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Teaching Garden Update 10/2

It is officially fall and along with our usual donation harvest this week we have been busy planting out our fall crops.

This week we planted Spinach,

Collard Greens,


and Kale (not pictured)! Soon these baby plants will be big enough to harvest.

This week our visiting students helped to plant our Broccoli! These students got a chance to plant Broccoli, learn about compost by sifting and spreading it on our beds, water our plants with rainwater, and took a tour where they learned about everything growing and got a chance to pick some fruits and vegetables. See how excited they were to show off their freshly picked radishes and green beans!

If you are interested in bringing your children or students to the teaching garden for some hands-on environmental education, register for a trip here! There are still spaces open on Monday October 19th, and 26th.

This week we donated about 230 pounds of produce to Chilis on Wheels. This week our donation included...

50 pounds of Swiss Chard, 40 pounds of Collard greens, 1 pound of Sage, 10 pounds of Sweet Potato Greens, 10 pounds of Kale,

17 pounds of Cherry Tomatoes,

21 pounds of Radishes,

21 pounds of Beets,

20 pounds of Green Beans, and 10 pounds of Peppers (4 lbs of hot and 6 lbs of sweet). Here is also a beautiful cross section of a Watermelon Radish!

This week in the garden we also harvested sweet potatoes! Hence the sweet potato greens in our donation. Our sweet potatoes probably could have spent a little more time in the ground but they were getting eaten up by some garden pest (i'm looking at you squirrels and rats 👀). So we decided to take them out a little early. We harvested about 50 pounds of sweet potatoes!

Some of them were even larger than this one pictured! They are not quite ready to eat or donate, we will let these sweet potatoes cure for about one or two weeks. This will allow any damage done during the harvesting process (hello pitch fork wounds), and will allow the sugars to develop more fully to make our sweet potatoes nice and sweet!

Lastly, this week we found a Monarch Chrysalis on one of our Swiss Chard leaves. This chrysalis was actually spotted by one of our visiting students. You can see there is a kind of gold metallic ring around the Chrysalis, we thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it here with you.

We had never seen gold on a Monarch chrysalis before and had to do some research to learn a little more about it. Turns out, this coloration may help with camouflage! The gold dots can reflect light to break up the shape of the cocoon, and can even resemble dew droplets. Nature is so cool!

Tune in next week for more updates, and in the meantime enjoy the last few harvests of tomatoes this season just like this Earth Matter chicken.

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