It’s the second week of July and we’re still working hard on the garden. Although we started a bit later than expected I’m very excited about this year’s season. We decided to do four different gardening styles this year and it’s great to see the diversity in the garden instead of the traditional tilled flat garden beds. We have four locally made Eco Containers, where I have planted onions, tomatoes, peppers and basil (and one accidental eggplant). We have eight straw bales that have pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers growing in them. We also have included a traditional indigenous companion planting system called a Traditional Three Sister’s Garden that incorporates corn, beans and squash planted together on a mound. Finally, a garden wouldn’t be complete without a standard tilled field housing a variety of plants including corn, squash, beans, lettuce, carrots, potatoes and some flowers.
Our goal for this year’s garden is to get some yield and also to figure out what works best for the land and climate we are working in! It is easy to get discouraged when starting a garden in a new place for the first time where some plants will have more success than others, the soil will need continued work, and it’s difficult to gauge how dry or wet it really is. This is my first time doing a garden and although I have done a lot of research and sought wisdom from lots of gardening extraordinaires, I am promising to be patient with myself this year. At the end of this growing season, I will be making a report on what worked and what didn’t, and from then on at least we’ll have something to take away and use for next year!
Our goal for including our project youth and the Greater Dorchester community in our garden is to teach others what we learn along the way, donate the vegetables at the end of the season, and host community potlucks! We are excited to see the garden, and the Cross-Cultural Youth Project in full bloom!