More of the summer produce is ripening in the Urban Demonstration Garden this week and there are new changes in the garden nearly every day. The cantaloupe is getting bigger, the peanuts are sending down shoots, and the broccoli is sprouting florets. Okra, tomatoes and beans are new on the menu.
While some plants are just getting started in the garden, some are growing wild! The cucumber trellises have put the garden team in a pickle because they have produced so many branches that they simply don’t fit in their bed. This is really a great problem to have because the harvest is bountiful, so the output is worth the mess. The Little Leaf variety of pickling cucumbers was bred for its high yield. Can you believe this entire bed started with only 6 seeds?
The garden’s yardlong beans are also nearing their peak in production. These “bean snakes” are prepared exactly like a dry bean (kidney or black beans). They may look exotic and wild, but they’ll taste just like the beans sold in the grocery store. The garden team chose to grow these Red Noodle beans in an effort to grow as many beans that can be grown per planting space. It’s a simple equation: if one seed produces one plant and Plant A produces 3 times as much food as Plant B, a grower with enough space for only one seed should plant the seed from Plant A.
The transition from summer-harvest to fall is continuing this week with the addition of the spaghetti squash. This delicious member of the gourd family is replacing the lettuce that bolted a few weeks ago. Its presence will diversify the soil, replenishing it with nutrients the lettuce didn’t have and taking away nutrients the lettuce didn’t need.
Tomato Harvest Party
This week the garden team is hosting a Tomato Harvest Party, along with a group from GE Capital for a mass harvest of all the tomato and pepper plants. All of this produce is going to be used to whip up fresh salsa for Capital Area Food Bank’s annual staff picnic, and created in our Learning Kitchen by David Poms, Interim Director of Education at the food bank.
For more information about current opportunities for volunteering in the garden, harvesting fresh produce, or learning about how the garden is run, please contact Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.