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Garden Flooded

By Sustainability Office on June 28, 2013

A sad day at the Community Garden.  Underneath all of this water is a lot of teamwork, good old fashioned hard work, and pride.  We will regroup and recover if it ever stops raining.  In the meantime, we could really use your encouragement and support!

Garden Flooded

June 2013 Flood

Henke’s Raised Bed Garden

By Sustainability Office on June 28, 2013

This article submitted by Prof. Chris Henke

Early in 2013 my family and I were on a long car trip, and we passed the time by listening to an audiobook of The Secret Garden, a classic children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  The Secret Garden tells the story of two young children, Mary and Colin, who discover the joys of gardening on an English estate in the nineteenth century.  The book makes gardening sound very romantic, and, in the deep of winter, my daughter, Lin, and I decided that we wanted plant a small vegetable garden together this year.

Colgate’s community garden now has a few small 4 by 8 foot raised beds that community members can use for growing vegetables.  Just as the Spring 2013 semester was winding down, Colgate students worked with our new Garden Consultant, Beth Roy, to construct the frames for the raised beds, using lumber purchased from a local sawmill.  After filling the bed with topsoil and compost, it was time to plant.
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Lin wanted some of her favorite vegetables, which include peas, beans, and cucumbers.  We also planted tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and peppers.  The largest portion of our garden, though, is planted with kong xin cai, a green leafy vegetable common in Asian cooking, which our wife/mother insisted on growing, as it is difficult to find outside of specialized Asian markets.

At this point you might be asking yourself: how are we growing all this produce in a 4 by 8 foot space?  We are experimenting with a gardening technique called Square Foot Gardening, popularized in a series of books by Mel Bartholomew.  The square foot method marks off a garden plot into 1 foot grids, where each square is filled in with different vegetables, as opposed to more traditional row gardening where a long row or bed might be planted all with one type of vegetable.  The idea is to grow more intensively in a smaller area, allowing some of the larger plants to have an entire square to themselves, whereas root vegetables like carrots might have as many as 9 plants in one square.  For plants that vine, like tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and beans, the plants are trellised and encouraged to grow vertically in their square.

So far our little bed seems to be doing well, though the wet and cool weather that we experienced in Hamilton earlier in the summer kept growth slow.  We already had to replant some cucumber starts that got beat up by the rain, and some tomatoes that we started in a barrel were flooded.  But overall our square foot garden experiment has been a lot of fun so far.  Stop by the garden some time to take look!


Colgate Community Garden Hosts 2013 Welcome Party

By Sustainability Office on June 16, 2013
Students working at the Colgate Community Garden welcome party.

The Colgate Community Garden hosted a welcome party.

The Colgate Community Garden hosted a Welcome Party on June 9 (Sunday), on one of the few sunny days of the past several weeks.  Almost 40 people were in attendance. Many of them came early on to help with some garden tasks, while others joined the group for the community dinner that followed the work session.

The volunteers were led by garden interns Skylar Lindsay ’15, Gabe Block ’15 and garden consultant Beth Roy.  Tasks included weeding, planting squash, melons, and pumpkins.

After the work was done, participants stuck around for a dinner party.  Pizzas were provided by Oliveri’s Pizzeria.  Fresh herbs were snipped from the herb garden and used on top of the pizzas.  Thyme, oregano, and even chives were used to add a little extra flavor.

The Colgate Community Garden garden team hopes to host more work parties/community dinners over the summer and fall growing seasons.  For more information, follow the Colgate Community Garden on Facebook, Twitter, or contact them at communitygarden@colgate.edu.

Colgate students working in the Community Garden

Students pause for a lunch break at the Community Garden

Hamilton High School Students Visit Colgate Garden

By Sustainability Office on June 16, 2013

Colgate Community Garden interns Skylar Lindsay ’15 and Gabe Block ’15, along with Garden Consultant Beth Roy, hosted their first official tour of the season.  About 10 students from Hamilton High School and their teacher, Johanna Bossard, came out to visit the garden and learn more about organic farming.

The students brought with them several flats of plants that they donated to the garden, along with one of CCG’s garden rakes that they had repaired in their welding class earlier that week.  Plants that were donated included broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, and squash.  All plants were planted, cared for, and maintained by Hamilton Agriculture students.

Plants donated by Hamilton Central Schools to the Colgate Community Garden

Hamilton Central School students donated plants to Colgate Community Garden

In exchange for the plant donations, the CCG garden team has agreed to help water the outdoor garden beds that Hamilton High students have planted this spring.  Over summer months, when school is not in session, the CCG team will water, weed, and harvest the Hamilton HS beds as needed.