Last week, Chelsea and I headed out on a Saturday to beat some Sunday rain. There was SO much work to be done before the end of the semester so we set to it right away!
First we tied up the hops plants—finally! They have been growing with fervor and we need to give them some vertical twine to follow in order to create our hops trellis. Because they are in their second year, they’ve established themselves and grown much better than last year. We strung up the twine in diagonal patterns that made triangles, using two or three strings per side. Hopefully this is much stronger than last year, when the twin snapped after it eroded. Chelsea and I carefully coaxed the hops plants around the twine. This was fairly easy to do; hops have bines, which have stiff hairs that stick to whatever they are climbing. This compares to vines, which “which use tendrils, suckers, and other appendages for attaching themselves” (see source below). When hops have nothing to grow up on vertically, they shoot out tendrils horizontally—which is why it was crucial for us to get this up soon!
Additionally, Chelsea and I built a few more beds, such as where the peanuts will grow. Bed-building is the hardest work of the year, with digging up the dirt, mixing in compost, and making sure they are level.
During this week, I made a new poster for the TJDG whenever we have a networking or advertising opportunity. Fortunately, I had four days of not needing to prepare for exams and recovering from other final projects so this was feasible. The rest of the interns were in the thick of studying and finishing projects! Our old poster was beautiful, but needed a little updating with newer pictures. I combined pictures I had taken with some of Rachael’s beautiful close up shots.
This Sunday, the whole crew arrived at the garden ready to work! Checking in with the current state of the garden, we noticed that so many things are growing well!
The salsify has grown to about three feet! It’s absolutely beautiful. A lot of the plants have flowers now and others will blossom soon; aside from the maypop flowers, these are some of my favorite.
The calendula that we planted a few weeks ago is thriving–we even have the first flower!
The paw paw trees transplanted well and now have some blooms!
The passionflower have finally sprung up; they took a little longer than the rest of the garden but soon they will be climbing upwards! It’s fascinating to see them up close.
We’ve had to “weed out” the Jerusalem artichokes because they have grown so well.
The tansy is also looking fresh, healthy, and full.
Additionally, we don’t weed the johnny jump-ups in the garden but leave them around for a bit of color. Recently they’ve sprouted up a lot.
We were all thrilled to see that the hops took to the twine with gusto! It’s really amazing how in only a week they have trained themselves to grow around the twine strands.
We have worked hard these last few weeks in order to prepare for today: PLANTING DAY! This is definitely my favorite part of the entire season. We weeded through the beds first and added compost to a few more. Weeding through the field extension took quite a long time; however, planting red clover and buckwheat there will improve the soil so that next year we can possibly have a corn maze there! The buckwheat we planted a few weeks ago has grow up quite nicely.
Here’s the rest of the seeds we planted this Sunday:
The cotton went in the back corner bed where the corn used to be. Kari and I love planting the cotton seeds because they are so fluffy still!
Wheat went into the bed next to the hops. We also planted indigo, which Lily had cultivated at CHP first.
Fennel plants, which Lily had also grown for us already, were planted into the bed right next to the passionflower trellis.
Peanuts will find a new home in the two beds in the middle.
To finish everything off, Kari and I watered the garden. Now that everything is thirsty, watering is quite a task. On a side note, the TJDG looks forward to welcoming two new interns this summer to keep our garden thriving! There will be more updates on that soon.
Overall, the garden is looking so great!
Today was my last day in the garden; fortunately, Chelsea, Lily, Marissa, and possibly Kari will be able to have another work day next weekend. Unfortunately, I have to drive back home to Ohio next Friday so this last work day was very bittersweet. I can’t wait to see how the garden looks when I come back in August! Working here is such a blissful escape from school work. Also, Chelsea is graduating this year and this was my last work day with her–I am going to miss her positive presence so much! She has done crazy amounts of work for this garden. I admire her greatly for all her accomplishments as well as her beautiful, positive, creative spirit that never wavers. She has been such an inspiration to all of the interns and we will miss her so much next year! We love you Chelsea!
Have a great summer!