Yesterday I visited the Impact Community Garden to help with the harvest and answer any questions. The new gardeners there have done a great job with planting, nurturing and weeding, and now it is time to start reaping the bounties of the garden. This is the first year for the garden, and I am serving as the gardening advisor for this project, helping with the growing and planning.
We are growing quite a few different kinds of vegetables. The record rains we have received this year have made for lush growth of all the plants. We have 3 rows of green beans planted, and they are now blooming and loaded with beans.
We have three varieties planted: Contender, Bush Blue Lake, and a French filet bean. The Contenders were ready first, but the other two were not far behind.
One thing on our to-do list was digging the first potatoes. We had over 3 inches of rain the night before, so it was pretty easy to get them out of the ground! We dug enough of the Kennebecs so that all the families could get a good portion of them. We have 6 families sharing in the output of the garden this year. Some of the potatoes were large enough to bake. I bet they would taste good with some of those green beans!
We planted a nice assortment of herbs, including parsley, dill, rosemary, cilantro, sage and a lot of basil. There’s enough basil to make pesto with, if anyone is so inclined. We have several types of green basil, as well as the dark purple basil Amethyst.
And what goes good with basil? Tomatoes, of course, and yesterday we found our first ripe one. It was an Early Girl. The vines are loaded with green tomatoes of every size and shape. We have 20 varieties planted, including slicers, cherry and pear types, and paste tomatoes.
Eggplants are also setting on now, and should be ready for harvest in a few days. We have Dusky and Nadia planted, both are large purple Italian types.
Lately the harvests have also included cucumbers, peppers, yellow squash and zucchini, Swiss Chard and cabbage. We also have sweet potatoes, winter squashes and watermelon planted.
We’re trying to utilize our garden space more efficiently by going vertical with the tomatoes and cucumbers. We’re using tomato cages made from concrete remesh, and we made trellises for the cucumbers made with fencing and some of the leftover remesh. We’ve also got a Tromboncino squash vining up on the fence that surrounds the garden spot.
We planted several hills of Sugar Baby watermelon. The melons are setting on, and sizing up like little bowling balls. They should make for a cool summer treat!
Winter squashes are setting on too. They won’t be ready for harvest for another month or so. We have butternut, acorn and Delicata types planted.
It’s been a real treat for me to work on this project. The enthusiasm of these gardeners is contagious. And yes, you all are now gardeners! We’ve got more work ahead, harvesting, weeding and planting the fall garden. But now they’re into what I consider the real fun of gardening: eating the great tasting veggies!
That’s a look at how the Impact garden is growing here in early July. I’ll be back with more updates later in the season.