Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Building the Tipi Trellis

Inspired by tipi trellises that Tory built in urban community gardens back in Providence, RI, we decided to put one in the courtyard. The kids will be able to go inside of it and hopefully enjoy some shade provided by peas and climbing beans. We planted the peas we'd been growing in the greenhouse and found that we had some peapods (below). We had help building and planting from some neighborhood kids who stopped by to see what we were doing. They thought the peas tasted great too!

More Pictures From the Workparty!

One of our supervisors and a co-founder of Montana FoodCorps, Crissie McMullan, came to our Workparty and sent us some pictures. Above is a shot of Tory, Robin, and Jean in the garden after a long, successful day of work. Below left, Robin is digging in a bed in the courtyard to make room for the mint and chamomile. Below right, Tory, Jean and a local high school student are planting corn.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Workparty Success!

Our WorkParty was on Saturday and it was a great success! We had 20 people throughout the day and got a lot done. With all the extra hands we got five planters (below, left) filled with peppers, tomatoes, French tarragon, and marigolds (to keep the bugs away). We also used the rototiller and got the raspberries planted (below, right). We cleared space in the courtyard and planted corn, sunflowers, delphinium, mint, chamomile, and more marigolds (far below, left). It felt great to have so many people in the garden and we couldn't believe how fast the work got done with so many extra hands. If you missed the workparty but still want to see the garden, come by any week day, we're usually around 9-5 or leave a comment on the blog!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Garden Growth

The weather has heated up here in Somers and the plants are starting to perk up. Our squash plants have a ton of blossoms on them (above), we have our first tomato ripening (below right), our first potato is leafing out the side of one of the potato towers (below left), and the lettuce and carrots are growing happily (below center). We are looking forward to our first Work Party this Saturday, July 23, 10 am- 3pm. Come by and see the plants, get your hands dirty and enjoy the beautiful weather! Bring water and garden gloves and a spade if you have one, and invite your family, friends and neighbors. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Fence Is Finally Done!

Today we completed one of the most difficult tasks to date, we completed installing the chain link fence! This involved pounding in metal fence posts and lashing the chain link panels to the posts (no easy feat for just two people, on a slope, with donated materials). Though it was stressful at times, we're glad that it will keep the deer out of the garden. Robin was here to help and took a picture of us "stuck" in the garden as a thunderstorm was threatening.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We're on the Fence!

Although it may not look much like a garden right now, we're on the home stretch! After some initial difficulty, we started to put up our chain link deer fence (thanks to Tim Rogge for donating the fence panels and expertise!). Once the fence is complete we will be able to remove the remay cloth from the beds and our plants will be able to get some direct sunlight! Yesterday we also patched the drip irrigation system in the flower garden in front of the school. The delphinium are blooming and we pulled out a bunch of weeds to let the flowers thrive!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Additions and Revisions

We'd love to say that everything works perfectly the first time, but that's not the way that gardening (or most of life) goes. After the weekend, we returned to find that we'd built the Leaning Tower of Potatoes. Concerned that it would topple downhill, we decided to build a second tower and split the original one in half. We also added extra supports on the sides, hopefully this will keep the towers vertical!

Our peas are some of the few plants still in the greenhouse, but they are doing well. Today they sprouted their first blossom (below left). In the beds we also have some new blossoms, including two on our jalepeno plant, which is also sprouting a pepper (below right).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Building a Potato Tower

Inspired by the Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco, today we built a Potato Tower. Instead of planting potatoes in a traditional manner, in a potato tower you plant them vertically in a tower made of chicken wire and straw. We layered seed potatoes and topsoil into the tower. In the picture above you can see the first layer of potatoes we put down. Below (left) is the tower as we are building it, and on the right is the finished product. Hopefully soon the potatoes will start leafing out the sides!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Work Party!

Now that we have our garden beds planted, we'd like to welcome everyone to join in the fun and get your hands dirty. Volunteers are welcome at any time, you can usually find us on the South Slope of the Somers School weekdays 9-5. We are also having a Work Party on Saturday July 23, 10am- 3pm. You can come whenever you like and stay as long as you like. Bring your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and anyone else. We'll be on the South Side of the Somers School, at 315 School Addition Road. Don't miss this great opportunity to have fun outdoors and help the community!

For more information you can email Tory at or Jean at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All Six Beds Planted!

Today was so exciting, we got all 6 beds planted! We planted tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, pumpkins, zucchini, hubbard squash, jalepenos, habanero peppers, chard, more carrots and lettuce, and basil. We picked our first strawberries today and they were delicious!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Dirt Is In!

Today we hit a milestone, we got all six beds filled with straw, manure and soil! Although it was back-breaking work, we're glad to have it done! It also meant that today we got to start planting. We filled one bed with lettuce, spinach and carrots. We then covered the bed with remay cloth to protect the plants from deer and too much sun. It was a windy afternoon and the remay kept billowing up, so we decided to only plant one bed today. Although things rarely go as planned, we're thrilled that our garden is starting to really look like a garden!