Monday, April 9, 2018

In the Kitchen Garden on April 7

Although it was chilly, Els, Jane Ann, Marcelo, Iris, and Susan met at the garden on Saturday morning to continue preparations for the coming season. As we dug and hauled wheelbarrows full of compost and wood chips, it suddenly didn’t seem chilly at all!

We did some work on individual beds—pulling weeds, adding compost and dirt from the dirt pile, and pondering when and where to plant vegetables and flowers—but we mostly turned our attention to the common areas. We enlarged the bed that runs parallel to the street by digging up the crabgrass and moving the stone edge back. All the areas we cleared either became part of the garden bed or were covered with layers of wet cardboard and then wood chips to keep the crabgrass and weeds from returning, as well as to make it look nice. We’ve made good dents in the wood chip and dirt piles over the last few weeks—altho the photo of the wood chip pile doesn’t show this as dramatically as I had hoped.

Back against the fence, we noticed some old Brussels sprout plants that had never reached their full potential in the fall but had lived on thru the winter as funky looking green stalks topped by a bunch of leaves with a teeny, tiny Brussels sprout below each leaf. Els, ever resourceful, had pulled one out last week and chopped the leaves up for a salad. She pulled the remaining ones and we divided them up. Els' recipe included kalamata olives, fennel, radishes and a Greek dressing. I added shredded grilled chicken, grated carrot, avocado and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. It was delicious!

Soon we will start planting some greens. Crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and the like will need to wait till the end of May. It’s great to be working together in the fresh air in the Kitchen Garden once again. Our next workshop with Claudia Joseph of the NY Permaculture Exchange will be on Saturday morning, April 28.

- Iris

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