We held our first fabulous farm stand of the season on the evening of Tuesday, July 15th! The Colgate Community Garden Team as a whole would like to give a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by our stand on the porch of 104 Broad to take a taste of our chocolate chip zucchini bread and buy a few fresh veggies and herbs. We are extremely grateful to have the privilege to connect the community to fresh produce from our garden. The farm stand selection included zucchini, squash, peppers, radishes, peas, exactly one cucumber, and a few bunches of herbs. We are happy to report every piece of produce sold. Again, thank you to those who stopped by and gave their support. We are looking forward to having community members over to the garden this fall to help harvest! Happy gardening!
The Colgate Community Garden team would like to give a huge thanks to all the volunteers who have been coming by to visit and lend a hand in the garden. On July 1st, interns and professors from the SOAN department spent the morning helping us paint the greenhouse and plant a flower bed next to our herb garden. The extra sets of hands made the work fly by like a breeze, and we were happy to be able to give a tour of the space and show how its grown in the past few weeks. A huge thanks to department head Professor Chris Henke for putting the work party together!
We’d also like to thank Kathy Harold from the Hamilton Center for the Arts for reaching out to us to do a vertical garden project with the kids at the HCA summer camp! We had a lot of fun teaching the kids about gardening in a small space, and loved hearing about their gardens at home. We used a pallet, landscaping fabric, and chicken wire to create a standing-up space where plant’s roots can roam.
This summer we are enjoying being able to connect with the surrounding community. If you’re interested in visiting the Colgate Community Garden, keep an eye out for volunteer hours or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy gardening!
With a new herb garden installed, plants in the ground, and a cover crop of buckwheat successfully sprouting in the back corner, the community garden has been progressing beautifully. On June 18th, we held our first work party of the season. Approximately 30 attendees helped plant herbs including chives, oregano, mint, and creeping thyme among others. After an hour of work, we had nearly all of our paths mulched, the rows of tomatoes prepared with straw to hold in moisture, and the rock floor of the greenhouse weeded. The event finished with a dinner including Oliveris pizza and a “potluck” salad to which community members added their own veggies and dressings. We are so grateful for the assistance and enthusiasm provided by the volunteers and look forward to inviting them back to the garden for another event in the near future!
Click here to learn more about this event.
Colgate’s Community Garden has officially changed locations this summer and is looking forward to the growing season! The new garden is now located on Broad Street, just South of the Colgate townhouses and Community Hospital. Colgate Community Garden interns Alex Schaff ‘16 and Quincy Pierce ‘16 are starting from the ground up, forming rows, building a compost bin, planting seedlings, and adapting to the new site. Long-time friend of the garden, Sam Stradling from the Hamilton Food Cupboard, recently dropped off a plentiful load of plants ready to be planted in the garden. This is the second year in a row Sam and the Food Cupboard have donated seedlings in exchange for produce to be harvested and donated by the Community Garden later in the season.
We hope to hold events in the near future, and can’t wait to have visitors..stop by and have a look at all the work being done. Or even better, come on down and get your hands dirty by helping out! See you soon!
Spring is officially here and the Colgate Community Garden is getting a major face lift! Flooding at the current Newell apartment site last year proved to be too much to fully overcome. Over the winter the garden team and Green Thumbs members worked hard to put together a proposal to move the garden to a new location.
We are pleased to announce that, with the support of the University, the Colgate Community Garden will be relocating to a new (and flood-free) location for 2014! The new garden will be located just past the townhouses on Broad Street as you head south from campus. There is currently a greenhouse that was utilized in part by the garden team last year and plenty of land that does not flood on a regular basis, which could not be said for the Newell location!
Over the next few months, the garden team will be hard at work setting into action all of the plans that were made over the winter. First up is a major overhaul of the current greenhouse. The greenhouse will get a new covering and several new raised garden beds installed inside of it. Re-covering a greenhouse of this size (30 feet wide by 60 feet long) is much easier to do with lots of helping hands. Stay tuned for our announcements about how YOU can help with this project!
Once the snow melts (thank you Upstate New York for yet another long winter…), there will be plenty more happening at the new garden site. Tasks will include tilling the grass, moving the garden fence from the old location, moving the shed, forming garden rows, moving plants, and of course planting seeds. Anyone who is interested can come down and lend a helping hand. The more help we get, the quicker we can be on our way to a successful garden this year!
Thanks to all who have helped with the garden so far, and we look forward to many more exciting times to come!
It is cold now, but soon enough buds will be bursting, plants will be sprouting, and birds will be singing. It is time to start planning for the 2014 growing season. We will be accepting applications for two interns through April 9, 2014. Read below for more of the details.
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.
In Upstate New York, the gardening season can sometimes feel extremely short. The average time between the last frost in the Spring and the first frost in the Fall is about 144 days… not even half of a year!
Cold frames are structures designed to extend the growing season in cold climate gardening. They can be used at the start of a season, or at the end of a season. They are smaller than typical greenhouses, easy to move around the garden or even place over existing plants or shrubs.
Visit Organic Gardening’s website for some terrific information about cold frames and how you can extend your own gardening season.
Green Thumbs and the Colgate Community Garden team will also be hosting an event this weekend to learn more about cold frames. There are many different ways to create a cold frame that will suit your gardening needs, and we will be building 2 different ones on Sunday.
The event will take place on Sunday, October 20 at 4:30 pm at the Colgate Community Garden behind the Newell apartments on College Street. Come on down and see how easy it can be to add an extra 30-60 days to your own growing season! Hope to see you there!
For those of you living outside of beautiful, bustling Hamilton, NY for the summer, Saturday July 27th was Madison County Open Farm Day! The interactions we’ve had with other local food operations so far have been nothing but positive, from volunteering with the harvest effort at Common Thread Farm to checking out Hamilton College Community Farm. But between researching the “physiological leaf roll of the tomato” and sowing some late season kohlrabi seeds, there’s not nearly enough time to try getting our hands dirty at every farm in our neck of the woods. To us farming newbies, the Open Farm Day was a great chance to check out some of the growers behind the staples of the Hamilton Farmers Market.
While the wonderful Community Garden Internship affords Gabe and Skylar plenty of learning opportunities, the fields of mushroom farming and honey bee cultivation remained mysterious. First stopping at Highland Farms in our own backyard, we headed out to Fruit of the Fungi and learned the labor-intensive process of drilling holes in thousands of logs, cultivating mycelium, capping the logs with wax to retain moisture, waiting for a year, and then finally getting to start the actual mushroom growing process. As of now, there are definitely no plans for mushroom cultivation at the Community Garden.
We then set out for Johnston’s Honey Bee Farm, where we got some sweet posters. There was also a seriously sweet demonstration of the honey extraction process, including obligatory questions about how many times the farmers get stung (apparently hundreds, sometimes). The honeycombs are pulled out of the bee boxes and first capped with a hot iron to expose the raw honey. They’re then set into an extractor, and spun at speeds fast enough that the honey is forced out of the combs. Bee jealous, it was cool.
For next year, Madison County Open Farm Day is totally worth the trip!
When one hears the phrase “sustainable eating,” one of the first methods that comes to mind is eating locally grown food. Many would be surprised to learn that there are some people who do not support the locavore lifestyle, and wonder, “what could possibly be wrong with eating fresh produce, supporting neighborhood farmers, and boosting the local economy?” Cost is typically one of the major factors involved in deciding whether to purchase the slightly more expensive local, organic food, or to simply buy conventional supermarket food. Are the higher costs of local food outweighed by its associated health benefits? Read more