Greetings from the Urban Demonstration Garden - Capital Area Food Bank
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Greetings from the Urban Demonstration Garden

By Katelynn-Marie Griner August 8, 2015

Most of the garden plants are currently ripe, but here are a few especially spectacular treats that are ready this week:

  • Jalapeños aren’t only good as poppers. These spicy little veggies are also delicious raw on salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget to save the flakes (the seeds) to add some kick to your marinara.
  • The sun has powered the tomatoes to grow into magnificent, sprawling bushes and the team’s consistent watering through the heat and dry days has helped the plants grow smooth, luscious fruit. This is a good example of how a grower’s job dovetails and compliments the work that plants and Mother Nature are already doing.
  • In the garden, cantaloupe has started ripening just across the walkway from the cucumbers, but they share more than greenspace. Although cantaloupe (or cucumis melo) may look more like a small, gray watermelon it is more closely related to the cucumber (or cucumis sativus).

The soil continues to turn as the garden team preps for even more fall plants. This week, the team is planting lettuce, radishes, and a second round of peas.

Jalafuego Jalapeño
Mountain Magic Tomatoes
Athena Cantaloupe

Second wave of lettuce and peas
But didn’t we just finish eating all the lettuce and radishes? Yes, but there’s even more to come! In D.C., the conditions for growing lettuces and radishes are favorable at the beginning and end of the growing season but are too hot and harsh at the height of summer (think back to the blooming, bolted lettuce). In order to grow as much lettuce as possible, the team is planting more lettuce that will thrive in the cooler months after the summer heat begins to wane.
And didn’t we just plant peas last week? Of course, but there’s no such thing as too much peas! This is an example of succession planting – another gardening technique that makes use of a plant’s entire window of growing opportunity. By planting a few more peas every week for the next few weeks, the garden will have a longer period of harvest resulting in more fresh peas to donate to partners.
Come Volunteer
If you are interested in joining the garden team, learning more about plants, dirt, bees, or growing food, or want to experience the garden for yourself, there are many ways you can get involved. Contact Katelynn-Marie Griner at to learn more about growing your own food, participate in growing food or try any of the foods we’re growing.