June was spent preparing and planting the vegetable garden on the Preschool Playground. In addition to the vegetables and herbs, two tee-pee structures were set-up with vining plants at their bases on the other playgrounds. One tee-pee was planted with Pole Beans and the other with Morning Glories.
The layout of the vegetable garden in the Preschool Playground:
A PDF file map of the Fort Hill grounds has been updated to mark the locations of what has been planted so far. It can be downloaded here: gardens_playground.pdf. (Last update: June 28, 2006.)
Herbs planted: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
The children have been working in the garden, assisting Praxis intern Audrey Smith '07 with digging, planting, watering, and weeding. They have been curious about the plants and creatures they have found in the garden. Butterflies and dragonflies have been spotted recently, along with the ever-present mosquitoes. Worms, when found while digging, are an exciting surprise.
The garden, fully planted and labeled. Signs were created to identify each plant and staked into the ground.
The cucumbers have been blooming for about a week now and are starting to weave their way into the fence. One of the two cherry tomato plants has bloomed and has begun to produce fruit. Two tiny green cherry tomatoes have formed under one of the plant's branches. It has been raining quite a bit recently, but some weeding was accomplished. An inchworm was discovered while weeding and one of the children suggested we name it "Cucumber" because it was similar in shape and color to the vegetable.
Small cucumbers have been spotted on each of the four cucumber plants lining fence. Currently, the developing cucumbers hardly look the cucumbers found at the grocery store; the small fruits are covered in what look like spiky protrusions. A few of the plum tomato plants have started to develop fruit and more cherry tomatoes have begun to appear. Basil was harvested earlier this week and the children helped make pesto.
One cucumber was picked yesterday! There are still several larger cucumbers growing on the vines. There are many tomatoes, but very few have fully ripened. In a smaller planting bed, some of bean plants have flowered and have a few green beans hang from them. The the bean plants on the tee-pee have finally begun to weave their way up the sides of the poles and flower. Hopefully they too will have beans soon!
Druing the past couple of weeks, the children discovered that some of the herbs are edible straight from the plant and have taken to pulling off and eating leaves, especially those of the basil and mint plants.
The morning glories have been enjoying the hot, sunny weather and grow larger each day. They have started to bloom and the plants are slowly being trained to cover each of the legs of the tee-pee.
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Throughout the summer I will be updating this page with new developments in the garden. (Last update: August 4, 2006.)