhouse where summer storms won’t damage tender seedlings. Seedlings planted in early September can produce well into the late fall months even until December depending on weather. Use of floating row cover can extend the season even longer or at least until a deep freeze.
Yes, we do occasionally garden sitting down! Many of our participants have awkward unbalanced bodies. Maneuvering down uneven, narrow garden beds can be difficult – gardening provides a challenge to them building a sense of confidence when achieved.
We await the growth of our brassicas!