Peas and the greenhouse

We had plenty to do at the garden in March! We’ve had groups of kids coming through weekly from the high school, middle school, and the children’s center in Langley to help the growing along. Though the weather turned cold, we still planted peas, onions, lettuce, and carrots outside this month, and took some space in the school’s greenhouse for some trays of tomatos, eggplant, and broccoli. Our greenhouse, a hoophouse we bought as a kit, was completed by the end of the month as well, and it definitely keeps the heat in.

building the greenhouse

We received some expert help from Carl and Chris in setting up the greenhouse, which was ordered as a kit. The kit provided the poles and plastic, leaving the two ends up to us. The picture above is from early on when the ends were still being shaped; below is the finished product. The plastic sheeting went up at the end of March, and it’s doing a great job of holding in the heat. Our concern now is for ventilation so that when we plant in there the plants will remain healthy.

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For the inside, we’ve built up a massive mound of good dirt and compost along one side. In October and November we may line the other side with black water buckets to hold in a bit more heat, but we quickly found out that heat is not going to be our problem for the summer. In a few weeks we’ll start planting the mound with some of the hot weather crops we’re growing in seedling trays. A look at the inside:

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I teased you with peas, so i better get those pictures up as well. On a few different wednesdays in March, we planted peas – 5 different kinds to be exact, in preparation for the Great All-American Pea-Tasting Contest 2008. Kids from the Children’s Center in Langley planted the first three kinds (they’re the ones under the cloth in these pictures) before the cold set back in. The peas didn’t appreciate the snowfall in late March, but they survived under the protective cloth and are now growing again. On to the pictures:

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These undercover peas are much happier than the two rows left uncovered. We’ll see how they do in the taste test.

A group of high school students comes weekly to the garden as part of their Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP), an elective class at the high school. Last week they planted onions, watered the garden, and helped pound in the posts for the pea trellises. Even though those peas are only about 1/2″ high, they have loads of potential and we’ll be ready for them when they need to wrap around something. We used a very scientific tool provided by Anza called a “pounder” – this is Alex at work:

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Anza brings homebaked bread to every Wednesday garden session – just in case hard work isn’t its own reward. This week we had some delicious egg bread. Thanks to Anza for all her knowledge, leadership and baking skills!

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