Friday, April 8, 2016

Kitchen Garden update - April 2, 2016

Marcelo, Mark, Iris and I met on this slightly wet Saturday morning to receive a batch of new soil. We look forward to our first Kitchen Garden gathering next Saturday, April 9th from 10 AM to noon. This year, family plots have been assigned to Blanca S, Susan C, Iris H, Linda H, Sam B, and Linda MC. But everybody is welcome at the garden--about half of the garden is a communal area tended to by volunteer gardeners (with help from family plot holders!) It is a great way to learn about gardening among friends. We decide collectively what to grow and how to distribute the harvest--and a good portion goes to the Dobbs Ferry food pantry.

Also, last Thursday the Dobbs Ferry Middle School Gardening Club stopped by the Kitchen Garden to help seeding lettuce and other veggies for the garden, and to help with garden maintenance, including clearing the Labyrinth Garden.

More about our soil situation: Our garden had lost quite a bit of soil over the growing seasons. So last year we had purchased topsoil from Westwood Organics to increase the soil depth, but it turned out to be of poor quality: hardly any organic matter and no clay, both of which are essential for good plant nutrition (see our gardening class summaries for more info on good soils for growing healthy plants). In fact, Iris had taken some of this soil to replenish her potted plants and ended up stressing or killing several of them.

Covering the soil in anticipation of more rain and winds.
After consulting with Master Gardener Suzi Novak, and considering our options, we found a local farmer, Alan Keeley of Stone Hill River Farms in Bedford, NY. He put together a mixture of minerals and high quality organic compost, which we received on Saturday. The soil looks really nice and we will use it to replenish our beds in the coming days. We hope this new soil will work as well as it looks!

We look forward to seeing you at the garden!

2 comments: