Article submitted by garden interns Zoe Huston ’15 and Gabe Block ’15
After a long and wonderful season, we are wrapping things up at the Colgate Community Garden. We were able to grow vegetables right up until the end of October (thank you Hamilton, NY for providing us with those few extra weeks of sunshine) and implemented a number of new projects during the fall season. We finally had to pull the pumpkins, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a few remaining root vegetables. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the fall growing season:
Community Garden Farm Stand
In an effort to bring fresh and homegrown produce to students up the hill, the garden interns set up a weekly farm stand in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop). The interns harvested, weighed, and washed the produce on Sunday afternoons and displayed it for sale from 11:00-12:30 every Monday in the Coop. A wide variety of produce was available each week, ranging from the famously delicious cherry tomatoes to the more obscure daikon radishes. An assortment of lettuces, herbs, peppers, and cucumbers were also available for purchase. To make veggies more accessible to students, customers had the option to pay directly with their ‘Gate Card. Proceeds went to the community garden, and excess produce was donated to the Hamilton Food Cupboard. Be on the lookout for a Farm Stand again in the Spring!
Green Thumbs Work Parties
The Green Thumbs club was able to come down to the garden a few times this semester to work on larger scale projects. In October, the club helped lay down recycled cardboard to create walking paths around the herb garden and between beds. We used wood chips that had been washed up from the flooding during the summer to cover the cardboard and mark the pathways. The Thumbs were also able to help harvest produce for the Monday farm stands in the Coop.
Cold Frame Project
In order to extend the garden’s relatively short season (even shorter no thanks to the flood!), the Community Garden teamed up with Green Thumbs to build cold frames. These are structures that are built around the garden to help plants continue to grow even as it gets colder outside – almost like mini green houses. They can be made from miscellaneous materials and built right over existing crops. We built two different styles of cold frames; one with panels and a hinged lid, and one made of a frame of hay bales with two windows resting on top. Two weeks after building the cold frames and planting seeds, our first seedlings appeared! We will be checking in on them throughout the winter and early spring to see how they fare in the cold weather.