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Community Garden Greenhouse Takes Off, Raised Beds and All

By Sustainability Office on July 15, 2013

As a result of all the flooding, the garden team has decided to focus most of our effort on the Community Garden Greenhouse. What began as an accessory location to simply hold about 50 extra tomato plants, has now become a refuge for transplanting crops that survived the flooding, and a way to reinvigorate our potential harvest. The greenhouse was originally purchased by Colgate, along with the land that it sits on, from a nursery and garden business that went out-of-business.
Pepper plants went wild, as seedlings and spirits shot up. Up until today, all plants were held in the largest pots we could get our hands on, thanks to a generous donation from Alcott’s Garden Center!  It quickly became clear, however, that we’d need more space and soil depth to really take advantage of the space.

Our root vegetable aspirations, only temporarily stunted by the floods, couldn’t be held in pots. We drew up plans for both a twenty foot and a forty foot long raised bed. With much appreciated emergency funding from Dean Hicks, we were able to finish construction today. Sustainability Office interns (Everett Spencer ’15, Jack Eiel ’15, Jenna Glat ’14, Kathryn Bacher ’14, and Allison Shafritz ’15) helped us for the day and we had a regular ole work party in the rain. If anyone’s curious how much labor it takes to build and fill sixty feet worth of deep raised beds – or how dirty you get in the process – get in touch with any of them.
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Built out of larch from Preston Kelley’s lumber yard in Hubbardsville, the new greenhouse raised beds will hold carrots, turnips, chard, rutabagas, beans, radishes, lettuce and anything else we lost to the flooding that isn’t as viable or efficiently grown in pots. The sustainability interns even pushed through to finish most of the seeding today, so hopefully we’ll see some starts by the end of the weekend. This is the first season the Community Garden has made use of greenhouse space, and we hope to use it for everything from an extended growing season, to cultivating starts for the 2014 season before the last snows.

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