Friday, March 8, 2013

Student Organized Agricultural Project at Evergreen Community Garden

Student Organized Agricultural Project at Evergreen Community Garden
(Part of the Evergreen Community Garden Club, a Registered Student Organization)

Student Operated Agricultural Project is a GO for Year Two*.
*Garden Tip #1: Until the soil dries out more, the best way to take care of the soil is to leave it alone
Working on wet soil will compact it, killing the soil food web and making later work even harder.

Some of the 2012 S.OA.P. members, breaking ground
We have a HUGE plot in Evergreen Community Gardens dedicated to people who do not want an individual plot, but still want to get their hands dirty at Evergreen’s garden. It works great for anyone who thinks they might be gone for part of the summer, isn’t sure they want their own plot, can commit some time, but aren’t sure how much, and people who just like the idea of working on a team in a larger plot, with more crop options.

Last year it was a lot of fun. We started with around 10 gardeners. A few moved out of the area and we ended up with way more of some food than we could use. Some things do really well, and some things kind of flop, so we learn as we go. Every season is different and there are no “experts”.
Gardener Ashley with Baby Sunflower
  •  10 to 20 gardeners
  • Regularly scheduled meetings especially during the planning and work party stages, but come and go as you please.
  • Everyone who participates shares in the harvest
  • As of today the soil is still too wet to work but there are several things we can start on.

  • Here is a general list of gardeny things we can do:
  • Get together and create our crop plan
    • Go through seed catalogs
    • Decide what we want to plant (so we can get seeds) and where we want to plant them (crop rotation from last year)
    • Draw a plan on garden map
    • Make a “To Do” check list to help guide gardeners who come at different times
    • Starting seed in homemade paper pots
    • Tool familiarization
  • Start seeds in the greenhouse (can start now, on-going through the season)
    • Some good things to start now are hearty greens (kale, collards etc), onions, etc. 
      •     Working the soil – creating seed beds
    Bean Trellis - Before
    Bean Trellis - During
    • Clear out old beds
    • Dig and/or double dig
    • Add soil amendments (compost, etc.)
    • Let rest for a week or so, then
    • Plant our starts

  • Garden Feng Shui
    • Creative use of space
    • Vertical gardening
    • Shape of the beds
    • Ornamental/Insectary borders (flowers and herbs)
Rose, holding one of the many harvest baskets
  • Culinary herb patch
    • What herbs do we want to grow
  • Tending and maintenance
    • Watering
    • Weeding
    • Thinning
    • Pruning
    • Snacking
    • Harvesting
    • Garden Potlucks
  • Helping with Community Garden upkeep
    • Doing our part for the larger garden
    • Pitching ideas/helping out with Harvest Festival

 The S.O.A.P. garden group is forming now. There is still time to sign up. The first step is to
put together an Interest List.

All interested people should contact garden coordinator, Ali M. at and she will compile a list of people interested in the Community Plot, or contact Matthew at . Our first preliminary planning meeting will be some time in late March - we are waiting to see what the status of the greenhouse expansion project is.

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