It’s been a while since I last did an update on the Impact Community Garden, so I thought it was about time to do so. Last month we cleared out the areas that had been planted in potatoes and green beans and I tilled them up to get ready for some fall crops. Then we planted kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, chard and Chinese cabbage. That should make for a lot of greens in the fall and early winter months. I’m hoping we can get some quick growing salad greens and Asian greens planted later in the month. I really like to keep the garden working as much as I can, for as long as I can.
We planted Tuscan Lacinato and Winterbor kale varieties. The Lacinato is already showing its characteristic dark, blistered leaves. I love this kale for cooking, and for making kale chips. The Winterbor is a curly, dwarf type that has also done well for us here at HA. Winterbor can take a lot of cold. It actually survived the winter here last year, and gave us a few early greens this spring before it bolted to seed.
The collard greens are the hybrids Top Bunch and Flash. I’ve grown Flash before, but Top Bunch is new to me. I’ve got both kinds planted here as well. Actually all the fall varieties we planted at Impact are also planted here in our home garden. Collard greens aren’t quite as cold hardy as kale, but they should survive a good bit of freezing weather. Like a lot of greens, the flavor actually improves considerably after the leaves have been frosted on and frozen. I’ve never tried making chips with collards but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I like collards because they are larger growing, and give you more bang for the buck in a given space than kale.
The broccoli plants are a mix of Windsor and Packman varieties. And the cabbages are mostly Parel, which is a small sized fast growing type. The Chinese cabbage is looking great, but it’s got a bit to go before it starts heading up. The variety planted is Soloist.
The rest of the garden is in various stages. The summer squash and cucumbers are done for. There’s a few butternut squash left to harvest, but the vines are done for the year.
Peppers are still hanging on, though some rain would be nice. We’ve had less than an inch here since early July. We’ve had to water parts of the garden to keep it going, especially the fall crops. A thick layer of straw mulch is helping there as well. And tomatoes are still producing. The vines are well out of their cages on most varieties.
That’s a look at what is going on at the Impact garden. With any luck, there will be a lot more vegetables to harvest before the garden is done for the year. We also have sweet potatoes to dig, probably in early October. Then it will be time for cleanup, and to start planning for the 2012 garden. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year since we first brain-stormed this project. Time sure flies, doesn’t it? I hope you enjoyed the update.