February 24th Work Day

What an unbelievably beautiful day we had for our work day yesterday!  With temperatures flirting with the 60s, it was a perfect day to begin preparing the garden for this spring’s crop. At 2:00 the interns, Lily, and two volunteers began weeding and reshaping beds. We started by clearing around the self-sown Nigella sativa that has begun popping up next to the Yucca. It looks like we’ll have a wonderful crop. The seeds of Nigella sativa are present in a lot of middle eastern dishes and are used to treat a number of conditions including those related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal health, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system support.

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The lovely Nigella sativa (commonly known as black cumin or nutmeg flower)

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Hard at work weeding and shaping a bed.

We also spent time digging in the rye cover crops, cutting back the tansy, and clearing off the passion flower vines from the trellis to make room for this year’s young tendrils.

Although it was hard to pull ourselves away from working in the dirt, especially on such a gorgeous winter day, the interns and volunteers spent the last part of the day snacking at the picnic table and doing some research. This year the TJDG will expand beyond its current boundaries.  Part of the expanded area is intended to serve as an experimental plot. So, we spent some time flipping through various garden and plant books, researching potential plants to include in our new plot. While our current garden is unique in that we plant only Jefferson documented plants, the new experimental plot will explore plants that are useful, but not necessarily ones that were documented by Jefferson.

Some favorites that were found include: echinacea, lavender, lemon balm, tarragon, monarda, and witch hazel. If you have any tips regarding any of these plants or if you have any suggestions of other plants to grow, please let us know.

We will be holding another work day next Sunday and look forward to seeing you there!

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