Aja here from headquarters with a few updates! The beans are growing up tall in our Berea research garden! Our structures are all up, and the beans that haven’t reached the top yet are working hard to get there!

beans 7-6-15


teepees 7-6-15

Unfortunately, with all the rain we’ve had here in the bubble, a fungus has developed on some of our varieties. We think it’s Angular Leaf Spot, but if anyone has any other thoughts, let me know! We hope to get out there and treat them with some copper before it gets worse, but the thunder storms rolling through this week don’t want to let us!

bean leaves 7-7-15

At the New Liberty Shelter, we’ve had two harvests now! We’ve gotten quite a few squash and a ton of basil! Last week we had a couple of Sungold tomatoes ready to harvest too! Most of the produce we’ve harvested has gone to the shelter’s free produce stand where neighborhood residents can pick it up for their families. The Sungolds were used as a teaching tool for some poor people who thought they didn’t like tomatoes. The Sungolds sure changed their minds! I’ve also spread the word that squash flowers are edible, and a few regulars at the produce stand seemed excited to try frying them up at home! We should have tomatoes soon too!

shelter harvest 7-9-15


shelter tomatoes 7-9-15


On a side note, for anyone trying to plant with a back injury, I’ve come up with a pretty effective method. I have a muscle strain in my low back which prevents me from bending over very far, which had me all worried about how I was going to plant the last round of beans. What I did was find a stick (I used a tall stake that we had sitting around) with a sharpened end. I walked around to each spot that needed seeds and stuck it just down in the surface and twisted it a bit. This made a nice shallow hole wide enough to accommodate the beans, which I dropped in from where I was standing. Then I just kicked dirt over them with my foot and pushed it down gently with the toe of my shoe. This seems really simple, and some of you have probably already thought of it, but it was a huge help to me since getting down there and moving from spot to spot would have taken twice as long and risked further injury. I was concerned that the holes would be too deep, but I’ve got some nice new seedlings coming up as of yesterday, so I’m declaring it a successful technique!