IATP 2009 Staff Garden wrap-up
IATP's Emily Barker—a flagship member of our Garden Crew—reports on the 2009 staff garden. Be sure to see our Facebook Staff Garden photo album!
The harvest this summer in the IATP staff garden was one of true beauty and bounty. Several weeks saw an abundance of tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, basil, kale and chard, along with a good showing of cucumbers and eggplants. The carrots were a bit on the short side, but they were very tasty. The beans grew quite well, but were overtaken by the towering tomato plants, and therefore weren’t harvested before they became too woody to eat. Powdery mildew, mosaic virus and the ever present squirrels provided challenges, but reminded us of the reality of growing food in a sustainable, non-chemical-laden way. The reward was unforgettable.
The season came to an end in early October, when freezing temperatures hit much of Minnesota. We were able to do a pre-frost dash to salvage many good sized, but not quite ripe tomatoes, and had a wonderful feast of fried green tomatoes. The snow a few days later forced us to finally admit that it was time to prepare the garden for a long winter sleep, although the kale, chard and ever hardy sage are still standing. Soon even these will be put to rest and all that will remain will be our memories (see our pictures on Facebook) and dreams of seasons to come.
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