Ramella Park Garden of Eatin’ has witnessed some early growth this year. During our first meeting for potential gardeners this year we had a extra large turnout. Being able to supply backyard gardeners and community gardeners alike with seeds to plant is always an exciting time for us. Knowing that they are going to be able to feed themselves and share with their community any extra bounty is thrilling in itself. The high tunnels were recovered in late fall and have been very useful this winter for greens and onions. Our typical crop of kale is being its usual self and clothed in abundance but not nearly as abundant as the Ovation Greens Mix that is filling up our first tunnel.
We were able to harvest 24 pounds of this beautiful green mix last week where I am sure it was used as a base for many tasty salads and sandwiches. The greens and the onions are being planted in succession this year and we have had a steady crop of them and carrots as well since late fall. The addition of peas to the high tunnels as early crop has taken off also. They are climbing their way to the top of their little trellis now and coming along nicely to be ready in time for our opening weekend of the Farmers Market.
We have tidied up a lot in the last few weeks and helped some residents plant along with welcoming new groups to the garden for volunteer opportunities. We recently had two plots rented by a substance abuse recovery program called “Fresh Start” which focuses on furthering education for people who are in recovery. Their other primary focus is agriculture, mainly gardening for therapy, nourishment and eventually entrepreneurship opportunities. The group has also decided they would like to help improve anything they can in the garden and are hoping to build picnic tables and numbered plaques for the beds. It is a welcome addition for the community to see people in recovery reinvesting themselves in the community and getting to know them as the people they are now.
The upcoming months will feature new things in the gardens, an Earth Day Celebration is planned for this weekend complete with planting , crafting and fresh vegetable consumption. In the works for the summer is also a new garden camp for kids aptly named, “Learn, Play, Grow.” Students of the garden camp will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of soil, water, and sun in the plant life cycle. They will plant their own square foot space and of course they will play in the garden, what good is summer if you can’t get your hands and feet dirty??