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Teaching Garden Update 10/1

Happy October! Here at the Teaching Garden we are transitioning to a fall and winter garden - we are removing summer crops and adding quick fall crops like these lettuce heads.

We also planted our first rows of cover crop, which usually signals the beginning of the end of the growing season. This year we are using a mixture of oats to help suppress weeds and reduce erosion, and peas to fix nitrogen into the soil. Both plants can be cut up and used to add organic matter back to our beds in the spring. And as an added bonus, pea shoots are edible! We have covered up this bed to prevent birds from eating all these delicious seeds before they have a chance to germinate.

We are excited to announce that we are going to try our hand at winter growing this year! We have cleared out our neglected hoop house (yes, there was a full mulberry tree growing in there) in preparation for adding some milk crates full of plants. Spring cleaning is great, but have you tried fall cleaning?

(Click on the thumbnail on the bottom to see the 'after' photo)

We are also starting to build some cold frames to fit on our existing raised beds, and plan to simply cover others, like our swiss chard, with row cover to shield it from the cold. We hope you will follow along with our experiments in winter growing!

During this busy time of year we are extra grateful to have corporate volunteer groups as well. These past few weeks we have had extra hands help with everything from building frames for cold frames, weeding and mulching, to harvesting herbs and bunching greens for donations. Huge thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers for spending the day with us, helping us prepare for winter, and humoring nosy chickens!

Of course we had a donation last week to Black Feminist Project, totaling about 200 pounds including swiss chard, collard greens, kale, carrots, green beans, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, and herbs including parsley, basil, chives, and scallions.

This week we donated just over 250 pounds to Chilis on Wheels including cherry tomatoes, leeks, sweet and hot peppers, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, sweet potato greens, zucchini, carrots, parlsey, chives, and oregano.

We also had another visit from BloomAgainBklyn. Many people think of flowers in the summer, but many flowers will continue blooming well into the fall - check out our beautiful zinnias!

The monarch butterflies are also really enjoying our flower garden at this time of year.

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