Still Growing

Another sunny week in the garden for us. After a hot Fourth of July, we were able to get to work again and finish up some projects, harvest our food, and share it with friends!

This past Wednesday was a huge Salad Day for us at the permaculture site. We were lucky enough to have veterans, students, staff, faculty, and other special guests join us for lunch. We had a big salad starring our newest crop ready to harvest, beets, as well as fresh and homemade bread, scape pesto, butter featuring garnishes from the garden, and homemade salad dressing - check out this article to learn more about some of our wonderful collaborations down at the garden!

This week was also our first week donating food to the Intervale. The Intervale, located on 180 Intervale Rd off Riverside, is a food hub focused on community food systems. The Intervale provides land for farms and restaurants to grow their own food, and also acts as a central point to distribute CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) out to the greater Burlington Area. We participate in their gleaning program - gleaning refers to the act of gathering food leftover after harvest. The Intervale collects any food that does not sell in market, or that is still edible but may not look market-ready, and gathers it to distribute to families who may not be able to afford a CSA. In this way, the Intervale provides fresh produce to families and fosters the skills of cooking and preparing your own food, which also allows for more autonomy for families in lower economic standings. This goal aligns with our mission here at St. Mike's, so we have been happily partnered with the Intervale for years. Our first donation this season was 66 pounds of food, which will help feed the 150 families participating in the gleaning CSA.

Back at the garden, the food keeps growing. We trellised the cucumbers in the hoop house today, winding them up the twine as far as they could reach. By harvesting the cucumbers as soon as they are ready, and continuing to wind the vine up the twine, we will push the plant to grow up instead of out, meaning that by the end of the season we will have a forest of cucumbers in the hoop house. Unfortunately, we also had to replace a couple of cucumber plants in the hoop house because they were eaten by woodchucks! The woodchucks have claimed the field as well, so our solution was to build a wall. We erected an electric fence around the perimeter of the plots in remembrance of the sunflowers lost last night, and in hopes that the woodchucks would get the message.

As always, the Permaculture Site is open to everyone Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 8:00-3:00. Please come down whenever you are free to help out or to just enjoy the space! On Wednesdays 12:30-1:00, we will be having salad days. Salad from the garden, fresh bread, and homemade butter, bring your own bowl! In addition, there will be a self-serve farmstand in the Center for Women and Gender 9:00-4:00 most days. We will be having our big Farmstand every Thursday 11:00-1:00 outside Alliot, please stop bye and say hello! 
- Erin

 (Not our picture, but looks like our woodchuck)


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