Spring 2010: Building, planting, planning, and more!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new blog for the Organic Growers of Ithaca College! Here you will receive updates on all the building, planting, painting, and playing that happens in the on-campus community garden.

What have we been up to?

Last year, we built three 10x30 raised beds for vegetables, a few herb & flower beds, and more. It was a great season and we enjoyed our time learning about horticulture and spending time with great people (and great food!).

However, our plot of land can handle (despite mud and water) much more than three raised beds. Therefore, this spring, we're expanding the plot, replacing all of our old raised beds with local black locust wood, building a sturdier fence, creating a trail to the garden, and starting as many seeds as we can. It's going to be, and has already been, an exciting time--and it's only going to get more fun!

We removed all of the cinder blocks holding together our old raised beds, which made for one of the muddiest days... ever. We still had a lot of fun, and Brian even trudged to a group meeting in the afternoon to display his newly muddied attire.

We've also worked with the fantastic folks of the Ithaca College Grounds Department on creating a trail to the garden. Last weekend, we painted stones that will act as our trail markers. Vegetables and flowers can now guide you to the garden! We created some lovely art of the beautiful heirloom varieties that we plan to grow this summer. Amber won a gold medal for her tasty rendition of Seed Savers Exchange's Gold Medal Tomato. Yum! The paintings definitely made me crave the foods that summer brings. Here's a picture of Emma with some corn that looks good enough to pop.

Now if you need to find the garden, you can just follow the veggie brick road.

This weekend will hold a big build day. From 12-4:00 PM on Sunday, April 18th, we plan to put together half of our raised beds, move some soil around, and tend to the trail a bit more. We'll also paint some more stones during our break. Be sure to bring water, a snack/lunch, and clothes & shoes that can get muddy! You will definitely receive updates after this day, and I can't wait to be a part of the garden's rejuvenation!

What have I forgotten to mention?

Plants! Where are the plants?! Where's the food? This is an edible garden, right?!

Well, of course it is! We have been starting seeds since the end of February. We've started kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, leeks, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil, chamomile, sweet peas, and zinnias in both of the greenhouses on campus. And everybody's looking great and green!

Our student organization, the Organic Growers of Ithaca College, is hosting a Garden Open House & trail walk on Earth Day, April 20th! We will meet at the front of the Park School at 12:00 PM and head down at 12:15. You'll get to hear the history of the garden, our plans for this year & the future, and more! There will also be a seed starting activity with recycled materials--seeds for you to take home and nourish into tasty, beautiful plants. If you plan on coming to this event, PLEASE wear shoes that can get muddy. You can also e-mail us for accommodations.

There are other great Earth Week events that you can view on Intercom. I'd highly recommend the South Hill Maple Syrup Company open house on Saturday, and the Williams Garden cleanup on Monday (that plot will be planted with Three Sisters mounds this year, with the beautiful corn from Emma's painting).

We hope to see you at the work day this Sunday and the Open House tour on Tuesday. Until then, enjoy the plants as they grow and the local food here in Tompkins County as it becomes more and more plentiful. And get your building shoes on for the big raised bed build this weekend!

Eat some kale and smell the daffodils,


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