Posts tagged ‘weather’

Our Early Spring

The rain waters the seedlings, young food plants, and perennials today. Meanwhile, the blustery wind tests the strength of the young plants, flowers, and new fences. The humans rest today after two weeks of working the land.

Last week while the sun shined, Don Domingo swept and maintained the sidewalk around the garden. The foilage he found, augments his beach sand soil. The blue jays arrived in search for corn kernels. Young finches spent their time eating something the human eye cannot perceive. The humans provided corn kernels and other feed to the local pigeon population. The monarchs, swallowtails, and other local butterflies ate and fluttered through  out our land. As the nectar matures, hummingbirds feast. Hummingbirds and other birds also rest and bathe in the land of our community garden, El jardin.

Over the past week many gardeners tended to their land by cleaning the weeds, tilling the soil, and planting seeds and young plants. So far in our early spring, the following plants grow: indigenous maíz, nopales, various types of onions, beans, various types of lettuce, chamomile, comfrey, our perennial herbs, roses and gladiolas. Fava beans from the winter fallow remain on part of our land. The beans continue to provide nitrogen for our soil. The peach and plum trees blossoms fly and land throughout our land providing nutrients for the soil and beauty for our spirits. Also, our pines drop their needles to augment our soil.

Due to an extremely dry winter for our coastal redwood town, the gardeners planted a few weeks earlier then we usually do. Generally, we fallow our land in the winter due to the excessive rain fall of our location, a neighbor to the Redwood Forrest. This warmer drier year brings a hopeful promise of a larger yield of food, more bbqs, as well as, a healthy harvest of warmer weather crops. In addition, to our usual harvest of indigenous maíz , beans, summer squash, nopales, onions, chayotes, plums, and perennial herbs, we hope to have  stronger harvest of warmer weather crops such as: chiles, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.

All but one of our plots have caretakers. All of us hope a strong gardener can take over the neglected plot. In El jardín, we enact traditional organic practices. One fallow piece of land attracts pests, such as snails, and compromises our diligent organic farming practices.  At the same time, a neglected plot reminds us what the land would look like with out a garden at all –an ugly piece of land full of weeds! A neglected piece of land reminds us of the strong work we do. This land awaits a loving caretaker.

Our early spring in El jardín finds a friend in hope, promise, and hard work! As current food systems force people to purchase and consume genetically-modified-organism-food, our work with the land enables us to eat and live healthfully. We practice traditional methods of farming, despite the coercion of companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations, who force farmers and food consumers to use toxic seeds and food. Our work and our praise for Mother Earth, creates healthy eco-systems and food systems. Happy spring and happy planting to all of us!

March 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Winter Gardening

It’s time to start preparing your land for the next years planting cycle.  Pull out the big weeds first, then dig in the softer ones to help build your soils.  If you planted a cover crop  this winter (such as the fava beans seen below) its almost time to turn them into the soil.  Cover crops nourish the life giving microbes in the soil; these microbes infuse the soil with rich nitrogen compounds that plants love.  If your cover crops go to seed they will use up the nitrogen.; so chop down your cover crop after they flower but before they form seed pods.  You can either dig the cover crop into the soil, or remove them and compost them separately.

February 12, 2012 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Winter Season

As the days shorten and the shadows lengthen the garden undergoes a transformation from a place of productivity to a place of rest.  The last of the summer harvest comes in the form of a few squash and some tasty carrots. (more…)

December 14, 2011 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Clearing the land

Now is the ideal time to clear the land you are planning to plant this year.  One to two weeks after a rainstorm the soil will be the ideal moisture for tilling.  If you are not sure if its ready, go out and try a few scoops.  If the dirt is too moist it will be hard to work in and stay in big clumps when you turn it.  If it is too dry it will be very hard.  To maximize you work, turn the soil when it is still slightly moist from the rain.  Start by pulling out the big burly weeds, and removing any stones, roots, or debris found in your plot.  Use a shovel to dig down and scoop out a trench at one end of your parcel.  Scoop a shovelful of dirt from the edge of the trench closest to you and turn it over in a way that breaks up any large clumps.  Continue down the trench to the end of the parcel.  Repeat until the whole parcel has been tilled.  Finally, use a rake to level out your plot.  Now your garden is ready to plant.

February 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment

Winter Planting

The Beach Flats Garden is a beautiful community garden located in Santa Cruz California.  We are lucky enough here to be able to grow some winter crops including lettuce broccoli  artichokes kale and chard.  The kale and chard planted in the spring or summer will survive all winter giving us tasty fresh greens.  Artichokes are perennials that require very little work besides harvesting.  Beginning in February one can start lettuce and broccoli seeds indoors for transplant.  Ambitious gardeners wishing to get a jump on tomato season can start their tomato seeds indoors in February.  Nurturing the little tomato plants through the winter will make them grow big and strong in time for a spring transplant.

January 31, 2011 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

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