June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well practiced in the art of patience, we interns were finally able to start tilling the 2nd half of the Chipeta quad in preparation for the new hoop house. Facing only minor difficulties using a till rented from Crested Butte that seemed to have a life of its own, we were able to finish the whole plot, as well as start placing soil from Western Facilities’ boneyard. Things are seeming to take shape and we are well on our way to creating a campus food forest!
June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
This will be my first blog post for the 2012 WSC garden internship. I would like to talk a little bit about weeds and frost because I observed that weeds help young veggies beat the frost. Even Masanobu Fukuoka in “One Straw Revolution” believes that when “vegetables grow up with the weeds . . . [the vegetables] are stronger than most people think” (66). I feel like weeds growing wild in the garden should not be feared because they provide the vegetables with competition, a temperature buffer, a distraction from the pests, better flavor, and they even help prevent soil erosion. I am even led to believe that a canopy of weeds creates a desireable environment for mycelium and mushrooms to grow and thrive amungst the vegetables (although I have not experimented with inoculating the soil yet). A garden with weeds here and there should also prevent rapid evaporation because they provide shade that would otherwise not be there. But, it is hard to say whether or not weeds would help the gardener save water. Now, I am not saying that weeds completely taking over the garden are good for the productivity of the vegetables, but I am suggesting that some weeds, a little here and a little there, to cover up the bare spots of the garden, could help protect and produce stronger vegetables.
Now here is what I observed. I left Gunnison for one week to hike Mt. Whitney with my dad and a few friends from June 3 – 10. Before I left, there were very few weeds in my garden. When I got back, there was a forest of weeds taking over my raised bed. I could not even spot one vegetable in the madness. I arrived late the night of the tenth, so I did not have time to pull the weeds as soon as I saw them (maybe a blessing in disguise). I also had work the next day, and the day after that for about 10 hours or so. After each work day I was simply too exhausted to pull these weeds. Little did I realize, the overnight lows were around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. I had no time to cover the garden even if I knew the temperatures were going to drop. I ended up pulling the weeds after this frost and found that only 3 of my zucchini got hit by the frost and 2 of my yellow squash (all of which did not have many weeds surrounding them). The 3 zucchini have come back, and are loving the sunshine. I only lost the 2 yellow squash. This same frost took out a few rows at the N. Boulevard garden! I don’t know exaclty what saved my vegetables from the frost, but I have a good hunch the weeds played a big part in keeping them warm.
June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
Be aware of overnight lows and make sure to pull some weeds any chance you get; the community garden needs our attention.