Erica here with the weekly garden update! It has been an exciting one so far. If you haven’t checked out Hannah’s great write-up of our field trip to the Buckingham Slate Quarry last Tuesday, be sure to check it out – it was quite the highlight of the week!
We also had a lovely time at the Morven Kitchen Garden last Wednesday. A group of garden interns, volunteers, and professors involved in the Hereford gardens converged at Morven to meet the Morven Kitchen Garden’s founder, Michelle Rehme, a recent UVa grad. We traded garden stories, took a tour of the well-kept and productive grounds, admired the chickens, and shared the amazing bounty of our combined harvests! For more information about Michelle’s work and the Morven Kitchen Garden, check out their blog here!
…and our cotton is also doing beautifully! The plants are producing hundreds of bolls, yet still continue to flower. A few of the plants have even reached 5′ tall! Most are very stable, but a few that were getting a little too big for their extensive branching were staked and supported over the course of the week.
We harvested a small amount of salsify, cow peas, and flax seed, and took note of the first appearance of maypops (the fruit of the passionflower plant).
Other plants are also continuing to put on a beautiful show for everyone who happens by the garden.
As for the more challenging news: we’re battling critters again. Squirrels have come out in full force and are ravaging our corn! They are climbing the stalks to get at the ripening corn and, when the stalks can’t support their weight, toppling both the stalk that they are on and often those surrounding them.
Measures have been taken to curb this senseless toppling. On Thursday, Joseph and I set up a containment and support system and were able to support many of the slightly damaged stalks. Hopefully this will prevent more toppling.
Joseph and I also harvested the ripe corn in order to discourage the intrepid and destructive climbers. This particular variety, Virginia White Gourdseed, was historically used to make cornmeal and not generally consumed directly off of the plant. To our surprise, when we tasted it, we found it to be quite delicious! Now I really hope that we are able to keep the squirrels at bay!
On that note – here’s to another successful growing and harvesting week, and as always, contact us with any questions that you may have or come on down to find us in the garden!