Yesterday we had a quintessential Land School summer work day.
The garden had big needs and we had been getting overwhelmed by the weeds. The near constant rain of late has meant that the weeds have been re-rooting as well as sprouting from new seeds. The rain also washes away water soluble nutrients. We plug away. This week we were hoping to get us set up to ride into the fall with healthy crops to harvest in late September and October.
Even before 9 am our first workers arrived. Shelly and Julia and I started on weeding the carrots and beets that our apprentices had almost finished earlier this week. Julia also weeded some scallions she had planted three weeks ago. The conversation while weeding is always good. There are 6 rows of fall carrots and three rows of beets for the fall. Each row of carrots will yield a week's worth of carrots for the market. To have saved these carrots means that we'll have carrots for the girls and boys of LCS as school is starting.
Then our second crew, Eleanor and Jack, showed up to help finish the carrots and then move on to weeding the leeks. The leeks were pretty good already, and the weeding went faster when our last crew arrived, Kris and Michael. Then the roving band of plant liberators settled on the brussels sprouts and the salad mix for next week. It was beautiful to see the blue green of the brussels sprouts leaves predominate again. While the weeders were doing their magic, Julia and Michael sprinkled composted chicken poo fertilizer on the kale, carrots, leeks, and beets. This is just the boost they need to finish strong.
As usual, the lunch was just great! A breeze came up to cool us off while we conversed and ate under the oak tree. Then after lunch, our worthy weeders went back to the garden and tackled the summer carrots, which were showing a few weeds already since the garlic fest two weeks ago. Wow! all the carrots are done! 9 rows.
After everyone left for the day, Anne and I got the seeds out and seeded some beds for the fall. We seeded spinach, chard, beets, turnips, lettuce, cilantro, dill, and radishes. Almost immediately after we seeded the fall crops, we had a downpour, which will serve to water in the seeds and also make the new fertilizer available to the crops.Perfect end to a great day of gardening!
There were a few fall crops that we had to let go of. The parsnips were beyond rescue and we tilled them under to prevent the weeds from going to seed. The latest salad mix had too much hail damage to warrant weeding and it met a similar fate.
By the end of the day, our fall garden was well on its way: carrots, beets, leeks, brussels sprouts, lettuce, scallions, radishes, turnips, spinach, cilantro, kale, dill. Thank you to all who helped yesterday!