Hello Grow Appalachia! This is Teresa, the summer garden assistant for the Inch By Inch project at The David School. I’ve been helping Jann since mid-May and have witnessed and participated in some great progress in our garden. I’d like to share how we’ve kicked off our summer here!
June proved to be a productive month for the Inch By Inch garden. Our student interns, Cody and Michael, worked extremely hard tilling up a large area of ground behind our high tunnels. After going over the area numerous times, it was finally loose enough to start forming rows. Cody, Michael, and Austin got to work and spent several days with shovels and hoes, making 10 rows of different shapes and lengths. The lengths ranged from 19 feet to 79 feet, the longest being in the shape of a snake. Part of the soil was sandy since an outdoor volleyball court used to be there, so we had to redistribute it to make the rows even. That included a lot of shoveling and wheelbarrowing (and sweating). We then used manure from the Equine Center to top off some of the rows. Finally, we had semi uniform rows!
Once the bulk of the manual labor was accomplished, it was time to plant. We decided on cantaloupe and watermelon for the sandier rows, and corn and spaghetti squash for the other longer rows. Beans and green pepper went in the next row, followed by kale, chard, lettuce, mustard greens and spinach. The last two smaller rows included beets, carrots and eggplant, and lastly we planted white pumpkins in our snake row. Austin used his ‘arm length’ method to help us with the spacing of our plants, while Cody leaned against his hoe and supervised (very hard work indeed). We could always count on ‘story time with Cody Watkins’ to lighten the mood and provide quality entertainment.
Now our garden has expanded by approximately 1900 square feet, making it a total of 5700 square feet! We are super excited for this new addition, which should yield some great produce for the late summer and early autumn.
It has been such a pleasure being a part of this fantastic program so far. Seeing the garden grow, learning from Jann, and getting to know the student interns has provided me with a happy and fulfilling summer start. I’m looking forward to another couple months of excitement and growth from the plants, my coworkers, and myself!
(Photo credit: Andrea Becker & Sasha Mitrofanenko)