As students settle into the full swing of the fall semester, the interns of the TJDG heartily join back into the rhythm of the garden. Lily, Kari, and I ventured out this Sunday to complete a few necessary tasks.
The passionflower plants are gaining flowers each day, and soon the fruit will be ripe! Marissa, Chelsea, and Emily especially love eating the sweet, strange fruit because it is unlike any other we have tried.
Once again, we found that the sesame plants were falling over and needed a more stable way to be staked. With four tall bamboo poles on each of the bed’s longer sides, we reigned in the unruly plants with twine. Hopefully this time they can stay inside the bed and grow in a more vertical direction!
The sunflower plants suffered from the heat and sun these past few weeks and needed to be taken out. With much effort and a few trips to the compost pile, we succeeded in removing their very thick and incredibly tall stalks. Now in their place is an empty bed, opening a wider view of the cotton and Jerusalem artichoke to the left, which we also pruned a little to keep it from encroaching on the peanut beds.
Even though the sunflower plants had to be removed, we managed to save a few seeds we might possibly use next year. However, research into another variety of sunflower–possibly one that is smaller, hardier, and can still be used to make dye–would be worthwhile for next year’s garden. In addition, a few sunflowers will brighten my dorm room as I study this week!
Exciting events are approaching this coming week for the TJDG as well. This coming Saturday, the TJDG will be tabling at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. The day will be an opportunity to spread the word about the TJDG as well as network with other gardeners, food historians, farmers, and more!
In addition, this Wednesday, Lily is hosting an illustrated lecture for the board of UVa’s Blandy Experimental Farm. She will be discussing great information about Thomas Jefferson’s botanical garden plans and the Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden. Immediately following will be a guided tour of the TJDG to display these details in action today. The talk begins at 1:15 at the Harrison Institute auditorium if you would like to attend. Good luck to Lily and great job!